2001 – 2002 Projects
“Gami Hagamal” Album – MJDS Kindergarten – Barbara Taragon
English – Hebrew – Gan Shaked Summary – Gabi Osem and Dalia Tal
MJDS Kindergarten Summary – Two Years of Love – Barbara Taragon
The three kindergarten classes at the Minneapolis Jewish Day School and Gan Shaked at Kibbutz Afikim began partnering September, 2000.
Gan Shaked has thirty-kindergarteners. The head teacher is Dahlia and Gabi Osem has been the liason. The Minneapolis Jewish Day School is located at the Minneapolis Jewish Community Center. There are three kindergarten classes of fifteen students in each class. The kindergarten teachers are Niza Schear, Carol Hjulberg, and Lisa Abramson. Barbara Taragan is the Kindergarten Hebrew teacher and the liason for the project.
During the year, three holiday packages were sent to Gan Shaked from the Minneapolis Jewish Day School and three packages were sent to the Minneapolis Jewish Day School from Gan Shaked. The children loved receiving the packages from their “friends” in Israel and in the diaspora. The packages were sent at Rosh Hashanah, Hanuka and Shavuot.
In the Rosh Hashanah package, cards were made for the new year. Each card included a blessing which the student wrote. In addition, M & M’s and Bamba were sent in the packages. The children drew pictures and wrote what they like to do. Enclosed also were some educational games, puzzles and a stuffed animal.
In the Hanuka package, a video was made at both schools. Both schools performed the skit “Saba Eliezar V’Hagezer” (“Grandfather Eliezar and The Carrot”) and video-taped the performance. The children LOVED seeing their friends from across the ocean do the same play in Hebrew!! It was extremely validating to be able to hear and to understand their friends speak Hebrew. Sivivonim were also exchanged as well as sweets from each country.
At the end of the year, the last package included a cassette tape of Hebrew songs which the children sang during the year in kindergarten. In addition, souvenirs from each country were sent to their new friends.
The project was extremely successful the first year. Now, the project has been expanded for the school year 2001-2002. Inside the first package from Eretz Yisrael was “Gami Hagamal” (“Gami the Camel”). Gami visits each kindergartener from the Minneapolis Jewish Day School at home for a few days. Then the kindergartener, with his/her parent, writes in an album his/her adventures with Gami Hagamal. Pictures of the child with “Gami Hagamal” are included in the album. After the album has been completed by all forty-five kindergarteners, it will be sent back to Gan Shaked. The parents at the Minneapolis Jewish Day School are extremely excited about this project and feel very connected with the Sovev Kinneret and Eretz Yisrael.
Inside the first package from the Minneapolis Jewish Day School to Gan Shaked was a large “Pooh the Bear”. Pooh also visits the kindergarteners from Gan Shaked. The kindergarteners in Israel, along with their parents, are also writing their adventures in an album. They will be returning the album to the Minneapolis Jewish Day School at the end of the school year. We feel so connected to one another. We truly are “Am Ehad Im Lev Ehad” – “One Nation with One Heart”.
This project is age-appropriate and involves all of the kindergarten families. It has been very successful. We look forward to continuing our cross-Atlantic relationship for a long time.