Bar/bat mitzvah students engage with Friendship Circle
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Kehillat Masada

Bar/bat mitzvah students engage with Friendship Circle

The bar and bat mitzvah students “showed maturity, patience, were polite, helpful and mensches,” said Vanessa Sher, program coordinator.

Kehillat Masada bar and bat mitzvah students spent time with the Sydney Friendship Circle.
Kehillat Masada bar and bat mitzvah students spent time with the Sydney Friendship Circle.

THE Kehillat Masada bar and bat mitzvah Program is unique and gaining traction from all over, the shule says.

With enquiries coming in from students across all communities, the experience is proving to be “meaningful, memorable, and truly worthwhile”.

On Sunday, October 31, and Sunday November, 14, Kehillat Masada’s bar and bat mitzvah students played soccer with Sydney Friendship Circle, an organisation that provides a leading voice for people living with a disability in the Jewish community through meaningful programs.

“Our students shared their apprehension to engage with children with disabilities, with most having never done so before. This honesty allowed the kids to share meaningfully and strategise on how to face the new experience,” Vanessa Sher, program coordinator said.

“The girls spoke with their group leaders and chatted about ways in which they can interact with people who have disabilities and concluded that they are rather just people with ‘different abilities’.

“This changed the group’s whole perception and allowed them to walk in with confidence.”

Sher said it is “so valuable” to see the students enter a situation with apprehension, and leave with confidence.

“The safe and supported experience allows for meaningful growth and was truly life-changing for our students,” she said.

“Our students engaged with the Friendship Circle participants creatively and brought so many smiles.

Kehillat Masada bar and bat mitzvah students spent time with the Sydney Friendship Circle.

“Chloe and Ariel interacted with their non-verbal partner through clapping.

Carly and Tammy creatively engaged their partner through adapting the game when the main instruction was not working.

Sienna and Jay allowed their shoelaces to be tied, tied and retied when their partner found joy in doing so.

“And Jade, Caylah, Doron, Josh and Asher brought smiles and giggles to their participants even if they weren’t always keen on playing soccer. As our session ended, Matthew, one of the bar mitzvah boys, turned and said ‘please can we stay longer’. A sign that this was a successful excursion.”

She concluded by saying the bar and bat mitzvah students “showed maturity, patience, were polite, helpful and mensches”.

“It was incredible and truly a #kehillatmasadaproud experience,” she said.

Bar/bat mitzvah program enquiries: vanessa@masada.org.au

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