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Youth Education

“The Sunday School is wonderful. It’s challenging. It’s engaging. The kids learn about themselves; learn about the culture as a culture. It's not an indoctrination. It’s an option.”

 — Susan G., Highland Park

“We always had a hard time leaving after Sunday School because when it was over my kids wanted to socialize with their friends and I‘d socialize with the other parents. Even though it ended at 11:30 I found my husband often calling me at 12:15, “Where are you? When are you coming home?”

— Marla D., Deerfield

“At the end of the year last year, we and asked each of our kids to identify non-profits to which they would like to make contributions if they could. My daughter said, “I would like to contribute to Kol Hadash.” We said, “Yeah, we already contribute to the congregation.” She said, “Give more because our Sunday School is amazing and I want to help support it.” As a parent, to hear your child say that the Sunday School is that important to her was an incredible feeling.”

— Terry K., Highland Park


“The purpose of Youth Education is to educate, not indoctrinate; to inspire a love of truth, rather than give our children a definite amount of knowledge; to stir up the minds of the young, rather than stamp our minds on theirs."
— William E. Channing


Our teachers are caring members of the congregation with extensive teaching backgrounds, many of whom grew up in Humanistic Jewish households. We employ an Education Director and have a Youth Education Committee that oversees the school and curriculum, plans special events, and makes policy decisions.

We are thrilled that many of our graduates choose to become classroom aides to mentor our younger students instead of sleeping in on Sunday mornings.


In the Kol Hadash Sunday School, there are no forbidden questions. Our Sunday School is a safe, respectful place to ask questions and explore what it means to be Jewish. Each class has a well-defined curriculum, covering topics in Jewish history, literature and culture.

Can my child "try out" your Sunday School? Yes. We welcome non-members to join us - there is no expectation of a commitment by coming to this program. Are you thinking about how to expose your children to Jewish culture and identity? Your family is welcome to ‘try out’ our Sunday School by visiting their grade’s class for the day. Kol Hadash Humanistic Congregation holds weekly Sunday School classes for students in Kindergarten through Confirmation. Each class has a well-defined curriculum, covering topics in Jewish history, literature and culture. We encourage children to value their Jewish identity and to think for themselves. Our whole school -- students, teachers, and families -- come together to celebrate Jewish holidays as well as for special programs on Jewish culture, community service activities and more. Click here to register to try out our Sunday School.

Holidays and School Events

Our whole school—students, teachers, and families—come together to celebrate major Jewish holidays as well as to enjoy special programs on Jewish culture.


B Mitzvah

Our B Mitzvah students (gender-neutral, non-binary term for “Bar Mitzvah” and/or “Bat Mitzvah”) choose the subjects of their presentations from the entire range of Jewish literature and history based on what is meaningful to them.


The Confirmation Class curriculum (spanning grades 9-10) is packed with interesting field trips to Chicago-area religious institutions to experience other religions and other forms of Judaism. The students analyze how these religions attempt to answer the big questions of life and explore answers to their own big questions.


Our School's Mission:

  • Develop self-confident, critical thinkers and lifelong, active learners;

  • Explore philosophical and ethical choices through the perspective of Humanistic Judaism to promote a life of integrity;

  • Develop Jewish historical and cultural literacy and an understanding of Judaism as an evolving civilization; and

  • Support a positive Jewish identity and connections to Kol Hadash, the Humanistic Jewish community, the larger Jewish world, and the community of humankind.

Membership in the congregation is required in order to register a child in Sunday School, but we make it easy for people to become members or use “trial memberships” through our innovative membership model.

See our Youth Education fees

For more information about our Sunday School, please contact our Education Director Ilana Shaffer at

Sunday School Quick Links

Sunday School Calendar            Youth Education Handbook

B Mitzvah Guide                              FAQs

Youth Education Home               Holiday Celebrations

Mon, May 17 2021 6 Sivan 5781