In preparation for Yom Kippur, grade 5 students visited Flushing Meadows Corona Park to
participate in the tashlich ceremony. At the park, Rabbi Rohr shared a story about a villager who
went to the big city to learn how they put out fires. However, he mistakenly thought the alarms and sirens
themselves put out the fires! He compared this to the shofar on Rosh Hashanah. Just as the alarms alerted the firefighters to take action, the shofar alerts us and wakes us up, but each of us must actually perform the actions of teshuva. After learning the meaning of tashlich and hearing the story, the students said the tashlich prayer by the water and cast of their sins.
During an oneg shabbat, students in grades 1–5 listened to an explanation of why we do kaparot. Rabbi Landsman said that the chicken that we are saying kaparot with will be shechted and killed, and we
are thinking that this really should be happening to us because of all the bad deeds we’ve done, and Hashem is giving us mercy for our teshuva. Students each brought in money that they used to perform kapparot. Viviana Olsen, grade 4, learned that “All the money that we use instead of chickens, is going to people that really need it and that we are giving this money instead of us. Because really, we know this should be happening to us instead of the chickens because of all the aveirot we have done.”