Students and families will come together each Shabbat morning during the school year to participate in a family oriented, educational, Shabbat morning service. Service leader and teacher, Felicia Sloin, brings her enthusiasm and skills to teach participants how to sing the melodies, think about the meanings behind the prayers, and learn practical skills associated with communal prayer. Each month, our family service will join with the general Shabbat morning service in a community wide celebration of Shabbat.
Following the weekly family service, students will split up into small groups to continue their Jewish learning.
Grades 1-5 will work with our values teachers on engaging, multi-dimensional, hands-on exploration of Jewish values through the “gifting” framework. In this framework, our teachers serve as guides through the process of learning about the seven gifts that Judaism has to offer, exploring the values embedded in Jewish texts, history, ritual practice, and community. This framework empowers our learners to be engaged with their own learning process. We challenge our students to make connections between their Jewish learning and Jewish selves, and their lives outside the synagogue walls.
THE SEVEN GIFTS ARE:
- emphasis on the uniqueness, value and blessing of each individual
- avenues for finding joy, comfort and gratitude, as well as supports for making sense of an often times chaotic world
- sense of being part of, and in reciprocal relation to, something bigger than and beyond oneself through the rhythms of sacred Jewish time, through unique configurations of Jewish space (within one’s family, one’s local community, and communities beyond), in relation to Israel, and in relation with the Divine
- richness of wisdom and memories gathered over the millennia, manifesting as diverse and interconnected Jewish perspectives, cultures and communities
- tradition of questions and questioning, built on a foundation of the back-and-forth problem-solving discussions found on a page of Talmud or in midrashic stories, and actively engaged today through hugging and wrestling with contemporary dilemmas, challenge and complexity
- empowerment of humanity, opening the door to generating inventive and useful responses to the challenges of our time
- passion for learning and growth, especially, but not exclusively, within a Jewish context
THE GIFTS THEY GAIN
With these gifts in their hands, hearts, and heads, learners gain understandings and tools to face life’s challenges, ultimately forging their own meaningful path inspired and guided by Jewish tradition.
PreK and Kindergarten children will work with their lead teacher, Felicia Sloin, on her new curriculum, Nurturing Your Neshama (spirit). It is a social-emotional based yoga and wellness practice emphasizing music, movement, mediation, and hand-on activities to inspire and empower students to explore their whole and brilliant selves through a Jewish values lens.
Our B’nai Mitzvah students (6th and 7th grades) will participate in the ChangeMakers teen philanthropy program. It is a journey that enables individual and collective understanding of Jewish peoplehood and Jewish identity through the responsibility of giving. Using active celebration and pride in our rich Jewish traditions of giving brings these elements to life for our students. Allowing them to explore Judaism and their own Jewish path in the world.
Students will spend their Saturday classroom time working on this year-long mitzvah project through which they will explore a variety of Jewish values, the needs of the world around them, and the connections these values and needs have with the history and traditions of Judaism. Students will go through the process of creating their own philanthropy, working together to craft a mission statement, and then evaluate proposal applications from local organizations to decide to where the money they will have raised over the course of the year should go. This program is integrated into our intergenerational Better Together program, as the seniors will be serving as partners in the philanthropy journey of the class over the course of the year.
Electives (grades 1-5)
On Wednesday afternoons our elementary students can choose from a variety of classes to explore Judaism through a lens that is unique and exciting to them. We offer a variety of classes such as art, baking, music, dance, gardening, and more. Classes will generally run for 4 sessions, and then students will have the opportunity to choose something new.
B’nai Mitzvah Prep (grades 6-7)
On Wednesday afternoons our B’nai Mitzvah class will work closely with Felicia Sloin to learn how to lead services including the Torah service, work on elements of their d’var Torah and personal prayers, and generally prepare for the actual day of their B’nai Mitzvah. While this class does not take the place of one-to-one tutoring, it creates a group environment to explore, express, and question, helping students to feel more confident in their skills ahead of the big day.
OUR HEBREW PHILOSOPHY
Hebrew learning is incorporated throughout our education program. We honor the principles of sound-to-print learning, applying four learning pillars: Hebrew Through Movement; Enriched Hebrew t’fillah (worship); Integrated Jewish Life Vocabulary; Delayed teaching of decoding. Read more about our Hebrew Philosophy.