Dear Ezra Community,
While the first official day of spring has come and gone and winter seems to have decided to pay us yet another visit, we have multiple reasons to rejoice and celebrate as we move into the Month of Nisan this weekend. Nisan, the seventh month on our current calendar, is introduced in the Tanakh or Bible as the first month of the Israelite holiday cycle. The reason for this is that it is the first month that is introduced to the Israelites after their departure from Egypt, and therefore, Pesach is the first holiday that is commanded to be celebrated.
Also known as Chodesh heAviv (the month of spring), the first of Nisan was originally celebrated as Rosh Hashanah, but even now, when we celebrate Rosh Hashanah on the first of Tishrei in the fall, Nisan still has a role in celebrating newness and a fresh start. Some scholars have noted that Nisan comes from the Sumerian word nisag, meaning first fruits, while others have connected it to the Hebrew word nitzan, meaning buds. In any case, the start of this new month gives us opportunities to experience newness in nature and to begin exploring and experiencing the changes taking place in the natural world around us.
We’re also getting ready for the upcoming holiday of Pesach! Just about two weeks away, our students are busy preparing and our classrooms are once again filled with the sounds of singing, learning, and excitement. We also have an amazing surprise in store for our extended community. This year, Ezra will produce its first ever supplement to the haggadah. This will give our community a little taste of the learning that we have been doing here at school in our preparation for this important holiday. The haggadah supplement will showcase student work and learning through pictures of the learning process, student artwork and writing, and more!
Our goal is for students to be able to bring home a little bit of the Ezra magic and to be able to have an elevated role in leading and participating in seders.
Even though we now celebrate Rosh Hashanah in the fall, Rosh Chodesh Nisan gives us an opportunity to welcome the new and reset ourselves before moving into the end of the school year. As we move into spring (and hopefully for real this time!) and prepare for Pesach, thank you for being a part of Ezra and for sharing in the experiences that make our community so special.
Shabbat Shalom and Chodesh Tov!