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Kids farmers market part of ‘hands-on education’ before Rosh Hashanah

As Efraim Greenberg, 10, prepared dough for challah, a Jewish bread, his younger brother — Moshe, 4 — watched with obvious interest.

“Do you want to help?” Efraim asked.

Just as their parents wished, Moshe and several other children learned about the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah during a kids farmers market Sunday at the Chabad Jewish Center in Brush Prairie. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, begins Sept. 29, and the farmers market represented a chance to teach children about the special day.

“The idea is to celebrate. It’s not just with prayers. It’s also with activities,” said Rabbi Shmulik Greenberg, Efraim’s and Moshe’s father.

The market featured several tables at which children could make food and drinks associated with the holiday, including artisanal challah, apple mocktails, carrot cake pops and fruit salad.

As kids maneuvered between the tables, they collected cards with instructions to complete each activity. On the back of the cards were descriptions of the spiritual meanings behind the treats. For instance, one of the reasons challah is round is because a round shape has no end, and celebrants ask God for a year full of blessings that will continue without end.

“Our goal, really, is to give kids a hand-on education, let them have fun with it,” said Tzivie Greenberg, the rabbi’s wife who helped organize the event.

Eliana Davidson, 4, of Portland had her hands around dough as she was preparing to make challah. She was about to use a shaped dough cutter when Efraim offered some advice.

“The dough has to be big enough so that you can cover the hole,” he said.

The rabbi hopes the memories of activities such as the farmers market will stick with adults and children alike.

“I can find plenty of people who don’t come to the synagogue, but they remember events like this,” Greenberg said.


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