Welcome Back to School Kit
Welcome students back to school with symbolic items that are linked to quotes from Jewish sources and values.
Peggy Kroll, Education Director, Temple Beth Torah, Wellington, FL, sent us the following idea for a "Back-to-School" kit to welcome students. Feel free to adapt and personalize the kit for your own school.
Peggy Kroll, Education Director,
The original idea for creating a "Back-to-School Kit" came from the Yahoo Jewish Educators’ listserv - firstname.lastname@example.org - several years ago. Over the years that I have used this idea, I have changed several of the items and maintained others. The teachers distribute the bags (usually party bags) to each class from Kindergarten to 7th grade on the first day of school and review the contents. The students have learned to expect different items every year so we never hear, "Oh, that bag again." Rather, they greet the gifts with great anticipation. We always try to include at least one useful item. For example, this year we included a Magen David key chain made from recycled tires! Another year we gave a pen and pencil set. And, of course, each item has a symbolic value, often linked to a quote from a Jewish source or text.
Your kit contains:
A BIT-O-HONEY (honey stick) to wish you a sweet and satisfying year of learning.
A KEY CHAIN to show that you hold the key to your future.
A PENNY to remind you to give tzedakah. The word "tzedakah" comes from the Hebrew word for justice or fair treatment. Giving tzedakah is the right thing to do.
A BAND-AID to remind you that we are all responsible for Tikkun Olam, the repair of the world. According to one midrash, God said, "Look at My work, how beautiful and perfect is everything that I created. I created it for you. Be careful not to ruin and destroy My world."
A CHOCOLATE HERSHEY’S KISS to remind you to show your love for your family by giving plenty of kisses. It’s a great way to promote sh’lom bayit—peace in your home.
A CANDLE to remind you to light Shabbat and holiday candles.
AN ERASER for the mistakes we all make. Experience comes from making mistakes. The only bad mistakes are the ones we don’t learn from.
A RUBBER BAND to remind you to s-t-r-e-t-c-h your mind and your learning.
AN ISRAELI FLAG to remind you of the connection of the Jewish people to our homeland, Eretz Yisrael.
A COLORFUL CLIP to remind you to connect what you learn at school with what you do at home.
A GOLDEN THREAD to remind you of the Golden Rule, "love your neighbor as yourself." Remember, what is hateful to you, do not do to your classmates and teachers. That is the entire law; all the rest is explanation. [Talmud updated!]
BEST WISHES FOR A SWEET AND REWARDING YEAR OF HEBREW SCHOOL!
Education Director, and the faculty and staff