Menu Washington Hebrew Congregation

Religious School (Pre-K-Grade 7)

We offer innovative, experiential, and compelling educational programs for children at Temple and JBSC to help them learn about Judaism and develop their sense of Jewish identity.

Washington Hebrew Congregation's Religious School is committed to inclusivity. Please consult with Stephanie Tankel, Director of Religious Education, should your child require any special educational accommodation so we can best meet his or her needs.

Starting in Gan (Pre-K), we help our students build a Jewish identity through socialization and play, blending music, art, drama, technology, and Israeli dance into fun and learning. Starting in Grade 4, our students attend Religious School twice a week combine learning Hebrew with other Jewish subjects, including Biblical Prophets, Jewish life cycle, modern Israel, and the American Jewish experience. Our twice weekly program culminates in the 7th grade as our students become B’nei Mitzvah and have the option of joining our “MIT” program (Madrichim in Training), where they hone their leadership skills and train to assist in younger students’ classes.

Gan 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.

Register online for our 2017-2018 school year, by clicking here.

Click here to download the 2016-2017 Religious School calendar.

GAN (Pre-K)

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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.

Primary (Grades K-2)

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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.

Beginning in Grade 2, students will participate in a Hebrew enrichment program as part of their regular Sunday class through games, stories, and art as well as movement and song. The exposure to Hebrew letters and some of their different sounds heightens their interest and prepares them for decoding in Grade 3 by setting a basic foundation.

Grade 3

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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 3rd graders which celebrates the completion of their first Hebrew book.

Grades 4-6

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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 life cycle, 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.

Highlights of the year include: Grade 4's "mini retreat" at JBSC in the fall and, with their families, hosting of the Temple's Shabbat Purim celebration; Grade 5 leads a special Shabbat service and sleeps over at Temple; Grade 6 has a walking tour of Jewish Washington with their parents in the fall and a special overnight retreat at Capital Camps to focus on B'nei Mitzvah preparation and innovative ways of studying Torah.

Mitkadem Program
Mitkadem Program

In Grade 4, students begin Mitkadem - our Hebrew curriculum. There are 23 ramot (levels) to Mitkadem, through which students work independently or in pairs, progressing on their own pace as they master the content of a ramah (level). Mitkadem's self-paced and child-centered approach allows each student to achieve according to their own ability and teachers are able to adjust the program according to each child's abilities.

Grade 7

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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. 

Each Sunday includes one of three classes: B’nei Mitzvah Preparation (for those who are still prepping for their special day), Tikkun Olam, and Israel. After a short break there is an elective period with several fun and engaging choices.

Students may also choose to join our "MIT" program (Madrichim in Training), where they hone their leadership skills and train to assist in younger students' classes.

Social justice experiences are incorporated into the program, including a visit to a local Jewish organic farm, packaging meals with the WHC Hunger Project, and a holiday party at the Abram Simon Elementary School. Other learning opportunities include exploring Jewish denominations and special speakers.

Special Programs

Purim Carnival
Purim Carnival

Enjoy inflatables, carnival games (designed for both our older and younger children), cotton candy, pizza, hamantashen, and much more at our Purim Carnival on Sunday, March 12 at 12:00 pm at JBSC.

Learn More  ➔
Snack Pass
Snack Pass

On Tuesdays at JBSC and Wednesdays at Temple, our schools will "open" at 4:00 pm for our Snack Pass program. Schools dismiss at different times, and we want to ensure that mid-week Hebrew is as convenient as possible for all of our students. With the Snack Pass program, students may join us for a light snack and a chance to do some homework or socialize with friends.

Learn More  ➔

Upcoming Events

April 30, 2017 / Sunday
Mitzvah Day
9:30 AM—2:00 PM

Mitzvah Day represents the culmination of our year-long focus on community service and our long-standing commitment to helping the homeless, sick, hungry, and underprivileged in the metropolitan Washington, D.C.…

May 2, 2017 / Tuesday
Hebrew School at JBSC
4:30 PM—6:00 PM
May 3, 2017 / Wednesday
Hebrew School at Temple
4:30 PM—6:00 PM
May 7, 2017 / Sunday
Religious School at Temple and JBSC
9:30 AM—12:00 PM
May 9, 2017 / Tuesday
Hebrew School at JBSC
4:30 PM—6:00 PM
May 10, 2017 / Wednesday
Hebrew School at Temple
4:30 PM—6:00 PM

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