Shirat HaNefesh: Song of the Soul » Religious School, Bnei Mitzvah, and more
Religious School, Bnei Mitzvah, and more

Religious School and Bnei Mitzvah

Our youth education programs seek to engage each child’s mind and heart in the joy of being Jewish. We offer an informal, supportive setting where every child enjoys an individualized learning experience while also cultivating a real sense of belonging. We celebrate diversity and difference and welcome all families, wherever they may be on their Jewish path.

Religious School Registration Form

Limmud (for elementary school age students):

Students meet on Shabbat, 10:30 a.m. -12:00 p.m.  See full description of program below. Students also attend a separate Hebrew language school (Moed) at Ohr Kodesh in Chevy Chase one day a week.

B’nei Mitzvah Students:

Personalized guidance by our rabbi and cantor, as well as twice-weekly classes with our Judaics teacher, prepare our students to live Jewishly: participating in prayer, building community, and engaging in Jewish social action. Becoming B’nei Mitzvah is a thoughtful process.  See our B’nei Mitzvah Handbook.

B’nei Mitzvah students meet Shabbat, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and Wednesday evenings, 6:45 p.m. – 8:15 p.m.

Each Bnei Mitzvah is tailored to the individual person.

Note:  in the winter and spring, some Wednesday meetings may be replaced with individual Madrichah/ Parshah Guidance.

Trope tutoring will also be scheduled individually.

Teens

Shirat  HaNefesh teens can stay involved with our community via group social action (tikkun olam), participation in community holiday celebrations, mentoring younger students, and other opportunities.

Leading Services:

Shirat HaNefesh members from post-B’nei Mitzvah age onward are encouraged to experience the liturgy on a deeper level by taking on leadership roles, from mastering a single prayer to learning to chant from Torah, to lead meditation or even an entire service.

For more information on our programs, or to apply for our religious school, please contact education@shirathanefesh.org

Limmud Curriculum Outline

Step into our Limmud classroom:

This is a place where you will hear laughter and singing because we feel that joy is a core part of good education.

A class might begin with a song such as Modeh Ani, which might then segue into a Torah story about one of our Matriarchs or Patriarchs. Perhaps students will role-play a particular Biblical scene to explore an essential concept, such as kindness, hospitality or assisting those in need.

Once or twice during class students will migrate into the sanctuary to experience congregational prayer: hearing the Sh’ma recited or escorting the Torah as it is carried around the sanctuary.

Back in the classroom, students may have a snack preceded by a blessing.

They may play games with Hebrew letters and words, and then have a discussion about tzedakah or a tikkun olam project.

Perhaps class will end with a classic Yiddish story (translated of course!), or tales of Jewish heroes and heroines.

Once class is over you’ll find your child in the sanctuary leading the Kiddush blessings and munching on something delicious.

We will also have whole-family activities: picnics, museum visits, and group Shabbat dinners.

More formally, our curriculum is based on five pillars:

  1. Torah: studying our canonical texts – Tanach (Bible) and Talmud (Midrash)
  2. Avodah: learning our liturgy
  3. G’milut Hasadim/Tikkun/Mussar: being ethical, responsible, respectful
  4. Hebrew: learning our historic language
  5. Tarbut/Yiddishkeit: studying Jewish culture, our history, literature, and arts

Our teaching methods are based on these three principles:

  1. Learning by design; intentional outcomes
  2. Learning through fun activities; experiential learning
  3. All content has a Jewish learning outcome

Our outcomes address these two essential questions:

  1. Why be Jewish?
  2. How can I live as a Jew?