Preschoolers prepared for the first night of Hanukkah with a storytelling performance and craft activity at the Rashi School, an independent Reform Jewish school in Dedham, staff said.
“We did it because, starting tomorrow when the first candle is lit, it’s going to be all about presents,” said Adrienne Frechter, director of admissions and marketing for the school. “Sometimes the meaning of Hanukkah gets lost.”
School staff hoped to use the event, called “Hanukkah: The Miracle of Light,” to teach pupils in an age-appropriate way about the holiday, which starts Saturday night, Frechter said.
The annual event was part of the school’s ongoing “Curious Minds” series of programs for preschool-aged children, Frechter said.
About 35 preschoolers from the area and their parents filled the school for Friday’s event, Frechter said. Rashi has a lower school for students in kindergarten through fourth grade and an upper school for students in fifth through eighth grades.
The children gathered around the storyteller, Cindy Rivka Marshall, as she told the story of Hanukkah, when a one-day supply of oil lasted eight days, Frechter said.
“The storyteller had them enthralled,” she said. “They were really listening so intently. I was expecting them to squirm.”
Then it was craft time.
The preschoolers made paper menorahs and dreidels to take home with them, said Frechter.
After the event, the preschoolers and parents were invited to join the Rashi student body for the weekly Kabbalat Shabbat, a songfest to celebrate the beginning of shabbat, which is the Jewish Sabbath, Frechter said.
“It’s a joyous way to separate from the work week or school week and start shabbat,” she said.
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