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Kesher: Our Religious School

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Kesher Program Overview

Kesher is the Hebrew word for "connection." Everything we do in Kesher promotes a close connection between students, families, teachers, clergy and caregivers. We believe that Judaism provides the framework and the language for spiritual development that strengthens a person, our temple community, and the world at large. We are proud to do this through a Reform Jewish lens.

What makes us different? We are:

  • Unequivocally egalitarian. We believe women and girls should be fully included in all aspects of Jewish life, including a full bat mitzvah experience.

  • Proudly inclusive. LGBTQ+, interfaith and special needs folks are welcomed and cherished as part of the community.

  • Thriving post-bar/bat mitzvah. Our students stay involved well past the bar/bat mitzvah ceremony. Our goal is for parents and children to be lifelong participants in Jewish life, constantly discovering how ancient wisdom speaks to our modern lives. 

Our educational philosophy:

We aim to provide transformative experiences, both inside and outside of a classroom setting, where students and their families are inspired to learn and to make a difference in the world. We do this while also preparing learners for knowledgeable, active participation in Jewish life. We believe it is important to incorporate fun and joy in our learning, while encouraging thoughtful discussion, personal expression, and ruakh (spirit). We believe every individual is deserving of a Jewish education, and we provide personalized care for all types of learners, including those with special needs.

We believe Jewish learning is a lifelong pursuit, and we are proud to see a great majority of our learners participate in temple life well past Bar/Bat Mitzvah into Confirmation, Graduation, and throughout their lives as adults.

We achieve this through:

COMMUNITY - Our students are a part of a vibrant youth community. We actively seek out opportunities to integrate our youth community with the larger temple community through social action opportunities, family learning experiences, and holiday observances. We are especially dedicated to tikkun olam (repairing the world), helping our families understand their responsibility to the community now and in the future. Social action activities are therefore an essential aspect of our Kesher experience.

PARENTS - Parents are regarded as important partners who share in their child’s journey of Jewish living and learning. We create opportunities for parents to connect to each other, forming their own community as well.

EDUCATIONAL METHODS - Our professional staff and teachers provide an enthusiastic, stimulating learning environment while aiming to understand and accept individual differences. We maintain a commitment to the latest insights in Jewish and secular education.

GOD, TORAH, ISRAEL - We encourage learners to explore different pathways to and concepts of God, focusing on our evolving, individual relationships to God. In order to do this, our learners become familiar with the Torah and other major Jewish texts. Engagement with these texts also provides strong insights into the history of our people and the development of the values we treasure. From this comes a connection to Israel in all its forms: Eretz Yisrael (the land of Israel), Am Yisrael (the Jewish people), Medinat Yisrael (the modern State of Israel).

HEBREW – We learn Hebrew to access Jewish thought, history, and prayer. We prepare learners for active participation in Jewish lifecycle moments and rituals, while understanding the deeper meaning behind our people’s prayers, customs, and holidays.

Fri, December 8 2023 25 Kislev 5784