The Department Shlicha, Tova Birnbaum, works intensively with the Palo Alto community; among the last activities that were held this month, the Havdalah ceremony for the local Israeli community is noteworthy, the Shlicha held a study session prior to the ceremony, while the children participated in a Havdalah candle making activity. The ancient ritual was adjusted to the modern Israeli experience by adding modern songs and a conversation between the parents and the children about the past week and the coming week.
Another activity that the Shlicha in Palo Alto holds is teaching groups of local youngsters to prepare for the ritual of welcoming the Shabbat (Kabalat Shabbat). As part of the program the Shlicha formed a community of young Israelis that live and work in the Bay Area; she is guiding them along their first steps for preparing Kabalat Shabbat, Jewish holidays and culture evenings. During February the group prepared Kabalat Shabbat and a Shabbat evening meal for 50 youngsters, with the guidance of the North American Department’s Shlicha.
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