Children arrive before 9:00 a.m. and enter through the Main Entrance where Morah Janis or another teacher greets them with a hearty Shabbat Shalom! Students then meet in the Chapel for a short morning Tefilah (prayer) service. Students explore prayer concepts, hear a story based on the parashah (weekly Torah reading), and have the opportunity to pray in community. On the first Shabbat of the month, we celebrate all of the CJE birthdays for the month and students receive our famous Birthday Pencil.
Students in grades 2- 6 will spend the next 2 hours in both Hebrew/Tefilah class and their Judaica class. Shirah (Music) or Rikud (Dance) will also occur during this period.
At 11:40, the students in the school are usually invited to join the congregation in the Sanctuary for our Ruach Rally. “Ruach” means spirit and the children are a highlight for the congregation when they come and stand in front of the Ark and join in the joyful singing that we do before they are called to bless the challah (bread) and sing Kiddush (bless the wine) with the Rabbi and Cantor. Then the back wall is opened and students can either leave with their parents or the family is invited to the Shabbat Kiddush luncheon which is offered for everyone every Shabbat during the school year. The general tone of Shabbat (Saturday) is more relaxed, more fun. We use a lot of review games, stories, music, discussion, and experiential activities. We don’t create, write, cook, or use most technology in the CJE on Shabbat. The exceptions we are allowed include a speaker for dance music and the youngest students who only attend on Shabbat are able to create small art projects. We make Shabbat a small island in time during which we let some things go in order to focus on others.
If classes are meeting virtually, an email with the Zoom link to the class will be sent home a few days earlier. Students will meet online with their teacher for their lessons. Our curriculum has been chosen with this possibility in mind for the coming year in order to minimize any learning gap.