The mission of CKA religious school is to impart Jewish identity, values and to engage students in the quest for knowledge and understanding as well as to provide a sense of community and connection. In doing this Kol Ami provides opportunities for spiritual growth and character development. We emphasize Jewish thought, customs, liturgy, history, Hebrew language and holidays. We strive to create a strong sense of community in a warm supportive and enjoyable atmosphere, where students can explore their Jewish identity.
Religious School, Grades K-8
Sunday mornings, 10:00-12:15, September through May
What would you see in a single Sunday morning at our Religion School?
Our youngest students are adding their illustrations of the story of Leah and Rachel to the classroom Wall Torah, constructing pieces for a review game they will take home to share with their families, and making for themselves headpieces like our Jewish ancestors would have worn…
In the next classroom, our 2nd and 3rd graders have heard the midrash explaining why Jerusalem was chosen as the site of the Temple, have learned the three varieties of prayers and composed private prayers to send to the Western Wall which they are watching in real time via a webcam, and are each busily creating a mizrach on the theme “Jerusalem of Gold”…
Across the hall, the 4th and 5th grade class has read the Torah’s story of Zelophehad’s daughters’ claim for tribal land, and are reviewing additional Torah texts in preparation for breaking into teams composing public service announcements promoting economic justice…
Our 6th graders, who have just learned the term “rite of passage”, are comparing the rituals of bar and bat mitzvah with those of a quinciniera, and will shortly examine the sefer Torah to come up with question to ask the Rabbi next week.
And our 7th and 8th graders? They’ve just finished designing storyboards of the adventures of the superheroes they’ve created. Their teacher is about to introduce them to the concepts of the messiah and the End of Days, and engage them in an analysis of why the social, political and economic climate of Israel in the last century before the Common Era sparked a surge of interest in a messiah.
At Congregation Kol Ami, Religious School is a place where students are provided with a solid foundation of Jewish knowledge so that they can develop an appreciation of the teachings, practices, and values that make up our tradition. Each session is carefully crafted so that our children are engaged throughout the morning in activities that stir their curiosity, satisfy their desire to know, and respect their need to question.
For many of our students, Religious School is the only place where they are with other Jewish children. We are their connection to the Jewish community beyond their families and homes. We are pleased to provide a warm and joyful Jewish “home away from home”.
Hebrew School, Grades 4-7/8
Thursday afternoons, 4:30-6:00, following the High Holy Days to mid-June
Hebrew is a fundamental skill that is essential for our students’ full participation in Jewish life. By the time they are finished with our Hebrew School program, we expect them to be accurate and fluent Hebrew readers, familiar with the structure of the Shabbat evening and morning services and the content of key blessings and prayers, and skilled at reading and chanting Torah so that they can participate in services as adult members of the congregation.
Bar/Bat Mitzvah Preparation
Students preparing for bar and bat mitzvah spend their final year of Hebrew School with the Rabbi. In that class they learn to read their Torah and haftarah portions and master the cantillation system. Six months prior to the bar/bat mitzvah service, students will begin meeting privately with the Rabbi to work on the d’var Torah.
In order to ensure that have not only gained the skills necessary for leading a Shabbat service but are also familiar with Jewish communal life and values, we also have specific requirements for their attendance at erev Shabbat and Shabbat morning services, Shabbat morning Torah study sessions, and for participation in a mitzvah project.