Pesach is one of my favorite times of the year. It is a time of remembrance, of ritual renewal, and of thanksgiving. Jews all over the world gather with family, extended family, friends and communities to tell and retell the Exodus story, eat delicious and symbolically distinctive foods, and celebrate their freedom with comfort, engaging dialogue, music, and of course, lots of matzah.
Passover helps us to never forget how fortunate we are to live in a place and at a time where we have religious freedom. We are blessed to have many choices in the ways we practice and enjoy our Judaism. For our children, the holiday builds a connection to their ancestral history, their community, and a passion for Jewish values.
The Passover festival falls in the early part of spring, a time of universal renewal in nature. Spring is often the time parents begin making plans for their kids during the upcoming summer and the next school year. It’s a time that Jewish students entering high school next year can get a sneak preview of the largest Jewish high school community in the county, TALIT Nation @ the Bureau.
At the Bureau of Jewish Education, there are five ethical values that lay the foundation for all TALIT Nation experiences. Talmud Torah (Jewish learning), Kavod (respect), Hakhnessat Orkhim (hospitality), Hesed (kindness), and Klal Yisrael (community) form the backbone of all the Bureau’s youth education programs. The examination of these values, through shared experiences as a teen community, infuses Jewish values into their DNA, resulting in pride for their Judaism and a desire to express their Jewish identities through participation and leadership.
During the weekend of April 30 through May 2, Jewish 8th graders are invited to join with 100 of their peers for “A Taste of TALIT,” a weekend of socializing, fun, and an introduction to the Jewish values that underscore the community and its programs. Eighth graders will join the 9th to 12th graders who are gathering for their final weekend retreat of this year. Eighth grade students will have time to play with the Nation, celebrate Shabbat together, sing, participate in Shabbat afternoon games, and see what’s to come in their high school years.
After Havdallah, this year’s Saturday evening social will feature a live concert by Dan Nichols, one of the most popular and influential modern Jewish musicians in North America. On Sunday, 8th graders will collaborate with their 9th to 12th grade role models in leading and exploring the Israel Expo organized by Jewish Federation Orange County, the largest annual Jewish event in our region.
A weekend filled with music, games, food, a huge teen community, and Israel – what could be better?
More information on “A Taste of TALIT” and all other Bureau programs can be found online at www.bjeoc.org or through the Bureau at (949) 435-3450.