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Chavurah Youth Ed Program (PreK-5th Grade)

We are living in unprecedented times. The coming year will bring many challenges, and now, more than ever, we need Jewish life. Judaism provides us the opportunity to sanctify time, find joy and gratitude, seek comfort in community, cultivate resilience and act for justice.

Introducing Chavurah, a new family-based program for our current moment. Family units will come together to explore big Jewish concepts chosen specifically for the current moment. We’ll celebrate Shabbat and holidays together and build a kehillah kedoshah (holy community) of comfort and support.

Families with students in PreK through 5th grade will be grouped into chavurot, family learning groups of 6-8 families who meet twice a month.

Students in grades 3-5 will also be grouped into eidot, age level "units" who will meet on the opposite weeks, so that these students learn together with their families on one week with their age cohort on the opposite week. Learning will also be supplemented with bi-weekly challenge activities!

A typical Sunday will look like:

Families of students In Grades PreK-5

9:15-9:45 AM: Community T’fillah
Joyful Hebrew-rich prayer experience for the whole family.

9:45- 10:45 AM:  Chavurah (Family Group) Time
Families meet with their family group of 6-8 families via Zoom, to connect with each other and learn from Beth Am teachers about the learning theme.

A portion of this time is spent off-screen in family units for a discussion or activity; materials and instructions provided in advance.

10:45-11:15 AM:  Basic Modern Hebrew OPTIONAL
3rd-5th grade students in Basic Modern Hebrew meet in small groups.

Students in Grades 3-5 only

9:15-9:45 AM:  Community T’fillah
Joyful Hebrew-rich prayer experience (families encouraged to join!).

9:45- 10:45 AM:  Eidah (Age Unit) Time
Students meet in age-level units with Beth Am teachers to deepen their learning about the theme from the previous week.

This block of time also includes Hebrew through Movement for younger grades and Hebrew alphabet and Jewish Life Vocabulary for 5th grade.

10:45-11:15 AM:  Basic Modern Hebrew OPTIONAL
3rd-5th grade students in Basic Modern Hebrew meet in small groups.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Why aren’t you running Sunday Program as usual?
A: When the decision was made to keep programs virtual, we didn’t want to simply “copy-paste” our traditional program into a virtual classroom.  We know students will have plenty of Zoom classroom learning in their schools and wanted to offer something more relational, creative, and suited to the home setting.

Q: What does “family learning” mean? What are your expectations for parents?
A: The home has been the center of Jewish life for thousands of years, and we look forward to partnering with parents to bring values and ritual to life. Rather than bringing school into the home, we want to bring your home into our school!  Our educators will guide families in rich discussions, experiential activities, and other ways to create quality Jewish time together as a family. Plus, this is for parents too! We hope you will to connect and learn alongside your child. Isn’t that better than serving as tech support?

Q: In two-parent households, do both parents have to participate every week?
A: While we see the value in the entire family participating together and building connections with other Beth Am families, we also recognize how complicated home lives have become.  On any given Chavurah week, we expect that the child will participate with at least one adult family member, however trading off between parents or inviting grandparents or other family members to participate is absolutely acceptable.

Q: What is my child missing by “skipping” a year of Sunday Program? Will they be behind for B’nei Mitzvah?
A: While curriculum will not be broken down by grade level as it was in Sunday Program, it will still be rooted in the same deep Jewish content such as holidays, Torah stories, and traditions.  This year’s content will be chosen carefully to fit our current circumstance and explore how the wisdom of our tradition can help us respond.  Hebrew has been integrated into Chavurah in the same way it was to be integrated into Sunday Program — through sound-rich Hebrew learning in the younger grades and decoding in 5th and 6th grade. In other words, no! Nobody will be behind after this year of learning.

Q: Can’t we please meet in person?
A: We will continue to monitor the latest scientific information and guidance from the governmental authorities and public health experts, and we will remain flexible and ready to respond quickly should the communal health situation improve. If and when we are able to bring back in-person gatherings, the small family groups will allow us to do so in a safe way.

Tue, April 20 2021 8 Iyar 5781