Kesher@AA is the religious education initiative for children in grades Pre-K – 6th grade. We use the Chai curriculum, which focuses on three areas: Torah, Avodah, and G’milut Chasadim (acts of love an kindness).
- Torah is an ongoing dialogue between the text and its students. It is real in our daily lives and goes with us wherever we are. Developing the skills to study Torah is essential to integrating Torah into our lives.
- Avodah is the introspective work we do to find sacred connections to God, community, and self. Engaging in the work of avodah can bring order, beauty, meaning and insight to our lives and our community.
- G’milut chasadim is our way of being personally responsible for making the world a better and holier place.
In addition to the Judaics portion of the day, our 2nd – 6th graders have an hour of Hebrew to introduce them to the language and begin their preparations for their Bar or Bat Mitzvah. Each week, we encourage our students to see past what they “think” Judaism should be and to create a Judaism that is truly theirs; they will do this through enriching text study, authentic Jewish experiences, and engagement with Hebrew language. One Saturday a month, our traditional Sunday religious school experience will be replaced by a Shabbat learning experience.
Children who are a part of Kesher@AA are placed into age-appropriate k’futzot (groups). Each k’futzah is guided by a dynamic and passionate educator along with one madrich (teen counselor) as part of the group. Our madrichim serve as role models for continued Jewish learning and assist our educators in small group activities.
Each k’futzah will explore the three areas of focus within the Chai curriculum: Torah, Avodah, and G’milut Chasadim. Our Judaics program uses a spiral curriculum. For more information on what each k’futzah studies, please refer to the Learning By K’futzah tab.
Hebrew is more than something to learn for one’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah, it is the key to a deeper Jewish existence which opens the door to a world of experiences. We seek to develop comfort with the Hebrew language through songs, movement and a spiral curriculum that molds to each child’s skill level. Our program includes decoding, comprehension and fluency. Our 6th grade class focuses on trope training in preparation for Bar or Bat Mitzvah.
Decoding: The first step in accessing a language is the ability to identify the letters and recognize their sounds. We incorporate both contemporary Jewish texts such as poems, stories and newspaper articles along with t’filot (prayers) and traditional Jewish text.
Comprehension: We develop a student’s comprehension with our Hebrew Through Movement curriculum along with the ability to recognize shorashim (root letters). With this skill, students will be able to expand their personal Hebrew vocabulary.
Fluency: Hebrew fluency is the ability to quickly identify, pronounce and comprehend commonly used shorashim within a body of text. With this skill, students will comfortably participate in every cultural and ritual aspect of Jewish life.
Each week we conclude our day together with a camp inspired tefilah including prayers, Jewish and Hebrew songs and movement. This is an opportunity to bring our voices together and create a prayerful and mindful kehilah kedosha (holy community).
Each child’s connection to Judaism manifests in different ways. Our Judaics curriculum is enhanced by chuggim (enrichment courses), which will allow students to explore different paths that will enrich their Jewish identity. Each k’futzah with experience a different chug each week. Chuggim include art, music, Israel and cooking.
GAAn B’Ahava (3 Years – Pre-K)
Gan, meaning “Garden,” B’Ahava is our program where our littlest sprouts grow their roots and begin their Jewish learning experience. In this k’futzah, through creative learning methods and the natural inquisitiveness and exploration of children, we develop a sense of Ahavat Yisrael. Ahavat Yisrael encompasses a love for the people and traditions of Israel. Children must be potty trained to be eligible for this program.
Kesher (K – 1st Grade)
In this k’futzah, we focus on developing the foundation each Jewish person needs to live a fruitful Jewish life. These building blocks include stories from the book of Genesis (Beresheet), the study of Jewish holidays and sacred time, and performing acts of chesed (kindness). Additionally, these students learn about what makes a synagogue a special place, an integral part of Jewish learning, and a home for our community.
Kesher (2nd – 3rd Grade)
In this k’futzah, we teach students to have ownership and pride in being a Jewish person and how to create a more holy world. This means not only looking out for those within our community and who are similar to us, but for all humanity and for all people in need. Students learn the laws and rules found in the Torah that help us to live a life filled with holy moments, Jewish stories, celebrations and rituals that help them understand and express their relationship with God.
Kesher (4th – 5th Grade)
The Land of Israel and the Torah are two central pillars that have sustained Jewish existence for 2,000 years. We dedicate these two years to uncovering the roles they play in Jewish culture. One key question guiding this k’futzah’s learning is how we engage with a collective history and how we bring that history into our everyday lives.
Kesher (6th – 7th Grade)
At its core, Judaism is about relationships. How we relate to others, to God, to our planet, and most importantly to ourselves. The main focus of these two years is the act of introspection, along with evaluating how we engage with the “others” in our lives. An interaction that we gloss over quickly could have a lasting impression on the person we are with, so our students will uncover the values that guide the way we interact with each other, and how we give a sense of purpose to their relationships as they move into young adulthood.
Madrichim (9th – 12th Grade)
Madrichim, meaning “Counselor,” is our program for teens in 9th – 12th grade who wish to serve as group assistants in an assigned k’futzah. Madrichim will receive community service hours and earn money towards scholarships for Jewish programming (youth group programs, Israel trips, summer camp, etc.). Madrichim are strongly encouraged to participate in TAAglit or AAtid. 8th graders who wish to be in the Madrichim program can enroll in our Madrichim in Training (MIT) program. There is no fee for the Madrichim or MIT program.
Year 1: My First Connections
- Torah – Shemot (Exodus): The Torah teaches me how to be part of the Jewish people.
- Avodah- Intro to Prayer (talking to God): Jewish stories, celebrations and rituals help me understand and express my relationship with God.
- Gemilut Chasadim – Taking Action: We make the world a better place by performing acts of g’milut chasadim in our everyday lives.
Year 2: Everyday Holiness
- Torah – Vayikra (Leviticus): The laws and rules found in the Torah can help us to live a life filled with holy moments.
- Avodah – Personal Connection: Through avodah we can make our lives and the world more kadosh (holy.)
- Gemilut Chasadim – Caring for Those Outside Our Community: Each individual act of g’milut chasadim can make the world more kadosh (holy.)
Year 1: Me and the Land
- Torah – Eretz Yisrael in the Torah: With the promise of a holy land (Eretz Yisrael), we as a holy people (Am Yisrael) have a responsibility to work towards becoming holy by observing the brit (covenant)
- Avodah – Siddur Literacy: Keva and kavanah, the fixed order of worship and the personal intention we bring to prayer, are complementary aspects of Jewish worship, combining to help us make sacred connections.
- Gemilut Chasadim – Small Acts, Big Differences: We have a responsibility to perform acts of g’milut chasadim for the people we encounter in our daily lives.
Year 2: Me and the People
- Torah – Neviim (Prophets): The prophets were focused on reminding the Jewish people how God wants us to live.
- Avodah – T’filah: The practice of prayer can help me grow through personal reflection, can increase my connection to the Jewish people, and can strengthen my relationship with God.
- Gemilut Chasadim – Kol Yisrael Aravim Zeh B’zeh: We are all part of K’lal Yisrael and have a responsibility to actively support and sustain the Jewish community through acts of g’milut chasadim.
Year 1: Owning My Judaism
- Torah- Finding Our Voice: Studying Jewish texts allows us to explore our relationship with God and reflect on the ways God is continuously revealed to others and to ourselves.
- Avodah- Meeting God: A primary goal of this years work will be to help the students to understand the Revelation – God’s interaction with us as individuals and a community – is ongoing.
- Gemilut Chasadim- Me and My World: We can experience God in our world, in others and within ourselves by engaging in acts of g’milut chasadim.
Year 2: Judaism with a Purpose
- Torah- Subversive Torah: My life is reflected in and reflects Torah.
- Avodah- Mindful Presence: This level will enable students to say, “Hineini” (Here I am). By taking an in depth look at Jewish holidays and rituals, students will leave this year with their Jewish identity affirmed and reinforced.
- Gemilut Chasadim- Adolescent Evolution: Our development as emerging Jewish adults and authentic members of the Jewish community is closely linked to our ethical behavior (middot) and the performance of acts of g’milut chasadim.
|GAAn BAhava (3 – Pre-K) – AA Members||$600|
|GAAn BAhava (3 – Pre-K) – Non-Members||$700|
|Kesher (K – 1st Grade) – AA Members||$1,100|
|Kesher (K – 1st Grade) – Non-Members||$1,200|
|Kesher (2nd – 6th Grade) – AA Members||$1,400|
|Kesher (2nd – 6th Grade) – Non-Members||$1,500|
|TAAglit Atzmi (7th – 9th Grade) – AA Members||$1,250|
|TAAglit Atzmi (7th – 9th Grade) – Non-Members||$1,550|
|AAtid (10th – 12th Grade)||$360|
|Madrichim and Madrichim in Training (MIT) (9th – 12th Grade)||No Fee|
|Shabbat and Holiday Programs||$100|