Embracing our cultural identity

Cultural identity is a strong element of the Early Learning Centre (ELC) curriculum, as we ensure each child has a greater understanding of both Australian and Jewish culture. This is embedded into our everyday routines and practices, from the start of the week through to the end.

Each Monday morning begins with our Havdallah ritual, we discuss the end of Shabbat and welcome the week ahead. It is a beautiful way to start our week as it gives the children and teachers a moment to reflect on last week and think about the week to come and how we can make it even better than the one before. Monday morning is also when we provide the opportunity to think about the land in which we play, and we acknowledge our first citizens, the Boonwurrong people of the Kulin Nation. In Senior Kinder, the children are learning some Boonwurrong words and soon we will introduce some indigenous songs. Throughout the rest of the week the children participate in Tefillah, building the children’s repertoire of songs over the year. Our Hebrew program also drives the children’s connection to their Jewish Identity, with Shiri sharing passion for the Hebrew language.

Of course, the pinnacle of our cultural identity program is our beloved Shabbat service held on Fridays. We are flexible in the delivery, so that we can offer the service at the time that best suits the children and the plans of the day. The children show great knowledge of the songs and rituals of Shabbat, and take great delight in singing songs and saying the Bracha.

“My culture is my identity and personality. It gives me spiritual, intellectual and emotional distinction from others, and I am proud of it” M.F. Moonzajer

Laura Pearce
Kindergarten Educational Leader

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