Kesher@AA

Kesher means CONNECTION
Connection to Community
Connection to Friends
Connection to the AA
Connection to Heritage
Connection to Family
Connection to History
Connection to Culture
Connection to Ritual
Connection to Traditions
Connection to Hebrew
Connection to Prayer
Connection to God
Connection to Themselves

Kesher@AA (previously FLLI or School of Judaism) is the religious education initiative for children ages two years old through 12th grade. Children are inspired to be curious about and love Judaism as they encounter a variety of topics through camp-like enrichment activities.

For more information, email Robyn Faintich, Interim Educational Director.

GAAn B'Ahava (2-3 years old)


Gan means “garden” and is a place where our littlest sprouts get to grow their roots and begin their Jewish learning. Ahava means “love” and is the ethos of our early learning center at AA – guiding everything we do.

Two and Three year-olds will develop their love for Jewish learning as they are empowered to explore, create, and dream through Reggio-Emilia learning methods.

This weekly Sunday program runs from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and will be facilitated by Reggio-Emilia trained staff.

 

Pre-K - 1st Grade


Free to be the Jew in Me

Children in this Eidah will learn:

  • the AlefBet
  • Brachot (blessings and
    blessing structure)
  • Holidays
  • Jewish Symbols
  • Synagogue Places and Objects
  • This group meets weekly on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

2nd - 3rd Grade


Children in this Eidah will learn:

  • What makes being Jew unique
  • What organizations help our Jewish community
  • Global Jewry (with Israeli penpals)
  • My Jewish Family
  • Leaders in our community
  • Themes of Jewish responsibility in Bible Stories and Heroes

Beginning in 2nd grade, children at Ahavath Achim are engaged in both Judaic and Hebrew education. The curriculum outlined above describes the Judaic learning themes they will encounter. (Note: for information on the Hebrew education component, please see the Q&A and/or the Hebrew Education tab)

 

4th - 5th Grade


People of Israel & People of the Book
Children in this Eidah will learn:

  • Israeli history, geography & Modern Israel
  • Torah portion exploration and personal meaning
  • The context of our Sifrei Kodesh (Holy Books/Scripture)
    • Torah
    • TaNaKh (Bible)
    • Talmud

Children at Ahavath Achim are engaged in both Judaic and Hebrew education from 2nd-7th grade. The curriculum outlined above describes the Judaic learning themes they will encounter (Note: for information on the Hebrew education component, please see the Q&A and/or the Hebrew Education tab).

 

6th - 7th Grade


Bein Anashim

Between People and God, Between People and Others, Between People and Self

Children in this Eidah will explore:

  • Jewish values that guide our interactions with others
  • Deep social justice issues impacting our society (framed in Jewish context)
  • God and spirituality beliefs
  • Jewish lifecycle rituals

Children at Ahavath Achim are engaged in both Judaic and Hebrew education from 2nd-7th grade.  The curriculum outlined above describes the Judaic learning themes they will encounter.   (Note: for information on the Hebrew education component, please see the Q&A and/or the Hebrew Education tab.)

 

TAAglit Atzmi (8th - 10th Grade)


TAAglit Atzmi - My Personal Discovery Journey

Taglit means “journey” and Atzmi means  “personal discovery.”  Participants in this Eidah are on a personal discovery journey as they grow as teens.

Teens in this Eidah will explore:

  • American Jewish Experience
  • Southern Jewish Experience
  • Holocaust
  • Israel

TAAglit Atzmi meets 16 Sundays from 12:45 p.m. -2:45 p.m. Lunch is provided as part of an important teen social experience and is shared with our AAtid (11th-12th graders).  The TAAglit Atzmi experience also includes a multi-day trip.  This year the teens will travel to NYC.

 

AAtid (11th - 12th Grade)


AAtid - American Jewish Teen

Atid means “future.” As our oldest learners begin to think about the next steps in their Jewish lives, we will help prepare them for their future.

Teens in this Eidah will explore:

  • Current Events through a Jewish Lens
  • American Holidays as a Jew
  • The Jewish Experience on College Campus
  • The Relationship between Religion and Government
  • Judaism in Pop Culture
  • Comparative Judaism in North America

AAtid meets 16 Sundays from 12:45 p.m. -2:45 p.m. Lunch is provided as part of an important teen social experience and is shared with our TAAglit Atzmi teens (8th-10th graders).

 

Hebrew Education


The Hebrew education component of Kesher is required for all 2nd-6th grade children (unless they are enrolled in day school).  We believe that Hebrew de-coding/reading fluency is the essential building block to prayer literacy.  Being able to participate with ease and confidence in a variety of Hebrew-based prayer experiences – Jewish lifecycle rituals, blessings, Shabbat and Holiday worship services, etc – is a foundation of living a Jewish life.

On Sunday mornings, children will encounter Hebrew through a number of modalities which will include prayer, music, and vocabulary associated with their core content. Formal Hebrew language instruction is acquired through additional time during the week.

We feel it is very important to understand where each child is in their ability to decode and read Hebrew. In order to assess this, an experienced Hebrew language instructor will be evaluating all of the 2nd-7th graders in individual testing which will take place during August and early September. Once we know where our children are in their skills, we can then better determine how and when to offer Hebrew.  We will likely offer a Sunday afternoon Hebrew option (12:30 p.m.-2:45 p.m. with lunch time) along with mid-week offerings which might include in-home small groups and/or Wednesday afternoons.

We are expecting to place children into skill-based groupings rather than grade-level groups for Hebrew. We will call these mixed-age groups Ramah Aleph (First Level), Ramah Bet (Second Level), Ramah Gimel (Third Level), Ramah Daled (Fourth Level), etc.  This will ensure that each child’s needs are met through differentiation.

Seventh graders will be working with individual tutors in preparation of their bar/bat mitzvah ceremony and will not be placed in a Ramah Hebrew group.

 

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