Washington Hebrew Congregation offers an innovative, experiential, and compelling religious educational program for children to help them learn about Judaism and develop their sense of Jewish identity.
We offer parallel programs for children in Pre-K through 10th grade at both the Lehrman Religious School at Temple and the Julia Bindeman Suburban Center in Potomac to best meet our families' needs.
Gan (Pre-K) meets monthly, and children in Kindergarten through Grade 3 attend once a week on Sundays from 9:30 am - noon. Beginning in Grade 4, children also attend mid-week Hebrew classes (Tuesdays at JBSC and Wednesdays at Temple) from 4:30 - 6:00 pm to help reinforce their Hebrew study. Our Upper School (Grades 8 and 9) and Confirmation program follow a different schedule, described below.
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This special class is held once a month (a total of eight times during the school year). It has a cooperative educational structure, combining professional teachers with parental involvement to ensure a strong adult to child ratio and a nurturing environment. Parents will volunteer once a year for each child registered. The Gan is child-centered and focused on building self-esteem and Jewish identity through socialization and play.
These years focus on developing a love of being Jewish as well as comfort with Judaism and the Temple. Music, art, drama, and Israeli dance complement the program to cultivate the many approaches students utilize in their learning.
Formal Hebrew instruction begins in Grade 3. For the first time, Sunday mornings are divided into Judaic Studies and Hebrew instruction, where students learn to decode letters and vowels. Music, art, computer lab, and Israeli dance help enhance learning. In the spring, families attend Siyum Sefer, a special ceremony led by the third graders which celebrates the completion of their first Hebrew book.
Our twice-a-week program begins in Grade 4, where students begin to prepare for their B'nei Mitzvah and combine learning Hebrew with other Jewish subjects, including the Bible, Jewish lifecycle, modern Israel, and the American Jewish experience. Holidays and Jewish values are incorporated into each grade's spiral curriculum which also includes art, dance, music, games, and time in the computer lab.
This is a critical year in a child’s Jewish development! Students attend mid-week Hebrew classes only until the beginning of February and continue with our Sunday Judaic Studies program all year long.
This innovative program engages students through memorable experiences both inside and outside WHC walls. WHC Mobile provides students with social opportunities while helping them develop lifelong Jewish values.
Each year, students participate in weekend-long retreats and trips, half- and full-day field trips, and evening programs.
The pinnacle of our Religious School, coordinated by Rabbi Shankman, is our 10th grade Confirmation year. The Confirmation experience affirms our students’ connection to their Washington Hebrew community, while providing a strong foundation in Jewish values and a thorough understanding of Reform Jewish ideology and identity. Among the highlights of this program are a trip to New York City, the Confirmation Retreat, the RAC L’taken Seminar, and the Confirmation service, designed and led by the Confirmands.