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Enrollment Information

For Ages 0 – 3 and their grown-ups: Shalom Chaverim (“Welcome, Friends!”)

Shalom Chaverim children come on Sunday mornings and attend with a grown-up. 

Description: Stories, singing, arts, playing, and more. Our youngest children explore Judaism through the textures, sounds, sights, smells, and rhythms of the Jewish year. Shalom Chaverim meets on Sundays only. Families may join in communal singing and prayer at 11:25 AM.

This program is made possible by a grant from jBaby Chicago, a program of the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago. 

For Nursery 3 – Kindergarten Children: Shorashim (“Roots”) and Shteelim (“Saplings”)

Nursery children may enroll for any number of days, any days of the week. Kindergarten children enroll for at least two days, any days of the week.

Description: Shorashim and Shteelim children explore Judaism, Jewish texts, and Hebrew language through play, creative arts, music, construction, science, stories, games, and more. Children become familiar with different modes of expressing their ideas, develop facility with various artistic materials and techniques, and practice social awareness and relationship skills for collaborative, long-term projects. While children decide how they want to play with Hebrew, using magnets, games, blocks, stamps, or other materials, Shteelim also offers a more structured introduction to Hebrew language and writing for children who are ready. Shorashim and Shteelim children use the toilet with minimal assistance and attend class without their grown-ups.

For First and Second Grade Children: Nitzanim (“Buds”)

Nitzanim children enroll for at least one A day (Sunday or Monday) and at least one B day (Wednesday or Thursday). Children are encouraged to enroll for additional days. 

Description: Nitzanim children develop Jewish literacy through long-term, project-based exploration of Jewish ideas and Hebrew language. Nitzanim express themselves through art, drama, spoken word, and writing, and build listening, thinking, and questioning skills while learning to value multiple perspectives. Nitzanim also offers a more structured introduction to Hebrew language and writing for children who are ready. 

For Third and Fourth Grade Children: Anafim (“Branches”) 

Anafim children enroll on a Sunday/Wednesday schedule, or any three weekdays.

Description: Anafim children continue to acquire foundational Jewish literacy through long-term, project-based learning, with greater independence and choice in projects and materials. Anafim children explore personal connections with Judaism and Jewish community while focusing on skills for text interpretation and community dialogue. Hebrew language learning in Anafim supports deeper engagement with text and each other.  

For Fifth and Sixth Grade Children: Alonim (“Oak Trees”)

Alonim children enroll on a Sunday/Wednesday schedule, or any three weekdays.

Description: Alonim children continue to develop foundational Jewish literacy while grappling with a broader range of texts and historical information. Children experience more choice in their projects. Alonim children are familiar with chavrutah (partner text study), and use the process comfortably to explore their own relationship with Judaism. Alonim children decode Hebrew with ease, and children work on reading fluency and on grammatical principles for translation. A major focus of the Alonim Hebrew curriculum is Jewish prayer and the structure of Jewish prayer services.

For Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grade Children: Middle School

Middle School schedule is currently in development. Please contact us to offer your opinion about the best schedule for your family.

Description: Middle school children engage in Jewish learning on topics relevant to preteen and early teen development, and enjoy greater choice in the focus of their Hebrew learning. A weekly Middle School Workshop lets middle schoolers explore ideas that interest them in Judaism through personal, long-term projects. Some middle schoolers focus on their B-Mitzvah Torah portion in Middle School Workshop, offering them a chance to explore their Torah portion in-depth, Enrichment Center-style. An optional Madrichim program teaches middle schoolers skills for leading creative, dynamic Jewish life, through weekly leadership training and as assistants in younger children’s groups.

What is chavrutah (partner text study)? (For Children in First Through Eighth Grades) 

Chavrutah literally means “partner,” but describes the relationship between two individuals who study and explore Jewish text together, with the text serving as third partner in this relationship. The role of a chavrutah (study partner) is to challenge their partner to consider new perspectives and deepen understanding of the text and each other. At the Jewish Enrichment Center, children use the chavrutah format to wrestle with Jewish text and explore their own connections to Judaism and each other, while simultaneously practicing skills for dialogue and synthesis of ideas. Through chavrutah, children begin to take ownership of Jewish texts, and know their own voice to play an important role in Judaism and Jewish community. 


Download the 2018-2019 Enrollment Packet.

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