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Compendium of Alternative Models

Introduction Over its history, JESNA's Center for Excellence in Education has come to serve as the community's primary gatherer and disseminator of information and learnings about Complementary Education improvement initiatives and the state of the field. Each year the Center publishes and posts on the JESNA website a compendium of Complementary School change initiatives that details the sponsorship, history, program goals, program description, evaluation information (when available), outcomes to date, annual budget and next steps. As a companion piece to the compendium, the Center publishes a rubric which helps individuals and institutions better understand which programs would be the "best fit" for them as they consider adapting one of these programs/initiatives. This Traditional Models Compendium (click here) illustrates that there are pockets of excellence in Complementary education throughout the country and in differ rent areas of activity: curriculum, teaching, leadership, etc. One especially promising development--already taking place in a few instances, but only talked about in many others--is the introduction into congregational (or alternative) settings of innovative program models, materials, resources and methods that embody new approaches to the teaching-learning experience. Some of these innovations extend beyond the classroom and even the congregation itself, linking Complementary Education to learning and Jewish activity in the home, the larger community, and settings like summer camps and retreats. This new publication, the Alternative Models Compendium, is the first effort to gather systematic information about programs and models that extend beyond the "traditional" Complementary School model. The programs and models detailed in the Compendium differ in one or more substantial way from the "traditional" model. These programs fit within a spectrum of "modification of existing programs" to "unique alternatives." The 32 programs, divided into 11 categories, described in this Compendium exhibit substantial change in: Time when program meets Physical Space it takes place in Content or Curriculum Teaching Methodology Who Does the Teaching? Auspices/Sponsorship of the Program Learners We look forward to adding to and refining the listings and categories in each succeeding version of the Compendium.

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Index In Home Programs.............................................................. 4 Bayit to Bayit – Aliso Viejo, California ............................................................................................... 5 Chuggim and Home Schooling Program – Laurel, MD ..................................................................... 6 Dor Hadash Religious School – Pittsburgh, PA.................................................................................. 7

Family Education In-Parallel ................................................. 8 BJEP Boston-Area Jewish Education Program – Chestnut Hill, MA ............................................. 9 Family Journeys at Congregation Beth Shalom – Overland Park, KS........................................ 11 IKAR Limudim – Los Angeles, CA ....................................................................................................... 12 Lomdim 365 – Toronto, Ontario, Canada ........................................................................................ 14 Shabbaton at Congregation Beth Am – Los Altos Hills, CA .......................................................... 15

Comprehensive Family Education......................................... 17 Chavaya! – Gainesville, Florida.......................................................................................................... 18 Kavana – Seattle, Washington ............................................................................................................ 19 Kesher Cambridge/Kesher Newton – Cambridge and Newton, MA............................................ 21

Camps........................................................................... 24 Nisayon – Los Angeles, CA................................................................................................................... 25 Camp Shoresh – Baltimore, MD .......................................................................................................... 26

Parent-Run .................................................................... 27 Hoog Program – Philadelphia, PA ...................................................................................................... 28 Tribeca Hebrew – New York, NY ....................................................................................................... 29

Choose Your Own Courses .................................................. 30 NCSY Torah High – Toronto, Ontario, Canada ................................................................................ 31 Temple Kol Ami – Scottsdale, AZ....................................................................................................... 32

Tutoring ........................................................................ 33 Hebrew Helpers – Los Angeles, CA ................................................................................................... 34 Jewish Youth Connection – New York, NY...................................................................................... 35 Jewish Youth Encounter Program – Teaneck, NJ ......................................................................... 36

Culturally-Based .............................................................. 37 Kachol Lavan- Israeli Forum – Toronto and Thornhill, Ontarion, Canada ............................... 38 Kesher: HaShomer HaTzair – Toronto, Canada.............................................................................. 39 Kochavim and Notz’tzim— Portland, OR ......................................................................................... 40 Montclair Jewish Workshop – Montclair, NJ ................................................................................... 43

Arts-Focused .................................................................. 44 Hillel Children’s Workshop – Toronto, Ontario, Canada.............................................................. 45 Show and Kvell – Hewlett, NY ............................................................................................................ 46

Orthodox/Outreach Hebrew Schools ..................................... 47 Chabad Hebrew School of Mission Viejo – Mission Viejo, CA ...................................................... 48 “ECHAD! Whole Judaism for the Whole Child” – Basking Ridge, NJ......................................... 50 Etz Chaim/ ToTal Hebrew School – Elkins Park, PA ...................................................................... 53

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Online Programs .............................................................. 54 Online Children’s Hebrew School – Northbrook, IL ...................................................................... 55

Multiple Innovations ......................................................... 56 Academy BJE – Sydney, Australia ..................................................................................................... 57 BaDerech: On Our Way - Sudbury, MA............................................................................................. 58

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Compendium of Alternative Models

In Home Programs The following three programs are programs that exhibit a change in the traditional location of a school to an inside of the home model. •

In Bayit to Bayit, participating families are grouped in havurot of six-eight families; engage in at least one Shabbat and one holiday celebration each month, in addition to two Sunday learning programs. The programming involves joint and parallel learning for adults and children, and is augmented by online learning and networking. Chuggim and Home Schooling Programs are two programs within one synagogue that use common curricular threads. The Home Schooling portion is for students that are not able to be involved in the Chuggim program during school hours. In Dor Hadash, the classes meet in the homes of the participants. It mixes a traditional curriculum with interactive projects. Also, many of the parents are teachers.

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Bayit to Bayit – Aliso Viejo, California Auspice/Sponsorship Contact Information

Year Established Program Goals Hours per day per week Description of Curriculum Description of Methodology Location/Space Used Evaluation Process Who are your teachers Who are your learners Enrollment to Date Tuition Annual Budget Next steps

Legacy Heritage Innovation Project Linda Kirsch lkirsch@templebethelsoc.org Director of Education Aliso Viejo, California 2007-2008 To bring Shabbat and holiday involvement from the synagogue to the home 2 Sunday mornings plus one Shabbat or holiday each month; home study Torah piece Shabbat and holiday based – this year adding Torah Formal and informal educational opportunities – whole group – individual age appropriate segments Synagogue space and offsite space Working with hired evaluator Teachers from our traditional religious school Synagogue families Approximately 30 families (about 110 people) $625 per child / $90 per adult annually $35,000 Continue growing and deepening Jewish engagement

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Chuggim and Home Schooling Program – Laurel, MD Auspice/Sponsorship Contact Information

Year Established Program Goals

Congregation Oseh Shalom (Reconstructionist) Mary Meyerson morahmary@yahoo.com Congregation Oseh Shalom Laurel, MD •

Hours per day per week Description of Curriculum

To foster Jewish literacy, including the following components – o Values & concepts o Texts – Tanach o History – Experience of the Jewish People o Hebrew (i.e., language) To engender an appreciation for Jewish living, including the following aspects: o Spirituality o Rituals & their meaning o Ethics (Tikkun)

Midweek program for students in grades 3-6 Chuggim program—An interactive program which incorporates the study of Jewish values through different chuggim (clubs)art, drama, creative writing, music and movement, and cooking. For each 5-6 week unit, students are divided into groups and use the various modalities (rotating throughout the year) to explore a certain Jewish value and then present to each other and rotate.The Oseh Shalom Home Schooling program is available for 3rd through 6th graders who are unable to participate in our on-site Midweek Program. The Home School Program (Midweek) follows the same topics and rotations as the Midweek Program. Parents are required to work with students to complete the year’s curriculum at home. Assignments are turned in on a weekly basis. Students will receive material packets for each subject that includes a syllabus, assignments and all reading materials. Our topics for study this year include: Peace at Home (Shalom bayit); Taking Care of One’s Body (Shmirat ha-guf); The Jewish People Live! (Am yisrael chai); Pursuing Peace (Rodef shalom); and Israel – Living on a Kibbutz. The clubs (chuggim) segment of the curriculum has been broken down into topics on a six-week rotation. Each topic packet will include a text study with questions and a drama, cooking, art and writing assignment. Students will complete journal worksheets to turn in each week.

Description of Methodology Location/Space Used Evaluation Process Who are your teachers? Who are your learners? Enrollment to Date Tuition

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Dor Hadash Religious School – Pittsburgh, PA Auspice/Sponsorship Contact Information

Congregation Dor Hadash (Reconstructionist) Hal Grinberg hal.grin@verizon.net 412-242-6335 Pittsburgh, PA

Year Established Program Goals Hours per day per week 2 hours of class time, 2 hours of homework Description of Curriculum

Split between Hebrew and Judaica. Each year, students also have to read two books on their own and do a report on them.

Description of Methodology

Judaica: students read textbook passages and sometimes answer questions in writing; then class focuses on discussion and questions. Hebrew: students practice reading and complete workbook exercises at home. This requires a lot of support from parents to make sure the homework gets done.

Location/Space Used

Students’ homes

Evaluation Process Who are your teachers Who are your learners Enrollment to Date

35

Tuition Annual Budget Next steps

Increase Enrollment

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Family Education In-Parallel The following five programs are programs that exhibit a focus toward the education of families in parallel with the students. • •

• •

In the BJEP Boston-Area Jewish Education Program, the parents are involved with an integrated curriculum with the Hebrew school. In addition, they offer an adult bar/bat mitzvah program. In Family Journeys at Congregation Beth Shalom, families are guided in the process of mapping out their “family journey” for a year by one of the clergy or the Director of Education. The Family Journey does not replace two days of classes, which are the core classes, but adds an additional day for 3rd-5th grade students in activities that are grounded in Judaic content and include a social component to the structure of the day. The classes were designed to include day school students who do not normally attend religious school classes, and to include opportunities for socialization. IKAR Limudim uses havurah learning on Tuesdays and family day-long retreats. Additionally, they use Shabbatonim with hugim to teach through drama, yoga, or other methods, which leads to teach participatory tefilah and then Hebrew. Lomdim 365 is transitioning to using non-traditional methods to present traditional topics. Lomdim involves multi-generational programming building community based on common interests. It also includes flexible scheduling and discrete courses instead of September to May courses. The Shabbaton at Congregation Beth Am is an alternative for families instead of the Sunday Hebrew school. The Shabbaton consists of a program for both parents and children that are separate but meet at the same time.

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Compendium of Alternative Models

BJEP Boston-Area Jewish Education Program – Chestnut Hill, MA Auspice/Sponsorship Independent Amy G. Sands, Education Director 617-734-4997 Contact Information asands.home@gmail.com Chestnut Hill, MA Year Established 1967 Creating positive Jewish memories from which will evolve positive Jewish identities; to get kids “hooked on Judaism”; to have kids and parents become life long Jewish learners. (For each of the past 9 years between 30-45% of my 7th grade Program Goals graduates choose to continue their Jewish education at Prozdor, the local supplementary Jewish high school which serves 800 students and between 6-15 families leave BJEP to join a synagogue each year.) Hours per day per 2.5 week Grade 1 focuses on general overview of Judaism; grade 2 focuses on the Jewish calendar with emphasis on Shabbat; grade 3 the stories from Genesis; grade 4 prophets and writings and history, grade 5 Israel, grade 6 the Jewish life cycle (birth, bar mitzvah, marriage, death, adoption, conversion, integrating Jews with disabilities into the Jewish community; all taught with reference to original Jewish text.) Grade 7 focuses on holocaust and human behavior. We begin Hebrew in grade 2. The Hebrew curriculum is primarily tefillah based, with “modern Hebrew” component added by teachers. Family education is integral to the curriculum in Description of all grades and takes many different forms. We also offer adult ed, will start an Curriculum adult bar/bat mitzvah class next year. All 6th grade students own their own pocket JTS tanach; one curricular goal is for the kids to become "tanach literate"; and so forth. I have a detailed, codified curriculum (which is constantly being revised). Within the structure of that curriculum, I encourage the teachers to teach in a way that is exciting to them because that is what will be exciting to their kids. They are on a very short leash; they need to write lesson plans every week and send them to me not later than Wednesday at 2pm. BJEP has an interactive, experientially oriented program. The teachers are taught that children will remember what they EXPERIENCE more than what they are told. Every class addresses multiple intelligences by being sure that each teacher, in every lesson plan, has activities that address kids who learn aurally, visually, Description of kinesthetically. Our Hebrew curriculum is truly multi-sensory. This curriculum Methodology introduces and reinforces Hebrew language acquisition skills with a mnemonic for every letter, as well as a hand action, a game, visual pictures for every single letter. Family education is an integral part of the curriculum. There are curriculum related field trips in many grades. Many teachers use multiple media in their lesson plans. Located on the campus of Brandies University; we use all of the classroom spaces Location/Space Used in the “humanities quad” (volunteer) Board evaluation and self evaluation/performance review; several different feedback tools including: feedback forms for parents and students and Evaluation Process teachers at every family program; “end of day reports” for each teacher, each week; “end of year report”, 15 pages, by each teacher at end of year. 100% Brandeis undergrads. This is both a blessing and a curse. The curse revolves Who are your around the facts that they don't stay more than a couple/few years at most, and teachers their own schoolwork and activities are a higher priority for them. The blessing is

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Compendium of Alternative Models

that they have love of Judaism and extraordinary knowledge coming out of every pore in their bodies. Some of them have deeper Jewish education backgrounds than I have, and that is fine with me. They are on a very short leash; they need to write lesson plans AND family education letters home every week and send them to me not later than Wed. at 2pm. Who are your learners Enrollment to Date Tuition Annual Budget

Next steps

Primarily unaffiliated families from more than 2 dozen communities; many families travel 50+ minutes in each direction to participate in the program. 150 (goal 200) $1095 $186K (approximately) Keep creating more creative and engaging curriculum; more ways to engage families (not just young students), more and better ways to train teachers; more ways to engage/connect my unaffiliated community with the larger Jewish community and yes, I’ve been thinking about how to share BJEP with other communities!! I’ve been thinking that this IS definitely a model that can (and should) be taken on the road, so to speak.

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Family Journeys at Congregation Beth Shalom – Overland Park, KS Auspice/Sponsorship Contact Information

Year Established Program Goals Hours per day per week Description of Curriculum Description of Methodology

Congregation Beth Shalom, Overland Park, KS (Conservative) Patti Kroll - pkroll@bethshalomkc.org 14200 Lamar Ave Overland Park, KS 66223 (913) 647-7279

Families were guided in the process of mapping out their “family journey” for the year by one of the clergy or the Director of Education. The Family Journey does not replace two days of classes, which are the core classes, but adds an additional day for 3rd-5th grade students in activities that are grounded in Judaic content (aka informal ed) and include a social component to the structure of the day. The classes were designed to include day school students who do not normally attend religious school classes, and to include opportunities for socialization.

Location/Space Used Evaluation Process Who are your teachers? Who are your learners? Enrollment to Date Tuition Annual Budget Next steps

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Compendium of Alternative Models

IKAR Limudim – Los Angeles, CA Auspice/Sponsorship

IKAR (non-denominational)

Lisa Alpern 323-634-1874 Contact Information lisa@ikar-la.org Los Angeles, CA Limudim (IKAR’s religious school) was established in 2004 with weekly Tuesday learning only. The current model with Shabbat programming was established in Year Established 2007. Limudim (studies) is a program designed to connect our children to Judaism and the world through a stimulating, interactive learning experience that is consistent with the vision and spirit of IKAR. IKAR Limudim shatters the preconception that Hebrew school is boring and irrelevant - our goal is for our children to fall in love with Judaism and find their own voices within the tradition, while exploring innovative new paths to God, Torah, and a Jewish life of purpose and meaning. Specifically, we hope: • Program Goals

• • • •

To capture and reclaim the essence of our tradition, nurturing a relationship with God and love of Judaism. To create a learning model that is dynamic, experiential and inspiring. To cultivate literate, knowledgeable and committed Jews rooted in the belief that neither liturgy nor Torah can be expressed perfunctorily. To instill a sense of commitment, obligation and responsibility to the Jewish people and to the larger world. To instill a connection between Judaism and our everyday lives, with Torah as a lens through which to explore and understand the world.

To foster an understanding of, love for and a commitment to the People of Israel. Shabbat morning, 9:30 AM-Noon; Tuesday afternoons, 4-6 PM. Hours per day per week

Description of Curriculum

Description of Methodology

This year Limudim launched a new and enhanced curriculum. Beginning in Kindergarten and leading up through B’nai Mitzvah our students build a solid educational foundation for a lifetime of Jewish knowledge. Students learn about the hagim (holidays), tefillah (prayer), Torah and Hebrew every year they are in Limudim, both reviewing and adding on to the information they learned the previous year. In addition to the study of holidays, prayer, Hebrew and Torah that takes place for all students, each class also has a set of grade-based learning objectives. Please contact us for more information. IKAR Limudim is committed to teaching Jewish life as it is lived. We determined that the best way to communicate the transformative power of Shabbat to children and families would be to engage them in a vibrant, compelling, Shabbat environment, just as we had with the adults when our community began. Our intention was that the children and their families would be energized by the community’s celebration of Shabbat, and inspired to participate in their own meaningful learning and soulful prayer. In turn, they would infuse IKAR Shabbatot with a greater depth and new energy. Our program is designed to engage students in the environment and with a language and style that is most conducive to their learning. Our students learn

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Compendium of Alternative Models

about the power and language of davening through spending Shabbat in a community of dynamic and vibrant prayer. They learn about the holidays through kashering kitchens for Passover, building sukkot and working for social change in our Purim Justice Carnival. They learn about social justice and tikkun olam through study, advocacy and action on behalf of a host of local and global issues. They learn about the centrality of Shabbat through going away with their families and community for a rich and stimulating Shabbat experience. Our students learn experientially - through art, music, drama and stories geared especially to them. On Tuesdays we rent space from B’nai David, a modern Orthodox congregation in the Pico-Robertson area. On Saturday, we rent space from the Westside JCC (the Location/Space Used IKAR offices are also here, and IKAR services are held here). Parent surveys and focus groups Evaluation Process Our teachers are young adults who have a strong background in Jewish knowledge (three are rabbinical students) and prior teaching experience. Who are your teachers Children and adults in both concurrent and joint classes on Shabbat; Children Who are your only on Tuesdays. learners We have 61 children in our program. Enrollment to Date K-2 Shabbat only: $600; Grades 1 – B’nai Mitzvah Tuesday & Shabbat: $1,000 Tuition (Tuesday learning is optional for grades K-2). Not available Annual Budget • Continue to develop our curriculum, focusing on how we communicate our curriculum to parents • Improve our Premudim (2-5 years) program that runs concurrently with our Limudim program. • Create a Shabbat morning CD for families. • Create ‘parasha table talk’ sheets with engaging ‘spark’ questions that are relevant to both children and adults. These will be placed at every Next steps table during IKAR’s weekly Shabbat lunches following services/learning to further stimulate inter-generational learning. • Invite local and visiting scholars to IKAR to share insights with the adults on both spiritual and political issues. Offer other compelling learning options for adults on Shabbat to better engage our broad population.

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Next steps Auspice/Sponsorship

expand program more weeknight programming options, set Lomdim 365to–offer Toronto, Ontario, Canada up studio space and computer lab Temple Emanu-El (Reform) and The Center for Enhancement of Jewish Education (The Mercaz)

Contact Information

Dr. Dan Mendelsohn Aviv drdan@Templeemanuel.ca Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Year Established

Full-swing program set for Sept. 08

Program Goals

“We seek to maximize opportunities for learners to strengthen their Jewish identity and connection to the Temple Emanu-El community and the Jewish community at large.” (DMA) “To offer choice and flexibility for Jewish learning opportunities from cradle to grave” (Chari Schwartz, The Mercaz) Courses are offered during 3 hours a day on Sunday AMs, Tuesday PMs and Shabbat AMs; Kids in Ktanim (gr.3-6) are expected to attend for 4 hours per week. Kids in BMG (gr7-9) are expected to attend for 3 hours per week. Adults in Mevugarim - no minimums or maximums!

Hours per day per week

The year is split into three 8-week trimesters. The Winter trimester is reserved for a family education course OR a family Shabbaton. During the Fall and Spring, students are divided into general age groups (K-1, 2, 3-6, 7-9, adults) for their courses. After grade 2, they sign up for courses that interest them, with certain guidelines: grades 3-6 need 2 Hebrew courses per term while 7-9 need 1. Grades 3-9 all require 2 “Jewdaica” courses per term.

“Credit” is also offered for summer camp, and one Hebrew course is offered as 2 hours a day over 4 days in late August. There are five areas of curricular emphasis: Jewish history and peoplehood, Description of Israel, Hebrew, Synagogue life, and Life-cycle and Calendar ... so we are offering Curriculum courses in all five areas, with individual courses embracing one, if not two of these curricular emphases Description of Using multigenerational, family based learning models as well as interest based Methodology learning and ability based learning Location/Space Used Temple Emanu-El classrooms and other interior spaces feedback is garnered through email queries, questionnaires and Evaluation Process informal “salon” sessions One full-time educator who also doubles as Youth Group Advisor, Who are your teachers Day school teachers, congregants, professional staff at Temple. Ancillary programs are outsourced by specialty areas. Who are your learners members of the Temple; some courses open to visitors/nonmembers Enrollment to Date

~115

Tuition

for SK-1-2-3, tuition is free. For Grades 4-5-6, it's $885, Grade 7 = $750, Grade 8 = $450, Grade 9 = $1125 (+trip), Grade 10 = $250 ...

Annual Budget

~$250K

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Shabbaton at Congregation Beth Am – Los Altos Hills, CA Auspice/Sponsorship Contact Information Year Established

Program Goals

Hours per day per week

Description of Curriculum

Description of Methodology

Location/Space Used

Congregation Beth Am (Reform) Rabbi_clayman@betham.org Los Altos Hills, CA 1994 (approximately) Providing a nurturing and engaging environment in which high quality, relevant content stimulates all family members to pursue a path of lifelong Jewish learning and living. Our objectives are to: · Build community, expanding Jewish friendships for parents and children · Build and foster Jewish identity in parents and children · Help parents and children feel pride and joy about living Jewishly and feeling competent in their practice of Judaism · Help families feel comfortable at Beth Am · Provide a meaningful Shabbat experience · Increase parents’ and children’s knowledge and understanding of Judaism, Jewish history, thought, practice, music, and culture · Provide a foundation and motivation for all participants to advance their Jewish development 2.5 hours on Shabbat afternoons plus 2 hours of Hebrew instruction on Wednesday afternoons for grades 3-5, in which they join the students who attend religious school on Sundays. Shabbaton is an independent religious school program. Shabbaton’s curriculum and program are not parallel to the Sunday Judaica program, however over the course of a student’s participation in Shabbaton they will cover the same topics. We have a six-year cycle of curricula: 1. Parshat HaShavua 2. Life cycle/Jewish Home/Jewish identity 3. Middot/Mitzvot/Ethics 4. Parshat HaShavua 5. Holiday/Prayers 6. Israel · Modeling lifelong learning for our children · Conducting the program on Shabbat, incorporating Shabbat practices and rituals – Torah study, singing Jewish songs, Havdallah · Providing a setting for learning both as families and in age-appropriate groups · Supporting opportunities for families and individuals to interact outside the classroom · Balancing cognitive and affective teaching and learning · Helping parents, children, and families teach each other The program time is divided into whole-group activities, “Mishpacha” group activities involving groups of 8-10 families, and concurrent separate classes for adults and children. Shabbaton utilizes a variety of spaces on the Beth Am campus: Large space: • Beit Kehillah, a multi-purpose room designed and built with Shabbaton’s needs in mind is used for all group singing, praying, Havdalah and adultonly learning. Before this room was built, these activities took place in the sanctuary – a space that was too large and not flexible enough for maximum effectiveness.

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Social Hall is sometimes used for some of the whole group activities or potlucks. Classrooms: • Large, flexible-space rooms were built with Shabbaton’s family education needs in mind. Family groups have between 16 – 35 people per class. The older, smaller classrooms cannot accommodate that many people. Smaller classrooms are used for child-only kitot and classes frequently use the art room. • Break-off class rooms from Beit Kehillah can be used for adult-only study groups. Evaluation Process Generally we circulate an end-of-the-year survey to participants. Shabbaton teachers include: congregants, Shabbaton parents, public school teachers, young adults and Stanford graduate students. Teachers are hired based on their knowledge about and passion for Jewish living, skill and experience in Who are your teachers the classroom, ability to teach multiple age-groups simultaneously, and their willingness to commit to the Shabbaton schedule. Madrichim are high school students who assist in family groups and child-only classes. Self-selecting group of families with children in grades Pre-K to 5 who are Who are your learners interested in family learning We average about 65-70 families per year (about 100 children), about 25% of Enrollment to Date member families with children that age Tuition $520 per student Annual Budget We budgeted for $45,000 for the upcoming year Next steps

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Comprehensive Family Education These three programs involve families in all aspects of student learning to fulfill the needs of the parents as well as the students. •

•

•

Chavaya! is a fully experiential program that focuses on community building. The Chavaya! experience is built on the assumption that they can create an educationally rich environment that will sustain and stimulate a lifetime of Jewish learning. Kavana is an independent minyan that created an education model where the parents and students learn both together and separately. It provides an opportunity for families to explore Jewish values and participate in Jewish life through experiential, hands-on, and inquiry-based learning. Kesher Cambridge/Kesher Newton extends the Kesher community from its students to include the rest of their families through development of family programming and adult learning opportunities. Kesher combines after-school daycare with Hebrew school, meeting the multiple needs of parents and students.

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Chavaya! – Gainesville, Florida Auspice/Sponsorship Contact Information Year Established Program Goals Hours per day per week Description of Curriculum

Description of Methodology Location/Space Used Evaluation Process Who are your teachers? Who are your learners? Enrollment to Date Tuition Annual Budget Next steps

Congregation B’nai Israel (Conservative) Rabbi David Kaiman Gainesville, Florida 2006 Experiential Jewish Learning •

Chavaya! introduces experiential learning into the supplementary school environment. Students learn best by experiencing Jewish history, laungauge, bible, holidays and prayer. Chavaya! seeks to take every subject matter and explore ways of teaching experientially using various models. Students thrive not only because they find the material stimulating and interesting but because it addresses multiple learning styles and allows each student to progress at their own level. • Afternoon and supplementary schools suffer from teachers who, while often very qualified and experienced, fail to innovate and plan rich activities for their “part-time” employment. We have a plethora of texts, workbooks, and educational aids available but most Hebrew school teachers – often who have full-time employment else ware – do not have the resources nor time to invest in enrichment. Inherent in the structure of Chavaya! is the kind of detailed planning that allows the teacher to bring his/her own talents to a creative lesson. • Hebrew must be taught as a living language. Chavaya! Introduces Hebrew terms at every opportunity as part of a “natural vocabulary” for our school. From the name of the program to the individual components that make up our curriculum we use Hebrew. • Our goal is to integrate our children into our communities. We believe, therefore, that it is primary to build a community of students who feel connected socially, academically and spiritually. Chavaya! includes many elements toward community-building. Tefilah should be an integral part of supplementary Jewish education. Our students must feel natural and comfortable in the prayer setting if they are to integrate successfully into Jewish communities as adults. The Chavaya! Experience is built on the assumption that we can create and educationally rich environment that will sustain and stimulate a lifetime of Jewish learning. Experiential learning models are used. General synagogue spaces are used Subjective evaluation by teachers and administrators. Our goal is to insure each child feels fully involved. In general teachers with summer camp experience are the best teachers for Chavaya! but we have found most teachers (lay and professional) can quickly adapt to this model. Supplemental Elementary level Jewish education 50 n/a N/a

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Location/Space Used Auspice/Sponsorship Contact Information Year Established Evaluation Process Program Goals Who are your teachers? Who are your learners?

Enrollment to Date Tuition

Annual Budget Next steps

Hours per day per week

Description of Curriculum

Description of Methodology

Kavana’s includes classroom and Kavana“headquarters” – Seattle, (which Washington programming/meeting space); Coffee Shops; and Parks Independent Community kavanaseattle@gmail.com; www.kavanaseattle.org Seattle, Washington 2006 Regular evaluation of each program by our Family Education Team, which Kavana’s family educationparents, programming engages is composed of teachers, and our rabbi. children and parents in dialogue with Jewish tradition to help families forge identity and Each program has its own staff of teachers. These are very talented partgenerate personally meaningful Jewish life. time educators (who spend the rest of their time in a PhD program, working elsewhere in the Jewish community, and parenting). Kavana’s family education program itsSeattle. vision inMost the of Families with children ages 0-10 livingimplements in the city of following ways: these families are transplants to Seattle and have no previous affiliations addressesJewish the whole family with programs designed forthese children with•theItorganized community in Seattle. Almost half of tely. and parents to learn both together and separa families have one parent who was not raised Jewish. • these It creates to participate Jewishseveral life through experiential, In all, familydesire education programs in attract hundred hands-on, and inquiry-based learning. participants a year (many of whom attend multiple series programs). • depending It cultivates teachingorthe andisskills for Varies on self-sufficiency the program andbywhether notrituals a family a Kavana lifelong, personally relevant Jewish living. partner. On the low end, the monthly series programs are $50 (partner) • It provides an opportunity families explore Jewish values or $110 (non-partner) per family. for On the high to end, participating twice a together. week in Moadon Yeladim • Itoverall helps individuals see themselves Kavana’s annual budget is $300,000.as part of a larger community by linking learning to social action and the wonder of the natural • Moadon Yeladim/ Kavana Kids’ Club is still in its pilot year. If world. successful, the hope is to grow this model for afterschool education by adding additional small pods in multiple Seattle By pursuing these goals together we foster a close-knit community. neighborhoods. Programs are offered a la carte and include: • The Hebrew Immersion Playgroup and Moadon Yeladim have • Prep and Practice (for parents and children together) – 2 hours, created a demand for more Hebrew language immersion monthly on Sundays programs. Next year, we hope to add Hebrew language • Family Shabbat (for parents and towards children pre-schoolers together) – 2 hours, programming specifically geared (ages 3-5) Saturdays monthly on and adults. • community Hebrew Immersion (for children with a As our continues Playgroup to grow and age, we willages add0-3 educational parent) – 1 hour, weekly on Fridays opportunities for older children, including creative options for celebrating • Havdalah Club (for childrencommunity. ages 8-11) – A2 team hours,ofmonthly bar/bat mitzvah within the Kavana parentson and Saturday evenings educators is meeting this year to begin that planning process. • Moadon Yeladim/ Kavana Kids’ Club (for children in elementary school) – 2 hours, once or twice weekly on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays • Parenting Education – typically 2 hours, monthly Each program has its own curriculum. These curricula are designed to both compliment one another and stand on their own, and include: • Prep and Practice – Shabbat and holiday ritual • Family Shabbat – Shabbat morning liturgy; core Jewish values • Hebrew Immersion Playgroup – Hebrew language exposure • Havdalah Club – Jewish identity questions • Moadon Yeladim – Hebrew language immersion; core Jewish narratives • Parenting education –thorny issues in raising Jewish children Kavana is a pluralistic community, and our methodology reflects that, as each participating family is encouraged to put together their own package of programs, and to develop a Jewish home life that is rich and personally meaningful. Most of the programs described here have an informal education (camp-like) feel to them. In addition, all are intended to integrate with other community offerings and activities, including ritual, social justice, social, and adult learning programming.

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Compendium of Alternative Models

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Kesher Cambridge/Kesher Newton – Cambridge and Newton, MA Auspice/Sponsorship

Contact Information Year Established

Program Goals

Program Description

Independent:Executive Director Cambridge - Rafi Esterson, rafi@kesherweb.org www.kesherweb.org Independent:Executive Director Newton (as of 7/1/08)- Dan Brosgol, dan@keshernewton.org www.keshernewton.org Cambridge - 1992, Newton - 2003 The main goals of Kesher are to build a sense of Jewish community and to provide a rigorous, joyful learning experience resulting in a strong foundation in Judaica, Hebrew, and Jewish ritual. We extend the Kesher community from our students to include the rest of their families through development of family programming and adult learning opportunities. Kesher puts an enormous amount of emphasis, time and development into its tzevet (staff) members, Kesher is a place of serious adult Jewish learning and teacher development. Kesher builds kesharim (connections) among all of its learners, students, teachers and parents to Jewish content and Jewish life. The Kesher curricular model centers on the learner with a flexible approach allowing for a range of learning abilities. Teacher interests and strengths are reflected throughout the curriculum, emphasizing community building through the practice of kavod (respect), in all aspects of students' lives. Kesher meets Monday through Thursday, from after school until 6:00 pm. Minimum attendance is two days a week. One of the significant innovations that Kesher offers is that it combines after-school daycare with Hebrew school, meeting the multiple needs of parents and students. In Cambridge, the public School System allows kids attending Kesher to use their bus system for transportation to Kesher. In Newton, students walk or use carpools. The central areas of curriculum are conversational Hebrew and Judaica (History, Cycles in Judaism and Values and Ethics). The program currently serves kindergarten through high school in Cambridge, and Kindergarten through seventh grade in Newton. (The Newton site will continue to add a grade each year through eighth grade.). • Hebrew: Kesher begins Hebrew studies in Kindergarten, emphasizing the ability to function in modern Hebrew (as opposed to liturgical), which is used regularly in their Kesher lives. Hebrew is used throughout the Kesher day. Although Kesher is not a language immersion program, it is a program that exposes the community to Hebrew at all times. This means that Hebrew is a part of the entire Kesher day and not just relegated to the structured Hebrew learning time. Students are divided into groups based on proficiency and developmental appropriateness with unit themes such as Kesher surroundings, family and home, holidays, and Israel. The students revisit these themes each year at higher levels of fluency in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and grammar. • Judaica: The Judaica curriculum for the K-5th grade program (Yesodi) has a three-year cycle, with each year setting the course for a different journey, encouraging discovery of new ideas and experiences with an ever-growing depth as students mature developmentally. One year focuses on Jewish values and ethics, one year focuses on Jewish history and memory, and one focuses on the Jewish calendar and cycles in Judaism. With each meeting of a

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Compendium of Alternative Models

•

•

•

Process Criteria for Participation Participating Congregations Evaluation Outcomes to Date

Subscription Fee Annual Budget

holiday, event in history, or a Jewish value or custom, the kids glean something new and relevant in their lives. Bar/Bat-Mitzvah: The Bar/Bat mitzvah program (Benayim) curriculum deepens and builds upon the foundations of earlier learning. The Beynaim engage in text study, art, drama, and discussion. Topics include Israel, contemporary Jewish life, synagogue and ritual life, and current events. Students continue their study of Modern Hebrew. The Beynaim also gather each day for prayer and song. Our older students also have the option to apply to be part of our Melamdim program. This program gives our pre-teen and teenagers the opportunity to work with the younger Kesher kids, do administrative work, and altogether work on their hadrachah (leadership) skills. Those that participate in the Melamdim program are paid for their work. Our High school program in Cambridge (Tichon) is built each year by the students and teacher together. This program continues the curriculum of the Benayim program with an emphasis on community activism, leadership and currently exploring values and community through The Jewish Lens curriculum created by Avoda Arts, as well as a continuation of modern Hebrew. Kesher also focuses heavily on family education, recognizing that Jewish learning is a life-long process. It plans to assess the evolving Jewish family education needs of the Kesher community, to respond to those assessed needs with goals, and to design and implement programming to achieve those goals, keeping the diverse needs of the community in mind.

N/A Any child in the area may enroll in Kesher. However, due to limited space, there is often a waiting list for program enrollment at both sites. N/A An evaluation was conducted in May of 2001. It is of great importance for Kesher to professionalize Jewish education and to be known as a program that does so. Staff are proud of their learning. Kesher has not had to advertise for enrollment since its second year. Kesher now has a reputation in the community for excellence in Jewish education. Kesher Newton now has a significant waiting list. Re-enrollment from year to year is nearly 100% at both sites. Housed in rented space in churches, both Keshers would like to be in more permanent space. Cambridge is currently actively engaged in this project. In the fall of 2003 Kesher Newton opened, in a replication in part made possible through a Covenant Foundation grant. Kesher Newton has grown in 5 years from 28 students to 90 students. The two Keshers are legally independent from each other; however, a strong collaboration has been formed. N/A Cambridge $430K Newton $300K - approximately 85%-90% comes from tuition and the rest comes from fundraising. Kesher provides limited tuition assistance to families that demonstrate need. Kesher has received Covenant Grants. They have also received a couple of other very small foundation grants and a small amount of family education grant money from Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston. Both Keshers rely heavily on parent paid tuition, annual appeal and annual fundraisers.

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Next steps

There have been requests both locally and nationally from congregations for Kesher to share its model, and leadership at both sites is working to set this in motion. Kesher Inc (in Cambridge) is working with PELIE to replicate and work with two sites in New York, opening in September 2008.

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Camps These two programs use camping as their main component of their Hebrew school. In addition, they use various other initiatives to complement the summer camping experience. • •

Nisayon meets as a two-week summer camp, five-day winter camp, and 6 family programs for Judaics and 1-on-1 or 1-on-2 Hebrew tutoring instead of regular weekly Hebrew school classes. Camp Shoresh is a summer camp that includes year-round activities and trips for children and teens that are contingent on monthly class attendance. Shoresh also includes adult education classes for the families of the students.

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Nisayon – Los Angeles, CA Auspice/Sponsorship

Temple Judea (Reform)

Contact Information

Rabbi Bruce Raff 818 642 5569 RabbiRaff@templejudea.com Los Angeles Area, CA

Year Established

2008

Program Goals

To create intensive learning experiences that allow students to see areas of life through the lens of Judaism; to involve families

Hours per day per week

NOT a weekly program: 2 week summer camp + 5-day winter camp + monthly family program

Description of Curriculum

7 year cycle, each year focusing on one area

Description of Methodology

Camp model—informal ed. For Hebrew: use the (already-existing) Kesher program—tutors come to home for 1 on 1 or 1 on 2.

Location/Space Used

Temple Judea’s West Campus

Evaluation Process

Testing retention of academic material throughout the year

Temple Judea’s regular teachers: in their 20s and 30s, Jewishly knowledgeable with degrees in education and raised in the camp/youth group tradition. The Who are your teachers madrichim are the same 11th and 12th graders who serve as madrichim/teachers’ assistants throughout the year. Who are your learners

Mostly Temple Judea members, 4-5 other families (for 2008-9; projected to have more non-members next year)

Enrollment to Date

54 students from 30-35 families

Tuition

K-3: $800 4-6 with Hebrew: 1 on 1: $2630 1 on 2: $1765

Annual Budget

$150,000

Next steps

This is the first year of the program.

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Camp Shoresh – Baltimore, MD Auspice/Sponsorship

Independent

Contact Information

Rabbi David Finkelstein rdave@shoresh.com 410 358 8571 Baltimore, MD

Year Established

1979

Program Goals

Hours per day per week

To give children a fun and positive Jewish experience, as well as to interest them in Jewish learning Summer: 6 week day camp program Academic year: • children: holiday programs • teens: holiday programs plus one event per month, plus yearly multi-day trip; one class per month • adults: one-two classes per month.

Description of Curriculum

Not a school, but conducts monthly classes at their Teen Torah Center during the academic year

Description of Methodology

Giving children and teens positive Jewish experiences. There is a multi-day trip each year that is highly subsidized but attendance at monthly classes is required to be eligible for participation. The trip rotates between New York, another US city, and Israel.

Location/Space Used

Their own 107 acre campus or Cong. Beth Shalom in Frederick, MD

Evaluation Process Who are your teachers 7 staff members throughout the year Most of the campers attend public school. Frederick, their central location, is Who are your learners home to a non-denominational congregation to which many of the participants belong. Some of the participants attend that congregation’s school; many do not. Enrollment to Date

Each year, Shoresh engages 600-700 Jewish kids from 10 cities in Maryland/DC in Jewish life, with 400 attending the 6-week summer program.

Tuition Annual Budget Next steps

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Parent-Run These two programs are initiatives that are run by non-professional staff for the children in the community. • •

Hoog Program is in addition to the synagogue’s Hebrew school. Run by the parents, there are six different “hoogim” that the students can choose from to enable the students to direct their own learning. Tribeca Hebrew is a community run program for Pre-K to 8th Grade. Classroom learning stems from out-of-the-box lessons, art projects, and song sessions. The students feel part of a community, and all lessons, holiday programs, and extracurricular activities are planned with their interests in mind.

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Hoog Program – Philadelphia, PA Auspice/Sponsorship Mishkan Shalom Congregational School (Reconstructionist) Current Head Teacher: Rivka Jarosh rebra@comcast.net Contact Information Previous Head Teacher: Erin Hirsh ehirsh@jrf.org Mishkan Shalom Congregational School, Philadelphia, PA Year Established

Program Goals

Hours per day per week Description of Curriculum

Description of Methodology

2000-2001 Make congregational school enjoyable for students and teachers Bring congregants into the classroom Teach something beyond a survey level Enable students to experience self-directed learning opportunities (choosing their own classes) 50 minutes per week, during congregational school hours Topical areas range from art-dance-theater-music-cooking-history-politicsgames and more. Each class is specific such as “Sephardic music” in the general category of music. 30 classes to choose from – 5 at a time. Each hoog lasts 6 weeks. Teachers propose what they’d like to teach and are encouraged to think about what they are passionate about. Guest teachers are solicited from the community. By adding the guest teachers to the paid teachers class sizes drop from 15 to 10. Students get to choose whatever they want to study – five totally different subjects or a series of music classes for example.

Location/Space Used Synagogue building At one point I had the students fill out evaluation forms at the end of each session, now it is done informally. Guest teachers/congregants and faculty are debriefed Evaluation Process individually Who are your teachers

Paid employees and congregants with expertise in Jewish topics or education

Who are your learners

Students in the school

Enrollment to Date Tuition Annual Budget Next steps

All 4th – 7th graders (used to include 3rd graders) since 2000. Probably upwards of 300 students have matriculated through the program Two days a week required to participate in the hoog part of the program, which is on Wed nights. $150,000 has been average for the school until this year. The school size has decreased from an average of 150 to an average of 125. You would have to ask the new Head Teacher – she will be modifying the program as she takes over.

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Tribeca Hebrew – New York, NY Auspice/Sponsorship

Tribeca Hebrew is a parent-led initiative. Tribeca Hebrew is not affiliated with any particular synagogue or Jewish movement. We come from varied backgrounds and believe this diversity makes Tribeca Hebrew a dynamic place to explore Jewish life.

Contact Information

Karie Parker Davidson Tribeca Hebrew Founding Parent 67 Hudson Street / 1 Jay Street New York, NY 10013 Tel: 212-608-7120 Fax: 212-608-7053 www.tribecahebrew.org

Year Established

Doors opened in September 2004

Fun, Engaging and Inspiring. The goal of the curriculum is to develop within our students a positive Jewish identity, a firm grounding in Jewish values and a spirit Program Goals of social action. Tribeca Hebrew students are asked to become leaders in the community and to define community broadly. Classes meet once per week except in grade 6. 1 hour/week pre-K 1.5 hour/week grades K-2; Hours per day per week 2 hour/week grades 3-5, 7-onwards 4 hour/week grade 6 Description of See below Curriculum We believe that children should be joyfully engaged in the exploration of Jewish life, culture, history and ritual. We use music, art and drama extensively in our Description of classrooms; we engage in social action projects in the larger community to Methodology reinforce principles of Tikkun Olam and leadership. 67 Hudson Street / 1 Jay Street Location/Space Used A 2200 sq ft. basement in Tribeca Weekly teacher communication to parents. Parents and teachers meet twice each year to discuss the curriculum and the progress of each student. Evaluation Process A team of seven educators commit to teaching two or more classes per week. Teachers are hired from JTS, HUC and assistant teachers from NYU. Musicians Who are your teachers Basya Schechter of Pharoah’s Daughter and Chana Rothman serve as Music Director. 35-40% are children of multi-faith families; 85% make Tribeca Hebrew their Who are your learners primary Jewish affiliation Enrollment to Date Tuition Annual Budget Next steps

54 students in 2004-05; 122 students in 07-08 $1650; $2650 in 6th Grade due to second day and B’nei Mitzvah Preparation $450,000 Find and fund a new home. We have outgrown the basement. Our current space is limiting the number of families we can reach. Professionalize staff. We would like to afford three full time teachers, a special needs assistant teacher and a full time music-Hebrew language specialist.

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Choose Your Own Courses

These two programs are initiatives to give control to the students for the direction of their learning. The students choose what course of study they embark upon for a period of time. •

•

NCSY Torah High is an outreach to high school aged students that offers Jewish learning opportunities for high school credit. Courses are taught by NCSY rabbis and teachers in accordance with the Ministry of Ontario curriculum guidelines but have been adapted to have a Jewish context. Temple Kol Ami uses CHAI Curriculum for core Jewish learning and is implementing a newly developed open course of study broken into four areas: Religious studies, Hebrew Language, Philosophy, and Interdisciplinary studies.

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Compendium of Alternative Models

NCSY Torah High – Toronto, Ontario, Canada Auspice/Sponsorship

NCSY Torah High, Traditional Rabbi Glen Black blackmail@ncsy.ca

Contact Information

Rabbi Yisroel Rabinowitz rabbirebo@ncsy.ca www.ncsy.ca Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Year Established

NCSY was launched as a FREE torah high program non credited approximately 20 years ago. In 2002, NCSY restructured as a credit based program recognized by the Ontario ministry

Program Goals

To outreach to high school aged students and offer Jewish learning opportunities for credit; promoting opportunities for ongoing Jewish education options in post secondary

Hours per day per week

Varies – mostly after school hours 4-7 pm

Description of Curriculum

Varies – Torah High offers an extensive selection of Open U and M level courses in Religious studies, Hebrew Language, Philosophy, and Interdisciplinary studies at a variety of convenient times and locations. All of Torah High’s assortments of courses are fully accredited by the Ontario Ministry of Education and our “U” and M” level credits can be used on any Ontario University or College application

Description of Methodology

Courses taught by NCSY rabbis and teachers in accordance with the Ministry of Ontario curriculum guidelines but have been adapted to have a Jewish context

Location/Space Used

Synagogue and community centre facilities- 15 locations. It is one of two such programs in the greater Toronto Area

Evaluation Process

Internal

Who are your teachers Previously mentioned Who are your learners

Open to all students grade 8-12- mostly attended by secular or non affiliated teens.

Enrollment to Date

Approximately 600

Tuition Annual Budget

$150 for courses + additional costs for retreats Unknown

Next steps

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Temple Kol Ami – Scottsdale, AZ Temple Kol Ami (Reform) Auspice/Sponsorship Contact Information

Brian Chapnik – Education Chair bchapnik@hgcengineering.com Scottsdale, AZ September 1994

Year Established Program Goals Hours per day per week Description of Curriculum

To offer an innovative course of study and experiences for children within the temple community that will meet the needs of all learners 2 days per week – 5.5. hours shifting to a new structure over the next two years Uses CHAI Curriculum for core Jewish learning; Hebrew prayer and conversation

Newly developed course of study broken into three areas Hebrew Language culture– Core learning and interest groups. All groups taught using a differentiated approach. Teachers receive training Rental facility in a Jewish day school Moving to own facility 2009 – synagogue and education centre when full course Location/Space Used based learning will be launched Series of focus groups and survey conducted Conducted review of mission and vision of core learning programs Establishment of SMART goals Evaluation Process Alignment of benchmarks, community expectations and core curriculum Mostly synagogue members who are graduates of the synagogue’s teacher training program. Some teachers with certification. ( BA/Bed/Social workers) Very little Who are your teachers core staff turnover year over year. Teen mentors post B’nai mitzvah support learning and receive training. All teachers receive professional training Members children – ages 3-16 Who are your learners 180 Enrollment to Date $700 family school tuition + dues Tuition $120,000 Annual Budget Develop new structure format Assign lead teacher to each core learning area Assess pilot programs in December and May 2008 Next steps Collect parents/children/teacher feedback. Teachers to submit reflection journals to the DOEducation Description of Methodology

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Tutoring

These three programs use tutors as the main instruction model or as a supplement to a more traditional Hebrew school model. • • •

Hebrew Helpers is an in-home bar/bat mitzvah tutoring program. Jewish Youth Connection uses one-on-one Hebrew and prayer tutoring as a part of the students’ Hebrew school curriculum. Jewish Youth Encounter Program is three session on Sunday mornings – two are in classroom settings and the 3rd is Hebrew language with a "Big Brother/Sister" tutor.

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Hebrew Helpers – Los Angeles, CA Auspice/Sponsorship Contact Information

Year Established Program Goals Hours per day per week Description of Curriculum

Description of Methodology

Location/Space Used Evaluation Process Who are your teachers? Who are your learners? Enrollment to Date Tuition Annual Budget Next steps

Independent Todd Shotz http://www.hebrewhelpers.com/ (310) 717-4200 Los Angeles, CA 2004 Hebrew Tutoring and Bar/Bat Mitzvah Preparation and Coordination for synagogue members and non-members Varies on age of student and when Bar/Bat Mitzvah is scheduled • Bar/Bat Mitzvah preparation • Private Bar/Bat Mitzvah service coordination • Torah & Haftarah chanting • Hebrew reading, writing & conversation • Hebrew School Catch-up • Special Needs instruction • Adult instruction HEBREW HELPERS provides in-home, one-on-one personalized instruction, not only matching students with tutors by location and skills, but also coordinating private Bar/Bat Mitzvah services for families that do not belong to a congregation. Family Homes 9 Tutors Primarily non-member Bar/Bat Mitzvah students in greater LA region 30 Bar/Bat Mitzvah students in LA; 6 in Israel, 2 in Colorado Hourly rate starting at greater than $100/hour Expanding beyond Los Angeles

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Jewish Youth Connection – New York, NY Auspice/Sponsorship Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, (Modern Orthodox) Jyc1000@ckj.org Contact Information 212-794-1592 New York, NY Year Established

1996

Program Goals

To give children and families a positive Jewish education

Hours per day per week

Sunday Mornings 9:30 am– 12:00

Description of Curriculum

Description of Methodology

The Hebrew Program is based on the “Shalom U'vrachah” series put out by Behrman House Publishing. • Grades K-1: Torah, Jewish holidays, and the Jewish life cycle as well as letters from the Hebrew Alef-Bet. • Grades 2-6: Holidays, Prayers, the Biblical narrative and its implications for our lives, an overview of Jewish history, Jewish ethics, Israel and institutions of the Jewish community. Hebrew: Students will study Hebrew language and prayer in a one-on-one setting with their own Big Brother/Sister. • Grades K-1: Learning will take place through hands-on activities involving art, drama, music and movement. • Grades 2-6: Small classroom structure Bar/Bat Mitzvah: a two hour class each Sunday that will make use of lectures, guided study, and multi-media presentations. In addition, there will be special guest speakers, programs, and community activism projects, and parents will also spend time preparing for this milestone with their children. Tutoring is available as well.

Location/Space Used Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, NY Evaluation Process Who are your teachers Who are your learners Enrollment to Date Tuition Annual Budget Next steps

Internal: receive feedback from tutors/teachers about progress of classes and students; staff meetings to discuss what has worked and how to best accomplish goals. Our teachers / big brothers and sisters are usually college or grad students who have an interest in education and extensive knowledge in Judaism. Children ages 4-14 75+ $950 for the year (aid is available) Declined to answer This past year we teamed up with the Afikim foundation to work together on special programs and learning opportunities.

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Jewish Youth Encounter Program – Teaneck, NJ Auspice/Sponsorship

Contact Information

Independent Hebrew School Deborah Rapps, Director 1600 Queen Anne Rd. (Mailing Address- PO Box 3103) Teaneck, NJ 07666 201-833-5937 jyep1@aol.com

Year Established

1986

Program Goals

To reach out to the children in grades 3-7 of members of the Jewish community who are not yet affiliated.

Hours per day per week

2.75

Description of Curriculum

Bible studies/ Jewish History, Hebrew reading, language and prayer, holidays/customs and traditions, Mitzvoth and Jewish literacy.

Description of Methodology

Every child in our school is assigned a Big Brother or Big Sisters who mentors them, teaching Hebrew reading, language and prayer. They also have them to their homes for Shabbat, and holidays. They also stay in touch with them during the week via phone calls and email. In addition to the Big Brother and Big Sister program, we have classes in each grade in the 3-7 grades teaching the children in small classes of 10-15 children using young and dynamic teachers. The teachers offer the material in a creative manner using either song, games, projects or drama.

Location/Space Used

We rent space from a local day school.

Evaluation Process

There is no formal evaluation process. Most lessons are based on previous lessons which are reviewed by the teacher before new material is taught.

Who are your teachers Students in college and professional teachers Who are your learners

Children in grades 3-7. We also have adult education offered regularly where we have approximately 7-10 parents.

Enrollment to Date

115 (2007-2008)

Tuition

$700 + $7.50-$12.50 weekly to the "Bigs".

Annual Budget

$100,000

Next steps

Director is pursuing a Doctorate in Jewish Education Administration. She hopes to formalize the curriculum, tzedakah program, and Kehilla time. They’d also like to be adding a musical component to the school.

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Culturally-Based These four programs look at Jewish education from a cultural standpoint. •

• •

Kachol Lavan – Israeli Forum offers a Hebrew program for children coming from Israeli and former Soviet Union families through traditional classroom delivery along with active participation in Jewish community events and Israeli community events. Kesher: HaShomer HaTzair offers a Jewish studies/cultural program and outreach to unaffiliated secular families in mid town Toronto; Community based school responding to the needs of the community for nontraditional delivery of content. Kochavim and Notz’tzim is an after-school program (Kochavim:Pre-K to 2nd Grade; Notz’tzim: 0 to 4 years) with Hebrew immersion. It is housed in Conservative synagogue but is independent of the movement. Montclair Jewish Workshop is a cooperative effort to provide the children with an appreciation and understanding of Jewish culture,values and history through secular education.

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Kachol Lavan- Israeli Forum – Toronto and Thornhill, Ontarion, Canada Auspice/Sponsorship Contact Information

Schwartz/Reisman Centre - Israeli Forum Bryan Keshen bkeshen@ujafed.org website:kachol-lavan.com Toronto and Thornhill, Ontario, CA 2006

Year Established Kachol Lavan is the centre for Hebrew and Israeli studies. Offering Hebrew Immersion programs for children and families coming from Program Goals Israel and the Former Soviet Union School - One day a week – Sundays – 3 hours Other Programs are run as week night programs or are one off events Hours per day per week including Hebrew immersion camping, family retreats, chagim.. NA Description of Curriculum Traditional classroom delivery along with active participation in Jewish Description of community events and Israeli community events Methodology Rental facility at a local Jewish Day School Location/Space Used N/A Evaluation Process Teachers who come from background consistent with children; some are day school teachers; others are local avocational teachers with talents in Who are your teachers specific educational areas such as art/music/drama Previously mentioned- no membership required Who are your learners Approximately 180 over two campuses Enrollment to Date Approx $700 Tuition $152,000 Annual Budget http://www.forward.com/articles/12472/- impressions of the school Article

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Kesher: HaShomer HaTzair – Toronto, Canada Auspice/Sponsorship Contact Information Year Established Program Goals

Young Pioneers of Toronto- HaShomer HaTzair Milena Romalis Romalis@rogers.com September 2008 To offer a Jewish studies/cultural program and outreach to unaffiliated secular families in mid town Toronto

Hours per day per week

One day a week – Wednesdays -2 hours

Description of Curriculum

Being developed

Description of Methodology

Community based school responding to the needs of the community for nontraditional delivery of content. Looking for alternative learning modalities

Location/Space Used

Rental facility at a local community centre

Evaluation Process

N/A

Who are your teachers

Those who have launched the program are the teachers. Seeding from within their community. Mostly avocational

Who are your learners Children living in midtown Toronto – ages 6-13 Enrollment to Date

Approximately 50 and growing

Tuition

$750

Annual Budget

$30,000

Next steps

Begin the process of affiliating with the Mercaz (* our affiliating organization); developing curriculum guidelines and goals

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Kochavim and Notz’tzim— Portland, OR Kochavim (Stars) and Notz’tzim (Sparkles) are programs of Congregation Neveh Auspice/Sponsorship Shalom in Portland, Oregon (Conservative).Synagogue membership is NOT required for participation in Kochavim and Notz’tzim. Mel Berwin, founder & director. 503-452-6890 michaelvmel@gmail.com Contact Information

Neveh Shalom 2900 SW Peaceful Lane Portland OR 97239 Website: http://www.nevehshalom.org/learning/youth_education/kochavim

Year Established

September 2006

Program Goals

Creating fun and positive learning environments for young children (ages 0-8) to be immersed in modern, conversational Hebrew. Kochavim and Notz’tzim are new models of Hebrew education that provide alternatives or supplements to dayschools and non-immersion pre-schools for Hebrew education. Notz’tzim introduces children ages 0-4 and their parents to Hebrew through music and play, shows parents how much language their youngsters can soak up and shows kids how fun Hebrew learning can be! Kochavim provides a more intensive Hebrew learning experience for pre-K through 2nd grade children, through a curriculum based in informal education.

Hours per day per week

Kochavim: Monday and Wednesday afternoons, 4:15-5:45 p.m. with free drop-off time from 3:00 (3 hrs -5.5 hrs per week) Notz’tzim: 45 minutes/week offered at three session times (Tues 11:45-12:30, Weds 4:15-5:00, Fri 10:00-10:45)

Description of Curriculum

We have created a unique curriculum for both Notz’tzim and Kochavim. Notz’tzim: Hebrew music and exploration program for tots ages 0-4 and their parents or caregivers. We use all Hebrew music from a variety of sources, and have created a program that includes instruments, balls, scarves, parachutes, and other fun, developmentally appropriate toys for singing, dancing, and enjoying Hebrew music together. The curriculum is organized thematically (animal songs, color songs, seasons and weather, Jewish holidays, etc.), with a set structure that includes welcome songs, learning new songs, an exercise routine, dancing and instrument time, and lullabyes and closing songs. All of the facilitation is conducted in Hebrew. All of our registered families receive a free CD with Notz’tzim music each session, which they can play in the car or at home to help reinforce learning. Kochavim: After-school Hebrew immersion program for ages 4-8 (pre-K through 2nd grade). Two classes split by age (4-5s, 6-7s). Both classes focus on Hebrew alefbet recognition, with the older class also mastering decoding and writing in block letters. Each class uses arts, songs, stories, drama, puppets, discussion, and play, all conducted in Hebrew, and focusing on many themes throughout the year, including holidays and Israel, nature, family and community, animals and colors, body parts and action words, outer space and transportation, etc.

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Our methodology is more informed by informal education than formal. As immersion programs, we literally immerse the children in both language and activity. We cannot spend time explaining instructions using English, so we must demonstrate, using easy vocabulary and body language, and constantly engage our children in active learning through play, art, music, etc. Description of Methodology

We are always teaching on two levels: one on the level of immersion (goal: children gaining comfort level and comprehension in natural, conversational spoken Hebrew), and one on the level of vocabulary (goal: children will walk away from each day with a few new concrete vocabulary words connected to the themes of the day). Our programs are held after-school, so we work with the energy level of the children and realize that we must have both more active and more restful options planned, and determine as we teach what our students need.

Location

We use classrooms at Neveh Shalom.

Evaluation Process

We evaluate the program through strong parent contact and an advisory board made up of past, present, and potential/future parents.

Who are your learners

We attract students from across the religious/affiliation spectrum, from Orthodox to secular, from highly affiliated to unaffiliated, and with Hebrew-speaking and non-Hebrew speaking parents. Approximately 2/3 of our students in Kochavim are from families with prior participation at Neveh Shalom.

Who are your teachers

Our teachers are American-born, Hebrew-speaking Jewish educators. We train our teachers in the methodology of immersion described above. We hire Israeli-born aides for our classrooms so that children hear native accents as well non-native. Finding qualified teachers (Hebrew-speakers with excellence in formal and informal education, availability in the afternoons, with work-permits, etc.) has been one of the more challenging parts of creating this program.

Enrollment to Date

Tuition Annual Budget

Next steps

Kochavim 06-07: 18 students, Kochavim 07-08: 25 students Kochavim Summer 07: 19 students, Kochavim Summer 08: 13 students Notz’tzim 07-08: Kochavim 06-07: 18 students, Kochavim 07-08: 25 students Kochavim 08-09: 25 students Kochavim Summer 07: 19 students, Kochavim Summer 08: 13 students Notz’tzim 07-08: 30 families, Notz’tzim 08-09: 25 families so far $50,000 1) Writing up our curriculum. Our goal is to create a resource guide for other communities that are interested in creating programs like Kochavim & Notz'tzim (or for more traditional Hebrew schools that are rethinking the way they teach Hebrew, as many are right now). The guide will include a rationale, teaching philosophy, practical teaching tips, and content organized by theme as well as by pedagogical type. Some of this content will be available for free access on the web but the whole product will be available to purchase in hard copy with a supplementary cd that includes graphics, pictures of sample projects, etc. 2) Consulting with other communities. In the past few months, I've been contacted by educators in Seattle, St. Paul, Berkeley, and Palo Alto who are interested in starting Hebrew immersion programs similar to Kochavim. I am very excited about

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Compendium of Alternative Models

building these collaborative relationships and offering my expertise where helpful; Kol Emeth in Palo Alto is hiring me to assist them in developing their curriculum for their new Hebrew immersion program. 3) Fundraising. We received a start-up grant of $15,000 from a generous local family for our first year of programming (2006-07) and an Innovation Impact Grant from the Federation for $7,500 in our second year (07-08). This year we're on our own! While our students' enrollment fees cover most of our operating costs, Kochavim is a very staff-intensive program. I had been acting as both director and 1st-2nd grade teacher; we raised funds this year to hire a new teacher to allow me to focus more on the goals above. We are planning larger local fundraising this year, as well as looking into national grants that could help us reach our goals. 4) A note about the “continuation” programs that Kochavim has generated. As a result of our Kochavim kids “graduating” after 2nd grade with greater Hebrew knowledge than the majority of children joining the synagogue’s traditional 3rd grade Hebrew school, we worked with the synagogue to create a new “track” of the Hebrew school, based on the Kochavim model (immersion, informal education methodology, etc.). A new 3rd-4th grade immersion class was formed last year with excellent enrollment (from Kochavim graduates, day-school children, and other advanced Hebrew students), and this year they are adding a 4th-5th grade class as well. We continue to work closely with the synagogue in supporting these programs.

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Montclair Jewish Workshop – Montclair, NJ Auspice/Sponsorship

Montclair Jewish Workshop is an independent, secular, Jewish cooperative

Contact Information

Emily Grand, President montclairjewish@aol.com Montclair, New Jersey

Year Established

1996

Program Goals

To teach children about Jewish history, culture, values in a Sunday school environment that they look forward to; Build a connection to a Jewish community for families

Hours per day per week

1-1.25 hours/day, 2 days per month + 5 holiday events/year

Description of Curriculum

The curriculum has been developed over the years by parents and teachers. It focuses on Jewish history, culture and values. Graduating 7th graders work as a group on a year-long community service project and study the relationship between their project and Judaism/Jewish values.

Description of Methodology

Classes use hands-on activities such as crafts, singing, storytelling to convey concepts in the curriculum; in addition, older children have small and large group discussions and read and reflect on material related to the curriculum.

Location/Space Used

Rented classroom space in a local (non-Jewish) school, family homes for holiday parties, rented space in community for Purimspiel and Passover Seder

Evaluation Process

Twice a year we solicit feedback from parents/children re: classes and share that constructively with teachers, once a year parents observe in each classroom to share feedback with the Teacher Supervisor/teachers, exiting parents are sometimes surveyed for their reasons for leaving

Currently, both teachers work as educators in their “day jobs”—one in Who are your teachers elementary and one in pre-school. Their backgrounds in Judaism come from their education/camp experiences. Children ages 4-13 from Montclair and surrounding communities. Some are from Who are your learners interfaith families. Enrollment to Date Average about 35-45 students/year Tuition $350-$400/child/year, we offer a sibling discount. Annual Budget About $14,000 Next steps Some of what sets us apart includes the involvement of non-Jewish parents (from interfaith families). A number of our non-Jewish parents are very active in our coop and in general they feel very welcome. In addition, there is a warm, family atmosphere to our holiday parties, which are primarily held in members’ homes (only possible in a small group like ours). And finally, our graduating students Other: work together as a group on a year long community service project that they envision and implement themselves with parent/teacher supervision.

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Arts-Focused These two programs use art as a focal point of instruction. • •

Hillel Children’s Workshop provides a friendly, arts-based Jewish studies program for children. Running concurrent with the children’s classes is a fascinating and free lecture series for the parents. Show and Kvell is a restructuring of the school so that the whole school focuses on same thing for a 2-month span using the arts or other focal points. Then "show and kvell" to parents and other congregants.

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Hillel Children’s Workshop – Toronto, Ontario, Canada Auspice/Sponsorship Independent Claudia Skolnik claudia.skolnik@sympatico.ca Contact Information

Yeta Herscher yeta.herscher@ontario.ca Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Year Established

35 years ago

Program Goals

To offer a Jewish studies/Hebrew cultural parallel program for children and parents in the downtown/midtown corridor

Hours per day per week

One day a week – Sundays - 3 hours

Description of Curriculum

NA

Description of Methodology

Community based school responding to the needs of the community for nontraditional delivery of content. The school provides a friendly, arts-based Jewish studies program for children. Parents engaged in learning at the same time as their children. School run by parents; board rotates responsibility for leadership every two years - volunteer basis

Location/Space Used Rental facility at a local private school – midtown Evaluation Process

N/A

Who are your teachers

Varies from year to year No director or principal – parent run

Who are your learners

Children living in downtown/midtown Toronto – ages 4-12

Enrollment to Date

Approximately 50

Tuition

$750-900

Annual Budget

Unknown

Next steps

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Show and Kvell – Hewlett, NY Auspice/Sponsorship Contact Information

Congregation Beth Emeth (Reconstructionist) Julie Skiddell, principal Congregation Beth Emeth Hewlett, NY

Year Established

2007-08

Program Goals

My rationale was to search for a way to integrate the Hebrew School parents and children into synagogue life. Conversely, we wanted to promote the school to our members who are not involved with the school and keep them up to date on what was happening with the younger generation. There was a need to weave the two entities together into a seamless fabric of synagogue life.

Hours per day per week

45 minutes a week

Description of Curriculum

The Hebrew School at our synagogue became unified through 4 themes, each of which was taught for approximately 2 months. These two month units allowed the whole school to study the same subject, in addition to their curriculum.

Description of Methodology

The units were consciously taught through multisensory techniques that were hands-on, as opposed to frontal teaching. Group work, already a norm in the public schools, became a viable option. Higher quality art activities, drama, music and movement were now part of the every day learning and not just reserved for special events of clubs. Each class learned about that particular unit by incorporating age appropriate activities and discussions.

Location/Space Used

Regular classroom space

Evaluation Process

None at present

Who are your teachers Seasoned teachers working side by side with newcomers to the field. Who are your learners We are a Reconstructionist congregation. Long Island, NY Enrollment to Date

80

Tuition

$600.+/- B’nai Mitzvah is more expensive

Annual Budget

$8000. not including teacher’s salaries.

Next steps

To continue, and we are developing a similar program for Saturday mornings.

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Orthodox/Outreach Hebrew Schools These three schools represent some of the innovations within the Orthodox/Outreach community. • •

The Chabad Hebrew School of Mission Viejo offers many innovations including their early Hebrew program, choose-your-own courses, Shabbatonim, and Hebrew for high school foreign language credit. “ECHAD! Whole Judaism for the Whole Child” is designed around the “whole child” with a resonant “whole Judaism.” It operates beyond the classroom, functioning as a framework for parallel staff development, family/parent development, and synthesized programming that anchors curricular messages in tangible, experiential ways. Etz Chaim/ ToTal Hebrew School use the ToTal Curriculum to reach out to unaffiliated Jews and provide the children and parents with learning opportunities.

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Chabad Hebrew School of Mission Viejo – Mission Viejo, CA Auspice/Sponsorship Contact Information

Year Established Program Goals

Hours per day per week Description of Curriculum

Chabad Chabad of Mission Viejo 24041 Marguerite Parkway Mission Viejo, CA 92692 (949) 770-1270 • •

Attain a strong sense of love of Judaism and pride in being Jewish. Discover & explore the Torah (Bible), the incredible history of the Jewish people & see its relevance in today's day & age. • Gain an understanding of the practices & traditions of Judaism. • Know the morals, values & ethical behavior mandated by the Torah. • Hands-on experience & appreciation for all Jewish holidays. • Master Hebrew skills of reading & writing. • Understand basic Hebrew words. • Learn basic prayers so that the students will feel comfortable when attending services. • Identify with the land of Israel & its inhabitants. • Allow students to express their opinions and questions about G-d, Torah & religion. K-2 2 hours once a week, 3-8 3 hours once a week, 9-12 2 hours once a week • Hebrew - Beginning with letter recognition for our youngest children, this program leads students through phonetic decoding, reading comprehension & writing. Age appropriate textbooks & workbooks will be completed throughout the year. We also implement the successful and effective Aleph Champion Program. • Torah (Bible) & Jewish History - The children are introduced to the characters & stories of the Bible. They are given an overview of Jewish history starting with creation to the giving of the Torah to modern day Israel. • Holidays - Each grade examines the holiday from a totally different perspective, making each year's learning a new & exciting holiday adventure. Hands-on lessons on each Jewish holiday will fill the calendar as we proceed from Rosh Hashanah and the High Holidays through the holiday of Shavuot. The students will have a deeper understanding of each holiday, its traditions & customs. We will also host holiday celebrations for students & their families. • Jewish Values & Ethics - Each grade covers a different aspect of our Jewish values & ethics. o Grade 3 learns about "Marvelous Midos & Manners," which is a selection of 12 human-to-human Mitzvot, including respect, gratitude, & tzedakah. o Grade 4 in "My Jewish Home" gets a virtual tour of the mitzvot connected to a home, including Mezzuzah, Shabbat, Kosher & Cleanliness. o Grade 5 studies "Thorahpedia," a Torah and Mitzvot encyclopedia with one mitzvah for each letter of the Alephbet, including the environment, appreciation, humility, proper treatment of animals, kiddush &

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Compendium of Alternative Models

• • •

happiness. Choice Days for Older Division (Grades 3-6) - students get to choose among educational and interesting elective subjects. Arts & Crafts - Art projects are incorporated into our curriculum to add to the excitement of the upcoming holidays and Mitzvot. Extra Curricular - We offer a variety of extra curricular activities such as special guest speakers, Friday night dinners, and contests. These events allow our students to experience Judaism in its entirety. A point system based on in-class & out-of-class participation will allow students to reach different award levels.

Hebrew High Hebrew High is an exciting program for students in Grades 9 - 12. We have two programs. One is a social and learning program (Hebrew High) that meets once a month on a Sunday evening from 4 to 6:30 PM. The other is a Hebrew for school credits program (Hebrew High 10) that meets on Wednesday nights from 6 - 8 PM as well as once per month on a Sunday. The program is open for grades 9-12 and will focus on social action, leadership skills and Jewish teen issues. This is a hands-on social action group that will do activities and field trips related to various communal and social needs. Other highlights include: dinner, special guest speakers, socializing and lots of fun. For the 2008-2009 year, this program will be run by our new teen leaders Rabbi Zalmy and Esty Berkowitz of JewKrew fame. They both have extensive experience with OC teens. Most recently they have been leading the Hebrew High in Los Alamitos as well as many Los Al teen events. Be part of this exciting program. We have food, learn Hebrew, schmooze, engage in thought-provoding discussions on current events, morals & ethics, bible study, play games, watch cool educational videos, and engage in creative activities. In our partnership with the Hebrew Academy, we offer a WASC-accredited program for learning Hebrew that provides foreign language credits for high school. Foreign language credits are a requirement of most colleges, and this is a great way to meet that requirement and help your teen stay connected with their heritage in an educational and fun way. Description of Methodology Location/Space Used Evaluation Process Who are your teachers? Who are your learners? Enrollment to Date Tuition Annual Budget Next steps

Chabad-affiliated teachers: rabbis, wives, seminary graduates Open to all members of Jewish community $645 Kindergarten through 2nd, $845 3rd through 8th, 9-12 varies

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Compendium of Alternative Models

“ECHAD! Whole Judaism for the Whole Child” – Basking Ridge, NJ Auspice/Sponsorship Contact Information

Program Goals

Program Description

Chabad Malkie Herson – mherson@aol.com Tel: 908-604-8844 Chabad of Somerset, Hunterdon & Union Counties, NJ www.chabadcentral.org The goal of “ECHAD” Hebrew School model is to inspire children - and their families to identify with their Judaic heritage and to see it as relevant, meaningful and intelligent. Our program is designed to provide the knowledge, skills and values that comprise Jewish identity, while generating truly positive associations with Judaism. It is our dream that our children identify with Judaism's unique value system and see themselves as part of the larger Jewish community. Our comprehensive curriculum operates beyond the classroom, functioning as a framework for parallel staff development, family/parent development, and synthesized programming that anchors curricular messages in tangible, experiential ways. The program is designed around the “whole child” with a resonant “whole Judaism.” By “whole child”, we mean the child and family, with their respective learning styles, beliefs, knowledge, social context, etc. By “whole Judaism” we refer to the idea that Judaism is a core attitude to life, with its “parts” and “details” as fluid manifestations of its soul -- Judaism with rhythm, methodology and symmetry. Classroom Study: (See Curricular Courses below) Ongoing Staff Development: supports a shared and actualized vision, and provides the feedback necessary for revision and enhancement. Parallel Parental Programming (offered in a variety of formats and time frames): provides opportunities for the whole family to participate, as full partners, in the very same process of discovery. Coordinated Programming: brings the curriculum to life and provides opportunities for practical expression of the lessons shared.

Description of Curricular Courses

Assessment Measures provide insight into the effectiveness of all components of the project. Our curricular (academic) program is designed around five courses, each exploring Judaism from a different perspective. Each course has its aspect at the foreground, with the other four woven into the discussion and study. Parallel adult education is offered in each of these courses. Our curriculum (and its inherent values, information and skills) is connected to, and built upon, previously learned material. Concepts introduced are continually reviewed and revisited; one set of learning experiences creates a foundation for the next. PRAYER: In the 'busy-ness' of everyday life, prayer gives us the opportunity for introspection. It is a quiet time in which we retreat into our inner-selves and develop a personal relationship with our core Jewishness. Our goal is for our students to attain a familiarity with both the mechanics and deeper messages of the prayers. Beginning with the youngest class, we introduce prayers and songs - increasing both

50


Compendium of Alternative Models

the amounts of prayers and the depth of their meanings - as the students progress. HEBREW READING & VOCABULARY: Hebrew reading allows our students to connect to their Jewish identity through the Torah’s original language. They begin to see the Hebrew language holistically, rather than just as a splinter skill. In Kindergarten, the children are introduced to the Hebrew alphabet through games, craft and song, gaining comfort with the new language. Grades 1 & 2 focus on integrating letters and vowels, learning to piece letters together and sound short words. We also begin to study the numerical values of the Hebrew alphabet. Grade 3 and onwards, enter the ALEPHchamp system, a self-motivated reading program that allows children to study at their own pace and achieve their own set goals. In this highly motivated learning environment, students are divided by skill into various color levels, with a designated reading teacher who oversees the progress of each student. When students feel ready to move onto the next level, they simply arrange to be tested. In this way the Aleph Champ program empowers the individual, stressing self-motivation and personal goals while encouraging group work. At ceremonies, held both in the middle and at the culmination of the year, family and friends are invited to celebrate accomplishments. JEWISH HOLIDAYS: Time flows by...sometimes so quietly that we miss out on life's fullest potentials. That is the intention of Jewish holidays. Each has a specific message that relates to self-improvement, and to strengthening our relationship with the Divine. Celebrating these holiday helps us ‘hit the pause button' of life so that we capture these potentialities and give them a sacred place in the to-do list of our lives. Each holiday celebrates a unique story, a distinct message, along with special practices and rituals that bring the holiday alive. Our holiday curriculum synthesizes these three elements (story, deeper message, rituals/practices), building upon itself, growing in breadth and depth. OUT STORY: The history of the Jewish nation is really the story of every individual Jew. Beginning from the Six Days of Creation and moving through time, we explore the incredible journey of the Jewish people, and in effect, of ourselves. The study of history allows us to take a step back and distance ourselves from our present reality. In the cloak of time, we feel safe enough to listen and engage with the personalities of the past, applying the lessons gleaned from their struggles and triumphs to our own lives. This seven-year course is designed to foster a sense of self, explore the reason for creation, and propel the continuation of Our Story.

Description of Methodology

‘MITZVOT’ – JEWISH PRACTICE: Mitzvot give us the opportunity to anchor lofty concepts in daily life. Mitzvot honor our relationships with G-d, with each other, and with our world. By performing mitzvot, we take ‘Torah values’ and put it into ‘practice’. We connect learning with doing; we transform the world to a better place. Our Mitzvah Course is designed as a club. Each year, 8 mitzvot are selected for study on a school-wide scale, explored in an informal, spirited and creative fashion. Instead of decontextualized learning, the Mitzvah course focuses on the implementation of the selected Mitzvot in the form of school wide projects, community events, and exciting trips. A good way to describe our approach is by describing what it is not. It does not operate in a piecemeal manner. It does not see cognition and emotion as unrelated. It does not see Judaism and 'real life' as incompatible. It does not see the joy of Judaism as separate from the substance of its message. It does not see Judaic facts, skills, literacy, values and understandings as freestanding entities. It does not see Judaism as a loose collection of things we do, prayers we say, or

51


Compendium of Alternative Models

stories we share. It does not see the learner as separate from his/her social context. It does not see the teacher and learner as mutually exclusive roles. It does not see the learner as a passive receptor, rather as a dynamic explorer. It does not see the effectiveness of a teacher's lesson as separate from his/her inspiration. It does not believe that it is sufficient to focus Jewish education only on the child. Location/Space Used Who are your teachers? Who are your learners? Enrollment to Date Assessment

Chabad Jewish Center at Basking Ridge, NJ Chabad-affiliated teachers. More than half of our teachers are full-time employees. Open to the entire Jewish community 125 students and their families We have created a culture of openness, and encourage our parents, children and staff to communicate with honesty. We meet regularly with our parent body and staff. We incorporate feedback into the programming.

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Etz Chaim/ ToTal Hebrew School – Elkins Park, PA Auspice/Sponsorship Contact Information Year Established Program Goals Hours per day per week Description of Curriculum

Description of Methodology Location/Space Used Evaluation Process Who are your teachers? Who are your learners? Enrollment to Date Tuition Annual Budget Next steps

Etz Chaim, Orthodox Rabbi Alexander Coleman Etz Chaim Elkins Park, PA 2008 Outreach to unaffiliated Jewish families in the community and provide children and families with fun, Jewish learning experiences One day a week-Sundays for 2 hours Bar/Bat Mitzvah program, Jewish Holidays, Traditions, and Heritage Family Learning Experience, Hebrew Reading based on the ToTal Curriculum. While the children are in class, parents are invited to FOUNDATIONS, the Hebrew school for adults on the fundamentals of Jewish Tradition, History, Philosophy and Spirituality Classroom teaching and experiential activities Young Israel of Elkins Park chapel and children’s play area Rabbi and his family Children from 5-13 and their families 20 Nominal fee with scholarships

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Online Programs

This school represents an online version of the Hebrew school for communities that are unable to come to a traditional school. •

Online Children’s Hebrew School is composed of online and mailed information. The online information includes videos and activities. A tutor is assigned to help the student and/or family work through any problems they have.

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Online Children’s Hebrew School – Northbrook, IL Auspice/Sponsorship Contact Information

Year Established Program Goals Hours per day per week Description of Curriculum

Description of Methodology

Ezra Habonim Niles Township Jewish Congregation-Northbrook, IL (Conservative) Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg rabbi@ehnt.org Ezra Habonim Niles Township Jewish Congregation Northbrook, IL 2007

We send you the program via email. You purchase the extra books needed from us. You supervise your children's progress for each step. The curriculum for grades 3-5 is based on a monthly pattern. Curriculum for 67th grade follows one step after another, based on 16 units. A tutor is assigned to your family. You can contact them as needed to help with questions or elaboration. When you have finished a unit, send in the required work. For example, for curriculum for 11-13 year olds, there are questions and terms to define for each step, plus memorization to demonstrate. Our 6/7th grade classroom based program meets Saturday mornings 9:30-12 and Tuesdays 4-6. The teacher and aid are ready to help. If you live far away, the assistance will be by phone and internet. We have a Hebrew component built in. This program utilizes information available on the web, plus much of our own creation, in a curriculum organized by us. It assumes parent-child engagement and cooperation in the learning process, as they work through the material. -The latest direction in Jewish education is geared toward family involvement. -The secular university is moving more in the direction of independent learning as well as learning via the web. This article from the Chicago tribune recently helps explain: "one theme is a shift from a passive model of absorbing a lecturer's words to a more active one where lecturers guide and measure, but students learn the material more independently. "In a traditional course the faculty are doing all the work and the students are watching," said Carol Twigg, president and CEO of the National Center for Academic Transformation, which is working with hundreds of universities to improve giant courses. "In a redesigned course, students are doing the work and faculty are stepping in as needed."

Location/Space Used Evaluation Process Who are your teachers? Who are your learners? Enrollment to Date Tuition

Online Rabbi Ginsburg, teachers, tutors and aids, available for phone assistance. Open to synagogue and non-synagogue members Synagogue membership + $950; member in good standing at another synagogue or take out “friends” membership category at Ezra-Habonim of $300 + $950 tuition

Annual Budget Next steps

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Multiple Innovations

These two institutions use multiple variations that span most or all of the criteria. • •

Academy BJE runs several programs that reach out to teach things from Hebrew to Jewish history. They also run online lessons for children from 4 to 14 as well as an online bar/bat mitzvah program. BaDerech: On Our Way is a synagogue transformation that includes communal as well as individual education changes. Their program includes Shabbatonim, interfaith education, and preschool innovations.

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Academy BJE – Sydney, Australia Auspice/Sponsorship Contact Information

Year Established Program Goals Hours per day per week Description of Curriculum

Description of Methodology Location/Space Used

New South Wales Board of Jewish Education NSW BOARD OF JEWISH EDUCATION, Academy BJE Jewish Education and Resource Centre 56 Roscoe Street Bondi Beach, Sydney NSW 2026 Australia Ph: (612) 9365 7900 Fax: (612) 9365 0976 administration@bje.nsw.edu.au general enquires Email: Website: http://www.bje.org.au

Various Special Religious Education (SRE) "Scripture" Weekly Judaism classes during school time at public schools, Age group 6-18 Years Sunday Centres Judaism, Hebrew, Jewish History and Bar/Bat Mitzvah classes, Age group 6 – 14 years JETS (Jewish Education aT School) Clubs Judaism classes at 6 public schools and at BJE outside of school hours, Age group 5 – 12 years Hebrew Hebrew taught as a modern and classical language from years K – 12 Jewish Student Network (JSN) Breakfast and lunchtime meetings at schools; Leadership Weekend; Weekend Escape; Sunday Breakfast Café at 12 locations across Sydney, Age group 12 – 18 years Online Courses for Kids Weekly online lesson for children age 6-14 Online Bar/Bat Mitzvah Course Online course for people on the way to his/her bar/bat mitzvah. Weekly Judaism classes during school time at public schools, BJE outside of school hours or at various places around the city.

Evaluation Process Who are your teachers? Who are your learners? Enrollment to Date Tuition Annual Budget Next steps

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Compendium of Alternative Models

BaDerech: On Our Way - Sudbury, MA

Contact Information

Year Established

Program Goals

Nina Price, RJE, Director of Congregational Learning, Congregation Beth El of the Sudbury River Valley, Sudbury, MA (Reform) edudirect@bethelsudbury.org 978-443-9622 Michelle Fineblum BaDerech Task Force Coordinator (lay leader position) mfineblum@rcn.com The visioning for BaDerech began in fall 2005. We were fortunate to receive the Legacy Heritage Innovation Project grant in spring 2006. The official launch of the BaDerech initiative at Congregation Beth El of the Sudbury River Valley took place in fall 2006. BaDerech envisions Beth El as a congregation in which all members are actively engaged in a process of exploring our Jewish ָ ‫ְאָהב‬ ַ ‫ו‬ journeys and striving to live the words of the v'ahavta/ ‫ְתּ‬ ְ ‫וּב ֶלכ‬ ְ ‫ֵית ָך‬ ֶ ‫ְתּ ָך בְּב‬ ְ ‫ְשׁב‬ ִ ‫ – )בּ‬to fully live and express a Jewish life when ( ‫ְתּ ָך ַב ֶדּ ֶר ְך‬ you sit in your home and when you walk on your way – by creating seamless connections between our expressions of Judaism in our personal homes and Beth El, our communal home. BaDerech works to achieve the above stated vision by: ♦ ♦ ♦

Program Description ♦

Helping congregants identify where each of us is on our Jewish journeys and how our Jewish journeys are expressed both in our personal and communal homes. (Crossroads) Providing opportunities for congregants to guide and be guided by one another as an integral component of our ongoing Jewish journeys. (Guides) Developing programming that provides opportunities to deepen our connection with Judaism and more fully live the words of the v'ahavta. (Pathways) Seeing our personal and communal Jewish journeys within the framework of Jewish time, the cyclical flow of the Jewish calendar including Shabbat and holidays. We work toward this goal by providing resources to deepen our understanding of our Jewish journeys, with an emphasis on how our Jewish lives intersect with the flow of Jewish time. (Roadmaps)

At Beth El we have used the BaDerech vision and framework to develop six major programmatic innovations, described briefly below: ♦

Preschool BaDerech – This element of BaDerech focuses on guiding parents as they become their child’s Jewish teacher through mentoring, home visits, and resources. Older congregants are trained to be mentors for families with preschool-aged children. Home visits occur 3-5 times a year, each focusing on a Jewish holiday. These home visits are supplemented with community-wide holiday celebrations at Beth El. Shabbat B’Yachad – Once a month families are invited to participate in enriched Kabbalat Shabbat family programming for children and parents

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Compendium of Alternative Models

Process

Criteria for Participation Participating Synagogues Evaluation

Outcomes to Date

up to 3rd grade. Families begin the evening in the communal Kabbalat Shabbat service and then following Lecha Dodi transition to family programming that focuses on interactive discussions and activities. Everyone returns to the main service at the end, which is followed by a communal pot-luck Shabbat dinner. ♦ Havurot - This year BaDerech will be working with all of the congregation’s havurot, both old and new, to find ways to strengthen the connection between the havurot and congregational activities. As part of this process, many havurot will be working with the Ritual Committee to support holiday programs throughout the community. This is a way to share the positive energy of havurot with the broader community and give community members a taste of the excitement of havurot. ♦ Interfaith Initiatives – There are two major components to our Interfaith initiatives: programmatic and consultative, both of which are working to build a more welcoming, supportive environment for interfaith families at Beth El. The programs focus on workshops and support groups facilitated at Beth El for interfaith families. Consultation provided by Jewish Outreach Institute includes an organizational scan and staff training. ♦ Ayekah – This component of BaDerech aims to support members’ Jewish journeys and building community through sharing narratives and weaving a collective story. This community organizing initiative at Beth El asks congregants the core question, “Ayekah?” – where are you on your Jewish journey? Congregants’ answers to this question will help shape the future of Beth El. ♦ Shabbaton - For twenty-five hours the entire congregation immerses itself in an on-site experience of celebrating Shabbat, learning, and community building. This is an opportunity for all congregants to teach and learn from one another while experiencing the joy of Shabbat in our congregational home. The Shabbaton also highlights the vision of BaDerech in a very participatory and celebratory manner. If you would like additional information about any of these programmatic innovations that emerged from BaDerech, please contact Nina Price, Director of Congregational Learning, edudirect@bethelsudbury.org. The process of BaDerech involves close collaboration between lay leaders and staff. The support BaDerech has received from LHIP has been invaluable and given us the impetus to move BaDerech forward at a fast pace. With fewer resources the visioning process, framework adoption, and programmatic development would have been feasible at a slower pace. BaDerech is still a work in progress. We are only two years into four years of LHIP funding so the work of BaDerech continues to evolve. There are no criteria for participation in the overall BaDerech initiative. Specific programmatic elements are geared toward particular demographics within the congregation, but anyone is welcome to participate. BaDerech is a synagogue transformation project at Congregation Beth El of the Sudbury River Valley. There are other LHIP congregations, but they each have their own unique project. Mid-year and end-of-year evaluations are a requirement of the LHIP grant. These evaluations have been done in consultation with staff at the Cohen Center at Brandeis and Gribetz & Mencow Consultants. Success in working toward the goals of BaDerech has been made on both a programmatic and a systemic level. Highlights of our success include intergenerational Shabbat and holiday programming, support groups for interfaith families, engaging congregants in a process of telling their Jewish narratives, working with lay leadership to "link silos", and celebrating our

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Compendium of Alternative Models

work through a congregational Shabbaton.

Subscription Fee Annual Budget

Due to the generous grant we receive from Legacy Heritage Innovation Project we do not currently need to charge a fee for any of the programmatic elements of BaDerech. Approximately $30,000 per year. This covers consultants, materials, and some staffing of programmatic elements of BaDerech. It does not cover the additional time dedicated to this project by full-time staff at Beth El. In addition to continuing and improving the described programs and approaches, the next steps for BaDerech will be to focus on 2 related questions: 1. How can this work best be supported and sustained, both currently and after the conclusion of the LHIP grant funding?

Next steps

2. How can lessons from BaDerech be applied to enhance the broader functioning of the congregation, including potential changes to governance structures? Our hunch is that changes in organizational processes and governance structures link the two questions, and we are excited that BaDerech has the potential to serve as a positive catalyst.

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Compendium of Complementary School Alternative Models/Programs  

A Compendium of programs and models in complementary Jewish education that extend beyond the traditional models. The compendium focuses on 3...