Religious School and Kid/Student Oriented Shabbat Programs

Religious School Programs

Parent & Me (12-24 months) Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 11.00.04 AM
(see Early Childhood Programs)

KM Kids (3-4yrs)                                        
(see Early Childhood Programs)

K-1st Grade
(see Early Childhood Programs)

Religious School (2nd-7th Grade)
Our unique Religious School pod structure allows for instruction in two-three academic areas with teacher specialists. Classes include Hebrew Language, both spoken and written, Prayer/Songs and Judaica, including God, Torah, Israel, Values, Jewish holidays and Jewish lifecycle.  Our 2nd-7th Grade students work with specialists in music, Hebrew, Judaica, and Tefillah with our Cantor. We provide excellent teacher/student ratios with small classes and several instructors and Madrichim (teacher assistants) in each class. Our students learn Hebrew and prayer through an interactive computer lab program which allows our students to play games at home and practice their Hebrew in-between class sessions. Students move through the Hebrew program at their own pace, as we incorporate multiple levels of learning in one classroom with varying modes of instruction and teachers. In addition, our school has an on-site Hebrew Tutor.

Westside Chai High School (8th-10th Grade)
Students study with facilitators weekly (Ethical Issues, Current Events, Hot Topics, Israel, God, Torah) on a deeper cognitive level post B’nai Mitzvah. Program includes dinner and USY membership. Please see our High School Brochure for more details.

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 11.00.35 AMHebrew Tutoring Program
If students enter our Religious School after the 4th Grade, we highly recommend a private Hebrew tutor and joining our Hebrew Ulpan class. Our Ulpan class, which meets on Thursdays, assists students in mastering Hebrew and Tefillah by providing differentiated learning instruction to meet the needs of each learner.

B’nai Mitzvah Preparation
Students prepare weekly for 10 months with a B’nai Mitzvah tutor, mastering all of the appropriate blessings, prayers, Torah portions and readings. The last 3 months of their training will be individualized with Cantor Cohen. Finally, family sessions with Rabbi Gotlieb will help students focus their D’var Torah (speech).

B’nai Mitzvah Program
Our 5th-7th Grade students and families meet 3 times a year for an interactive B’nai Mitzvah workshop facilitated by our Rabbi and Cantor, followed by dinner and a themed activity.

Trope Program
This lifelong skill is offered to our 6th and 7th graders to help them master their Torah chanting for their B’nai Mitzvah and the rest of their lives.

Tuesday Evening Services
Parents are invited to attend Tuesday evening services during RS from 6:00-6:30 pm with their children in Grades 2-7. We offer interactive services with our students in each grade leading the prayers. We often stop to discuss the prayers and their relevance in the service. Every week we begin with either a story or lesson on the weekly Torah portion. Don’t miss out on these engaging family experiences! Our Rabbi, Cantor and staff are all involved in these wonderful services.Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 11.00.42 AM

Sunday Morning Shacharit Services
Our families and students pray together as a Kehilla (community) once a month on Sunday mornings.  These enriching interactive Shacharit services will include prayer, song and Torah Study.

Camp Ramah – Shabbaton
Students in grades 3-7 will have a fantastic Shabbaton experience at Camp Ramah in Ojai, where sports, hikes, and activities take place alongside prayer services and discussions as part of our school enrollment which is included in your school fees.

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Family Education
All parents are encouraged to get involved in family education because we believe that through cooperation, family supporting school and school supporting family, we can teach our children that Jewish living is an important part of their lives. Because we care about our families, we will try to be sensitive to your needs and desires by encouraging parent involvement, support and feedback.  We offer a variety of grade-level Family Holiday programs, school-wide programming, Shabbat dinners and lunches. These informal educational experiences engage the entire family in lifelong learning.

Shabbat Programming

Tot Shabbat: 11am-12pm – (ages 3-7 yrs. old)
(see Early Childhood Programs)

Shabbat Unplugged: 11-12pm, Grades 3-7 (once a month)
Shabbat is the time to “unplug” yourself from your daily routine.  Whether you like drama, discussions, or debate, Shabbat Unplugged has something engaging for everyone. This program offers dynamic discussions on compelling Jewish topics and sweets to further sweeten Shabbat and ice cream are always included with Torah study. (11am-12pm, weekly)

NEW! Shabbat B’Yachad: Family Shabbatot -Together As One!

Shabbat Morning Programs: A multi-generational Shabbat morning with parents and students. Students will come together to sing Shabbat songs and rotate between three stations including, ActTorah (drama), Hebrew games and Israeli dancing.  Some of our students will also join the Cantor in leading aspects of the Shabbat service. Students and families are invited to join the rest of our congregation for Shabbat lunch.  (10am -12:00pm). Please see RS Calendar.
Friday Night Programs: Students and families join together for a Kabbalat Shabbat interactive experience. These engaging evenings will include family friendly Shabbat services, Shabbat activities and a Kabbalat Shabbat dinner with songs and plenty of ruach!  (5:30pm-7:30pm) Please see RS Calendar.

Religious School students are expected to attend a minimum of 8 Shabbat services for the year.  Those students who meet their Shabbat attendance will be recognized and invited to our End-of-the-Year field trip. Benefits of these programs include: making friends that may not be in their regular RS classes, experiencing the beauty of Shabbat with family, and the benefit of fulfilling the mitzvah of Avodah (worship).

Youth Lounge:  12-1:30pm
Shabbat snacks and games for everyone!

Religious School Students who attend one Shabbat a month or 8 total for the school year, will be invited to a Mid-Year and End-of-the-Year Ice Cream Sundae Party, as well as an End-of-the-Year surprise!

The benefits your child will gain from attending these Shabbat programs are immeasurable! To name a few: making friends that may not be in their regular Religious School classes, learning the weekly Torah portion and Jewish values, achieving an overall mastery of the prayers which they need in order to advance, and the benefit of fulfilling the Mitzvah of Avodah (worship).

Ohr L’Olam (A Light to the World)

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 10.59.28 AMMitzvot (following God’s Commandments) and Ohr L’Olam (being a light to the world) are fundamental Jewish concepts and central to Jewish identity.  Through this interactive program our students will learn by “doing” God’s Mitzvot.  In the classroom we will use art, drama, music and chevrutah study and we will combine that with carrying out Mitzvot in the community with confidence and pride.  (Happily, the community activities will fulfill our students’ service learning requirement for their public school curriculum.)

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Possible community activities:
Bikkur Cholim (visiting with children in hospitals)
Maachil R’evim (helping to clothe and feed the hungry)
Chesed (preparing school supplies for inner city students)
Hidur Penei Zakein (singing and visiting with seniors)
Ahavat Tzion (making care packages for IDF soldiers)
Bal Tashchit (helping to clean up beaches and till gardens)
Our goal is to instill our students with core Jewish values such as V’ahavta L’rayacha Kamocha (love your neighbor as yourself), Kedusha (holiness), Emet (truth), Hakarat Hatov (gratitude), Anava (humility), Tzar Baalei Chayim (non cruelty to animals and Kashrut) and many others, and to show how these values add meaning and depth to both Jewish holidays and day-to-day Jewish life.

Ohr L’Olam, or being a light to the world, is a fundamental concept in Judaism. Our students are involved in many Ohr L’Olam projects throughout the year.  Each Grade will participate in an enriching Ohr L’Olam Program both at KM and in the Greater community.