Westchester County Executive showed off his playful side Wednesday at a model Seder for preschool kids at the Rosenthal JCC in Pleasantville. He took the part of Moses to part the sea and lead the children from slavery.
Astorino also met with a group of Israeli young people. Read on for more from the JCC:
We Opened the Door at the Seder, and Look Who Walked In…
At yesterday’s model Seder for the 4s classes of the Rosenthal JCC (RJCC) Early Childhood Center, the children were re-enacting the Exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt when in walked County Executive Rob Astorino, who played the role of “Moses.” Dressed in a white robe with flowing white curls and a long beard, Moses-Rob lead the children across the parted sea to be free from slavery and tyrants, and to enjoy the Seder foods.
Before the model Seder, the County Executive met with the delegation of Israeli tweens from the RJCC’s sister city of Shoham, Israel. The tweens are visiting on a week-long exchange through the Global Jewish Connections partnership, which aims to foster meaningful connections and mutual understanding between Jews in Northern Westchester and Shoham. One of the themes of this particular visit is leadership, and Mr. Astorino’s discussion with the tweens focused on preconceived stereotypes and learning through shared experiences.
Mr. Astorino recently visited Israel for the first time. He shared with the Israeli tweens his presumption that most people in Israel were Orthodox and how surprised he was to learn that most Israelis are completely secular. The Israelis also shared some of their ah-ha moments, including how spread out American communities can be and how it is not easy just to walk to the store or your friend’s house, how it can be challenging to be a practicing Jew in America despite the religious freedoms, and how emotional it was to speak with a 9/11 survivor.
Through the Global Jewish Connections program, the Israeli tweens are being hosted by their counterparts from Northern Westchester as they together participate in fun and educational learning programs. They spent the weekend ensconced at Surprise Lake Camp in Cold Spring for a Shabbaton that focused on team-building activities and discussions about cultural differences and similarities. They also visited local schools, explored the 9/11 Memorial, toured the Lower East Side, and spent time with the children in the RJCC’s Early Childhood and After School programs. Last year at this time, Mr. Astorino welcomed Shoham Mayor Gil Livni and helped strengthen the cross-cultural partnership.