Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Shul Shopping: Review JCC Beach Cities

Last Friday I invited everyone to join us at the JCC of the Beach Cities for their Tot Shabbat.  Here's our review of the event:

We arrived slightly after 6pm, which was the advertised time.  When we arrived there were kids playing the in playground, and some adults mulling around.  Though I didn't check my watch I think it's safe to say that the programming didn't start until after 6:10pm.

When the programming started there were two women (Rebbetzins) who sat at the front and led the services.  The service consisted of traditional Jewish songs, including Bim Bom, and David Melach Yisrael.  Then they had a certain group of children from the preschool stand up on the bimah and sing a rehearsed song. 

Following that they invited any child with a birthday in the month of October onto the bimah.  They received birthday crowns and were given a book as a present.  Following that there was a puppet show led by the rabbi.

Tonight's puppet show talked about a King going out on a journey.  He got a little lost and ended up taking up dinner and the night at a Jewish cottage.  He exclaimed about the delicious meal, how wonderful everything was, especially the bread.  The Jewish host let him take some home so his royal chef could make some.  Despite the royal chef's best attempts, the bread never came out as delicious. 

The King decided to send his driver back to the Jewish house to ask why the bread wasn't as good.  He was then informed that he was eating it on the wrong day, and that it takes so special when you are celebrating the Shabbat.

After the puppet show everyone was invited downstairs for a little nosh.  There was potato kugel, egg salad, pasta salad, tuna fish, gefilte fish and rugelah.  There was also a birthday cake for the birthday kids.

We did the blessings over wine and bread and dug in.  Tons of kids running around, with ages ranging from just under 12 months to about 5 years old. 

Overall it was an enjoyable evening, and definitely worth going to.  As far as religious services go, it definitely wasn't that.  But it was an enjoyable opportunity for the family to get together and enjoy ushering in the Shabbat in a way that was fun and exciting for the youngest of our families.

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