Year 6 pupils thoroughly enjoyed a trip to the Singers Hill Orthodox Synagogue last week. Singers Hill synagogue has been home to the Birmingham Hebrew congregation for the last 159 years. Pupils of Year 6 welcomed the opportunity to put their learning of the Jewish faith into context, immersing themselves with the assistance of the tour guide Geoff Goodman, into the practices, symbols, prayer books and Torah scrolls of this religion.
Upon seeing the building, fortified by sturdy, black gates, the children were struck by the beauty of the synagogue itself, absorbing the symbolic colours and textures used to decorate the structure to demonstrate the love Jewish people have for their faith. It was difficult not to be mesmerised by the beautiful stained glass windows where the Star of David shone brightly, surrounded by 12 petals to represent the twelve tribes.
Pupils brought their own knowledge to this learning and added so much more. The children learnt about Bar and Bat Mitzvah; a coming of age ceremony for Jewish boys and girls when they reach the age of 12 or 13. This ceremony marks the time when a boy or girl becomes a Jewish adult. This means that they are now responsible for their own actions and can decide for themselves how they would like to practice Judaism.
This quote from Tia perfectly sums up the beauty of the Synagogue: ‘Before we left, I glanced up to see the stained glass window I first saw, drenched in sunlight that illuminated the room radiantly’.