The main mitzvah of Pesach is “v’higadeta l’vincha”–tell your children. Pesach is the ultimate children’s holiday. It is focused on making them feel as though they were present at the geulah. Dating back to our own school days, elementary-school children create their own Haggadah every year.
Rabbi Moshe Waxman has taken this activity to an entirely new level. In the second/third grade HAFTR Cahal class, Yetziat Mizrayim truly comes alive, as Rabbi Waxman focuses on the mindset of “B’chol dor v’dor.” Through active learning and multisensory techniques, the students experience our history and identify how Bnei Yisrael felt as each event unfolded. Then they dress up for each scene, portray the appropriate emotions, and Rabbi Waxman invests many hours photoshopping his students into actual backdrops to complete the pictures. The results adorn their Haggadahs, but that is not all. Divrei Torah are added, important words are highlighted and color-coded, and the children are ready to go. As they present their extraordinary Haggadahs and all that they have learned, they become the most important participants at their family Seder.
Cahal, the local yeshiva-based and sponsored community program for children with learning challenges, now in its 24th year, provides smaller, more individualized classes in the local yeshivas catering to children’s learning styles. All the students attend mainstream activities daily, including lunch, recess, specials, assemblies, trips, and more. When ready, children attend academic classes as well, with support from Cahal to ensure success. The experienced and caring Cahal teachers make it all happen.
Cahal is currently accepting students. For more information about the Cahal program and to donate to this great community organization, contact Cahal at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 516-295-3666.