View this email in your browser

October is a busy month for religions. Last year, we focused on the well-known holidays of Yom Kippur (the Jewish Day of Atonement) and Diwali (India’s Festival of Lights). This year, we’ll focus on a few holidays that might be less familiar.

Sukkot (sundown, Oct. 2-nightfall Oct. 9): This week-long holiday is one of the most kid-friendly in the Jewish calendar. Known as the Festival of Booths, Jews construct a makeshift dwelling, called a sukkah, where they eat their meals (and sometimes sleep). It’s both an agricultural and religious holiday. Jesus celebrated it, too, according to John 7:10-24.

Simchat Torah (≈ October 11): Jews read the entire Torah every year. The final portions are read during Sukkot, and Simchat Torah follows immediately thereafter. Many Jews visit the synagogue and dance around the Torah scrolls which are removed from the Ark for the celebration. Rabbi David Kalb of 92nd Street Y talks more about the festivities here

Navratri (Oct. 17-25): Like Sukkot, Navratri is a Hindu holiday that is both agricultural and religious. This 9-day celebration of the Divine Feminine also doubles as a post-monsoon autumn festival. As with many other Hindu festivals, it commemorates the victory of good over evil and light over darkness.

Festival of the Twin Birthdays (Oct. 19-20): The Bahá’í faith is basically a New Religious Movement within Islam, somewhat analogous to Mormonism within Christianity, so Bahá’í’s roughly follow the Islamic calendar. According to that, Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í faith, was born on the 2nd day of the 1st Islamic month in 1817. His predecessor, the Báb, was born on the 1st day of the 1st Islamic month in 1819. Their birthdays are therefore celebrated together.

Scrolls make a great Simchat Torah craft for kids! There are lots of scroll ideas out there. The food versions are kind of fun, but we usually do a simple stick and paper version. 
For this one, we used 2 wooden dowels measuring 12” x 3/8”,  2 pieces of paper (8½ x 11), tape, and aluminum foil.
Take the first sheet of paper and tape the short end to the dowel. (You can also use glue. Just wrap the paper around the dowel a couple of times and then hold in place with a binder clip until the glue dries.)
Tape the second sheet of paper to the first sheet, end to end. Then, tape the other end of the paper to the second dowel.
Write the Shema Yisrael, arguably the most well-known Jewish prayer, on the paper. The words are: Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Another option is to write a few letters from the Hebrew alphabet.
The tops of Torah scroll rods are often decorated with rimonim, which are often made of silver. A bit of aluminum foil scrunched into a ball and wrapped around the tops of the dowels provides a great opportunity to teach about them.

Kids' Book Recommendation

Even very young kids can learn about Simchat Torah with this board book, Simchat Torah is Coming, by Tracy Newman (author) and Viviana Garofoli (illus.) (Kar-Ben Publishing, 2018)

More Reading

Just before Simchat Torah is the week-long holiday of Sukkot, which also falls in October this year. Because it’s so family-friendly, it’s one of my favorite holidays on the interfaith calendar, and I’ve written about it several times. Here are the links to some of those posts.
10 Fun Facts for Kids About Sukkot
Interfaith Connections During Sukkot
Shakin’ My Lulav for Sukkot

Latest News
As some of you know, our first kids’ book, We All Have Sacred Spaces, is now out! We’ve received all 5-star reviews on Amazon, and we also received a glowing 5-star review from Readers’ Favorites, so our cover now has a seal!! Click here to read that review, and click here to order.

We’re also working on our next kids’ book Embracing Peace: Stories from the World’s Faith Traditions. This illustration, from Stacy Gray Illustrations is for one of our Native American peace stories titled, “Loo Wit Separates the Brothers.” 

As always, please remember to follow us @FaithSeekerKids on Twitter and Instagram for news articles, interfaith webinars, book recommendations, and craft images!

Curriculum Spotlight

Interfaith Made Easy Unit #1 Peace, Preschool - Kindergarten (Hard Copy)
Interfaith Made Easy Unit #1 Peace, Preschool - Kindergarten (Hard Copy)
Copyright © 2020 Possibilities Publishing Company, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp