Arava Twining Program
The Pre-school is continuing with our Arava twinning program that we started last year, with Gan Rimon in Ein Yahav in the Arava in the South of Israel. This is a very exciting partnership, and we are thrilled to have this on-going connection and relationship with Gan Rimon and their lovely Director Din-Din. This is a wonderful opportunity for the children and educators to connect with our wider Jewish community, particularly in Israel. This partnership will provide many opportunities for collaboration, networking, sharing of ideas and cultures across our two countries. We will be learning about the Arava region in the South of Israel, and they will be learning about Sydney, Australia.
As we have a new group of children this year, we have begun introducing this project to the children in meaningful ways, so they can begin to understand who their new friends in Israel are, where they live, what the children in the Gan are learning about and finding similarities and differences. We have set up an Arava corner in the classroom, to connect the children visually to the Arava, and to reflect this partnership and project. We explained that one of the ways we are going to get to know each other is through the languages of drawing, painting and technology.
The Dolphins all drew a special picture to send to their new friends to introduce themselves. We showed the children a map of Israel. We explained that the Arava region is in the desert. We had a short discussion about what a desert is.
Claudia: It’s where it’s hot and where the teachers went to Israel.
It was interesting to notice the way the children transferred information from one context and applied it to different situations. The children’s comments and responses were insightful and involved their experiences with Shabbat, collecting tzedakah and connecting Israel with the stories related to the Chagim.
What can you see?
Freddie: It’s a map.
Tahlia: A map of the world.
Xander: A map of a car.
Cleo: An Israel map.
Ziggy: Something that tells you where you are.
Noah E: Something you look at and then you don’t get lost.
James C: Something you go to in different countries.
Asher: It shows you where to go.
What are maps for?
Oscar: It says you go to Israel.
Freddy E: I think it’s a storm map.
Fred S: A map is to show you the way to go somewhere.
Michael: Like from Bondi to here, to show where your home is.
Where is Israel?
Ziggy: Where you make the money and send it here. It’s a country. A country is a different kind of place far away from here.
Noah S: I know that. We send money to this place.
Jack: We send money to the people who don’t have money.
James C: Where the Red Sea is.
We read a story about visiting Eretz Yisrael:
Grace: Eretz Yisrael. That’s Hebrew.
James C: Shalom means hello in Hebrew.
Freddy: I have falafel for shabbat.
Last week, just in time for Purim, we received a very generous package from the Arava, which contained a beautiful pack of recycled materials, for the children to each make their own rashanim for Purim and a letter wishing us a “Happy Purim.”
The children in Israel, also wanted to know how we get ready for Purim.
Juliette: We are making puppets, shakers and masks.
Freddie: We are making our bags with hamantaschen in.
Matteo: We are dressing up.
Cleo: We are doing role plays about Purim.
Sam: We are singing songs.
We are also very excited that Hagit Bar-On, Head of Hebrew, Year K-6 and Jewish studies co-ordinator, K-2, will be visiting Israel in April and May and she will visit Gan Rimon for us and meet Din-Din and the children in Gan Rimon. This will ensure our connection and relationship will be deepened even further.
Children’s connectedness and different ways of belonging with people, country and communities helps them to learn ways of being, which reﬂect the values, traditions and practices of their families and communities.
The Pre-school community have collectively raised $1221.00 for our flood relief fundraiser last week. The money has been donated to Lismore and Coraki flood affected families through Gunawirra. We collected $621.00 which was matched dollar for dollar by an extremely generous Kornmehl family, who wish to remain anonymous.
Here are some thoughts from the children on the floods:
Dylan: Their house washed out and that’s why we made rainbow challahs and we got some money, because their house got washed out. There was a lot of rain because the sky filled up with water and that’s why it was raining.
Xander: My great grandmother’s house was flooded. It had another level.
Claudia: When there’s a flood, the house will break, and it will rain for a long time and get heavier and heavier.
Juliette: The rain goes everywhere, and the water goes high.
Michael: And the water makes a river everywhere and it won’t be much fun!
James H: Floods can go high in your house, and you can’t breathe if it touches the roof. You have to go out to take a breath.
Sam: When there’s a flood you have to evacuate your house because it will flood you.
Mia: It will be like a swimming pool.
Charlie: The animals from the ocean come out.
Jack M: When it rains it makes lots of mud.
Raphael B: Sometimes the flood goes down all the streets.
We wish a very happy birthday to Ella Johns (4), Xander Kogan (5), and Lexi Kalinko (4). We hope you all had a beautiful birthday celebration.