Consecration

What a great start to the new school year and what a terrific opening for the third year of our Eitz Chayim program of learning. I hope your child is sharing good reports about his/her experiences thus far and if not, please contact me. I would love to speak with you either way.
Consecration will be held on Friday, December 1, as part of our Family Shabbat Dinner and Shabbat Rishon Service. All students in Kindergarten and all new students in 1st or 2nd grade will receive a certificate of consecration and a mini-Torah. The dictionary defines the verb “to consecrate” as “to devote or dedicate to some purpose.” Our consecration service serves to consecrate our children to the purpose of their Jewish education, and to dedicate the rest of us to our obligation of guaranteeing that our children are provided with an appropriate Jewish education. The dictionary also defines “consecrate” as “to make or declare sacred.” Surely, the start of a child’s Jewish education marks the beginning of something sacred.
We are also pleased to be participating in the Union for Reform Judaism’s camp promotion initiative this year. At consecration all consecrants will be presented with a certificate for $200 towards a Jewish camping experience at Crane Lake, 6 Points Sci Tech, or Eisner Camp. We hope that many of our B’nai Shalom students will take advantage of this wonderful invitation to attend a Jewish summer camp. More information on these camps can be found at http://www.urjnecamps.org.
Many congregations hold consecration on Erev Simchat Torah. We hold ours closer to Hanukkah. We have found that waiting the couple of extra months gives the Kindergarten students more time to really know the Sh’ma, learn some songs and get to feel comfortable on the Bimah.
From a practical standpoint, yes, the consecration service is organized chaos. It is loud, often hectic, disordered, and in tenor different from most Shabbat services, but one that I and the teachers enjoy, because we literally look into the eyes of our future on that night. Join us for this special Shabbat service. I promise — you will be uplifted and see that our future is in good hands!