THE OLIVE PRESS
The JCrafts Holiday Series brings the chagim to life.
Innovative and hands-on workshops transform century-old festivals with excitement and meaning.
Scroll down for experiences.
History comes alive in the Matzah Factory as students step into a time machine and travel back to the sand dunes of Egypt. Unleavened bread played a central role in the Hebrews’ liberation from Egypt. The workshop explores ancient techniques in creating unleavened dough from scratch while teaching children how to find the silver lining in adversity, the importance of humility, and how to give thanks in any situation.
THE OLIVE PRESS
The ancient Greeks, under the rule of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, tried to force others to speak their language, dress like them and live as they did. Most of the people assimilated into the Greek culture, but there was a small group of Jewish people called the Maccabees who challenged the mighty Greek army for the right to practice their own unique way of life.
This immersive experience is designed to capture a child’s imagination as it depicts the struggle for tolerance in the face of oppression. As students press olives into oil, they discover why standing up for every person’s right to express their individuality is a truly pressing matter.
THE SHOFAR FACTORY
Through unique media and innovative presentation, students encounter the signature observance of the Jewish New Year, the blowing of the Shofar - the traditional ram’s horn. Students will learn that individual horn sounds have different meanings. The sound of the Shofar serves as a wake-up call and a source of communication. Students are encouraged to experiment with different kinds of trumpets and horns and interpret the messages that the horn sounds share.
The intriguing ram’s horn is an instrument for both giving and receiving. When making a sound from the ram’s horn, one blows out of the narrow side. To use the horn to listen, again, the smaller part is placed by the ear. The ram’s horn contains the secret of true communication and the Shofar Factory leads participants in discovering its message.
The hustle and bustle of a shuk (marketplace) is relived in this workshop. With the holiday of Sukkot fast approaching, the students go ‘shopping’ for the four species. Each species has a distinct smell and texture which students discover during their browsing. The bumpy Etrog with its pleasant and sweet fragrance. The long, sharp spine of the Lulav, and the small buds and thin leaves of the Haddasim and Aravot. The participants are encouraged to create their own perfect combination of the four species, using the traditional Lulav leaf rings to secure the bundle.