Or Shalom – It’s worth getting up early in Edmonton on a Sunday morning

Sara and India Cook celebrate Yom Ha'atzmauut at Or Shalom in Edmonton.

(AJNews) – Why get up early on a Sunday morning to attend Or Shalom Jewish Sunday school in Edmonton?  Good question, and the answer will be different depending on whomever it is that you talk to.

Some students and families enjoy the sense of community.

Others enjoy the stimulating discussions about middot such as empathy, freedom and responsibility. While initiated by the teacher and expanded upon by Rabbi Gila Caine, these discussion are always spurred on by the curiosity and creativity of the students.

Some students enjoy creating works of art based on each of the Jewish festivals and holidays. Many members of the Or Shalom community say that a highlight of the 2019-2020 year was the Tu B’Shevat Seder, celebrated with Or Shalom families and seniors at the Jewish Drop-in Centre.

Another highlight for many students was the chance to share their creativity and work as a team to write a Chanukah play and perform it for the congregation. A few months later, students planned and took a leadership role in the Purim carnival, which was held at the Telus World of Science.

As is often the case when Jewish communities gather, food plays a big role at Or Shalom. Home-made delights such as the Raz family’s famous peanut butter oat balls are always a hit. Snack time provides a chance for the students from different grades to mingle, and holidays mean special foods. For some students, making and eating Hamentashen ranks among the top yearly activities. Because of Covid-19, Or Shalom was not in session for Pesach, so while students didn’t have the opportunity to make matzah the way they did during the 2018-19 school year, we’re looking forward to making matzah again next year.

Some families enjoy finishing the morning with a lively music session led by Debby Waldman. Grade 4 student India Cook sums it up well: “I love Or Shalom because it’s nice having Jewish friends. It’s nice having friends that know what I’m talking about when I talk about the Jewish holidays. I love my teachers and singing with Debby is really fun.”

So – why get up early on Sunday mornings to attend the Or Shalom Jewish Sunday school?

Why not come and find out for yourself?


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