Pupils from Simon marks Jewish Primary School and The Olive Islamic School gathered together in a heart-warming exchange of shared values and a chance to build friendships.

As part of a long standing relationship between the Olive School and Simon Marks Jewish Primary school, pupils from the Olive School were invited to learn about the Jewish festival of Sukkot and share in the celebrations. Pupils from both schools gathered in the ‘Sukkah’ and learnt about the customs and traditions associated with the holiday. With the help of our Rabbi Goldmeier, the pupils shook the lulav and etrog, taught about the meaning of Sukkot and shared a harvest inspired buffet.

This was a wonderful opportunity for children of different cultures to learn about each other, how much they have in common and shared values. “It was really great to welcome another school to help them learn about our Jewish faith but it was even nicer to interact with other child from a different religion and get to know them”. – Ben & Lielle, Year 5.  The pupils learnt about each other’s interests and life and especially everything that they had in common. By the end of the event the children were sad to say farewell, but excited that they would be seeing each other again next week and that this was just the start of a year of shared memories.

Simon Marks Jewish Primary School and the Olive School have had a history of collaboration over the years including sharing gifts for different holidays and festivals as well as their choirs singing together for Hackney’s Holocaust Memorial.

“Our aim is for pupils to gain a mutual understanding and respect for other cultures and beliefs to help them act as role models in our community of Hackney.” – Ms Metin, Headteacher of Simon Marks Jewish Primary School.