We meet 8-year-old Grunia Freundlich in her classroom at Ganeinu International School, the Jewish day school that her mom Dini founded. Dini, along with her husband, Rabbi Shimon Freundlich, helped establish Chabad’s office in Beijing in 2001, since adding a second Chabad House, the Jewish day school, a community center, and a kosher restaurant. Ganeinu, the only Jewish day school in northern China, is open to the entire Jewish community and focuses on introducing the traditions and heritage of Judaism and Israel.
Grunia and I share our birth order, she is the second-youngest child in a family of six. We met previously when sister Chava was featured in our Food for Thought column. Competence at a young age seems to be a given with the Freundlich children: we doubt we’ve ever seen anyone craft as fast as Grunia. Her teacher, Israeli-born Chani Raskin, agrees. “Craft and practical work in the classroom is an everyday part of school here,” says Raskin, “But even so, Grunia is particularly quick!”
Age 6+ (adult supervision required)
• 1 9”×12” felt sheet
• felt squares in assorted colors
• glue gun
• paper stencil shapes (Star of David, dreidel, candle, menorah, etc.)
• alphabet stickers
• decorative string
1. Glue eight felt squares to the larger felt sheet. Only glue the pockets on three sides.
2. Place the paper stencils on top of the felt and trace around them with a pencil. Cut out each shape carefully.
3. Glue a shape (for example a candle, or dreidel) to each pocket. Attach the alphabet stickers spelling out your holiday message. Decorate with other elements, such as the Star of David, or menorah with candles.
4. Glue the decorative string around all four sides of the blue sheet.
5. Thread the decorative string through the straw, and tie the ends in a bow. Glue the straw to the back of the larger blue felt sheet. Fill the pockets for each night with Hanukkah gelt, chocolate coins, or little gifts.
Photos: courtesy of Zeus
This article originally appeared on page 36-37 of the beijingkids December 2015 issue. Click here to read the issue for free on Issuu.com. To find out how you can get your own copy, email firstname.lastname@example.org