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Pop-Up Jewish Mini-School Gives Houston Parents (and Kids) a Break

Pop-Up Jewish Mini-School Gives Houston Parents (and Kids) a Break

In flooded Bellaire, crafts and stories for kids, and home-recovery work for adults

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In Bellaire, Texas, where many homes were devastated and all were impacted by floods from Hurricane Harvey, children were given a much-needed break, while their parents dealt with storm logistics, at a pop-up school at The Shul of Bellaire.
In Bellaire, Texas, where many homes were devastated and all were impacted by floods from Hurricane Harvey, children were given a much-needed break, while their parents dealt with storm logistics, at a pop-up school at The Shul of Bellaire.

Wednesday was supposed to be the first day of Hebrew school at The Shul of Bellaire. Then Hurricane Harvey sent water flooding into the city of Houston, and schools all over the affected area were canceled.

Nevertheless, children, laughter and Jewish learning were still in evidence as the synagogue—under the direction of Rabbi Yossi and Esty Zaklikofsky, co-directors of The Shul of Bellaire—opened its doors for an afternoon of education and entertainment for about 30 storm-weary kids.

“There are so many overtaxed parents with young children who were trying to clean up their houses, so we thought this was a way to alleviate the stress of child care,” Esty Zaklikofsky tells Chabad.org.

For more than two hours, the group enjoyed working on Rosh Hashanah craft projects and playing games with a Jewish spin. The activities were led by volunteers, both teens and adults, who wanted to lend a hand.

“The volunteers really did everything,” notes Zaklikofsky, the mother of five children under the age of 10. “They shopped and bought everything we needed, including new games and art supplies. They organized projects and read books to the children. They were really amazing.”

Equally amazing, say those involved, were the youngsters who took part in the program. Together, they gave money to tzedakah (charity) and davened (prayed).

“In times of crisis,” attests Zaklikofsky, “it’s very powerful to bring Jewish children together.”

Readers can donate here to the hurricane relief fund .

For more than two hours, the kids enjoyed playing, reading and making crafts.
For more than two hours, the kids enjoyed playing, reading and making crafts.
The activities were led by neighborhood volunteers, both teens and adults.
The activities were led by neighborhood volunteers, both teens and adults.


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