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Rabbi Jodie Gordon

Rabbi & Education Director

Jodie Friedman

Program Associate

We are proud to share preliminary information about our plans for Religious School, Hebrew Skills, and our broader Youth and Family Education programs at Hevreh for the 2020-2021 school year. Since June 2020, a dedicated group of faculty, parents, and community members have worked alongside our Education Team to design an approach for the year ahead that meets the needs of our community in a safe, thoughtful, and innovative way. Above all else, we hold our commitment to Pikuah Nefesh, the Jewish value of preserving life, and all decisions and possibilities will be considered with best practices from the Massachusetts Department of Health and CDC guidelines in mind. 

הוּא הָיָה אוֹמֵר, אִם אֵין אֲנִי לִי, מִי לִי. וּכְשֶׁאֲנִי לְעַצְמִי, מָה אֲנִי. וְאִם לֹא עַכְשָׁיו, אֵימָתָי 

Hillel would say:  If I am not for myself, who will be for me? 

But if I am for my own self [only], what am I?

 And if not now, when? (Pirke Avot 1:14) 

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A Sketch of Our Programs

01

Camp Style Units

With Tiny Talmidim and Confirmation Class bookending our program, this year our program will be structured around camp-style units for our Kindergarten-7th grade students. This will allow for greater collaboration between our faculty as they work hard to design new content for our emergent curriculum, as well as offer our students a smaller community-within-a-community. For our teens, we will offer a special Leadership Track program in addition to Confirmation Class with the rabbis. 

02

Family Education

Using the model of Yachad Family Education that is core to Hevreh’s Religious School community, we will continue to offer families the opportunity to learn and celebrate together throughout the year. Families will be assigned to smaller cohorts to allow for the possibility of in-person gatherings as appropriate, as well as smaller online group experiences which could include film discussions, cooking classes, music classes, using materials and resources sent home for each family. 

03

T’fillah and Hebrew Skills

Prayer, music, and a love for the Hebrew language are core to our Hevreh community. This year, Hebrew Skills students (grades 3-7) will have the option of choosing between 1:1 tutoring, or small group (3-4 students) tutoring on either Tuesdays or Wednesdays. 

Additionally, our Religious School families will have the chance to gather for a special monthly Shabbat morning experience online, led by our student cantor and rabbis with participation from students and faculty.

Learning Goals

In this year ahead, more than perhaps any other year, we want to lean heavily into the work that our Religious School programs have always done to engender a love for Jewish life. This is a year where finding joy in Jewish holidays, rituals, stories, music, and lifecycle events will be crucial. To that end, our Yachad style programs will evolve to meet the form that the moment demands. In person gatherings may happen in shifts, or Yachad programs may be designed as take home kits with necessary resources and materials. 

Hebrew Skills

Our Hebrew faculty remain dedicated to ensuring that our students build a strong foundation for Hebrew reading and comprehension.

 

In order to facilitate that learning, students will have options for small-group or 1:1 Hebrew tutoring throughout the year, on multiple week days (not solely Wednesdays) 

Jewish Joy

Self Care & Community

Through A Jewish Lens

Responding to Hillel’s first question, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me?”, students and families will explore the Jewish values that provide comfort, hope, and direction for us during challenging times. 

Responding to Hillel’s second question, “If I am only for myself, what am I?” students and families will engage in the work of becoming an anti-racist community. This will include a focus on opening ourselves up to the experiences of others, and will rely on a developmentally appropriate “ladder of justice” (echoing Maimonides’ ladder of tzedakah) that invites learners to build an understanding of justice founded on the belief that all human beings are created B’tzelem Elohim (in the image of God), and then, to acknowledging that racism exists, that systemic racism is a problem that we can help to solve, et. Al. 

Building towards justice

Hevreh of
southern
berkshire

413-528-6378

info@hevreh.org

270 State Road
Great Barrington, MA 01230
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