MYRTLE BEACH — Rosh Hashana celebrations started early for students at Chabad Jewish Academy in Myrtle Beach.
The school, which will be closed Monday and Tuesday, celebrated the Jewish New Year Thursday with music streaming from the back deck and playground with booths set up like a mini-carnival.
“We prepare them,” said Rabbi Doron Aizenman, director of the academy. “We want them to take home with them things that will make them celebrate and enjoy the holiday, so we’re making arts and taking pictures for a New Year’s card. It’s a festival of preparation for the new year.”
The students closed their eyes and tried to guess the number of rainbow colored sprinkles carefully placed on a spoonful of marshmallow fluff.
They rolled Challah bread dough into spirals topped with sweet raisins.
They made fishbowls, with real fish.
The biggest hit among the boys was the booth to cast sins away – set with a box and tennis balls. Over and over the boys would take aim at the bin from growing distances.
It looked like a festival, full of games and all fun.
But, put to the test, the kids knew there was more to it.
Standing with a tennis ball in his hand, ready to toss a sin away, 10-year-old Matan Morovitz admitted he could work on his grades, though he’s proud that he has stayed out of detention.
But, he knows there’s at least one more thing he should be working on this New Year.
“I need to be nicer to my mom,” he said.
Tomer Chiprot, 11, said he’s most proud of how he’s treated his family this year, though.
With Rosh Hashana starting at sunset Sunday, Chiprot is excited.
“I like how my family and my other family come together to celebrate,” he said. “We do it a lot, but it’s special on Rosh Hashana.”
Fun was really the point, Aizenman said, of the festival.
“We learned in school the prayers and the meaning,” he said. “But now they’re going to do some fun stuff to remember all of that.”
For the Jews, it’s the year 5,773.
“According to our tradition, New Year’s is when man was created,” Aizenman said. “From that day we count our calendar. We believe that on Monday it will be 5,773 years [since] the creation of man.”
Contact AMANDA KELLEY at 626-0381.