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Kulanu Learning (K-12th)

 

 

 

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.  Kulanu is a multi-faceted approach to Jewish learning that lets go of the notion of “school” and replaces it with “experience.”  We believe that experiences play an integral role in our learning processes.  The focus of our program is quality over quantity and depth over breadth, allowing for reflection and an encouraging process.  This means that our school is based on formation rather than information.  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.  The learning experience is based on the triangle of 1) inquiry and exploration, 2) reflection and 3) production and expression.

This type of learning requires us to leave behind conventional ideas about teaching and learning.   At Kulanu, teaching and learning are participatory, hands-on, and student-centered.  This means that classrooms are filled with open spaces and the use of furniture is minimized. Textbooks and materials supplement inquiry, not drive learning.  Learning should be a fun and engaging process. 

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.

OUR VISION

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

SESAME SHUL (Pre-K)

  • Geared for our students in the year prior to kindergarten, Sesame Shul meets monthly and introduces Jewish values, holidays, and traditions in a developmentally appropriate way through stories, crafts, and participation in school-wide Kulanu programs. 
  • Students will begin to become comfortable in the sanctuary during tefillah (services) and have meaningful Jewish learning experiences through a variety of different modalities. 
  • Families will have opportunities to learn with their children and bring Judaism home to reinforce concepts taught in the classroom.    

K-6th Grade

  • Kulanu Learning: Our Kindergarten-6th Grade program takes place on Sunday mornings from 9:15 am-12:00 pm.  Our curriculum is inspired by experiential and project-based learning, placing students front and center of their own learning. See curriculum overview for more details about our program.
  • Kulanu Hebrew: 3rd-6th graders attend class once per week for small-group sessions either immediately following Kulanu Learning on Sundays, from 12:30 pm-2:00pm, or on Tuesdays, from 4:00pm-6:00pm. An alternative program, "Private Hebrew Tutoring," is available as well for those unable to attend at the offered times.   
  • B'nai Mitzvah Preparation: For students approaching age 13. Learn more about B'nai Mitzvah Preparation.

7th-12th Grade

  • JET: 7th-12th-graders meet on Tuesdays from 6:30 pm-8:00 pm.  We acknowledge that Judaism is not one size fits all, and we want our teens to immerse themselves in a type of Judaism that is meaningful for them.  JET students take electives that help them find the relevance and importance of Judaism in their lives. It also offers an opportunity to meet and build community with other Jewish teens.

Questions?

Contact our Associate Rabbi Educator, Rabbi PJ Schwartz or Assistant to the Rabbi Educator  Lily Harowitz, for the current registration form and to answer any other questions you may have about these programs. Review our Frequently Asked Questions.

Tuition

You must be a member in good standing to enroll your children in Kulanu. We make every effort to ensure that cost is not a barrier so that all children at Shir Hadash can receive a Jewish education. If needed, please complete the Scholarship Application (PDF) and contact Rabbi PJ Schwartz or executive director Gary Geller for more information on financial assistance. See tuition and fee details for all of our programs.

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 Rabbi Schwartz

Special Needs

We care about making our program as inclusive as possible for all students with a range of different needs. We are actively working to assess how we could improve our programs to better meet the broad range of needs of our families, and have engaged an Inclusion Coordinator and Hebrew Resource Specialist to help ensure that all of our students can be successful in our program. Please offer us your input in this regard by contacting Rabbi Schwartz.

Our Core Values

  • We want our students to gain Jewish knowledge and understand how Judaism can help us live better more joyful, and purposeful lives.  

  • We want learning outcomes to result in a sense of pride in being Jewish. 

  • We want their learning to be dynamic, experiential, and lift up the Jewish narrative, in America, Israel, and the world.  

  • We also want them to form deep relationships with each other and feel part of a sacred community (kehillah kedoshah) in which they can participate and be supported. 

  • We want them to feel that Shir Hadash is a safe and inclusive space, in which their individual needs and differences are being valued.

ABOUT MEL JACOBS

Past President Mel JacobsMelvin “Mel” Jacobs served as the founding president of Congregation Shir Hadash from 1980-1982, and continued with a second term in 1983 until his death in January 1984.   Mel was instrumental in the founding of Shir Hadash.   He was fiercely dedicated to Judaism, and his endless energy and persistence were crucial in leading the 230 founding families in the congregation’s early years.  His warmth and love from his smile transcended everything he did.  Rabbi Henry Jay Karp described Mel as:

…someone who loved to talk about “living Judaism,” a Judaism that plays a real part in our everyday lives.   This vibrant, vital Judaism was integral in his vision of what Shir Hadash was meant to be.   It was to be a house of fellowship and peace, of commitment and dedication.   It was to be the fountain of love and respect for our fellow human beings.

Part of achieving this vision included building a vibrant religious education program that fostered Jewish identity, community and belonging for children and families.   The congregation dedicated its religious school program to Mel in 1984 shortly after his death to honor his legacy and help ensure that Mel’s dream of a “living Judaism” would be fulfilled for generations to come.

Sat, November 26 2022 2 Kislev 5783