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Kulanu Learning (K-6th) & Hebrew (2nd-6th)

Our Kulanu Program

Details & Enrollment


About Our Programs

Kulanu ("All of Us" in Hebrew), is Congregation Shir Hadash’s supplemental Jewish education and engagement program for Jewish youth and their families. Learning should involve mind, body, and soul, and should recognize, embrace, and facilitate the unique expression of each of our students.  By learning and living Jewishly, and by understanding our collective history and traditions, we can find meaning and purpose in our lives today.

Our program is designed to engage every student and encourage each of them to develop their own Jewish journey.  At Kulanu, teaching and learning are participatory, hands-on, and student-centered. Learning should be a fun and engaging process.

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Our MISSION

We are a sacred community - kehillah kedoshah -  that fosters pride in being Jewish, provides opportunities to build meaningful connections, and creates a sense of joy and belonging for youth and their families.

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OUR VISION

We aim to inspire and empower our youth and their families to learn, embrace their Jewish identity and create meaningful Jewish lives.

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Our Core Values

  • Joyful Judaism: Kulanu is a place where we can explore our tradition with a sense of joy present in all we do.
  • Jewish Experience and Education that Shape Identity: learning at Kulanu should help foster the knowledge, memories, and skills that help build a Jewish identity in the world.
  • Strengthening Jewish Community: coming together as a community of Jews helps build the deep relationships, support, and identity that support and enrich our lives.

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Schedule for Learning and Hebrew

Our Sunday morning schedule:

  • 9:15am, Kulanu Hebrew Class for 2nd-6th Grades
  • 9:45am, Kulanu Learning Kehillah (Community) Time for socializing, casual games, and building friendships - students and families gather and students in Hebrew Class join our Kehillah at 10am when their Hebrew Class is released
  • 10:15am, Kulanu Learning Tefilah (Prayer and Song) in our Sanctuary
  • 10:45am, Kulanu Learning Class or Electives Time - engaging classroom activities and/or hands-on electives
  • 12:15pm, Pick-up time

Kulanu Learning: Our program for Kindergarten-6th graders takes place on Sunday mornings. Our Learning Curriculum is focused on Jewish education, with an immersive experience Ritual Milestone each year, and a focus on Shabbat experiences. See the curriculum overview for more details about our program. We look forward to welcoming your child into our Kindergarten through 6th Grade Kulanu Learning program.

Kulanu Hebrew: We have expanded our offering to include 2nd-6th graders who attend class once per week on Sunday mornings before Kulanu Learning. Note that students in Hebrew Class join the Kehillah (Community) time at 10am. Learn about our Hebrew Goals for our students.

Shir Hadash Hebrew options for 2024-2025:

  • Sunday Morning Hebrew Class: 9:15am-10:00am: one class per grade level. 
  • Hebrew Private Tutoring: If you have a preferred private tutor your student is familiar with, please email kulanu@shirhadash.org after you register to let us know. For those willing to explore virtual tutoring options, Shir Hadash is working to secure virtual tutors, several of whom are rabbinical students.

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Learning Curriculum

  • Year One: Our program for kindergarten and first grade is about Jewish symbols, and recognizing the symbols and objects that become the anchor points of our Jewish experience.
  • Year Two: For second graders, our program is focused on understanding Jewish history through heroes, and about building relationships with those Jewish heroes as we learn about the values they represent.
  • Year Three: The third grade curriculum is called the World of Deeds, and is about exploring mitzvot. Third graders learn to understand the role that commandedness plays in Jewish life and build a connection to practice, to a Judaism not only of ideas but of actions.
  • Year Four: Fourth grade at Kulanu is focused on stories from the Bible, developing a familiarity with the stories of Torah, as well as an understanding of what memory, not just history, is in Jewish tradition.
  • Year Five: In fifth grade, students focus on deciphering the books of Prophets and Writings. They focus on becoming familiar with stories from these books and applying the values displayed in a text into contemporary situations.
  • Year Six: The final year of Kulanu Learning provides an introduction to the Talmud, and the wider world of Jewish text through dialogue and debate. Students learn about the key role the Talmud, or oral Torah, has played in the development of Judaism as they start to look at textual interpretation as key to our unfolding Jewish story.

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Hebrew Curriculum

This year our refreshed model for the Hebrew program, introducing Hebrew through prayer and Jewish culture - working to develop a sense of Hebrew that is part of synagogue life AND everyday experience for our learners, which will go as follows:

2nd Grade Hebrew:

  • 1/2 Alef-Bet Hebrew letter-sound learning
  • 1/2 Hebrew Play and Games

3rd Grade Hebrew:

  • 1/2 Alef-Bet Hebrew letter-sound learning
  • 1/2 Hebrew Play and Games

4th Grade Hebrew:

  • 1/3 Play and Games Practicing Decoding
  • 1/3 Hebrew Culture and Stories Exploration and Cultural Vocabulary
  • 1/3 Prayer Singing and Reading Practice

5th Grade Hebrew: Focused learning which supports B'nai Mitzvah readiness; an emphasis on skills for their milestone and the ability to navigate and participate in the prayer service.

6th Grade Hebrew: Focused learning which supports B'nai Mitzvah readiness; an emphasis on skills for their milestone and the ability to read from the Torah. We encourage families to reach out to kulanu@shirhadash.org and to dialog with their student’s teacher to ensure that you feel confident in helping your child reach readiness.

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Ritual Milestones

As a part of our curriculum, we understand the importance of immersive experiences and of owning our tradition. This year we are renewing our focus on this by creating ritual milestones each class will learn over the course of the year and then perform as part of their growth and development. Families are encouraged to participate as well!

Our milestones will be:

  • Year One: The Havdalah Service
  • Year Two: The Passover Seder
  • Year Three: Leading Kabbalat Shabbat, at home and in Shul
  • Year Four: Leading Ma’ariv, the evening prayer service
  • Year Five: Leading Shachrit, the morning prayer service
  • Year Six: Leading the Torah service

A big part of that growth and development will be our Shabbat experience here - Judaism cannot just take place in the classroom, and we encourage all students to show up. We hope that the integration of our curriculum and ritual, along with Shabbat community experience, will help Jewish kids and families prepare for their milestones, their b-mitzvah, and for strong Jewish lives. We are currently scheduling special community Shabbat experiences each month for kids and teens.

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Hebrew Goals

  • 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.
  • B'nai Mitzvah Preparation: For students approaching age 13, learn more about B'nai Mitzvah Preparation.

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PARENT Participation AND INVOLVEMENT

We encourage family participation and parent involvement in our program and view our parents as partners in their child(ren)'s Jewish education. Family education days are scheduled throughout the year to give families a chance to learn with their child(ren). There are a variety of volunteer opportunities to help support our program and support their child(ren). For more information about family education programming and volunteer opportunities, contact kulanu@shirhadash.org.

Each Class Havurah will have a Lead who is responsible for:

  • Connecting with the group and establishing a mode of class communication: WhatsApp, Email List, etc.
  • Help to schedule the four Class Havurah activities for the year.
  • Suggested Class Havurah Activities:
    • 1 Shabbat Dinner: This can be at Shir Hadash or in someone’s backyard, picnic or potluck - make it easy and enjoy each other’s company!
    • 1 Holiday Gathering: Pick a favorite holiday and gather together to celebrate.
    • 2 additional gatherings: This could be a meet up at a park, an afternoon hike, a game night - you decide what works best for your class!

Interested in signing up to be a Class Havurah Lead? Reach out to kulanu@shirhadash.org.

Family Education: Our programs facilitate Jewish experiences and inspire families from all backgrounds to seek out and create their own points of Jewish connection, both individually and together as a family. Family education programs empower parents to be Jewish role models for their children by helping them attain the tools, props, skills, and information for Jewish living. Further, it gives a Jewish perspective to activities of everyday life. View our Parent Handbook.

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Kulanu Attendance Policies

Kulanu Learning Attendance Policy: Regular attendance is the foundation of every educational program and is essential in building a spirit of community. It is the policy of Kulanu Learning that all students attend at least 2/3 of the class sessions. Special arrangements for independent study can be made with the educator if there are special circumstances.

Kulanu Hebrew Attendance Policy: A child who misses any session needs to contact the teacher or class peers to make up missed work. If there are three absences in a row, the family may be required to engage a tutor to assist with the missed material.

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Special Needs

My child has special learning needs. Can I enroll him/her? Yes.

We care about making our program as inclusive as possible for all students with a range of different needs. In Proverbs (22:6) we are told, ”Teach each child according to their own abilities.” We work hard to help all of our students to realize their fullest potential and skill level. Please be certain to complete the special needs section of the registration application. We will make every attempt to meet your child’s needs. Be sure to send copies of any IEP or 504 plans to kulanu@shirhadash.org. If we are not able to accommodate your child, we will work with you to find alternative ways to strengthen your child’s Jewish identity. Please reach out to our Kulanu Admin at kulanu@shirhadash.org so that they can work with Rabbi Michael, you, and your child(ren) to ensure a meaningful experience in our program.

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Thu, June 13 2024 7 Sivan 5784