On December 20th, in the Morning, in front of the whole school, the 1st grade performed for the whole primary school; teachers and students alike. People were so impressed that they asked the 1st graders to redo one of the dances which was particularly creative.
In the evening, the show was performed this time for the parents. The show consisted of a mixture of performances in honor of three holidays, one Islamic, one Jewish and one Christian: in this case the holidays were Hijra, Chanukah and Christmas.
At first they engaged in a show on Hijra, they sang Tala’a al-Badru ‘Alayna (The Moon has come to visit). They then turned around a pylon representing the turning around Mecca; the Muslim call to prayer could be heard at this time as all the children danced around the pylon.
After this the children did a presentation on the significance of Hanukah. Why do Jews light candles? Why 8 days? What do they represent? These questions were all answered; students came up to the microphone usually in groups of two and explained all this to their parents in the audience in Arabic and Hebrew. They also did their aforementioned creative dance, spinning like dreidels, and looking at sufganiyah (sweet fried donut).
After this the focus was shifted to Christmas, and an actual play was performed! It was quite impressive to see the text that the children had learned by heart which was a difficult text in Arabic and Hebrew. Occasionally, Yasmin and Yaël (the 1st grade teachers) whispered the text if children had forgotten their parts. The story of how three kings came to Bethlehem, how they had brought presents, and more was shown in theater form. The barn used in the play had actually been decorated the night before by the 2nd graders and their parents.
After the play, a giant dreidel and a giant menorah were brought to the front, as the song “Maoz Tzur” was played in the background (rock of angels). The kids ran around in circles of the dreidel with the music of “Sevivon, Sov, sov, sov” (dreidel, spin spin spin). After this, they danced around the menorah, and they were ready for the grand finally: a 4th grader dressed as Santa Clause came and gave each of the 1st graders a present which consisted of a stocking filled with something special. The beauty of celebrating holidays together can be summarized by a little Palestinian Muslim girl who excitedly opens the presents she received from Santa clause: with a huge smile, she shows a musical dreidel to her mom. Her mom smiles back.