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Sunday School and Cultural Jewish Education

Jewish identity is expressed in many ways: holidays, stories, life cycle celebrations, music
and more. Our classes help our students understand their place in the world, in their
family and in Jewish culture. We also start to learn why and how we’ve chosen to celebrate
Judaism differently through a Humanistic approach to life. 
 
 

Like everyone, we want our children to be good people who find personal meaning in their Jewish identity. What makes us distinct is our emphasis on asking questions rather than memorizing answers, making choices rather than obedience, and focusing on people rather than faith.

Jewish cultural education includes experiencing and creating Jewish music, art, food and more. Through all-school programs, in-class music education, creative craft projects and special guest teachers, our students will both learn about and experience Jewish life.

The goal of Sunday School is for our children to ask questions, think critically, and explore what Being Jewish and Doing Jewish means to them.

10 Ways Kol Hadash Does Sunday School Differently

1. Our children explore the entire range of Jewish experience, past and present, with the freedom and responsibility to decide what is relevant and meaningful to them.

2. We prioritize positive Jewish experiences throughout our learning program – schmoozing (socializing) is as Jewish at studying!

3. We teach our children about the beliefs and behavior of their ancestors and other Jews today while encouraging them to ask questions and make up their own minds about being Jewish and doing Jewish. 

4. Although we do not see biblical stories as historical fact, we teach them for cultural literacy and to open ethical conversations. We rely on archaeology and critical study as the basis for real Jewish history.

5. We celebrate Jewish holidays as our cultural inheritance: created by people, evolving over time. We pass on Jewish traditions that harmonize with our values and beliefs.

6. We understand that being Jewish might be only one part of a family’s cultural heritage. Children learn about and develop their Jewish connections while celebrating their full selves.

7. Families can "try out" our Sunday School by visiting their grade’s class for the day. There is no expectation of a commitment.

8. Sunday School families enjoy holiday celebrations and cultural experiences that bring our entire community together.

9. Our B Mitzvah and Confirmation programs are both practical and personalized: individual Hebrew tutoring for reading competence and conversation; choice of mitzvah presentation subject; family involvement in the creation of the mitzvah celebration; and more. 

10. Our Sunday School teachers understand and appreciate our distinct approach to Jewish life because they are Kol Hadash members too!

Meet our Youth Learning teachers.

Sunday School FAQ

1. Where and when does your Sunday School meet?
Our Sunday School meets at Deerfield High School on Sunday morning, 9:30-11:30 AM, September through May, for 27 sessions. One-on-one initial Hebrew learning for 5th graders is scheduled directly with families. B Mitzvah Prep Class for 6th graders also meets on Sunday mornings.

2. What does Kol Hadash teach in its school?
Our goal is Jewish cultural literacy and personal empowerment. We want our children to develop their own convictions on the basis of knowledge, not indoctrination. We seek to explore the entire range of Jewish experience, past and present, and to choose what is relevant and meaningful.

3. How is Kol Hadash’s Sunday School organized?
We have weekly Sunday School classes for First Grade through Ninth Grade Confirmation. Our classes are: 1st/2nd grade, 3rd/4th/5th grade, 6th/7th grade, and 8th/9th grade Confirmation. We also offer monthly Adult-Tot programs for 0-2 year olds and 3-6 year olds.

4. Do Kol Hadash students learn Hebrew?
Yes! Hebrew songs and simple vocabulary are part of every grade’s experience. Our 5th grade students have individual Hebrew tutoring for basic literacy (reading competency) in half-hour sessions, which are directly scheduled with our Hebrew tutor. 6th grade students join Rabbi Adam’s B Mitzvah Prep Class as part of Sunday School which builds on their Hebrew reading and introduces basic Hebrew vocabulary, grammar and conversation. Learn more about our Hebrew Learning.

5. Does Kol Hadash have a Bar Mitzvah / Bat Mitzvah program?
Yes! Our B Mitzvah (a gender-inclusive term covering Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah) preparation fits into the busy lives of today’s middle-schoolers and their families. After choosing their own focus for their mitzvah presentation in consultation with Rabbi Adam, the students work individually with the rabbi to research and write their speech. This includes choosing their own Hebrew reading, either from the Torah or from other Jewish literature. Individual Hebrew tutoring, customized B Mitzvah services, and dedicated support throughout the process all make our B Mitzvah experience joyful and successful. Read more about our B Mitzvah program.

6. Does Kol Hadash have any programs for children younger than First Grade?
Yes! Our monthly Adult-Tot programs (“See, Sing, Celebrate!” ages 0-2, “Jewish Discovery” ages 3-6) are enrichment classes for children with their grown-up. All sessions include holiday-focused songs, stories, hands-on activities and connecting with other families. Adult-Tot programs are open to everyone (free for Kol Hadash members; a nominal fee for non-members). Our innovative, self-selected membership contribution works for any budget.

7. What is expected of parents of Sunday School students?
Parents are not required to do anything, though we encourage them to occasionally participate in and help with all-school programs. Parents are free to drop-off their children or to stay and socialize with other parents. We offer programs on selected Sunday mornings that parents enjoy, including parent discussions, family holiday celebrations (Hanukkah, Passover, Purim, etc.), community service activities, and Jewish cultural programs like challah-making and Taste of Kol Hadash.

8. Can my child enroll in Kol Hadash’s Sunday School if my family is not a member?
Everyone is welcome to take advantage of our Sunday School Tryout to see if our school and congregation are a good fit for your family. Enrollment in the school is for member families. We have a unique and innovative membership model based on self-selected annual contributions that makes membership about meaning and not about money.

9. What does it cost to enroll my child in Sunday School?
Annual Sunday School tuition (27 sessions) is $485 for the first child and $465 for each additional child. Additional fees apply to our B Mitzvah program. See our Youth Education Fees for more details. All of our family holiday events, as well as our monthly Adult-Tot programs for ages 0-2 and ages 3-6, are free for Kol Hadash members.

10. Can my child "try out" Sunday School?
Yes! We welcome everyone to visit us without any expectation of a commitment. Families are welcome to try out our Sunday School by having their children join their grade’s class for the day. Click here to register for our Sunday School Tryout. Non-member families are also welcome to attend our all-school holiday celebrations.


Useful Youth Learning Information
 
Sunday School FAQ                                      Family and Youth Events Calendar             Curriculum and Teachers
Adult-Tot Programs                                      Family Holiday Celebrations                          Sunday School Registration
Tue, July 16 2024 10 Tammuz 5784