Hanukkah at Queen Elizabeth
The holidays were in full force at Queen Elizabeth Elementary during the last week of school – packed full of opportunities to bring in the winter festivities. The staff prepared multiple playful and educational events for the kiddos and the local community including Christmas concerts, jingle runs through Ryall Park, entrepreneur fairs, and live events galore.
While many dedicate their December celebrations to Christmas (either in a religious or Santa sense of the holiday), the Queen Elizabeth Elementary team also took the opportunity to honour another prominent occasion: Hanukkah.
On the last day before winter break, the second graders of QE gathered in the gym to learn more about the celebration of light. The assembly was guided by the family members of Jewish students from the school, both parents and grandparents, giving the kids a first hand perspective of the holiday.
Each family member took a turn teaching the students about what Hanukkah means to them and their family. The conversation covered topics ranging from the origin of Hanukkah, the significance of the menorah and dreidels, and all the common foods eaten during the celebration. The Jewish students shared their favourite traditions too: like finding hidden afikoman (this practice of hiding the dessert is a tradition typically practiced for Passover, but was adopted by this family as a part of their Hanukkah celebration).
To conclude, all of the students performed a group dance that they’d learned over the past two weeks to commemorate the holiday, sharing their enthusiasm with all. Their dance moves were inspired by symbolism and gestures associated with Hanukkah.
The room was full of smiles as the kids twirled and whirled to the music!
By the end by the assembly, all the students left with a new appreciation for the holiday … as they each then headed off to enjoy the Winter Break with their own families and traditions to partake in.