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Am Shalom's Learning Programs for 5781

The first day of Religious School is Sunday, October 4.
Our Hebrew Program will kick off on Wednesday, October 7.

After much planning, wrestling, and considering, Am Shalom has chosen to plan an intentional remote learning year for our Religious and Hebrew School programs. We are not just replicating our usual programs online, but we have spent all summer focused on creating learning plans for our school that are meant for this wild and crazy year. 

So why did we choose this path for our school this year? We know that parents don’t want another online commitment to wrestle their kids into. We know that parents DO WANT connection, community, and strong Jewish values for their kids. We believe that we have created a program that gives us just that. We know this is a challenging time to be a Jewish parent, and we want to give you the tools for your whole family’s experience. 

Here's a link to the Town Hall Meeting from August 25!

Jump to the Section you need:
K - 6th Grade Religious School (Sunday)
Hebrew School (Weekday)
7-12th Grade Programs
More detailed FAQ for Sunday programs (K-12)
More detailed FAQ for Hebrew programs

Kindergarten - Sixth Grade Religious School (Sunday)

Our K-6 families will spend 9:45 - 10:55am together each week on Sundays, in Tefillot and Class time, grouped by families (parents & kids together) to minimize screen time. We will be using a new and unique-for-now program for our families called “La-Bri’ut, to our Health and Well Being.” We believe that this values-based curriculum will help us create Jewishly-based tools for our families to weather the storms of life. 




9:45 - 10:15am

K-6 Families

Tefillot (online)

10:15 - 10:55am

K-6 Families

Mifgash - Your Family Cohort Class Meeting (online)

More details:
Kindergarten through Sixth Grade Families will all meet together online each Sunday morning at 9:45am for our wonderful Tefillot (services). We’ll sing and pray and usually hear a story too. 

And here is where we are really excited about the way that we’re adapting to these challenging times. In order to minimize the need for screens, and to gather our families together for learning, each family (parents & kids) will be placed into a class with 15-17 other families, guided by a teacher. For 40 minutes following the Tefillot, you’ll gather together for some community building and a lesson based on Jewish values. This summer we have been hard at work with a nationally-recognized curriculum writing team to put together a very special program for our families called “La-Bri’ut, to our Health and Well Being.” This curriculum combines Jewish values like courage, wisdom, and community with caregiving principles like safety, calm, and connectedness. We are so grateful that we could put this curriculum into place for this specific and unique time in our lives. 

Just because the learning is online doesn’t mean it will all take place on a screen, however. There will be projects-in-a-box and other fun challenges that you’ll be able to complete as a family, as well as dinnertime talking points and check-ins during the week. There will be specific projects for the learners of all ages in your household!

It’s just a little over an hour in total - and this may be enough for some families! Sitting together and learning, praying, and smiling may be just the right dose of Jewish learning for your family. And for other families - you might want more. You’ll be able to choose how much additional time you spend on the topic of the week in your home. No pressure from us - just all the resources you need whenever you want them. 

As safety allows, we’ll be finding ways to bring various groups into the building, so stay tuned for all of our offerings this year! We hope you’ll connect to other parents and families and create a mini community for you within your class grouping. 

Have more questions? Check out this Frequently Asked Questions with a lot more information, including more details about our choice of curriculum for this unique year!

Register for school here.

The first day of our Sunday Programs is October 4. 

Hebrew School (Alef - Dalet) - Weekday

Hebrew School this year has three components, and the highlight is weekly one-to-one sessions for every student. We’re so excited to be able to offer this learning experience for our Hebrew students to learn at their own pace together with a teacher online. 






Student 1:1 sessions with teachers

4:40pm Tefillot Dance Party

Student 1:1 sessions with teachers

25 minute Group Session (before or after TDP)

With all that we learned last spring, it is very clear that Hebrew learning is very challenging in an online group setting. We also learned that the inconsistency of not knowing what would be happening from week to week was hard for students, families, and teachers. While we are not certain what the year 2020-2021 (5781) will bring in the world, we really want our School programs to be a source of consistency and stability. 

With these goals in mind, we have created our Hebrew program as fully digital. We truly believe that this will allow us to provide the highest quality learning environment for ALL of our students. One-to-one is a gold standard of learning—and teaching, and we’re excited to be able to offer this to all of our students, consistently, all year long.

An effective Hebrew School needs to deliver on three primary goals:
Learning to decode and read Hebrew
Creating a Hebrew and Jewish learning community
Providing a “living laboratory” through our prayer experiences together
This year, we have added a fourth goal: consistent & continuous time spent learning.

Am Shalom’s Hebrew School program addresses all three of these goals through these three carefully-coordinated components:
- Each student will attend a 1:1 weekly consistent session with their teacher
- Each student will attend a weekly 25-minute group session with their teacher and the other students in their class
- Each student will attend our weekly 20-minute prayer experience (Tefillot Dance Party)

When will the sessions take place?
The 1:1 sessions will be scheduled with your teacher consistently on one day (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday). These sessions will be 25 minutes long. 

The Tefillot Dance Party (active prayer service) will be on Wednesdays at 4:40pm.

The group sessions will be on Wednesdays at EITHER 4:15pm or 5:00pm. (To be determined based on your teacher’s schedule - this will be consistent for your student each week. These times are either BEFORE or AFTER Tefillot Dance Party!

We are so excited that this adds up to about 70 minutes of excellent, consistent Hebrew learning. Each student will be able to learn at their own pace! 

Have more questions? Check out this Frequently Asked Questions with a lot more information about our Hebrew learning program for this year!

Our Hebrew Program will kick off on October 7, 2020.
Please note that concurrent Religious School enrollment is a pre-requisite for Hebrew School enrollment.

Register for school here.

7 - 12th grades (Teen Programs)

Our 7th graders will have class from 11:15 - 12:00pm on Sundays, and they’ll be invited to choose from one of four options. The options for this year are: Modern Hebrew, Philanthropy, Jewish Culture Study, and Jewish Leadership. The selection form is available here. 

8-10th grades will meet from 12:15 - 1:00pm on Sundays, online.

11-12th grades will meet on Wednesday evenings (time TBD), online.



7th grade

11:15am - 12:00pm Sundays

8-10th grades

12:15pm - 1:00pm Sundays

11th - 12th grade

Wednesday evenings

Our 7th graders always have choices, and this year they’ll have four choices of classes. Each of the classes will be taught by one of our Education Team members, and they will meet online Sundays, from 11:15 - 12:00pm. We’re excited about the chance to meet with our 7th grade students each week! You’ll note that this session is just the right length for online learning - not too short and not too long. Information about choosing your class will be in your inbox soon.

Our 8th, 9th, and 10th graders will meet online from 12:15 - 1:00pm each Sunday. We’re looking at each curriculum to make sure it meets the needs for today’s students. 

Our 11th and 12th graders will continue to participate in a monthly seminar program! They talk about big ideas in a casual setting on Wednesday evenings. We will have more information coming about this program later this month. 

Register for school here.


We are also so excited to continue to work with our 8-12th graders as helpers in our digital classrooms. Our madrichol - helpers - madrichol - will help out in the family sessions and they will have special training throughout the year to continue to connect them to our community and to each other. And of course, we’ll be able to continue to pay our madrichol.

More information about our Madrichol program and the application is here.

Fri, January 22 2021 9 Sh'vat 5781