May 26

Observing Memorial Day

flag-memorial-dayMemorial Day, originally known as “decoration day” began on the 5th of May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11 which said:

“The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.”

It was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

In more recent observance, the Memorial Day weekend tends to be more about a day off to BBQ and play than recognizing the sacrifices of our war dead. Certainly, the children in residence look forward to a day off from school and staff and children alike know that summer is just around the corner. Summer’s activities include hiking, fishing, and camping trips in the beauty of God’s creation… so, it is easy to see why this focus has captured most hearts and minds.

Is our Memorial Day celebration more about "fun in the sun" than it is remembering the sacrificial love of others?

Can our Memorial Day celebration be more than just “fun in the sun” as we remember the sacrificial love of others?

Still, it would be my hope that we could recall the words of Jesus, when alluding to his own sacrifice, he taught his followers saying: “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13).

Whether literally taken, as in the instance of those we remember on Memorial Day, or the figurative “laying down” of one’s life for the benefit and good of another, there is room amidst all the fun in the warm (nearly) summer weather to give thanks for those that love so sacrificially.

Blessings to you, Intermountain’s faithful supporters, for the sacrifices you have made to improve the lives of the children and families in our care.

Chaplain Chris Haughee

May 10

Punishment… or the grace of God? a story from chapel service

Maybe you are familiar with the story of Cain and Abel?

It’s hard to think of a Bible story that has more potential triggers for retraumatization or difficult feelings for children from hard places and circumstances than this story of jealousy, murder, and judgment!

As the story goes, the first family is living out its existence after mom and dad (Eve and Adam) have been kicked out of the Garden of Eden. The family is small… just two sons at this point: Cain and Abel. Abel tends flocks while Cain works the soil.

When it comes time to thank God for the fruit of their labors, Cain gives some of his crop, while Abel provides a “first-fruit”: the best cuts of meat from the firstborn of his flock. God is pleased with Abel’s gift, but not Cain’s. Cain gets jealous, burns with anger toward his little brother, and eventually leads him out into the fields and kills him.

God addresses Cain and asks about Abel, to which Cain replies infamously: “How should I know? Am I my brother’s keeper?” Cain has not only murdered his brother, but now he’s trying to lie to God about it!

As a result, God “punishes” Cain by driving him away from his fields and family and he must make his way from now on by being a hunter and gatherer.

Not the most “trauma sensitive” story to tell to children 6-13 who have experienced their fair share of difficulty in their lives… or so I thought at first. But, putting this story through the lens of “trauma-informed ministry,” I believe I unearthed a truth that deepened my faith and allowed the children and staff to connect to God and this story in a new way. I’ll explain in just a bit. First, a word about retraumatization.

a child draws a picture of a traumatic event

a child draws a picture of a traumatic event

Retraumatization happens when a person is “triggered” by something or someone in their environment that takes them back to a previous experience of trauma. It is not merely reminding them of the trauma, they physically re-experience their trauma as if it were happening again–right at that moment. It happens as much to children and youth who have experienced adversity in childhood (ACEs) as it does to combat veterans. It’s not an uncommon experience among the clientele that Intermountain works with. So… why this talk of retraumatization?

Well, it’s my conviction that God is “trauma-informed,” and what I had seen for over four decades as God’s punishment of Cain was actually an act of mercy! Here’s how I explained it to the children in chapel…

I asked all those who had ever done something really bad or had something really bad happen to them in a certain place to raise their hand if it was hard for them to return to that place because it made them relive the experience in their minds and hearts?

     EVERY HAND WENT UP… even those of our staff.

Then, I asked the children to put themselves in Cain’s position. He’s done something that

would you like to be known by others as the worst version of yourself?

would you like to be known by others as the worst version of yourself?

he is ashamed of. It’s so bad, he thinks he can hide it from God… hide it from himself. But, day after day he’d try and carry on working the field and doing what he knows how to do–plant and grow crops. All the while, he is working the same ground he buried his brother in! God points this out and shows Cain what he is doing is going to keep retraumatizing him: “You brother’s blood cries out from the ground!” Can you imagine a worse punishment than being forced to stay in that place for the rest of his life? Can you imagine God “rubbing his nose” in it by making Cain continue his life as a farmer?

So, what I saw (and had been taught to see!) as punishment was God’s grace… God forced Cain to leave what was familiar to lead a new life. He had to leave the fields in which he buried his brother and learn new skills and a new way of life.

It bears repeating, because it is at odds with our nature and how we often view God… God wasn’t punishing him, but instead giving Cain a chance to redefine himself as something other than a farmer who had murdered his brother!

Horrible things happen every day. Bad things happen to us and we have, perhaps, done our fair share of bad things. God’s grace means we don’t have to stay stuck there. We should stop retraumatizing ourselves by reliving our worst moments. None of us deserves to be known as the worst version of ourselves, and that is CERTAINLY not what God sees when he looks at us. God sees a son or daughter he desperately loves.

It was a message I needed to hear as much as our children. Perhaps you needed to hear it, too?

Apr 25

Celebrating the Passover at Intermountain Residential by Jim Nallick, Jewish Mentor

one-drop-per-plagueHere at Intermountain’s Residential Campus in Helena, we are blessed to have a number of Jewish children ably taught and guided in their continued faith formation by our Jewish Educators, Janet Tatz and Jim Nallick. The following is a report from Jim Nallick on this year’s celebration:

On April 18th, we gathered at fellowship to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Passover. This is done by having a meal together known as a seder, which is a multi-sensory retelling of the Biblical story of how God liberated the Children of Israel from slavery in Egypt through the leadership of Moses. The seder was presented by our team of Jewish educators who led the seder and prepared all the special foods.

Edie Kort (volunteer), Janet Tatz, and Jim Nallick - Our Jewish Education Team!

Edie Kort (volunteer), Janet Tatz, and Jim Nallick – Our Jewish Education Team!

Many symbols are used in the telling of the story. We are remembering being redeemed from slavery to freedom which is a festive occasion. There is wine in abundance – four small glasses of grape juice in our case, and we pause to thank God for all the blessings we have as we sample all the symbolic foods on our seder plate. Bitter herbs (parsley) is dipped in salt water to bring to mind our tears of sorrow. And if that is not enough tears, a big dose of horseradish served on the unleavened bread called matzah will bring tears to your eyes (and clear your sinuses) if you are brave enough to take a big bite. There is also the sweetness of apples cut up in a tasty mixture of nuts and cinnamon which has a resemblance to the mortar used while building for Pharaoh in slavery. We also remember that while there is much joy in freedom, that freedom comes at a high cost as we recall the terrible ten plagues culminating in the death of the firstborn of Egypt.  

The goal is to experience the story firsthand, remembering how WE were in Egypt and now WE are free. The story resonates through the ages because we all have our personal journeys of hardship, anxiety, and loss – but we also have the hope and experience of redemption and joy! The biggest portion of the seder is devoted to questions – what is the meaning of all of these symbols? Not just what traditional interpretations have been attached to these items, but what do they mean to us personally? With Passover being a brand new experience for most of the children, we had many, many, questions and many fresh insights on what all of this can mean for us here at Intermountain.

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 19

Why be a “trauma-informed ministry?” – FREE training materials from Chaplain Chris

As I wrap up my doctoral studies, I am excited to see how the concept of becoming “trauma-informed” in ministry is Trauma-Resilience Multnomah Conferencestarting to pick up steam across the country. Far from being behind the curve here in Montana, we are on the cutting edge in terms of integrating the expertise of the medical and social service fields into how we do ministry in Montana. At Intermountain, and through our sister organization ChildWise, we are part of a conversation that has the power to positively impact the lives of tens of thousands of hurting children, youth, and families.

Embedded in this post and available on the “Video” tab of the ministry site is 50 minutes of a training I was able to give at the 2017 New Wineskins Conference on Trauma and Resilience. They were not equipped to film ever breakout, but they did record audio. So, what you have here is the PowerPoint presentation with the audio from the training. It takes a little time to get through, but would be a valuable resource to any church or faith community seeking to understand the impact of trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in their community and how the Church can respond.

 

 

Other great resources are available for introducing these concepts to your community and church can be found on this site, including:

Finally, a curriculum for introducing trauma-informed ministry principles to churches seeking to address the needs of traumatized youth in their communities is being vetted by over 50 ministries and mental health practitioners in 23 states across the country. Entitled Bruised Reeds and Smoldering Wicks, the curriculum includes a copy of Paper Tigers and a resource DVD with interviews and discussion starters from several of Intermountain’s staff. I am hoping the curriculum will be available for wider distribution later in the year.

Blessings,

Chaplain Chris Haughee

Apr 08

Facing Freedom – a reflection from Janet Tatz

The Jewish people are about to embark on a journey. It is an annual ritual filled with song, teachings, food and ceremony. Pesach. Passover.  The retelling of the 3000 plus year old Exodus of the Israelites from enslavement in Egypt. We are encouraged to immerse ourselves in this holiday as if each of us, personally, has experienced both the bitterness of slavery and the redemptive power of liberation. Indeed, each of us, in our own way, has our own personal struggles or Mitzrayim (Egypt) to break free of. What better time than the beginning of Spring to clean house (both figuratively and literally), embark on a spiritual quest and strive to live more fully, more compassionately in the world?

The story of the Jewish people’s exodus from Egypt, their wandering in the desert and, ultimately, their entering the Promised Land, is a focal point of Jewish tradition, ritual and history. We were once strangers in a strange land. Therefore, we vow to welcome the stranger into our midst. It is not just a matter of freedom from but freedom to.  With freedom comes responsibility. We seek not just Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, but the courage and will to fight for the rights of all people to live in freedom, without fear of repression or reprisal because of their “otherliness”.

Traditionally, the Passover seder, which means “order” and involves fifteen steps in the telling and retelling of our story, continues long into the night: midnight, to be exact. The festival is filled with much more than good food, ritual objects and symbolism. We ask questions; we talk about freedom, justice and faith. Ultimately, we recognize that speaking of such things is not enough. We must act. We must face the challenges that we see in our communities, society and world and then work to change what needs to be righted. We strive to make the world a better, fairer, more justice place for all.

One aspect of the Passover seder that is familiar to many is the recitation of the ten plagues that befell the Egyptian   people before Pharaoh ultimately “Let My People Go”. Back in the day, those plagues included such things as hail, frogs, darkness and disease. Today, as we recall the plagues of the past, we also acknowledge our modern day stumbling blocks that inhibit freedom for all. Ritualistically, for each plague that is mentioned, we dip one drop ofone-drop-per-plague wine or grape juice from our cups, recognizing that our own joy is diminished by the suffering of others. I’m certain we can all conjure up at least ten plagues that the world would be better off without right now:

  • Destruction of our natural resources,
  • xenophobia,
  • extreme wealth inequality,
  • Islamophobia,
  • turning a blind eye to the cries of the refugee,
  • anti-Semitism,
  • homophobia,
  • denial of climate disruption,
  • misogyny,
  • racism… The list could go on and on.

Ideally, at the conclusion of the Passover ceremony, the participants will experience a sense of transformation. We will have moved from a place of a “hardened heart” to one of compassion, empathy and action. But one night, or even two, may not be enough to ensure that we have fully internalized our desire to not just seek out freedom for ourselves, but to actively work for justice for all. In order to encourage success, on the second of Pesach, we begin a forty nine day spiritual journey: the Counting of the Omer, a process of personal growth, contemplation and introspection.  At the conclusion of the Omer, we arrive at Mount Sinai and are ready to enter the Promised Land as a new nation: ready to face the challenges ahead, which are sure to come, but confident in our sense of community, pursuit of justice and freedom for all.

As the symbols of Spring emerge: buds on the trees, blossoming flowers, new Life in all its many forms, let us strive to make a fresh start, a new beginning, a time of peace, justice and security for all.

Chag Sameach (Happy Holiday)!

Janet Tatz, Jewish educator and mentor

Apr 04

“It ain’t over til it’s over!” A lesson for the 5th Sunday in Lent

The following lesson was included in Lenten materials produced for our ministry partners. It is written for a “children’s sermon” or object lesson in a Sunday school format. We hope it blesses you as we near the end of our Lenten journey to the cross. Easter is coming soon! –Chris.

 

Week 5: “It’s never over until it’s over.”

Objects needed: A variety of sports balls

Theme/Main Idea: Yogi Berra once said, “It ain’t over til it’s over,” and he was true to a point. There are lots of small ‘endings’ we come up against in life: a school year end, we move away and lose a good friend, a favorite pet passes away. Endings are difficult. But, because we know Jesus, we have the assurance that even these ‘endings’ doesn’t mean it’s all over!

Key Text: John 11:17-44

Presentation:

“Who here likes to play games? Who enjoys sports? Yes, a lot of you. Well, who can tell me when you know the game is over? That’s right… sometimes you play a game to a certain score or play on the board, and sometimes there is a time limit and when the time runs out, the game is over. I have brought some examples for us today to think about… [Take out sports balls, games, etc.]

Now matter how lopsided the score, we must remember it's not over until it's over!

Now matter how lopsided the score, we must remember it’s not over until it’s over!

What games do we play with these items? [Hold up one item/ball] If we played a game with this, how would we know when we were done? [wait for responses]

All very good responses, thank you. With most things like games or sporting events, it is easy to tell when the game is over. And, unless its hockey or soccer, there is usually a winning team and a losing team. The end of the game settles any question about who was the best that day.

In the Bible story today, we see a story that is anything but a game for the people involved. All friends of Jesus, two sisters had lost their brother. Lazarus had died. Mary and Martha were very upset, maybe even more so because they knew that if Jesus had come just a few days earlier, he could have healed Lazarus and he wouldn’t be dead. But, now the scoreboard showed “0:00.” Time was up. Lazarus had been dead for four days. Death was a winner once again, and life had lost.

But, then Jesus did something amazing. After crying for the pain he saw his friends were in, and for the pain he was in for knowing Lazarus had dies, he told Mary and Martha that God would be given glory in this situation because Lazarus would live! Death might have thought it had won, but Jesus was greater than death.

How amazing would it have been to be there by the graveside when Lazarus was called out? After a lifetime of seeing death win time and again, claiming close friends, family, neighbors… now, there was hope that Jesus was bigger than death and the grave? Incredible!

This story is given to us for a number of reasons, I think. One reason would be to show us that no matter what, Jesus is bigger than death. We can trust him. Sometimes the people we pray for and ask God to heal get better. A lot of times they don’t. And, in both cases, God is doing what is best… even if all we can do is look at the scoreboard, see that time is up, and that it LOOKS like death has won again. This leads to another reason I think we have this story… it was like a preview of what was to come, kinda like you see before the movies? “A preview of coming attractions,” they usually announce. In showing everyone that he had power over death, Jesus raised Lazarus so his followers could have hope and believe that when he died on the cross and was buried that he too would be brought back from death! And, because of Jesus’ resurrection, we know that we can live forever with God, our sins forgiven and forgotten by God. That is good news.

So, remember this… no matter what the scoreboard says. It’s never over until it’s over. And, death isn’t the end of the game. With Jesus in our lives, it’s just the beginning of a life forever with God in heaven.

Let’s pray:

God, thank you for giving us victory in Jesus. We can win, no matter what life hands us, because we know that death and the grave have been defeated. So help us not have the attitude of those who have lost, depressed in spirit and downhearted because we think there is no hope. NO! We trust that there is always hope, for us and for all people. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Mar 18

Following in Brother Van’s footsteps by building trauma-informed ministries

Chris Haughee, Intermountain ChaplainAs the chaplain at Intermountain’s residential program, I often hear the stories of families parenting children who have experienced trauma and how hard it is for them to find a church that “gets them.” One mother shared with me, “The hard thing was, just as my daughter’s behaviors were getting worse and I needed a supportive community, my fears of being judged or misunderstood caused me to withdraw even more.” Another family attended church regularly until their son’s behavior made it almost impossible to worship with their congregation. “We use to go, until I got tired of the looks I’d get on Sunday morning. The other parents complained to the pastor about my son.” Trauma comes in many forms, but for the children struggling to make sense of their past and find hope in the future, the process of healing requires those that can see passed their behaviors to the hurting child underneath.

Childhood trauma and adversity are both common-place in Montana. The results of a 2014 nationwide survey into the prevalence of toxic stress in childhood revealed that Montana is among the hardest places in the country to be a child. ChildTrends.org reports that 28% of Montana’s children are growing up with economic hardship, 26% of these households have experienced divorce, and 14% are living with someone who is mentally ill, suicidal, or has been ChildTrends-logodepressed for more than a couple of weeks. Clearly, there are some very difficult issues facing a large number of Montana’s children and their caregivers. My passion is to see faith communities across Montana be part of addressing the negative impacts of these stressors in the lives of our children. I’d love for those families I work with to find dozens of churches to choose from that would all greet their children with compassion and understanding!

My hope is that a Sunday school curriculum I have authored, with a companion DVD that shares the insights of my colleagues at Intermountain, will start to address the need for practical application of trauma-informed principles within local ministries. I hope to connect the expertise of Intermountain’s excellent direct care workers, clinicians, and teachers to the wonderful churches throughout Montana. The curriculum just takes a look at the “slice” of trauma-informed ministry that I am most familiar with: interventions for children. I do hope, though, that it serves as a springboard for congregations to enter the larger trauma-informed ministry conversation.

I feel passionate about this work, because children’s mental health is an issue not just for Intermountain and similar organizations. The prevalence of adversity in childhood, now firmly established through the Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) Study and subsequent research, should elicit the same response today that was expressed by Intermountain’s founder in 1909. Brother William Wesley Van Orsdel advocated for the care of vulnerable children in Montana, asking,

“How could we possibly not do such a thing? Under God, brethren, we cannot continue to let the suffering of children go unchallenged.”

That statement launched the ministry that I serve as a chaplain, and that passion for the well-being of children is what fuels the ministry and mission of Intermountain today. Those families mentioned earlier want to connect to a faith community and our churches want to love those families well. Tension arises when there is a gap between intention and ability in ministry. I have lived within this tension most of my life, and I hope to bridge the gap between the needs of children and youth from hard places and the desire of the Church to meet those needs.

The curriculum will serve as my first attempt to frame an understanding of the brain and human development, trauma’s effect on children, and the teachings of the Christian church and its founder, Jesus Christ. While not exhaustive in its treatment of these fields, I am hoping that by raising the topic within faith communities, those with personal experience and expertise in mental health, medicine and education will be emboldened to add their voices to the discussion.

Will you join me and many of Intermountain’s supporting churches in a much needed discussion of the Church’s approaches to trauma, the affected children in our communities, and the role each of us might play in facilitating healing and wholeness? If you are interested, please contact me! Thank you and God bless you.

 

 

NOTE: This article originally appeared in the Helena Independent Record, March 18, 2017

Mar 01

Trusting God would use us to bless others! Bishop Eliudi visit 2017

In February, our children assembled hygiene kits as a service project. These hygiene kits are given to students that come from far away to attend the International Evangelism Centre in Salika, Tanzania. At the Centre, these students prepare to be church planters and pastors to a number of countries in East Africa. The relatively few supplies—all fitting into a 1 gallon Ziplock bag—are a tremendous blessing to these eager, but often impoverished, students.

This project allows us a wonderful opportunity to discuss in chapel just how richly we are blessed, and that there is always something to be thankful for in the midst of our struggles in life. For many of our children, uprooted from their homes and working through some very difficult issues and matters of relationship, it was a healthy reminder that they, too, have something to give. They could see in a very tangible way that they had been blessed to be a

Bishop Eliudi asked the children, "Which of you wants to be a pastor or preacher?"

Bishop Eliudi asked the children, “Which of you wants to be a pastor or preacher?”

blessing.

In a special chapel attended by Bishop Eliudi, the founder and president of IEC-Salika, the children had an opportunity to connect a little with the culture and language of Tanzania. Bishop Eliudi then shared a brief message with the children, asking them if any of them wanted to become a pastor, teacher, or chaplain in order to share God’s love with others. A number of children raised their hands, but I am not sure they were prepared for what was coming next…

Bishop Eliudi called each of these children, in turn, to the middle of our circle and asked them, “What message would you preach when you become a pastor?” And, the question was not rhetorical… he was looking for them to share something–right then and there! Here were some of the messages from our children:

  • “I would preach that God loves everybody and that he loves them no matter what!”
  • “God loves you and you should praise God!”
  • “I would share about the story of Jesus getting baptized and the Holy Spirit coming down like a dove.”

Clearly, the children have been listening and learning in our chapel times together! At Intermountain, we feel it is important for the children to learn compassion, empathy, and the positive sense of self that comes from giving oneself in service to another. From the spirit and the energy that flowed from our chapel service with Bishop Eliudi, it is hard to argue against the therapeutic power of service and acts of kindness and encouragement.

A big thank you goes out to the many Intermountain staff that donated items for the kits we made. I am also thankful for Sami Butler for her help in arranging the visit on campus. A grand total of 32 kits were assembled, each with a special note of encouragement from one of our children to the student that would receive one. We closed our time together going around the circle, with each child praying for the student that would receive their hygiene kit and reading a word of encouragement from the postcard they were going to include in the kits they had assembled.

Feb 26

Intermountain Residential Kids’ “Lord’s Prayer”

The Intermountain Children's version of the Lord's Prayer

The Intermountain Children’s version of the Lord’s Prayer

In a previous post, I explained that this fall I worked with the children on understanding and interpreting the Lord’s Prayer. The Lord’s Prayer, or “Our Father,” posed many interesting opportunities to discuss themes that each and ever one of us struggle with. It was a challenge preparing a lesson for children with emotional disturbance dealing with complicated teachings in scripture. It was an exercise in combatting “Christianese” and the simple Sunday school answers (you know… when in doubt, just answer “Jesus!”).

It was important to give context to the familiar words and phrases I know that they will encounter when outside the very supportive and nurturing atmosphere of Intermountain and the chaplain’s program (sin, evil, forgiveness, etc.). It wouldn’t be enough for me to simply edit out or rephrase words from the Lord’s Prayer because I knew they might be difficult for them to understand. We would have to take the time to carefully digest the words of scripture and make sense of them for a child that had experienced significant trauma and loss. So, rather than me being the one to rewrite and interpret the prayer, at the end of each lesson I took the kids’ suggestions on what our “Intermountain version” of the Lord’s Prayer might look like. Here’s what they came up with… I think you’ll be blessed.

 

 

Intermountain Residential Kids’ “Lord’s Prayer” © 2016

 

Dear God, you are everywhere.

Your name is holy, true and perfect.

Basically, we want what you want, Lord…

In the cottage, in our homes, and everywhere in the

whole wide earth.

Give us what we need today: stuff like food, but also

joy, hope, and opportunities to help others.

Help us forgive others even if they keep being mean,

because you forgive us when we’re sorry for what we’ve done.

Lead us away from bad stuff and into good.

Help us to not do bad things and help us be safe. May things be ‘good enough.’

You made everything, God, and it’s all for you.

You get our best, our happiness and our strength forever.

Amen.

Feb 22

From Janet Tatz–“Happy TuB’Shevat!”

TuB’Shevat is my favorite holiday in the Jewish  year.  What could be better than celebrating

Janet Tatz, Jewish Educator, with the table set for a festive TuB'Shevat celebration on campus

Janet Tatz, Jewish Educator, with the table set for a festive TuB’Shevat celebration on campus

the first inklings of Spring half way between the winter solstice and spring equinox, especially since snow is most often still on the ground in the Northern part of the U.S. at that time of year?

The Jewish students, teachers, a parent and a friend, recently celebrated TuB’Shevat (literally, the 15th of the Jewish month of Shevat) here at Intermountain.  An ancient holiday, first celebrated by the kabbalists during the middle ages, TuB’Shevat, also known as The New Year of the Trees, recognizes and celebrates the returning of springtime. More specifically, TuB’Shevat celebrates that time of year when the sap begins to rise in the almond trees (both in the Land of Israel and the southern most states in the U.S. of A.). 

The holiday is celebrated by eating various fruits and nuts that grow on trees:  apples, dates, almonds, carob, oranges, etc. Modelled after the Passover seder, four cups of grape juice are enjoyed, each with a varying amount of red or white grape juice to symbolize the four seasons.  Songs are sung.  Blessings are said and stories are told.  What could be more fun?!

A wise man once said, “Speak to me of G-d” and the almond tree blossomed.  Chag samaech/happy holiday.  Welcome Spring!

It wasn't all just eating almonds and fruit! Janet and Jim took the children through a Haggadah for TuB'Shevat

It wasn’t all just eating almonds and fruit! Janet and Jim took the children through a Haggadah for TuB’Shevat

 

Older posts «