On Saturday afternoons, our community gathers on the second floor of the JCC for Havurah. In this environment, children have deep conversations about God and explore what it means to be a Jewish individual as they discover themselves within the framework of their shared Jewish identity and culture.
Philosophy and Mission
We encourage children to create their own Jewish identity and discover what being Jewish means to them. At Havurah we strive to create a place where children feel comfortable asking questions and being themselves. All learners have a place at Havurah and we embrace an inclusive model of education. Teachers work collaboratively with children to create experiences that spark wonder and creativity, build confidence, and encourage a questioning approach. Families are partners in the work that we do, joining with children and teachers to celebrate Jewish life and tradition.
The study of Jewish holidays, Hebrew language, Torah stories, community service opportunities, and an exploration of each child’s Jewish identity are significant parts of every child’s experience during Havurah. The Havurah curriculum is co-constructed by the children and their teachers. Skilled teachers listen to and collaborate with the children to identify which aspects of these diverse topics are most interesting and appropriate for their particular group of students, then tailor that class’s curriculum to excite and engage the children in their weekly experience of Jewish learning.
Each class has three 5-week specialties throughout the year. Specialties include yoga, cooking, storytelling, songwriting and recording, podcasting, multi-media art, ceramics, and photography. Specialists work with the classroom teachers to design rich and meaningful experience for the children.
Children learn the Hebrew alphabet and to recognize and write letters and numbers. They also learn to read and write their own Hebrew name and relevant Hebrew words. All Hebrew learning is done through games, songs, and interactive activities.
Community Service & Field Trips
Children join their classes on field trips and participate in several community service activities throughout the year. Some past field trip destinations include the New York Tenement Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and walking tours of the Lower East Side. The Jewish act of mitzvot, or helping others, is a significant part of our approach to education. Our children have opportunities to cook meals and deliver them to soup kitchens and homeless shelters, make pillows for hospitalized children, and help beautify Central Park. These activities are all linked to key Jewish values and further tied to the curriculum, through Jewish recipes, holidays, and Torah stories.
Family Involvement & Special Events
We embrace families from all backgrounds as we cultivate a connection to Jewish values and tradition. Families are partners in the work that we do, joining with children and teachers to celebrate Jewish life and learning. Families come together monthly for sing-alongs, holiday events, Shabbat dinners, and Havdallah rituals.
Who are the teachers?
Our team of teachers is comprised of experienced educators, many with Masters degrees in education and/or the arts. All Havurah teachers are enthusiastic and caring individuals, committed to a community-centered, inclusive, and progressive approach to childhood education and Jewish learning.
Where do I go as I grow?
The JCC is proud to launch the Jewish Journey Project (JJP), a new initiative designed to revolutionize Jewish education for children in 3rd-7th grade through Bar/Bat Mitzvah and beyond. JJP created customized experiential journeys for children based on their interests and passions. Multiple paths of learning include the individual, family, synagogue, and larger New York Jewish community. For more information visit www.jewishjourneyproject.org.
For more information please contact Jacqueline Marks at email@example.com.