Currently pupils in Year three are studying Judaism, learning about their beliefs and practices. As part of their learning they enjoyed a very interesting visit to the Synagogue in Cheltenham.
During their visit pupils explored the synagogue and had the opportunity to see some of the Jewish objects of worship, such as the Torah Scrolls. The Torah scrolls is a handwritten copy of the Torah, the holiest book in Judaism. They also saw the Ram’s horn, otherwise known as the Shofar, the Kippah which is a brimless cap, usually made of cloth, worn by male Jews to fulfill the customary requirement held by Orthodox halachic authorities that the head be covered and finally the Prayer Shawl known as a tallit.
The children also learnt the story of the Apple tree, which is a story about gratitude and a reminder that everyone is special in their own way. Briefly, the story is about a little apple tree in the middle of a forest of majestic oaks who wants more than anything else to have stars in its branches, as the oaks seem to have. God advises the apple tree to be content as it is and, eventually, the little tree makes a happy discovery. After listening to the story the children thoroughly enjoyed acting it out.
Pupil, Malakai explained, ‘We learnt how to say peace in Hebrew which is Shalom.’
And Charlie Parker Thomas said, ‘We really enjoyed the story about the tree.’
Claire Salisbury, Head of Religious studies went on to say,, “The day was invaluable, seeing faith in context brings learning alive and helps pupils to understand the symbolism of the Jewish religion.”