Telling the Story by Susan Jacobs, Director of Education

“Just as Hanukkah candles are lighted one by one from a single flame, so the tale of the miracle is passed from one man to another, from one house to another, and to the whole House of Israel throughout the generations.” — Judah Leon Magnes

This is the week that we will pull out all the Chanukah decorations, plug in our giant inflatable menorah, tell the story of the Maccabees and sing our favorite Chanukah songs. There is no better place to get excited about Chanukah than in Religious School. From the smallest kindergarteners to our Sheva (7th grade) students, there is no doubt that our kids are looking forward to celebrating the holiday with their friends and families.austin-osborn

But just this past Sunday, I got a huge Chanukah surprise. I found out that one of our 5th grade students had written and illustrated a beautiful Chanukah book and had it published. Austin Leo Osborn is the author of ‘Twas the Night Before Chanukah. The book grew out of an assignment Austin was given in school last year and he was excited to turn the Christmas story into a Chanukah story. In fact, he decided that since there are not many Chanukah books he should have his story published. He worked on the edits and illustrations and with the support and encouragement of his parents we have a new Chanukah book! That is quite an accomplishment for a 5th grader- but Austin didn’t stop there.  He decided that the proceeds from the sale of his book should be used to benefit Temple Beth El Religious School. I cannot begin to tell you how appreciative I am of his generosity.  Austin is a mensch! This Sunday we will be reading Austin’s book and he will be helping us pass on the story of the miracle to the next generations of the House of Israel.

No doubt everyone will want a copy of his beautiful book. It is available in our Discovered Traditions TBE gift shop and in the Religious School lobby for $8. Austin will be signing books in the lobby from 10:15 – 11:15 so please stop by to meet this amazing young author.

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