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Experiencing the DN Downtown Pop Up School, by Jessica Greenberg

05/09/2017 03:06:10 PM


I grew up at Darchei Noam. I attended Shabbat services, Hebrew School (the very first classes of which were held in my family's basement!) and had my Bat Mitzvah and later my aufruf at Darchei Noam. Now I have my own family and I've migrated downtown. We are an interfaith family committed to the values of inclusion, social justice and creativity, and while Darchei Noam will always feel like a kind of home to me, I've been craving a Jewish learning opportunity for my family within our own community.

So of course I was excited to hear about the new Darchei Noam downtown pop-up conveniently held at the Lillian H. Smith Library at College & Spadina and our family has participated in all three programs so far. I love how music and art are at the fore, with an emphasis on active participation. The program is multi-generational – another element I love. Children, parents and grandparents all learn and play together.

Bryna and her guitar lead us in song with warmth and enthusiasm – a fun, creative and communal experience that also happens to be an excellent way to develop Hebrew language skills. And speaking of Hebrew, the lessons with Luba and her turtle puppet Bensi are equally experiential with everyone learning through games and activities.

I also happen to love the timing. Like many other families, I confess to being slightly over-programmed. So the 90 minute get-together late Sunday afternoon fits well into our lives. The vibe is welcoming and relaxed. It's a great way for kids and adults to connect with friends and build community, and there's even coffee and cookies.

Wait – back to that community part. In order for the program to be viable, it's going to require some more families to come out and join in the fun and learning. I hope you'll consider joining us in September. Bring your children, bring your grandchildren, bring your friends.

Thank you to Myra Merkur, whose donation enables us to offer this program.

If you're interested in registering for our Pop Up School this Fall, we have limited spaces remaining in the west end. There's also still time to register for Hebrew School!

Thu, 23 May 2024 15 Iyar 5784