From Georgia to Jerusalem in 6 Easy Steps: Sending Prayers to the Western Wall

An envelope of prayers from 5th grade students in Columbus, Georgia.

An envelope of prayers from 5th grade students in Columbus, Georgia.

By ISJL Education Fellow Dan Ring

The ISJL Education Curriculum addresses Israel in many ways at various grade levels. The fifth grade, for example, contains a lesson about the Western Wall (also called the Kotel) in Jerusalem. For an activity, teachers can have students write prayers to be placed in the Wall and ask their Education Fellows to arrange for the letters to reach their intended destination.

Although you can easily do this virtually through different websites, I was excited when the fifth grade class at Temple Israel Religious School in Columbus, Georgia, wrote physical letters, which I was able to have delivered through face-to-face social networks.

Here is how it went down:

1. During Lesson 7 of the 5th grade curriculum, students in Columbus composed their own prayers and put them all in an envelope.

2.  During my fall visit, the class surprised me with the collected notes.

Dan is very surprised.

Dan is very surprised.

Dan with TIRS 5th grade class-edit

After recovering from his surprise, Dan poses with the class. It was “pajama day” at the religious school.

3. Two weeks later, I attended a bar mitzvah in Baltimore, my hometown.  My friend Josh, a Yeshiva student in Jerusalem and the brother of the bar mitzvah boy, was visiting for the occasion.  So I gave him the envelope.

Josh (center) and Dan (right) celebrating together at the bar mitzvah.

Josh (center) and Dan (right) celebrating together at the bar mitzvah.

5. A few days later, Josh returned to Jerusalem, where he took the written prayers to the Wall.

Josh at the Western Wall.

Josh at the Western Wall.

Josh inserts the prayers into a crevice in the Wall.

Josh inserts the prayers into a crevice in the Wall.

6.  The prayers have been delivered (to the Wall).

The notes from Columbus, Georgia, join other prayers brought to the Western Wall.

The notes from Columbus, Georgia, join other prayers brought to the Western Wall.

Thanks again to Josh for helping out the fine students of Temple Israel, and to another Josh for taking such great photographs!

Posted on January 28, 2013

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