Religious School: Pre-K – Grade 7

We offer innovative, experiential, and compelling educational programs for children at both of our campuses (DC and Potomac) as well as online to help each child learn about Judaism and develop their unique sense of Jewish identity.

Washington Hebrew Congregation’s Religious School is committed to inclusion. Please consult with Stephanie Tankel, Director of Lifelong Learning, should your child require any special educational accommodation so we can best meet their needs.

The Religious School curriculum is spiraled in order to scaffold each child’s learning opportunities and build from one year to the next. The topics explored include culture, holidays, sacred text (Torah and beyond!), theology, prayer and spirituality, Jewish life cycle, Israel (through history and today), and so much more.

More than any theme or topic, this is a space where Jewish identity is shaped. We see each child as uniquely made in the image of God and partner with them and their family to ensure a meaningful educational journey.

Registration for the 2021-2022 school year is now open!

Registration Form

Pre-K through 2nd Grade

Beginning in Gan (Pre-K) and lasting throughout, we help our students build a Jewish identity through socialization and play, blending music, art, drama, and dance into fun and learning. These years focus on developing a love of being Jewish as well as comfort with Judaism. A big emphasis is placed on building community within the class and forging new friendships – we know social and emotional components are the foundation for strong and meaningful learning.

Sunday Mornings at Temple or JBSC*

Students in Kindergarten through 2nd grade gather from 9:00 am – 10:30 am OR 11:00 am -12:30 pm. Families are invited to register for the time that works for them. Space is limited.

*If there is sufficient interest, we will continue to offer a virtual option on Sunday mornings from 9:30 am – 10:30 am. We will need at least 5 students to hold the virtual experience for students in K-2.


3rd through 7th Grades

Programming in grades 3 through 7 is rooted in student choice!

When students are empowered to exercise agency, they are more invested in the experience and more likely to forge long-lasting friendships and a stronger connection to Judaism. Happy children make for happy parents – and thus, a thriving school and synagogue community.

Sunday Mornings at Temple or JBSC*

3rd through 7th graders gather from 9:00 am – 10:30 am OR 11:00 am -12:30 pm.* Families are invited to register for the time that works for them. Space is limited, as also we take into account the need for smaller classes, physical distancing, and other COVID regulations rooted in the health and safety of our community.

Our innovative, elective-based approach allows each student to steer their Jewish journey. Throughout the school year, we present students with elective options taught by passionate faculty members. Electives last between 4 to 6 weeks and honor the diversity of interests, learning styles, and abilities in our community. In addition to electives, we will offer “core” Jewish learning opportunities to ensure the arc of the Jewish year – with holidays, values, and role models – is infused into everyone’s experience.

Religious School’s elective-based model is funded by the Ginny Grunley Education Initiative.

*If there is sufficient interest, we will continue to offer a virtual option on Sunday mornings from 9:30 am – 10:30 am. We will need at least 5 students to hold the virtual experience for students in grades 3-7.

Mid-Week Hebrew for Grades 4-7

We are proud to offer virtual Hebrew sessions via Zoom from 4:30 – 5:30 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. Families may pick the day(s) that work best. Groups will be small, ensuring that students receive individualized attention.

Registration is now open!

2021-2022 Application

FAQ

You are more than welcome to register your children in different sessions! We’re thrilled to offer so many choices and hope you’ll find the right options for your family.


We anticipate having a waitlist for full sessions but cannot guarantee that spaces will open. We’re filling sessions on a first-come, first-served basis and encourage you to register soon if the time and/or location are important for you.


While we do not foresee this happening, we believe it is completely possible to have a successful and meaningful class experience with a mixed-aged-group of kids. For example, we could have a group of 3rd and 4th graders learning together if necessary. We would communicate this to you in advance.


The timing is different, but the outcome is hopefully not! By giving children the chance to make their own choices, we truly believe they will gain more. We aim to provide each child with an enriching Jewish learning opportunity that will resonate throughout their life. Jewish learning is not gained minute by minute; it is built through meaningful experiences and relationships that have a deep impact.


There is no such thing as “behind” in one’s Jewish or Hebrew education! This last year was hard! We have plenty of time to help each child progress in their Hebrew learning to prepare for their b’nei mitzvah and other Jewish milestones. Our goal is for each child to take pride in their learning and enjoy the experience! Hebrew is just one piece of a much larger puzzle.


Yup! Hebrew will be available as an in-person elective for beginners and those seeking to build on their learning.


Our new model combines electives and a “core class” for each child. During this “core” experience, students will celebrate Jewish holidays throughout the year, learn about life cycle traditions, explore Jewish history, and more. We are confident this new model will enable a very full and meaningful Jewish educational experience!


Yup! We know mid-week Hebrew for 4th through 7th graders is important. We also know that determining your availability now can be challenging. If you need to change your day, just let us know. We’ll reach out as September approaches to confirm everyone’s availability.

Please note: There is much less flexibility for changes to in-person Sunday registration.


Hmm… We know this will be our model for the whole 2021-2022 school year. COVID has reminded us to slow down and act with intention. We don’t know what the future holds, and yet, we’re excited to try something new. As for the 2022-2023 school year, well, let’s take this one step at a time!


Details of pick-up and drop-off, along with numerous other precautions we will take, will be shared as we are closer to the start of school. We will follow all health regulations to keep our school as safe as possible for everyone in the community!


CONTACT US

Stephanie Tankel
Director of Lifelong Learning
stankel@whctemple.org