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Kevutzot (Groups) Descriptions

The Jewish Enrichment Center offers multiage groupings in all kevutzot (groups). With a broad range of ages, children learn from other children through role modeling, allowing younger children to be stimulated intellectually by older children and older children to develop self- reliance and responsibility. Multiage groupings also promote friendship between children of various ages, which strengthens the community as a whole. Multiage groupings make it possible for children see that each one of us brings strengths and a unique perspective to our community.

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

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.

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

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”)

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”) 

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 Sixth Grade Children: Alonim (“Oak Trees”)

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 through Ninth Grade Children: Middle School

Middle and high school children may enroll on Tuesdays, 4:15 – 6:15 PM, or 6 – 8 PM with pizza and socializing. Middle Schoolers will also have the option to serve as a madrichim (leaders) in a nursery – first grade room any day of the week. Middle schoolers will sign up for a specific day by quarter.

Sixth grade children may instead choose to stay in the flagship Sunday and afterschool program, or enroll additionally in the middle school program.

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.

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