General Outline of Our School
Our Jewish education experience begins with the Mechina program at age five, and continues through the Hay class (age thirteen). During the Mechinathrough Hay years our journey will include;
#1. Jewish Living: As described above,Judaism is a tradition to be lived and experienced. Outside of class, we will plan holiday and ritual experiences, which will empower students and their families to live thoughtful, serious Jewish lives. Our experiences will include music, dance, food and celebration of Shabbat each Wednesday at the end of class. By next May, we hope to provide you, the parents and family members, with the tools to apply what we teach in the classroom to your Jewish lives at home and elsewhere.
#2. Sunday B’Yahad: Sunday B’Yahad (‘Sundays Together) is an occasional Sunday program we will share as families. On these designated occasions, we will introduce some creative Jewish holiday programs to enhance your Jewish holiday celebrations.
#3. Hebrew: Hebrew is a language of spirited prayers and moving songs. When our students find personal meaning in Hebrew, they will read more effectively-and with greater interest. For each grade we will teach selected prayers: Ranging from the Shma/V’Ahavta and Ashray to the Torah Service, Amidah and Kaddish. These prayers are central to our Shabbat and daily ritual; they will enable our students to participate in the Synagogue main service with greater confidence. Every Wednesday at the end of the school day, we conduct a mini-service- to include selected prayers our students should master. This service is a central feature of our curriculum; the weekly repetition will enable our students to lead more of the service during their B/B Mitzvah ceremonies and beyond.
#4. Bridging Past and Present: When reading Torah (and other) stories from our past, we will challenge students to find personal meaning in the texts. During their Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremonies for example, our students deliver a Dvar Torah speech; a personal commentary on the meaning of their particular Torah portions. In essence, all of Jewish life is about interpreting the past in a personal and meaningful way. Throughout the year, we will encourage our students to probe for meaning-and to respectfully challenge us about what we are learning.
#5.FRIDAY NIGHT ALIVE! On designated Friday nights, we will hold a Friday night creative service with instrumental music. Since we are teaching about Shabbat in the classroom, we want to experience Shabbat in both a traditional and contemporary style. Friday Night Alive! will include many melodies and songs. In the spirit of a Friday night family setting, Friday Night Alive! will include a Shabbat dairy dinner (no cost).
#6. Ongoing Communication with Parents: Weekly or bi-weekly, we will email you our school newsletter. In an attractive format, this newsletter will include a summary of the school week, brief explanations of major rituals, family-oriented comments/observations about the weekly Torah portion, and information about upcoming programs. With the benefits of modern, audio technology, we hope to share selected prayers and melodies for adults to learn along with their students.