Mimi Weitz, who teaches at the Northwest Suburban Jewish Community Center in Buffalo Grove, had one group of 4-year-olds learn about the festival by decorating a mock sukkah in one of the classrooms. Weitz
brings decorations like plastic fruit for the children to use.She
purchased much of it at area stores in January, when retail outlets are clearing out their old Christmas decorations, she
The roof of the mock sukkah is made of styrofoam packing material.It is taped to "walls" of a material resembling a shower curtain that is held together with bungee cord.
On Thursday, she
and assistant teacher Rhonda Fishkin had 16 students mix in Sukkot with other activities, including an exercise in which they had their hands painted so they could make handprints in various colors on a sheet of paper.The Sukkot festivities included reading a blessing for the holiday and attaching decorations to the sukkah.
At one point, young Ethan Klieman entered the sukkah with a toy fish, which prompted Weitz
to tell him, "The fish can't hang in the sukkah.
In teaching Sukkot, Weitz
employed visual aids, bringing in a lulav and an etrog.
The lulav represents three trees from Israel and consists of a palm tree, two willow branches and three myrtle branches, all of which are bound together.The etrog is a citrus fruit native to Israel.
During Sukkot, they are held and waved in all directions, including up and down, to symbolize God's omnipresence.
In some cases, these aids triggered the memories of her
young charges, Weitz
"Some of them remember and go, 'Oh, this is the thing that looks like a lemon,'æ" she
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