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2023-2024 Kulanu!

welcome

Dear Shir Hadash Families - 

I am thrilled to start the year ahead with you - we’ve worked hard over the summer to refresh our programs based on feedback from families, guidance from Rabbi Nico, and collaboration with our youth and family leaders.

Do you have questions, suggestions, or concerns? Please reach out to me at rabbiwalden@shirhadash.org.

Kulanu & JET Calendar is available:

Registration: Go to the Enrollment page (you must be logged in)

Growing up, I admit that I struggled with the youth Sunday learning program at my local synagogue - what was the point and why was I there? Yes, I was 9, and now I've grown to appreciate what I've learned, but my hope going forward is to ask: “how will I (or my child) use this, right now? How can this program be engaging, energizing, and equip me to make sense of my world around me?” 

I hope you join me this year in asking these hard/key questions, keeping the line of communication open in providing feedback, and helping us evolve our program together into what we dream it can be.

Shalom,
R. Michael

If you would like to submit an application for financial assistance, please complete this Scholarship Form (PDF) and send it to Shanda Witkin at shanda@shirhadash.org.

Kulanu Learning: We’ve heard loud and clear that building Jewish friendships and a sense of belonging is forefront for Shir Hadash families. This foundation makes Jewish students feel connected to each other and Judaism. Register your student(s) now!

This year we are prioritizing student socializing, learning about Jewish traditions, holidays, and prayers, and planning significant opportunities for hands-on engagement and projects that youth can enjoy through a new Chugim (Electives) model. 

NEW Sunday Schedule for Kulanu Learning:

  • 9:30am-10am: Community Time for socializing, schmoozing, playing games, and fostering friendships and connections.
  • 10am-10:30am: T’filah in the Sanctuary - families encouraged to attend with their student(s)!
  • 10:30am-Noon: Elective Time or Class Time - there will be many special Chugim (Elective) dates across the year, bringing in special teachers for engaging hands-on elective options such as art, music, drama, storytelling, and cooking. The general class time days will have projects, learning, and fun!

In addition, Shir Hadash will start a new grade-level “Class Havurah” model with four events across the year per grade level to grow friendships and foster connections between same-grade families! Learn more about the new Class Havurah model.

Learn more about the per-grade-level curriculum focus for this year on the Kulanu Learning page of the website.

Kulanu Hebrew: Let’s be honest - it’s been a challenge balancing Hebrew class scheduling/timing, unique student learning needs, as well as family needs related to familiarity with Hebrew and helping students do their Hebrew homework. We hope you’ll partner with us in our effort to make this refreshed approach to Hebrew a success. We can’t do it without you - register today!

Shir Hadash Hebrew Options 2023-2024:

  • Sunday Morning Hebrew Class: 8:30am-9:45am - 75 minutes per class, one class per grade level is anticipated. Learn more about the new class structure for the curriculum this year.
  • Hebrew Pods Pilot (four-student pods) - 60 minutes per session, Shir Hadash will facilitate the pod student matching, teacher pairing, location selection, and scheduling, to best ensure this is a success for pod families!
  • Hebrew Private Tutoring - 60 minutes per session, If you have a preferred private tutor your student is familiar with, please send an email to rabbiwalden@shirhadash.org after you register to let us know.

Goals for our Hebrew program:

  • Enable students to feel positive about Hebrew and confident in learning/knowing their letter sounds and phonetic reading from the prayerbook.
  • Grow students’ cultural Hebrew vocabulary and comfort with Hebrew phrases, folklore, stories, holiday vocabulary, and simple conversational phrases in Hebrew. 
  • Grow student confidence in knowing the melodies and words of our prayers and songs.
  • Prepare students to be ready for their B’nai Mitzvah with confidence. 

Register today!

  • Please join us and register today - we look forward to putting our energy into this new refreshed model and we are dedicated to finding an option that works for your family.

Tuition Information: View our Tuition page for the breakdown of tuition details.

Why the Change?
Last year was our second year trialing Sunday afternoon Hebrew and teachers reported that students struggled to focus in the afternoon after the long morning of activities. Many families felt the day was too long and impacted family time. To better meet the learning needs of students (catching kids in the morning when their energy may be fresh and including a snack with the morning class time), we’re offering Sunday morning Hebrew class this year.

We also heard loudly from feedback last year that for many students the classic classroom model is not a great fit due to unique learning needs or challenges. In response to that, we are piloting a new Pods model, in addition to also offering our Private Tutoring option. 

Pods will be four-student clusters paired with a teacher, meeting at a place and location each week that works best for each Pod/Teacher. If a Pod is your top choice, please choose the Pod option when enrolling online. We will do our best to match you up successfully into a Pod!

Why 8:30am on Sundays?
Most elementary schools around the Bay Area begin between 8:10am and 8:30am. Starting our Sunday Hebrew program at 8:30am is consistent with the cycle of the typical morning start time during the general school week. We appreciate that travel to Shir Hadash is a distance for some families, and apologize that this time offering will not work for everyone. 

JET: It’s going to be a great year ahead! Students and families reported finding the hands-on Social Action nights as part of JET last year to be deeply rewarding. Last spring at Second Harvest nights teens jumped into action, packing hundreds of food boxes and making a difference. Learn more below and register your teen today!

More Action:
This year we’re adding even more Social Action nights and are calling them “JET in Action.” On seven of the sessions this coming year (approximately one session per month), teens will put their Jewish values straight into tangible action. 

More Connection:
Teen Dinner: The JET program will start with dinner from 6:30pm-7pm, and then have class program sessions from 7pm to 8pm. Dinner is included in the tuition price this year and we hope that ALL of the JET youth will come at 6:30pm each Tuesday to socialize and chat during the Teen Dinner.

More Learning:

  • 7th Grade: Focused on Jewish values exploration, bringing Jewish values into everyday life.
  • 8th Grade: Diving into a look at our roots: from where did we come and what’s our Jewish history.
  • 9th Grade: Broadening horizons to understand Jews around the world - an exploration.
  • 10th Grade: Confirmation this year will include dynamic discussions exploring what it means to view the world through a Jewish lens. Teens will participate in a special Confirmation Service and then go on a social action Class Trip to Arizona through Uri L’tzedek focused on supporting immigrants and learning about asylum issues. (Note that the trip/travel costs are separate from tuition.)
  • 11th & 12th graders who did not yet participate in Confirmation are invited to join this year’s entire Confirmation program for learning and a class trip! (Note that the trip/travel costs are separate from tuition).
  • 11th & 12th graders who already completed Confirmation, you are encouraged to register for the "Post-Confirmation" enrollment option and join all of the seven JET in Action nights throughout the year and then join the Class Trip. (Note that the trip/travel costs are separate from tuition).

The “JET in Action” nights will include collaborations with various nonprofit organizations across the year. Discussions are in the works to find out ways to best collaborate with organizations serving the homeless, supporting community members recovering from addiction, aiding those facing hunger through partnering with Second Harvest Food Bank again, and more. If you have connections to a local organization with hands-on opportunities that you think might be a good candidate for a JET in Action night, please reach out to rabbiwalden@shirhadash.org

Next Steps:


Tips for How to Register for kulanu & jet

1. Log in to your Shir Hadash account. If you forgot your password, your username is your email address and you can use the "forgot password" process to reset your password and then login successfully.

2. AFTER logging in, then visit the Enrollment Page to register!

If your student(s) were enrolled last year, the system should pre-suggest the correct grade and programs for next year. However, if you need to change the grade/options for your student, click the little "Change" link and select a different grade for your student for next year. If your student was not enrolled in the past, the system will prompt you to select a grade level to associate with each child in your household.

Sat, May 18 2024 10 Iyar 5784