Chai School at Congregation Shalom

Keeping Connected   February 2020

The Chai School program experienced a bit of a trial reorganization this year. We eliminated most of the core courses that use to be required and are offering a variety of different electives this year, to meet the interests of our Chai School students. In addition, we restructured the schedule to be able to offer more variety throughout the year, in smaller bursts of time. This restructuring allows for a different mix of students throughout the program, allowing the students to pick classes of interest to them and not always sticking with their grade-mates. In addition, we are also offering the Chai School courses to students who are not enrolled in the Chai School program but would like to take a class or two over the course of the year. We are currently in the middle of Session 2 and the Chai Schoolers seem to have easily transitioned with these changes and each Wednesday evening, the temple is filled with Chai School energy and enthusiasm.

When the Chai Schoolers arrive at temple, they first enjoy some spirited time together in the kitchen over pizza, drinks and treats. (Followed by a rotating schedule of kitchen clean up duty!) After the Hebrew School students have left the building, the Chai Schoolers begin their courses for the evening. They spread out into the building, the session the students have been experiencing classes such as learning about the Holocaust resistance, exploring ideas of God (on their way to becoming confirmed), delving deeper into some Jewish holidays and learning to play the ukulele in a course we have titled “Jew-ukele.” The students are engaged in deep thinking, asking complicated questions, wrestling with various ideas of Judaism and enjoying themselves.

The “Jew-ukele” course has been fun to watch and listen to as the students learn chords, strumming patterns and songs. This course is being led by our own Ari Strasser and her husband, Ken Budka. Be sure to mark your calendars for a 7:00pm Shabbat on February 7, 2020. At this service, the Chai School “Jew-ukele” players will be invited to help provide some music for the service. I hope you can all attend this special opportunity!

It has been a good experience changing up the Chai School program and I am excited for the future of the program. If you think that you would like to teach a six-week class to engaging young adults in our Chai School program, please let me know. You can teach something of interest to you, a hobby of yours or a topic that you are interested in, all with a Jewish spin!  I would be happy to chat with you about your ideas.


Tzedakah Progress

Schedule for February

February 2 – Religious School for K-7; Parent/Teacher Conferences

February 4 – Post Confirmation

February 5 – Hebrew School – Tu B’Shevat Seder; Chai School

February 7 – 6th grade class dinner and Shabbat service; “Jew-ukele” provides some music for                                  the service

February 9 – Religious School (Pre-7); Grade 5 Family Ed; Siyyum HaSefer meeting for 3rd grade                                  families; 6th Grade Wax Museum

February 12 – Hebrew School; Chai School

February 16 – No School (Massachusetts School Vacation)

February 19 – No Hebrew School (Massachusetts School Vacation)

February 23 – No School (Massachusetts School Vacation)

February 26 – Hebrew School; Chai School Snow Date