D’var Shana by Emerson Shear

Students in the Adventure B’nai Mitzvah Class participate in 15 expeditions during their school year. At the end of the year, they write a D’var Shana (thoughts about the year) sharing a little about their experience and what they learned. Emerson Shear became a Bat Mitzvah on June 3, 2023, and this is her D’var Shana.

D’var Shana – Thoughts About the Year
by Emerson Shear

This year I participated in the Adventure B’nai MItzvah class and throughout this experience, I made new friends, learned how to use my time, and had a fun and enjoyable time.

One of my favorite classes was the Iron Chef Shabbat Showdown. This was a cooking competition where we were broken up into four teams and had to bake Challah and cook Matzah ball soup. Once we finished cooking, the judges tasted each group’s Challah and soup and then decided on the winner. It was really fun to be in a small group. This gave everyone a chance to do something and no one was bored. During this class, my group worked well together, was organized, read the instructions thoroughly, and used our imaginations. My group’s weakness was knowing what spices to and how much of them to put in our soup. The soup tasted good for us but we put basil in the soup the judges tasted which made it nasty. My favorite job that I did was kneading the Challah. The dough was much different that the one I bake for my Shabbat project every month and it was fun to knead. One thing that I want to remember is how fun it was and that putting other ingredients into Challah can make it delicious.

Another one of my favorite classes was our Passover camping trip in Moab. Our class joined the rest of the congregation on the weekend of Passover for a Seder trip in Moab, Utah. Camping near my classmates allowed us all to get closer and the parents to do so as well. The night walk was spectacular, beautiful, and stunning. We walked along the canyon edge in the dark with all of the stars on the way back. The best part was laying underneath the arch and looking up at the night sky. During this hike, all of the kids bonded and got to know each other better. I also got to meet new people at dinner and during the Seder. All of the kids presented the congregation with the new Torah which was a memorable experience and really fun. Overall, I would say that the Moab trip is fun, exciting, and beautiful, a time to meet new people and learn new things.

My favorite moment of the entire class was the night hike in Moab. It was very beautiful to see the arches at night. I had a great time and found the hike both enjoyable and pretty. It was my favorite because it was a time when we didn’t have many instructions or rules to follow and it was really pretty.

The big lesson that I learned during this experience is that if I break up a task into more achievable pieces that I can complete more than I first thought. Coming into this class I didn’t think that I could climb a 10,000 ft mountain, learn tons of Hebrew, only miss two classes, and still stay on track with my schoolwork, play three sports and have time for friends and family. It all sounded like too much. But as I started in the Adventure Class I learned that I just have to think about it week by week instead of all as one big picture. This class rewarded me by letting me learn that I can accomplish so much more than I think.

About Rabbi Jamie Korngold

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