Creation: A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words Program
Put girls into groups of 3-6 girls. Give each group a camera and ask them to take pictures that explain creation. Let their view point show through and don't answer questions relating to what they should take pictures of. Then reconvene and show each team's photos (let them put it in order) on a computer screen/TV while the group explains the "story of creation". Groups must keep things short and sweet. Then go over the basics of the story of creation (only if needed after the groups present) and read a couple other short stories of creation from other cultures. Explain that like how each slide show was different, everyone views the story of creation differently. Have a short discussion on the similarities and differences between the creation stories that you read.
A Letter for Next Year Program:
Rosh Hashana is a time for reflecting on the past year and making resolutions for the new year. Have girls write a letter to themselves and self address the envelope. Have a responsible leader in the chapter keep the letters mail them next Rosh Hashana. Have specific questions to think about while they write their letters such as "What were the top 3 highlights of this year?", "What qualities about yourself do you hope to improve in the next year?", and "What do you hope to accomplish in the next year?"
BBG Iron Chef Program:
Have an Iron Chef style competition with the secret ingredient being apples and honey. Plain apples and honey are delicious, but take these 2 ingredients and bring them to the next level by having teams make recipes using apples, honey, and some other basic ingredients. Hopefully you will end up with amazing desserts like Apple Honey Cobbler. If the culinary creations are awful, don't fret! That just gives you another thing to tease you chapter about!
"A Chapter That Feasts Together, Stays Together" Program:
Bring together all the girls in the chapter, their parents, their siblings, and even SiWi our brother chapter for a "Break the Fast" potluck! This is a great time to chill with you chapter, to get parents more involved, and to score a few new prospectives while eating delicious food that everybody brings.
Kol Nidre Program:
The theme of the Kol Nidre prayer is keeping promises. Have girls write down a story of a promise they regret keeping (anonymously). Then have them put the papers in a hat and have each girl pick out someone else's story. Take turns reading the stories (some will be serious and some will hopefully be funny). After reading the stories, have a short discussion about why girls break promises. End the program with a cheesy speech about why keeping promises is important, but keep it short!
Making a House a Home Program:
One theme of Sukkot is turning a simple "booth" into a home. People who are staying in the hospital may not feel quite at home for obvious reasons. To help children in the hospital cheer up and making their room a little homier, make and donate dream-catcher kits. Include pre-cut string, pipe-cleaners, beads, and instructions. The kids will love the kits!
Put girls in partners. Each girl will take turns doing the exercise. One girl will talk as if she was apologizing to someone she has wronged. Her partner will be repeating what she said in a quieter voice. It will be good for girls to be "the action off of their chest". Encourage them to apologize to the person they wronged. This program also makes a great transition into a partner good and welfare.
"Spending Time in a Sukkah" Program:
Hold a business meeting, event, overnight, or good and welfare session in a Sukkah. The change of scenery can make an ordinary event extraordinary, make a business meeting extra productive, and the stars are breathtaking. If none of the girls in your chapter have a Sukkah you can use, try a local temple.
Building a Sukkah Program:
Start by explaining the regulations of building a Sukkah to your chapter. Then let girls build a Sukkah out of graham crackers, frosting, pretzels, and candy.
Israeli Dancing Program:
Teach the chapter a few fun Israeli dances, or get someone else to lead the dances for you. If the chapter isn't exactly "talented" at dancing, the girls will end up tripping all over the place and giggling like crazy!
Torah Cookies Program:
Use Torah shaped cookie cutters, dough, frosting, and sprinkles. Spread the joy of the holiday, but only by eating them yourself, but by also giving them as gifts to people who have supported the chapter such as the advisor, regional staff, and parents who have driven or staffed.
"It's the Circle of Life" Themed Havdallah Program:
This mini-program should be conducted before the Havdallah service begins so that cheers can proceed normally. Start by explaining how Simchat Torah is about celebrating the different cycles in life. Then read the poem "To Everything There Is A Season." One of the lines says "A time to lose and a time to seek." Go around the circle and have girls say one thing they have lost in the past year and something they found in the last year or hope to find. For example, "I lost the need to measure my life solely by achievements and I found what truly makes me happy." Then proceed with the normal Havdallah songs and cheers.
"To Everything There Is A Season" Poem:
To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under the sun.
A time to be born and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill and a time to heal... a time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance... a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to lose and a time to seek; a time to rend and a time to sew;
A time to keep silent and a time to speak; a time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.
Matzah Houses Program:
Using matzah, icing, cream cheese, peanut butter, nutella, sprinkles, candy, paper plates, and lots of paper towels, hold a "Matzah House Making Contest!" Split girls into two teams, and then judge the house based upon aesthetic design and how it follows Judaism.
Passover Programming: Passover Chef Program
Break into small groups and make Matzah Pizza and Charoset. Half of the groups makes the pizza and the other half makes charoset. For the matzah pizza, first grease a baking pan big enough to fit the matzah. Then spread marinara or tomato sauce on the matzah. Sprinkle mozzarella and parmesan cheese over the tomato sauce, and top it off with a bit of oregano. Bake it at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes or until the cheese melts. For the charoset: first skin and chop 5 large apples. Chop walnuts (use how much you like). Put apples and walnuts in a bowl, and add 5 tablespoons of sugar, 1 cup of red wine/grape juice and 2 teaspoons of cinammon. Mix, and there you have your charoset! While people are cooking, do a quick explanation of the Seder plate.
" The Maror symbolizes the bitterness of Egyptian slavery. The Karpas being dipped into the saltwater represents the marking of the Jewish doorposts. The saltwater represents the tears shed during Egyptian slavery. The charoset is symbolic of the mortar used by Hebrew slaves to build Egyptian structures. The shank bone is symbolic of the Pascal lamb offered as the Passover sacrifice in biblical times. The roasted egg is symbolic of the festival sacrifice made in biblical times. The egg is also a traditional symbol of mourning, and has been interpreted by some as a symbolic mourning for the loss of the Temple."
This is a good time for bonding, team work, and not to mention Jewish heritage through traditional Jewish cooking!
Life Seder Plate Program:
Give each girl a paper plate and distribute markers. Instruct them to illustrate their "life seder" plate. Each thing on the plate stands for something. The maror represents "something that makes you mad." The matzah represents "the one word theme of your life." The charoset represents "someone in your life that keeps you together." The parsley represents "one Aleph or BBG you want to get closer to in your life." The shank bone represents "something that makes you physically stronger." The saltwater represents "something that makes you want to cry." The egg represents "one thing that makes you innocent" or "something that you love that scares you."