Generation Sinai expanding by leaps and bounds
Held on Rosh Chodesh Sivan, now on an annual basis, parents, and even grandparents, are visiting the various Jewish nursery and day schools in the major centres in South Africa – Johannesburg, Cape Town, Pretoria, Durban/Umhlanga and Port Elizabeth.
This is the second time there is participation by schools in other countries – Israel, Australia, the United States, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Germany, the Ukraine, Russia and the United Kingdom.
The content of the course has been translated this year from English into Hebrew, Portuguese, Spanish and German and comprises the Story of Ruth both as a CD and a transcript. There are two modules on “Life Lessons from the Story of Ruth”.
The first module looks at how people who are “different” are treated throughout the story by various characters, while the second module looks at guidelines from sources through the Oral Torah on how to treat people.
Both of these modules were supplied to every child taking part. When sending the material out to parents, Rabbi Goldstein quipped: “It’s not every day you get homework from the Chief Rabbi.” He urged parents to listen to the story with their children before coming to school.
“Together we have made Generation Sinai a major highlight of the Jewish calendar. Riding on this positive energy, Generation Sinai 2014 is launching something new – special features that will help you take this awesome experience of Torah learning with your children home with you,” he said.
Family members paired up with learners in primary or high schools, while nursery school children worked on appropriate crafts. Teachers assisted learners who did not have a family member present.
Last year, in South Africa, it was estimated that 9 000 children took part in Generation Sinai and, coupled with their family members, the number was probably double that. This year, the numbers were expected to increase even more.
Rosh Chodesh Sivan was the chosen date as that was the day on which the Jewish people first arrived at Mount Sinai to receive the Torah. They stood there “as one man with one heart”, united and focused on receiving the word of Hashem.
The Chief Rabbi commented on the video, which was part of the programme, on the “power, energy, positivity and inspiration”. It was an outpouring of emotion, he said.
He exhorted parents: “Take that home with you. The material is designed to be accessible and relevant throughout the year… The real place where Jewish learning happens is in the home between parents and children. Bring the magic home!”