27 May Connecting to Israel and the Jewish People: the Celebrate Israel Parade

I first marched in the Celebrate Israel Parade when I was a little kid. I have vivid and warm memories of the experience. I remember gathering with my friends from the Schechter School I attended in Suffolk County and my parents and siblings, riding a bus for what seemed like a very long time to get to NYC, marching up a really big street, surrounded by unbelievably enormous buildings, and throngs of cheering people. All the while singing Hebrew songs and showing our love for the State of Israel. It was a rich and formative experience, filled with sounds, sights, and smells that seeped into me and helped to form my identity as a Zionist and committed Jew.


As I think back on those years of marching in the parade, I realize that the Celebrate Israel Parade connected me not just to Israel but to Jews around the world.  At the Celebrate Israel Parade thousands of people joined me and my small community. It appeared to me that I was surrounded by an endless collection of marchers and the numbers of spectators made  it hard to walk through the crowds. I learned from the Celebrate Israel Parade that the State of Israel is a passion shared by the whole Jewish people. That my love for Hebrew, Israeli food and music connected me to something bigger than myself. That so many other people also feel emotional when they sing Hatikva and think about the fulfillment of two thousand years of Jewish longing for our homeland. Marching in the Celebrate Israel Parade made me feel part of something big and important.

As an adult I have marched in the parade with my students for many years and each time I am still moved by the scope and power of the experience. I feel privileged to share the experience with young Jews and help them to find their own connections to the State of Israel and Jews around the world. The Celebrate Israel Parade is coming up on Sunday, June 5, and as we have done for many years Schechter Manhattan will march together. We will gather at 2:15 PM at 54th street between 5th Avenue and Madison Avenue. Please join us.  I know that Sundays in June are super busy and finding time between baseball games and dance recitals is tricky- I encourage you to move things around if you can to march with us. Email [email protected] to let us know you can make it. I believe that you will also feel connected to the land of Israel and the Jewish people when you march in the Celebrate Israel Parade. I also know that your children will learn an invaluable lesson about their part in the larger Jewish people.

Shabbat shalom

Benjamin Mann

Author’s Chair




Each Monday Gan students write about something fun they remember from their weekend.


I Wat aWt For DNr AnD it WS YMY. I hD hCN. (I went out for dinner and it was yummy. I had chicken)



I WAT RLSKTN (I went rollerskating)



I YANT 2 the SHABATON AND I MAD A LAMURD. (I went to the Shabbaton and I made a lanyard)




Kitah Bet wrote literary essays as a culminating project from their series book unit. In their essays they explained why they would or would not want to have a play date with the main character from their books.


I want to have a playdate with Stanley. Here are a few reasons why I think Stanley is sneaky because he can blend in with any color. Also, Stanley is smart because he has very smart ideas. When me and Stanley have a playdate we will got to a video game place. When we are at the video place we will play all the video games and have a challenge to see who is the best at video games. I will like it because I like video games and we can get cool prizes. Stanley will like it because Henry likes playing games and going to a new place.



I do not want to have a play date with Flat Stanley. This is why, Sanley would not want to play somthing for long in my book when he and Arther were playing ninga Stanley stopt playing the gane. Also he likes big dogs so he would play with them and I am skard of big dogs. I would have a play date at my howes exept I have no toys Stanley would like. I would play fairys but Stanley does not play faires. I mite play with my stoft animals and pertend they are real, but Stanley does not like stoft animals.



I want to have a playdate with Humphrey because hes helpful, and smart. Humphrey is helpful because in my book Humphrey helps Sayehs family learn English. He is smart because in my book Humphrey can read and write. We would have our pladate at my house, because I like my house and Humphrey likes going to other peoples houses. We would have a reading race because we both like reading. We would also play tag, because Humphrey once played tag with Mr. Brisbane.



I want to have a play date with Humphrey. here are a few reasones why. Humphrey is adventures. I know this because he goes home with all different people and has adventures with them. Also Humphrey is joyful. I know this, because more of the time he is happy. We would have our play date at my synagog because Humphrey does not like big spaces and my synagog is not that big. We would draw scechis and play tag.



I would want to have a playdate with Henry because he says nice things like thank you or yor welcom also sorry. He also loves annimals he has loos. On our playdate we would go to the park and he would like it to. We would play futball because we both like futball he plays it with his friends. We would also play with Ribsy Henrys dog we both like dogs.



The students of Kitah Dalet wrote poems using some of the poetic devices (such as alliteration, metaphor, sensory details, line breaks, repetition) that they studied in class. 

Bad Dream by Batya

I hear the screeching, scratching, sound of nails on a chalk board. Right in the kitchen near the sink. On a plain sunday night. In my bed. Snug and tight. I know that something’s not right.

The fright of the sight in the kitchen near the sink. A tall hairy monster with fur that’s pink. With a long,black tail, as long as two snakes. I took out a steak knife for my family’s sake.

We fought all night. It was starting to get light. I knew I couldn’t win, I was starting to cry. My family would die ,all because of I. I had to do the only thing that would save our lives.

I opened my eyes, saw my own room, with the toy car set and the red balloon. My Dream was over,I was so relieved. I went down stairs.I saw pancakes getting flipped in the air. I’m glad I could save our lives by ending that terrible nightmare.


Brain by Elijah

A supercomputer
Just upstairs. 

Gray matter
Lumped in there.

Nice case
Called a skull.

Base of operations
Total control.

And logic.


All comprehension
And all understanding.

Hard drive.

All in one.


Somewhat small
Full perception.

One-fits-all OS
Background updating.


And it’s all in your head!


Poem by Jaden

Poem, this is a poem. How do you make a poem? Is this a poem? This is a poem. This is a poem. Right? How do poems work? Is this one? This is a poem. This has to be a poem. This is a poem. Are poems like songs? Are poems like this? This is a poem, this is a poem, THIS IS A POEM!!! Is it? It is, it is a poem! I know it is a poem!! Is it a poem? Is it?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Yes this is a poem, it is a poem. This is a poem! Tell me a little bit about poems, is this similar? I know this is a poem, it has to be! This is a poem.


Up at bat by Daniel

up to bat

12 up I see
The pitcher
He throws
Fast fast fast
I  never seen
Something that
Fast fast fast
Now I’m up
Wish me luck