Chagim at Ramaz


Ariel Kadoe ’24

Ramaz takes holidays very seriously. This year the school has held multiple events to get students and faculty in the holiday spirit, ranging from multiple assemblies, food, speakers, dance parties, and classes related to upcoming holidays. The Judaic Studies curriculum was adjusted to include lessons on relevant holidays, ensuring that students feel connected to the holidays in a deeper way.

Despite having no school on Rosh Hashana, Ramaz arranged for a Prozbul assembly, which was directly related to what each grade learnt about in Talmud class. Rabbi Mordechai Willig led the assembly, and students were able to sign their own Prozbuls!

In preparation for Yom Kippur, each grade had a teshuva assembly in which students heard from a speaker, and then recited the Hatarat Nedarim, which is the annulling of personal vows. Classes varied on what they learnt based on teacher and student preferences. For example, the 11th grade analyzed prayers that are recited on Yom Kippur, and in Tanakh class studied Sefer Yona.

During Sukkot the Sukka was in constant use. Breakfast was served each morning with coffee, waffles and pancakes. Homeroom muffins and dance parties in the Sukka were a must. Many classes were taught in the Sukka, with lessons related to Sukkot. For example, the 9th grade focused on why sukkot is in the fall. Ramaz sold lulavs and etrogim, and they also brought a Simon Says professional who came and played with each grade. 

Many students enjoyed the holiday festivities while others felt it could’ve been improved. Aviva Schilowitz ‘24 believes that “What they did was a really good balance between school and fun. It made the day feel like a holiday and allowed me to be productive at the same time.” -. Raymond Ashkenazie ‘24 thinks that “Ramaz did a great job making the chagim exciting for students, although I wish there was more learning done in the Sukkah.”  While some enjoyed the chagim for the exciting activities, others like Alex Ottensoser’24 held a different perspective, saying “it was thoughtful,fun, and gave people who don’t have the opportunity to do mitzvot the ability to do them.” 

In Ramaz holidays are a joyous time, filled with activities to lighten the mood but the controversial question arises each year…. why is there school on Chol Hamoed?!?!