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Religious School

HEA Religious Education Mission and Programs:

וְהָיָה כְּעֵץ שָׁתוּל עַל פַּלְגֵי מָיִם 
אֲשֶׁר פִּרְיוֹ יִתֵּן בְּעִתּוֹ וְעָלֵהוּ לֹא יִבּוֹל וְכֹל אֲשֶׁר יַעֲשֶׂה יַצְלִיח

“That person is like a tree planted by streams of water which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers” Psalms 1:3

Religious School Education Mission:

We see our children as our most treasured “possession.” Here at the Hebrew Educational Alliance we understand that our continuation as a community, as a people, and as a faith, depends on the next generation’s commitment to Judaism. Therefore, in partnership with you, we strive to instill in our children a love and appreciation for everything Jewish.

We understand that in today’s world we face challenges that demand a wholesome approach to child development.  Our goal is to anchor your child’s social, emotional and intellectual growth to Judaism—with the values and ethical living reflected in our traditions.
Our mission is to help your children build strength of character with compassion and tolerance from Preschool to Chai School and beyond. Our classes and curriculum are designed to promote a sense of pride and belonging in our Jewish community. They will feel accepted and cherished knowing their lives have purpose and meaning while experiencing a sense of joy, relatability, and connection to the divine.

Religious School Programs:

Sunday School:

The HEA Religious School serves students in Pre-K to 5th grade and meets on Sundays from 9AM to 12PM. We utilize the ShalomLearningTM interactive, values-based curriculum to help children develop a positive Jewish identity. Holidays are taught with an engaging (hands-on) approach and are celebrated in a school-wide setting. We use engaging learning strategies that mirror camp-style fun and encourage family learning with one Family Education event for each grade level. The students participate in a weekly tefilah service and enjoy a new approach in learning Hebrew through action and movement. Hebrew is integrated in every class and we promote love for Israel. God and spirituality are introduced with age appropriate engagements. 
The values covered in the 2019- 2020 year are: 
• September:     T’shuvah – Repentance
• October:     Betzelem Elohim – In God’s Image
• November:     Gevurah – Strength
• December:     Achrayut – Responsibility and Accountability
• February:     Shmirat Hateva – Preserving our Environment
• March:     Hakarat Hatov – Gratitude
• April:     Koach Hadibur – Power of Speech
• May:         Shalom – Peace and Wholeness

Hebrew School:

Hebrew school is offered weekly through two-hour classes for 4th – 6th-grade students. Classes are created based on students’ Hebrew levels and teach basic Hebrew decoding and progress to mastery of prayers, building to the B’nai Mitzvah program. Classes are offered with a choice of Wednesdays or Thursdays from 4:30  - 6:30 p.m.

Mensch Academy:

As a continuation of Religious School, B’nai Mitzvah cohorts, (traditionally 6th & 7th grades) are engaged in a two-year program with equal emphasis on their Hebrew proficiency and character building. Hebrew related studies include learning Torah trope and continued tefilah mastery enabling them to continue to lead services after their Bar/Bat Mitzvah. In Mensch Academy, they delve deeper into concepts of Jewish ethics, bridging developmental concerns typical to this age and Jewish understanding of musar. The 6th grade retreat is designed to build a sense of community and belonging. Another component of the B’nai Mitzvah program is the investigation into the role of faith, God and spirituality in their daily lives.

Chai School:

The High School years are a formative period in our teenage children’s lives, an important time that affects their Jewish identity. To keep our teens involved and interested in everything Jewish, HEA Chai School provides relevant shiurim (classes) that encourage engagement in a safe and welcoming environment. They develop their understanding of the responsibility of being a Jew while embracing the privilege of being one. We encourage exploring their spiritual ideas and connection to the Jewish people, thus fostering a lifelong faith-hold for future stages of life. 

Chai School is for 8th – 10th grade students. Chai School Siyum/Confirmation takes place at the end of 10th grade. It affirms and celebrates your child’s understanding and commitment to what “Being a Jew” is all about. It also honors them for being a part of more than 85 years of HEA tradition.

Chai School classes meet twice a month on Thursdays from 6-8PM and includes dinner. There are 18 sessions in the 5780 (2019-2020) school year.  Chai School’s goal is to create a space for teens to connect with each other, building a community of friends.

The 5780 Curriculum is based on 4 units:
Unit 1: On Being A Jew
September – October 2019: Unit One of “Ten Paths to God”, a new curriculum about Judaism and Jewish values based on traditional and contemporary teachings of 
R. Jonathan Sacks. 

This unit deals with the question of Identity with the following aims: 
• Consider the placement of their Jewish identity in their overall identity
• Consider how they are shaped by both their past and by exposure to the narrative of our national past
• Explore the concepts of: Am Segula / Chosen People; Jewish destiny and national mission; the core values of Jewish society
• Understand the importance of transmission of Judaism’s core concepts

Unit 2: Many Ways Of Being A Jew
November-December 2019: An introduction to the different movements within Judaism, from Orthodoxy to Jewish Renewal. The unit culminates with a panel discussion from Rabbis representing these diverse movements.

Unit 3: Israel – Between Conflicts and Resolutions
January-February 2020: Unit 3 explores Israel’s role in contemporary Jewish life, it’s history and the present Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Classes feature guest speakers including the Israeli Shaliach, Community Emissary. 

Unit 4: Multifaith, Otherness, Antisemitism and Hate 
March-April 2020:  This unit introduces the basic tenets of other faiths/religions. Parents are invited to join the students for a “Speed-Faithing” event in which they will have an opportunity to interact with guests of different faiths. This unit also includes the topic of Antisemitism, ethnic and religious hate, discussing reasons for and ways to address this problem. Please Note: All speakers, movies, and panel discussions are presented to 8th - 10th grades together, but class discussions are single grade for age appropriate discussions and activities. Classes also include experiential components and address current event when appropriate. 

Siyum\Confirmation Class 5780:
Siyum\Confirmation Class (10th grade) has an added emphasis on personal reflection and responsibility as they contemplate their role in assuring our continuation as a community, as a people and as a faith. Rabbi Gruenwald teaches this class. Prior to class beginning, the Confirmation Class students will write a one-page essay answering the following question: “What does confirmation means to you?” The paper should be emailed to prior to the first class.  Please Note: Confirmation Ceremony is scheduled for Friday evening, May 15, 2020.

HEA Youth Group Programs:

The Hebrew Educational Alliance offers three different youth groups for students from 3rd grade through 12th grade. All HEA Youth Programs are open to any Jewish youth, regardless of synagogue or other Youth Group affiliation. Our goal is to provide fun-filled activities that build relationships while fostering a sense of belonging.

Mon, April 6 2020 12 Nisan 5780