Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Jewish Academy students express their thankfulness


November 29, 2019

Some JAO students dress as pilgrims.

Jewish Academy of Orlando kindergarteners performed in the school's annual Thanksgiving show. The audience was taken back in time to the days of the pilgrims. Each student had a role telling the story of the first Thanksgiving, as pilgrims, Native Americans, fall leaves, and even King James, through music, song and dance. The program included dialogue and songs about Plymouth Rock, the Mayflower, and the harvest. 

"The Thanksgiving program is a wonderful opportunity for our students to illustrate their learning for their families. It not only allows a showcase of their understanding of pilgrim and Native American life and culture but also develops important public speaking skills. It is incredible to see the confidence with which they present and how knowledgeable they are about the content," stated Alan Rusonik, head of school.

The program's fine arts components included Thanksgiving-themed creations such as Native American dream catchers, a kindergarten Thanksgiving cookbook, illustrations of the Mayflower ship, and homemade pumpkin pudding desserts to enjoy afterwards. 

JAO students tell the Thanksgiving story from the Native American perspective.

"We are delighted to bring a program of this calibre that synthesizes academic lessons, our positive education program, gratitude, American history, literature, art, music and performance to our kindergarten students. We even add Hebrew songs and the importance of gratitude in our Jewish tradition," added Rusonik.  

Jewish Academy of Orlando serves Central Florida students of all faiths from transitional kindergarten through fifth grade. The school delivers a whole-child education fostering academic excellence and character education rooted in Jewish values. Jewish Academy of Orlando is accredited by the Florida Council of Independent Schools.  

To learn more about Jewish Academy of Orlando, please visit: jewishacademyorlando.org or follow the school on Facebook facebook.com/JewishAcademyOrlando.


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