FIELD SCHOOL / PROGRAMS

What we offer.

Shalom Chaverim (“Welcome, Friends!”)
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 Sunday mornings. Includes an entire school year of regular Sunday morning sessions, dedicated early childhood educator, and all family programs. No registration fee required.

TUITION & TIMING:
Sundays: 10:00 -11:00 AM
Cost: $350 per year / $150 per quarter

NURSERY & KINDERGARTEN: Shorashim v’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.

FIRST & SECOND Grades: 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.

THIRD & FOURTH Grades: 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.

FIFTH Grade: 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.

TUITION & TIMING:

Sundays: 9:00—11:45 AM * 3rd – 5th grade only
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: after school – 5:45pm

Children in K-5th grades attend at least two sessions/week.

Cost: $1,534*-$6,657 (1-5 days/week).

Includes: an entire school year of regular Sunday and weekday sessions, project materials, family and community programs, and planned Saturday sessions for older children. *Nursery children may enroll for one day per week. Congregation Rodfei Zedek subsidizes its member families’ participation. Contact us for more information.

We’ve designed a new platform for our middle school youth that allows families to choose from different learning, social, and volunteer opportunities. Enroll for one or more components depending on your child’s interests:

Weekly Study Group: Meet as a cohort to explore questions of self-identity, community, and Jewish life today. For example: How can I be a good friend? What are Jewish views on tattoos? What are different kinds of holiday celebrations? What happens when people die? What responsibilities do I have to other Jews? To all people? The study group explores questions through Jewish text study, book and internet research, yetzirah (art/creativity), interviews, field trips, and more.

Madrichim (Leadership program):

Quarterly Weekend Social Gatherings: In past years, gatherings have included Chanukah candle lighting + ice skating on the Midway and Chocolate Seder for Passover.

Quarterly Family Programs: Example family programs include our Family Heritage Night, which supports children in learning about their family’s history.

Volunteer Training and Placement: Middle school youth can set up a recurring and regular volunteer commitment in younger children’s groups on a weekday after school, Sunday mornings, or on Special Days (full days of Jewish Enrichment when local schools are out). We will also connect youth with other local volunteer opportunities.

Connections to broader Jewish community: We can connect middle schoolers with local Jewish organizations they may wish to get involved in, like the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs or Keshet.

TUITION & TIMING:

Wednesdays: 4:30 – 6:00 PM: Middle School Study Group
All other middle school components will be scheduled separately.

Cost:
Weekly study group with Rabbi Rebecca Milder: $1,534
Madrichim (Leadership program): $350

Weekly study group tuition includes: an entire school year of weekly sessions, project materials, family and community programs, and a teen educator who supports teens in getting involved in Jewish life in ways that matter to the teen.

Our High Schoolers may choose to join a study group, volunteer, or work for pay at The Institute for Jewish Enrichment Center.

Study Group: The High School Study group determines their own study topics. Previous topics have included: biblical archeology and ancient near Eastern history; how the ancient rabbis gained political power and what they did with it; the Jewish-Roman Wars; the kosher food industry; medical ethics, and more.

Volunteering: High school youth can set up a recurring and regular volunteer commitment in younger children’s groups on a weekday after school, Sunday mornings, or on Special Days (full days of Jewish Enrichment when local schools are out). We encourage 10th grade teens to fulfill their volunteer requirement through a year-long placement at the Enrichment Center.

Paid Employment: Juniors and seniors may apply for paid positions as kevutzah (group) assistants.

TUITION & TIMING:

Wednesdays: 6:00 – 7:30 PM. High School Study Group on Volunteer and work opportunities will be scheduled with individual youth.

Cost: Weekly study group: $1,534 per year

Weekly study group tuition includes: an entire school year of weekly sessions, project materials, family and community programs, and a teen educator who supports teens in getting involved in Jewish life in ways that matter to the teen.

New this year: Super fun Shabbat play after school on Fridays! Children will enjoy Shabbat cooking, crafts, and mixed-ages play, Special Day-style. Friday Afternoon care is open to all Jewish children, ages Nursery 3 – Fifth Grade, even those families who do not attend Monday – Thursday. 

TUITION AND TIMING:

Fridays, after school – 5:15pm

Cost: $1,534 per year

Includes an entire school year of regular Friday afternoon sessions, craft project materials, and baking supplies. *Note that Fridays are separate from our flagship Sunday/afterschool and do not count toward a child’s “A” or “B” days.  

We offer Jewish Enrichment Special Days and Camp when local schools close for national holidays and parent-teacher conferences, and in the final two weeks of August. Special Days and Camp are full days of Jewish enrichment for children in Pre-K – fifth grade. We spend our days playing fun games, making amazing art, and laughing lots! Children must be 4 years old to attend Special Days and Camp.

On Special Days, we discover and explore a Jewish person or idea, culminating in a big project by the end of the day. On previous Special Days, children have written and illustrated their own comic books, performed a play about the Chanukah story with costumes and sets, painted giant Mark Rothko art, and cooked four different kinds of Passover charoset.

Weeklong Jewish Enrichment Camp is offered the last two weeks of August each year. At previous camps we’ve designed our own stamps for Rosh Hashanah cards, taken field trips to see Marc Chagall’s art around the city and designed our own art inspired by his style, and created mosaics inspired by archeological finds at the ancient synagogue of Huqoq. Camp is AWESOME!

TUITION & TIMING:

Mon-Fri: 8:30 AM-3:30 PM

Late Afternoon: 3:30 – 5:45 PM (5:15 PM on Fridays)
Individual camp days: October – May
Weeklong camp: Week 1: August 19-23, 2024; Week 2: August 26-30, 2024.

Cost:
Individual day tuition: starts at $75/day
Late Afternoon is $25 per child.
Weeklong Camp: starts at $375/week first child. Discounts for sibling and early enrollment.

Ready to enroll?

Sign up today for August Camp and 2024-2025 school year programs!

Sample Schedule.

Check out our Sunday/Afterschool schedule!

On weekday afternoons, we support children in making a relaxing transition from school-day to the Jewish Enrichment Center. Younger children might run and play in mischakim (Hebrew-based movement games), and then hear a story during z’man sheket (quiet time) before kibud (snack). Older children might settle in to some quiet reading or drawing independently during a free-choice z’man sheket (quiet time) before kibud (snack).

Snack time is an important part of our afternoon together. During kibud (snack), a routine including Hebrew words, phrases, and blessings over foods introduces a core community time in each classroom. Children might address community issues, like deciding on community norms or making decisions together; engage in text study; or discuss big ideas and questions connected to their theme work. It’s a time to practice caring for one another and engaging in respectful, sometimes heated, conversation. Kibud ends with a closing blessing or chant to express gratitude.

Hebrew learning at the Jewish Enrichment Center is creative, varied, joyful, and oriented towards giving children access to millennia of Jewish texts, songs, and ideas. Our focus is on reading Jewish text and reciting Jewish prayers, not modern Hebrew. During z’man Ivrit (Hebrew Time), younger children choose Hebrew games and challenges that are compelling to them and challenge their current skill level. A child’s Hebrew name (shem) motivates children to begin decoding (sound out Hebrew words without understanding) as they are ready; children also focus on this skill in fourth grade. By late elementary school, children start learning to chant tefillot (prayers), and small “Easel-talk” modules allow children to discover basic elements of Hebrew grammar.

During Yetzirah (art/creating), children explore a wide variety of artistic media and techniques to interpret Jewish text and develop their skills for creative expression. Early in a theme, yetzirah might take the form of a guided exploration, as children discover new ways to use new or familiar art materials. Later in the theme, as children’s ideas and interpretations are coalescing, the yetzirah educator offers technical and conceptual support as children express their thinking in visual form. Yetzirah may operate as a separate workshop during our session; at other times, yetzirah is fully integrated into choice or Torah creativity time (see below).

In the past few years, yetzirah media have included fabric dyeing, line drawing, stamp carving, screen printing, chalk pastels, paper folding, photography, oil pastels, weaving and fiber arts, micrography, graffiti, costume design, watercolor painting, and collage.

At a daily class meeting (pegisha) in the middle of the session, younger children greet each other, sing the aleph-bet, and take turns leading their peers in Hebrew routines and classroom responsibilities. Older children share greetings, play games, and do a short Hebrew grammar or theme-based activity together.

Z’man Chakirah (Choice Time)/Yetzirat Torah (Torah Creation Time)

During z’man chakirah / choice time (for younger children), or Torah creation time (for older groups), children explore theme texts and ideas through a range of compelling, developmentally appropriate play-based and creative modalities.

During z’man chakirah, based in learning “centers” or choices, younger children choose from a range of explorations designed to support their learning about the theme. In a given theme, they might listen to texts together, act, dress-up, build with large blocks and small manipulatives, read and discuss other thematically connected stories, dance, paint, sculpt, sort found objects, and go on walks exploring a building or outdoor space together. Educators support play during chakirah by asking questions, offering new ideas or materials when children are stuck, and recording ideas and opinions the children share while at play. Documentation during z’man chakirah helps educators hone the design of classroom activities, as well as helping remind children of big ideas or questions they have explored from day to day.

During yetzirat Torah, older children might study a text in chavruta (partner text study), write and produce skits, create 3-D sculptures or dioramas with found materials, write stories, conduct interviews, paint large-scale backdrops or miniature watercolor vignettes, design games, and produce podcasts.

During Mischakim, younger children practice Hebrew and social-emotional skills through physical play. There is often a team-building or cooperative component to mischakim as well.

Towards the end of most sessions, children gather in their groups to share high points and reflections from the day, see each other’s work, and play a closing game or hear a story.

At the end of every session, the entire community gathers together for Shirah/Tefillah (Singing/Prayer). We sing in Hebrew and English, and children learn the words to the primary Jewish prayers through song. It’s a time to reconnect as a family, hear special news from the day, and share the big ideas, progress, and projects going on in the classroom, to support at-home conversations.

WE’D LOVE TO MEET YOU!

Reach out for a 1:1 conversation with our Director of Teaching and Learning.