Center for Jewish Education

CJE Frequently Asked Questions


Students in Kindergarten and First grades attend classes on Shabbat (Saturday) mornings from 9-12 noon.

Students in 2nd – 6th grades also attend on Shabbat (Saturday) mornings from 9 – 12 noon and on Tuesday afternoons from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Students in 7th grade attend only on Tuesday afternoons from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

There is a supplemental Hebrew Lab that meets on Wednesday afternoons from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. aimed at students in 3rd – 7th grade who require more help on Hebrew reading, decoding and prayer. It can be used as a supplement or a make up class in case of absence. This year, Wednesday Lab will take place on Zoom. Students will be given specific time slots.

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.

We focus mainly on the Hebrew decoding and reading skills in order for students to feel comfortable with communal prayer. We also teach some modern Hebrew slang and some basic vocabulary for both modern Hebrew and Jewish holidays. We are also introducing Hebrew Through Movement, a program designed to capitalize on natural language acquisition techniques. It’s fun, social, and though it uses modern Hebrew vocabulary as its base, it gives primes the students for reading Hebrew as well as creating positive connections with the language as it is spoken and heard.

Because Hebrew is the first language of Jewish prayer and is woven deeply into our culture and our religious practices and holiday celebrations. The Jewish people is gifted with layers of a rich linguistic heritage – sacred text, prayer, modern Hebrew, poetry. We hope to give our students tastes of Hebrew in many different modes including prayer, song, Torah, ritual and holiday vocabulary, and modern spoken Hebrew.

As a congregational school, we don’t see our students nearly enough to make any meaningful language education possible beyond basic greetings and vocabulary and the ability to decode the written word. Without immersion or daily usage, it is not a realistic goal. We do teach some modern Hebrew words and phrases. Students who have learned to read Hebrew and have the music of the language in their ears and on their lips do have a significantly easier time when they study conversational Hebrew in college or later.

In just about every way we can! We rarely use worksheets and never assign busy work. We do require Hebrew reading practice to be done aloud at home from grades 2 – 6 to allow students the critical repetition time they will need to really build their skills.
We use:

  • Technology – Shalom Learning
  • Games
  • Total Physical Response
  • Hebrew Through Movement
  • Authentic Prayer opportunities
  • 6th and 7th Hebrew Electives

Each grade has assigned prayers to master as well as prayers with which they will become familiar in the course of their Jewish lives.

Jewish values, holidays and rituals, Torah text and Bible stories, Israeli folk dance, Torah Godly Play, arts & crafts, Jewish recipes and holiday foods, how to treat people in community, how and when to give to those in need, and more!

We work to provide the best Jewish education for every student in our school community. Inclusion and differentiated learning approaches are central to our identity as a religious school.

Every Jewish child can learn here and every child can become a Bar or Bat Mitzvah here!