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Hebrew School

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, Junior Congregation, class led Saturday morning 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”) students participate in hands-on projects and begin to understand their responsibility as Jews to care for one another and the makom that we all inhabit.


In the interest of the health and well being of our whole synagogue community, the bulk of Ohavi Zedek Hebrew School classes will start out online on Zoom this September. Weather permitting, we will have IN PERSON gatherings once-a-month, with pandemic protocols in place, to celebrate holidays, participate in Tikkun Olam projects and discover the connection between nature and prayer. In addition, we will be sharing Family Engagement Kits each month that will include recipes, art supplies, craft projects, games, holiday items, prayer sheets and more for students and their families to check out at their own pace. Lastly, we will have online content delivery days that might include a cooking demo, art project or all school celebration.

Our curriculum will be theme based with a new theme tying our learning together each month. Teachers will employ a variety of age appropriate modalities to engage students including games, stories, movement, frontal teaching, projects and more.

Once conditions allow, we will come back together for regular face-to-face classes using the same curriculum plans and learning approaches cited above while also incorporating the goals below.

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 ways, 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 Virtual Israel, Tikkun Olam: Repairing the World Projects, Jewish Broadway and Wait, He/She is Jewish? These semester-long explorations are designed to give depth and breadth to each topic, utilizing field trips, guest speakers, and more.

Masa uMatan: Negotiations (Grade 7)
Sunday mornings 9:30 AM-11:30 AM, Wednesday afternoons, 4:00-6:00 PM

Our Kitah Zayin 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 cantillation and the necessary service prayers with our Cantor. In addition, Kitah Zayin students will meet Sunday mornings to delve into everyday issues through a Jewish lens. Each week they will look at Jewish sources related to various societal questions, develop platforms in small groups and come together to debate. This approach gives students the opportunity to synthesize their Jewish learning and give them a place to start thinking for themselves as Jews in the world.

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 will be running a new cycle of Makom L’Mispacha for 6th graders in 21/22.

Makom L’Ivrit: A Place for Hebrew (Language Lab)


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


Useful Information


Songs from Cantor Steve



Frogs Here, Frogs There


Order of Seder- Kadesh Urchatz


Adir Hu


Mah Nishtana, the Four Questions