APPROACH

Our educational approach is a perpetual interplay of three voices – the child, their world, and Judaism – rooted in dignity for every living being. The child’s own voice is an essential part of their learning, as is the child’s connection with others and with Judaism. None of the three voices are ever superfluous; they flex and grow in dynamic relationship. It is a dialogue relevant now, at the very age the child is, and it is the same dialogue the child can engage in for their entire life.

Our innovation.

THREE VOICES IN PERPETUAL DIALOGUE

At the heart of our educational approach is a perpetual dialogue of three voices: the child, their world, and Judaism, rooted in dignity for every living being.

The perpetual dialogue with its core of dignity for all is a framework a Jewish person can live throughout their life. It is a dynamic Judaism in which a child experiences the power of their own voice to influence the world around them. Because the way children learn is what they learn.

All of this is the essence of the child’s Jewish learning, held in an infinitely repeating pattern. Every conversation, every exploration, every hour, afternoon, season, and year of learning, is electrified by this same perpetual dialogue with its roots of dignity for all. No matter the scale, the essence remains constant.

All three voices are dynamic; they move, they grow. The voices influence one another, as they are influenced by each other: child, world, and Judaism inextricably linked in their growth and a framework that recognizes the inherent worth of every human across the globe.

There is no “wait until you’re older.” The child lives as a full human, with an essential voice in Judaism and the world, in their present capacities and world. It is the same perpetual dialogue at age three and seven and fifteen, even as the content shifts; it holds the individuality of the child and the turning of the world. No matter how the child grows, where they go, or what their world holds, the perpetual dialogue flexes for new meaning.

The process is the product.

DYNAMIC JUDAISM ENTWINED WITH A CHILD’S HUMANITY

In our Educational Approach, a child’s Judaism is utterly entwined with their humanity: the same process that grows a child’s Jewish knowledge and relationship also grows their courage, integrity, resilience, creativity, critical thinking, and compassion for all people. This integration is the outcome – the aggregate – of a multitude of experiences of three voices in perpetual dialogue, always with dignity at the core. The child’s Judaism is, perpetually, fully integrated with their unique self, oriented towards and empowered to pursue dignity for all.

Our signature process.

Our Signature Project Process invites children to grapple with Jewish text in a community of peers, as part of our ancient and ongoing Jewish conversation. All children ages 3 – 13 dive into the same topic or text, like Shabbat or Noah’s ark in Genesis 6-9, at the same time. Through the 8-10-week process, children wrestle with text. They create. They think critically, discard previous interpretations, problem-solve, challenge themselves, and kindly challenge others. Children emerge with a new understanding of, for instance, self, family, power, goodness, God. It’s a life-changing insight – personal, rooted in Judaism, and deeply considered through communal dialogue and Yetzirah (ongoing creativity through art).

The last stage of the Signature Project Process projects the child’s voice out of the classroom and into dynamic, lived Judaism. Children share their projects publicly as part of a floor-to-ceiling exhibition, where they become a catalyst for adults to reexamine their own beliefs.

Through our Signature Process Project, the child experiences Judaism as a resilient and vital part of who they are. They encounter the power of their own voice in compassionate dialogue with the world. There’s no “waiting for when you’re older.” A child is living the meaning-making process they can live throughout their life.

PLAY

Jewish text

listen closely to myself, the text, and others

OPEN

complexity

probe and ask wondering questions

FACE

burning questions

interrogate
dissonance

GRAPPLE

with project

refine and articulate ideas

SHARE

insights

celebrate and spark collective reimagining

create to
DISCOVER

create to
EXPLORE

create to
PURSUE

create to
STRUGGLE

create to
STEP FORWARD

The lower line offers a lens into how yetzirah — ongoing creativity through art — fuels each stage of our project process. Initially, children create to discover: children swirl and press chalk pastel first to listen closely to text, and later to explore family dynamics of Yosef (Joseph). Children shape and reshape clay to grapple with Rebekah’s kindness and subterfuge; unpack ideas about prayer through collage; dance to discover Elijah; write stories and plays, dialogues and podcasts; and fashion myriad costumes. Yetzirah makes tactile what children think and believe. It opens perspectives and facilitates conversation in modalities beyond words. Farther into our signature process, yetzirah helps children synthesize, secure beliefs, and hold compassionately their dawning awareness of the ever-changing complexity of our world.

Yetzirah nurtures capacities for compassionate dialogue and invites children – and us – into creative, relevant, communal Jewish living.

SIGN UP FOR EDUCATOR-SPECIFIC CONTENT!

We can’t wait to be in dialogue with you.