Shoresh: Our Shabbat-based religious school program

Our students develop foundations of Jewish education—their own “roots”—to become curious, engaged, and skillful Reform Jewish adults. Learning on Jewish time through authentic experiences provides students and families with opportunities to develop positive Jewish identity, Hebrew knowledge, Jewish traditions and values, and engagement with Jewish ritual and community. The roots our students plant at KAM Isaiah Israel will lead them to be adults who live meaningful Jewish lives.

 

 

Our program

Shoresh provides experiential and project based Jewish learning for Kindergarten through 10th grade students. Our Shabbat-based model supports students as they become curious about, engaged in, and skillful in Judaism. Students focus on developing a sense of Jewish identity and belonging to the KAM Isaiah Israel community through developmentally appropriate projects and discussions. Read more about the Shoresh curriculum. Kindergarten–9th grade students meet Friday afternoons 4:00–6:30 PM, culminating in our weekly family Shabbat service.

Shoresh sessions on friday

4:00–6:00 PM Classroom time

Kindergarten–1st grade students have a dynamic schedule of activities for experiential learning. 2nd–6th grade students learn through group-focused activities in engaging settings. 7th–9th grade students learn about modern issues, study texts, and discover Jewish values through discussions with clergy and experienced teachers. 

 

6:00–6:30 PM Family Shabbat service 

Students conclude Friday afternoon learning by welcoming Shabbat in a meaningful community setting where they can put their knowledge into practice at our weekly Shabbat service and monthly congregational dinners. Designed for students and parents, this service is a central component of our Shabbat-based model. Parents join their children for the service after socializing at a wine and cheese oneg at 5:30 PM.

Background

 This idea of planting and growing our Shoresh, our Jewish roots, reflects the mission of our program as well as the identity unique to KAM Isaiah Israel. Most literally, our community is proud of our urban farm and the over 18,000 pounds of organic produce grown and donated to local soup kitchens and shelters. In Hebrew, we often look at the shoresh (root) of a word and how that affects a word’s meaning and use. Our students’ roots—both those in our gardens and that our congregation helps sow through education—affect our Jewish identities.