Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Heirlooms & Artifacts

The artifact the kid selected was a family vinyl LP. We had a CD made which is playing on the wall. In the kid's words: The record before you belonged to my great-grandfather, Rabbi Benjamin Miller. Immortalized in the record is Rabbi Benjamin performing a wedding ceremony at Congregation Beth Yehuda. When I pick up the record I feel it spinning, as the groom firmly stomps on the glass. I feel it in the hands of my Zadie, who left the world before I could meet him. I feel the decades upon decades of lying alone in the dark, with no one to hear your song. But here you are.
My daughter's fifth grade class recently presented their Heirlooms & Artifacts program at the Oregon Jewish Museum. As parents, we had been aware of this project for months as it was a significant academic undertaking.

We went into the museum giddy knowing that the source of much family turmoil was coming to a close. As I saw the artwork, poems and artifacts I was moved by the simple acknowledgment that every family has a compelling story waiting to be told. The teacher did an excellent job of showing the kids how to illustrate their stories in a variety of ways.

A video from the main program:


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