Everyone had an amazing time on our Family Retreat over Presidents Day weekend. The theme of the weekend was community and our programming brought this theme to life!
We began with an interactive Shabbat morning service. There were different activities that brought to life the various prayers that are a part of our Shabbat morning liturgy. For example, during the Shema and V'ahavtah, we did a yurt circle. These two prayers talk about the relationship between God and the Jewish people. By alternating leaning forwards and backwards, our circle created a community that depended on one another for support (literally!).
The Amidah talks about the relationship between generations and the passing on of Jewish traditions from one generation to another. During the Amidah, we passed a hula hoop around our circle without "breaking the chain"!
After services and lunch, we played a few ice breaker games and then headed into our first program. We were all divided into groups and each group was given a different word that connected to the idea of community. We then had to create an art piece that depicted our word. The group in this picture is depicting the word "family."
Then, we got into family groups and created artistic representations of what our TEE community means to us.
Later in the day, while the adults did some learning with Rabbi Denker, the kids spent time preparing a theatrical performance. They worked on musical accompaniment with Cantor Lawrence...
a script with Mrs. Zaas...
and some awesome costumes!!
The play told the story of two brothers with a very special relationship (http://www.storiestogrowby.com/stories/two_brothers.html).
After the play it was time for free time and dinner, followed by our evening program.
During the evening program, we all made "jenga" pieces. Each piece represented different facets of community.
We ended the night with a special Havdallah service created by the teens.
The next morning, we concluded our time together with a giant game of jenga...
We talked about how even though we knew the jenga game would fall, playing it together as a community was fun because when we're in a strong community, doing things together is what makes things fun (even if in the end the tower falls down!).