Guest post by Susan Chayet, PJ Library professional, JEWISHcolorado
Saturday, October 3, was filled with Sukkahs and spices and everything nices, including a donation drive that netted a huge tote-full of new pajamas destined for kids and families served by the Homewood Alliance.
Hosted by PJ Library and Congregation Har Shalom in Ft. Collins, Havdalah In the Sukkah brought together families with young children, grandparents, educators, our young shinshinim Yali Harel and Yoav Filo, and JEWISHcolorado’s PJ Library professional Susan Chayet.
With nearly 30 in attendance, the Sukkah was overflowing with giggles and good vibes. The program kicked off with kids decorating their own spice boxes and culminated in a super special storytime, featuring a PJ Library book, Lights Out Shabbat by Sarene Shulimson.
The tale references the classic soft rock ballad “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia”, in this case, during a rare (and fictional) snowstorm that sparks a power outage just as a young boy and his bubbe and zayde are celebrating Shabbat. And wouldn’t you know it… in the (rapt) audience was a grandparent visiting from Georgia!
Clad in their favorite pjs, little attendees crafted, listened to stories, lit braided havdalah candles, and sang songs. They also donated dozens of new pairs of pjs—Wear a Pair, Give a Pair—to Homewood Alliance, a Colorado nonprofit that empowers individuals and families who face homelessness to survive, move forward and thrive.
Just like in the book, our Havdalah In the Sukkah was magical. Candles shone on bright young faces, the warm smell of spices filled the air, and milk and cookies added special sweetness to the close of shabbat. We can’t think of a better way to close out the week.