Cohen School kicks off the year with sweet Rosh Hashanah activities


Sound the shofar, it’s time to start a new year at Temple Torat Yisrael’s Cohen School!


The school year got off to a sweet start in September, with students creating and then enjoying a Rosh Hashanah-inspired apple and honey bar. The students happily topped graham crackers and apples with honey, sprinkles and chocolate chips before digging in.

After school, many families stayed for a temple barbecue, where they socialized, reunited with friends and teachers, and scaled a rock wall, generously donated by Rock Spot Climbing, of Lincoln.

The following Sunday, on Sept. 17, the school participated in a special Rosh Hashanah day of learning and hands-on activities. Events kicked off with the magnificent Shofar Factory that Rabbi Yossi Laufer, of the Chabad West Bay Chai Center, brought to the school. Students learned why Jews blow the shofar, and then created their own.  The social hall was filled with the sounds of saws cutting the ends off the horns, holes being drilled for the mouthpieces and sanding. Laufer even demonstrated the proper way to blow the shofar and guided the children as they practiced.

Then, in partnership with the temple’s Caring Committee, the younger students decorated Rosh Hashanah cards for elderly congregants. While the young children were making the cards, Rabbi Aaron Philmus led a “Honey and Bee” program for the sixth- and seventh-graders. The program included exploring the importance of bees for the planet, a visit to the rabbi’s beehive and a chance to play with his goats. It was quite a sight to see the rabbi in his full bee-protection suit, and the children enjoyed honey right from the hive.

The Cohen School is off to a sweet start, and ready to have an un-bee-lievable year!

DORI ADLER is the education director at Temple Torat Yisrael’s Cohen Religious School, in East Greenwich. For information about the school, contact her at