Ohavi Zedek: A Place for Learning
“Makom” means “place” in Hebrew–a place for learning, dwelling, or coming together as a community. It can even refer to a sense of place in the world. Ohavi Zedek provides a place for all of these things in an open and welcoming atmosphere. Our Hebrew School is often the first stop for families looking for a “makom,” and we strive to serve families from varied backgrounds. We offer programs for children ranging from Preschool to B’nai Mitzvah age in a lively and engaging environment which provides essential tools for continued exploration of Judaism’s rich traditions. We believe that Hebrew School should be more than simply a teacher and a classroom full of students; it should be a place where our connections to one another and the community at large come alive. To strengthen these connections, the entire school joins together for holiday celebrations, student-led Junior Congregation, class led Friday night Shabbat services, music, Israeli Dance, and special presentations. Families are invited and encouraged to participate in all special events. To engender an understanding of tikkun olam (or “repairing the world”) each Hebrew School class gets an opportunity during the year to choose a recipient for the donations in our synagogue Tzedakah box. Through these donations, as well as hands-on projects, our students begin to understand their responsibility as Jews to care for one another and the makom that we all inhabit.
Makom L’Mechinah: A Place to Prepare (Grades K-2)
Sunday mornings, 9:30 AM-11:30 AM
In our younger grades, children are introduced to the Hebrew language through the Hebrew Through Movement curriculum as well as through games, art and music. Holidays, Torah, Modern Hebrew, prayer, ethics, and life-cycle events round out our curriculum. Our teachers recognize that children learn in many different way, and they work to bring the Jewish traditions alive through the senses. One week students might connect with the Aleph Bet through yoga; another week may find students completing art projects, learning songs, or engaging in Torah Time with their parents.
Makom Lilmod: A Place to Learn (Grades 3-7)
Sunday mornings, 9:30 AM-11:30 AM and Wednesday afternoons, 4:00-6:00 PM
On Sundays, our older students are grouped by grade. Together as a class, they explore prayer, Hebrew language through the Hebrew Through Movement curriculum and other methods, Torah, ethics, holidays, and life cycle events, and participate in all-school events and Junior Congregation.
During the first hour of Hebrew School on Wednesdays, older students study Hebrew language according to ability rather than age. This is designed to accelerate learning while minimizing frustration. Language is reinforced on Sundays through the study of prayer, Torah and Hebrew Through Movement. The second hour on Wednesdays is dedicated to SUPER electives. These electives are experiential, multi-faceted, and project-based learning opportunities that examine Jewish culture, traditions, and history through different lenses. Our current slate of SUPER electives includes Chorus, The Lost Shul Mural, Where in History is Carmen Schwartz? and Shabbat Toolkit. These semester-long explorations are designed to give depth and breadth to each topic, utilizing field trips, guest speakers, and more. Our Kitah Zayin (Grade 7) students who are preparing for bar/bat mitzvah participate in the SUPER electives only during the Fall semester. In the Spring, they continue with Hebrew language learning during the first hour on Wednesdays, and then dedicate the second hour to exploring this rite of passage and learning the necessary service prayers with our Cantorial Intern.
Makom L’Mishpacha: A Place for Family (6th and 7th Graders)
Twice a month, time and dates TBD
Makom L’Mishpacha is an educational alternative for middle-schoolers who want to explore their connection to Judaism in a smaller, more informal setting.
Through classroom and experiential learning and holiday celebrations students will uncover the stories, the history, the actions, and the questions that guide the emergence of Jewish identity. Themes of the program’s first year include Jewish identity, the history of Jewish immigration, the Jewish-American Experience, Holocaust and Israel. The second year focuses on mitzvah projects, the meaning of prayer, storytelling and the study of texts – Torah, Talmud, and Midrash – as building blocks toward creating and participating in a bar/bat mitzvah.
We are running Makom L’Mispacha for 6th graders ONLY this year.
Makom L’Ivrit: A Place for Hebrew (Language Lab)
On Sundays and Wednesdays
Our fully staffed Language Learning Lab offers students more exposure to Hebrew through the use of computers, books, and games. There they can get one-on-one assistance to bolster or challenge their Hebrew skills.
Naomi Barell serves as Youth Education Director of Ohavi Zedek Synagogue
Rebecca Stern is the Tot Shabbat leader