A new CKids curriculum released in honor of Yud Aleph Nissan brings the Rebbe’s life and legacy to hundreds of Hebrew schools worldwide.
Twelve fourth-graders are cutting, pasting, and decorating vision boards today at Hebrew School. But these vision boards aren’t about a favorite color or hobby—they’re Mitzvah Leader vision boards. The kids are considering the different spaces in their lives—like home, school, soccer practice—and how they could meet Jews in those places and share mitzvos with them.
“When it came time to create a compelling lesson for Yud Aleph Nissan that would be relevant to these kids, we knew we needed some creativity,” says Rabbi Zalman Loewenthal, director of CKids. Luckily the CKids team is full of creative writers, educational consultants, and artists who collaborated to create an engaging message for the Rebbe’s birthday.
“Instead of a lesson focusing on the greatness of the Rebbe, we focused on how great YOU can be,” says Mrs. Mushky Loewenthal, the leading force behind the CKids curriculum. “It’s very in line with the Rebbe’s way. Always shifting the focus on others, the Rebbe didn’t create followers; he created leaders.”
Through interactive presentations and a zoomed-in scavenger hunt, the lesson walked kids through a quick history of Jews coming to America and the resulting assimilation. “Our kids really relate to the idea of wanting to eat, dress, and act like everyone else,” says Mrs. Sara Bluming, director of the Hebrew School in Potomac, MD and lesson contributor. “They were on the edge of their seats when I asked them, how did the Rebbe do something drastic to help Jews connect with Torah and mitzvos? And of course, the answer is through the Rebbe’s Shluchim.”
The concept of a shliach is not limited to a Rabbi and Rebbetzin sent to a remote community. Kids were empowered to see themselves as Mitzvah Leaders, capable of sharing mitzvos with their families, a Jewish classmate at school, or even the cashier at the supermarket!
“Every kid put together a mitzvah leader kit that included a different mitzvah to share with someone else—from Shabbos Candles to Tzedakah,” says Ms. Chaya Zirkind, CKids Hebrew School Program Director. “It was a powerful takeaway after a powerful lesson.”
The Hebrew Schools then launched a Mitzvah campaign in honor of the Rebbe’s 120th birthday, using OneMitzvah.org from Merkos 302 to track the Mitzvos committed and inspired by the Mitzvah Leaders. After learning about the Rebbe and his emphasis on the significance of every person and every Mitzvah, the kids were eager to gift the Rebbe a good deed of their own. CKids Hebrew schools worldwide quickly surpassed their original goal of 2,500 Mitzvos, reaching over 3,000 Mitzvos in just a few days.
“It was moving to see the Shluchim impart upon their students the inspiration and teachings they derived from the Rebbe,” says Rabbi Mendy Kotlarsky, executive director of Merkos 302. “Sharing with the children what motivates them on Shlichus empowers the kids to be Shluchim in their own lives.”
To find out more about what CKids has to offer, visit CKids.net.