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Iranian Jewish Life in Los Angeles: Past and Present

Saba Soomekh, Author

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Rabbi Peer & Rabbi Loloyan: Start Young

In order to connect children with Judaism from a young age, Rabbi Loloyan and Rabbi Peer have organized different programs for children as young as six years old. These studies do not emphasize tests and homework and only meet twice a week for two and half hours each time. For the majority of these children these classes are their only connection with Judaic teachings. For example, Chabad Persian Youth has a Hebrew and Jewish studies program called the Aleph Champ curriculum where students learn the roots of Judaism and mitzvahs. By focusing on the reasoning for specific Judaic practices, kids have become more willing to observe the customs. Similarly on Shabbat at Haichal Moshe, while elders are inside the temple reciting the Shakarit prayers, all children are gathered and taught the weekly Parasha and entertained with raffles, games, and treats. After doing so, the children are taken inside the temple where they all recite a bracha (blessing) as one under a tzitzit near the Torah in front of the entire congregation. With these programs, both Rabbi Loloyan and Rabbi Peer have enabled these children to participate in the religious services they would watch their parents do, but have also taught them the reasoning behind these religious practices.
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