Respect, understanding, acceptance
A group of enthusiastic Year 11 students participated in a RUA (Respect, Understanding, Acceptance) event at the Great Synagogue last Wednesday. The event brought together students from different faiths to create a dialogue and set common goals for our society. After some mingling, the students sat in mixed groups to learn from one another about the different and similar customs and rituals of their faiths. Later, they presented the morning prayer. Emanuel students recited the prayer of Modeh Ani and explained its meaning and the use of prayer accessories such as the Kippah, Tallit, Tefillin and Siddur. After a lunch break, the students created posters and shared their ideas about acceptance of different religions in our society. Towards the end of the session, each group presented a song for harmony and peace. Our students joined together to sing Oseh Shalom Bimromav. The event was a fantastic opportunity for all the students to embrace diversity and to represent Emanuel’s Jewish culture.
Here are some quotes from the student’s reflections on the day:
Today was a great experience where we got to connect with a variety of other schools and understand their religions. At first, you may be nervous not knowing what these other schools would think of you and how well they would understand what you were trying to convey, but as soon as you get there and start branching out and talking to the other kids all those worries go away. It is such a great experience being able to share our own beliefs with people while also listening to them about their own. It was great fun being able to work together with them and have civil, fun conversations and really get to know each other as well as have fun. We really get to understand that even though they go to different schools and have different beliefs we are still all very alike and able to get along. Overall, it was a great experience, and you should definitely do it. You’ll make great friends and do fun activities that will bring you together. Gahya Cesana
Interfaith was an insightful opportunity that strengthened my understanding of other cultures. Starting off, it was extremely awkward, we were all in a hall in a Shule and all three schools were pretty standoffish. However, after a lot of small talk about subjects and school, we sat down and were forced to sit next to people in different schools. This majorly helped. We were able to make connections, and then turned into forming a larger group. We did many activities in our groups and a few people in different schools went to the front to perform prayers and explain other monumental totems about their culture. Overall, this experience allowed me to form a greater understanding in other faiths and am extremely appreciative to do so. Scott Reuveny
I enjoyed the discussions most because it was very interesting hearing the other schools questions about Judaism and hearing more about their religion. Ella Hart
I think it is really important to meet people of other faiths, it allows us to go into the world with a more open and educated mind. If people around the world were more educated toward other races and religions, there would be less racism in our society today. Ruby Grynberg