The Hebrew School students at Congregations of Shaare Shamayim received a treat recently when an ark-full of live animals appeared at the Bustleton synagogue.
Jacques Lurie, executive director of Shaare Shamayim, organized the weekend’s festivities for three different classes.
On that Saturday, the youngsters learned the story of Noah and his ark.
The following day, they gathered in front of a wood ark filled with stuffed animals as a boy portraying Noah recounted the religious story of how Noah, his family and two of each kind of animal were saved during a flood caused by rain that lasted for 40 days and 40 nights.
The story featured the sounds of thunder and a rain prop, and some kids wore ponchos to stay dry. There was a happy ending with a rainbow of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple balloons.
The kids were able to see and interact with a camel, goat, deer, ducks, a donkey, a snake, a mini-frog, fox, gecko, bobcat, parakeet and African bush baby.
Lurie asked the students questions about what they learned and handed out stickers and books for right answers.
The young people also colored, made framed artwork, snacked on animal crackers and listened to a talk by Rabbi Jean Claude Klein, all geared to the story of Noah.
Klein said the event was set up to show the children that animals are companions that God put in the world, and that they deserve respect.
“Animals are not just the object of our love, but of God’s care and providence,” he said. ••