Our Hebrew School undertook a visioning process at the end of the past school year and into the summer. I very much appreciate your input, whether you attended meetings, spoke to us privately, or completed our survey. We have taken all of your input into account as we seek to reinvigorate our school with more ruach (spirit), more connection and more learning.
Imagine a school where students are fully immersed in exploring what being Jewish means to them with the guidance of teachers who facilitate the learning. Imagine students wrestling with age-old questions and ancient texts in a modern way–adding their voice to those of the past. Each student will learn Hebrew and prayers at their own pace, with the encouragement of their learning coach. We are creating the Jewish Future, today.
Introducing—The Jewish Learning Lab – Not an Ordinary Hebrew School!
We have made many changes that will move the Jewish education we offer at Tifereth Israel from good to great! Underlying our new approach is the belief that we are not just teaching Hebrew and Prayers; we are creating Jewish Experiences, growing Jewish Identities and forging Jewish Connections in a way that speaks to our students’ own lives and experience.
In order to implement this vision, we’ve made some changes to the schedule. One of the keys to this new approach is to provide authentic Jewish Experiences in Jewish Time. Shabbat is central to so much of what we teach, so we have found a way to incorporate Shabbat into the school schedule. We realize that many people have commitments on some Saturdays, so flexibility is built in!
Our new schedule includes:
- 1st & 3rd Sundays 9-11:30am
- 2nd & 4th Saturdays 9-11:30am (or when the main service ends) followed by light kiddush lunch.
- 5th Week Fridays 7:30-9pm (when there is a 5th weekend in the month)
- Wednesdays 4:15 Pizza/Homework/Social time. 5pm School Starts
- 15-30 min weekly check in with Individual Learning Coach (before or after school or as mutually convenient).
We know that you have a lot going on in your lives, so we want to make Judaism something that fits for you. Each session will have an online component accessible to anyone who could not attend for whatever reason. More than that, each student will be assigned an Individual Learning Coach to help them to keep moving forward in Hebrew and prayers, as well as online work, at a pace that works for them. The relationship between student and coach is a key component to meeting each student where they are and helping them build personal connections.
Choice is built into our new model. Throughout the year, there will be Jewish Studies topics that will be explored through projects designed by the students, with the guidance of a teacher. So perhaps a holiday like Chanukah will be explored through a photo essay of celebrations around the world alongside photos of a student’s family celebration, or a creative writing piece about the themes of dedication and freedom of religion for Jews throughout time. Arts, creative writing, drama, Power Point presentations, cooking, and more will be modalities used to deepen engagement with Jewish topics. Students will be free to work in groups or individually.
The Community Connections of our Jewish Learning Lab are another key pillar of our new format. Students from various ages will be engaging on the same topics and learning from each other. With the project format, differentiation is built into the formula.
Help us build this new vision for a Jewish Learning Lab together! We need all of our families to help make this dream possible. Register today. More than that, volunteer. Do you have a hobby or talent that might help? Photography, creative writing, art, graphic design, carpentry/building, videography, genealogy, love of Israel, Hebrew–your talents can help enrich our students’ learning. Even more, help us spread the excitement about the Jewish Learning Lab! We all know that there are people who have dropped out of Jewish Education because it wasn’t a good fit. Let them know that we have a new approach, designed to engage all our students.