Lag Ba’Omer: Did Ramaz Do Enough?

Lag Ba’Omer: Did Ramaz Do Enough?

Julia Feit ’22 

In a typical fashion, Ramaz celebrated the annual holiday of Lag Ba’Omer by connecting students with nature. This year’s outdoor activities were Covid-19 friendly, engaging for students, and in the spirit of the Jewish day. Although the pandemic posed specific difficulties, the health committee adapted the plans to ensure that each grade cohort remained isolated. Specifically, the school rented extra buses to allot individual rows for each student in order to reduce contact during the ride to school. 

Over the span of a week, the freshmen, sophomores, and juniors visited the Discovery Park in Norwalk, Connecticut. Because the health committee was insistent on separating cohorts, each grade attended their trip on different days. Therefore, most students did not have any planning on the actual day of Lag Ba’Omer, Friday, April 30th, the 18th of Iyar. For example, the junior grade visited the day before the actual holiday and the freshmen on the following Monday. Sydney Eisenstein ’22, “I had an amazing time on the trip, but I wish that Ramaz had something planned for the actual holiday. Teachers did not really explain the historical significance of the day so most students just viewed the day as any other school day. I would have hoped that my Jewish studies classes took the time to delve into the meaning behind Lag Ba’Omer and why the school celebrates by taking us on a trip.” 

In particular, the freshmen had very limited programming on Lag Ba’Omer as their trip happened over ten days after the actual holiday. Rebecca Podolsky ’24  explained, “I barely even knew it was Lag Ba’omer on Friday because it wasn’t really mentioned in my classes. I knew our grade was going on a trip, but I wasn’t sure when the 33rd day of the Omer was or the meaning behind the day.” Rachel Freilich ’22 added, “I had an amazing time bonding with my grade in a recreational, outdoor setting. I know that the students have suffered socially from the pandemic, so it was really nice to see everyone together again and having fun. Yet, I wish that the school, in particular my Judaic classes, had explained to us why we celebrate the holiday each year.” 

The overall consensus among students was that they enjoyed the ropes course and adventure-packed day with their grade. The ropes course was a well-deserved treat for students, but hopefully next year Ramaz students will learn more about the holiday they’re celebrating…