On September 21st, 2023, students at the Calgary Jewish Academy engaged in two extraordinary experiential activities that beautifully blended the spirit of compassion and spiritual reflection. With Jewish communities around the world preparing for Yom Kippur, CJA students did the same by embodying the values of unity and self-improvement.
In recognition of World Alzheimer’s Day, Grade 2 and Grade 9 students joined hands with residents of Trinity Lodge for an Alzheimer’s Society Walk. This heartwarming event served a dual purpose: raising awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and fostering intergenerational connections.
The experience was quite remarkable, as young students walked alongside the elderly residents, creating a bridge between generations. The act of walking together symbolized unity and empathy, reminding everyone of the importance of cherishing our shared humanity. As they strolled side by side, conversations flowed freely, stories were shared, and bonds were forged.
This activity resonates deeply with the preparation for Yom Kippur, a time when introspection and reflection on our actions and relationships are important. Just as they walked together, students and residents metaphorically walked through the corridors of their hearts, reflecting on the past year and committing to being better individuals in the coming one.
For students in Grades 3 to Grade 6 the day also marked a profound spiritual experience through a Tashlich ceremony, performed in collaboration with peers from Halpern Akiva Academy. This ceremony, nestled between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, is a symbolic casting away of one’s mistakes, paving the way for a fresh start.
The collaborative Tashlich program left a profound impression on both students and educators, demonstrating the transformative power of upholding shared values and nurturing spiritual growth. This remarkable partnership between the Calgary Jewish Academy and Halpern Akiva Academy stands as a testament to the strength of the Calgary Jewish community.
The meaningful connections displayed at these two important events, reinforce the idea that our shared values and commitments transcend age, school boundaries, and backgrounds. This sense of community is a powerful reminder of the significance of Yom Kippur, where individuals come together to seek forgiveness, renewal, and spiritual growth.