Jewish Academy of Orlando celebrates holidays at COS and Temple Israel
October 19, 2018
Jewish Academy of Orlando students celebrated Sukkot and Simchat Torah at Temple Israel and Congregation Ohev Shalom.
The Jewish holidays at Jewish Academy of Orlando have always been special. This year, the holidays were even more memorable as the students celebrated with their friends, teachers, and the community at two local synagogues.
On Sukkot, students visited Temple Israel where they celebrated by participating in services, visiting the Sukkah, using the Lulav and Etrog, hearing stories, and playing games appropriate for the holiday.
"It was a joy sharing Sukkot with the students and teachers of JAO. All of our congregants raved about how wonderful the kids were and what extra spirit they added to the festival. I hope we have many more such chances to bring the community together," stated Rabbi Joshua Neely from Temple Israel.
On Simchat Torah, JAO visited Congregation Ohev Shalom, participated in the traditional marching (Hakafot) with the Torah and flags, as well as singing and dancing with the Torah. It was a joyous celebration for the community and enhanced by the participation of the students.
"What better way to celebrate the renewal of the annual cycle of Torah-reading than with the future of our community? Our congregation was bursting with energy and joy. Thanks to the students and staff of JAO joining us for Simchat Torah," added Rabbi David Kay from Congregation Ohev Shalom.
"I am so pleased with the wonderful gracious reception that Jewish Academy of Orlando students and faculty received at both Temple Israel and Congregation Ohev Shalom. The student participation and enthusiasm exceeded my expectations," added Dr. Edward Zissman, Jewish Academy of Orlando founding president, board member, and grandfather to three students.
"We are grateful to partner with these wonderful congregations so that our students can celebrate the joyous holidays in a meaningful way," stated Alan Rusonik, head of school.
Jewish Academy plans to continue to celebrate with the community and will be doing more outreach to the other synagogues and community agencies in the months to come.