“Roots and Kindness: Growing Together”

As another school year draws to a close, we at Gan Shalom beam with pride watching our littlest learners blossom and prepare for exciting new adventures. This year, each graduating child will receive two special books, carefully chosen to celebrate their journey with us.

“The Smart Cookie” by Pete Oswald and Jory John takes our graduates on a delightful adventure of self-discovery. In this story,children learn the importance of embracing their unique talents and exploring new possibilities. It’s a heartfelt reminder that growth comes from trying new things, even if we stumble along the way.

Our second gift, “Dream Big, Laugh Often” by Shira Hecht-Koller, uses creative storytelling to share powerful lessons from the Torah. Illustrated by Israeli Artist Hanoch Piven, he creates portraits of people in the Torah from “loose parts,” materials we use to create and explore in our classrooms. Through these inspiring tales, children encounter iconic figures like Sarah, Abraham’s wife, who reminds us to find joy and laughter in life, David, who teaches us the importance of staying true to oneself, and Eve, who encourages us to embrace curiosity.

These books, alongside the enriching experiences at Gan Shalom, will hopefully plant the seeds of a lifelong love for learning and a commitment to core Jewish values like hesed (kindness), tikkun olam (repairing the world), and kehilah (community). We wish all our graduates a fantastic summer filled with exploration and laughter!