At our community-themed Tot Shabbat at the end of October, our tots learned to welcome in new people by scooching back, smiling at our new guests, and showing them the space we have just created for them to join. It has been so nice to use that new skill to continually welcome new people. In fact, we have been welcoming so many new people that at our Hanukah themed Tot Shabbat we scooched all the way back to the walls! It is great to see familiar and new faces at every Tot Shabbat, Rhythm ’n’ Ruach, and First Friday Night for Families.

At our First Friday Night for Families on November 2nd, the room was brimming with people as we continuously got out more and more chairs. It was also Solidarity Shabbat, the week after the shooting in Pittsburgh, and it was so wonderful to see so many people, and so many families, coming together to celebrate Shabbat. The events of the week before made it a solemn night, but the noise, laughter, and joy of our children in the room was a nice reminder of the hope of our future even in hard times.

In addition to our regular Shabbat programming, we brought in the light with our Young Families Hanukah Party! Families got together to light candles, eat pizza and donuts, and do fun Hanukah activities. We have a lot to look forward to in the Spring and are working on some programming for our families focused on differences and how to speak about and teach young children about differences and diversity. We will also make sure to plan in some good old fashioned fun with a parents night out!