Youth and Family Education (YFE) is where students and families come together as a community to ask and wrestle with life’s really big questions. Our goals include:
- Actively reinventing deep Jewish education
- Establishing alternative Pathways to meet students’ interests and learning strengths
- Nurturing students to become joyful and literate Jewish adults who find meaning in their identity and their tradition
- Creating the space for children and families to feel that Emanu-El is their home; the place they go to find their people
- Fashioning opportunities for youth leadership in social action and social camaraderie
Preschool-3rd Grade Kadimah (Kadimah means “forward”. This is the outdoor pathway)
Kadimah is an engaging, weekly outdoor Jewish Learning program with an emphasis on the arts, kehillah and tikkun olam. Our inquiry-based, emergent curriculum model allows student voices and interests to guide predetermined thematic investigations around Jewish rituals, practices, traditions, and holidays. This is a program that will be led through our Jewish explorations, with thoughtful guidance from Rabbi Sarah Parris, active partnership with families and will ultimately be inspired by the questions and curiosities of your children. Students will partner with community leaders, the Tzedek Council, participate in Hebrew Through Movement, explore the Presidio and help heal the world as future 21st-century mensches of the world.
Kindergarten-5th Grade (Kesher/indoor)
Inside the walls of Emanu-El, we will create a thriving learning community that students will look forward to all week long. Each grade’s nurturing teams of teachers and madrichimot* (teen leaders) will guide children in fun and meaningful learning experiences, while always building a safe and supportive environment where different viewpoints will be accepted and explored. The children will participate in a wide range of age-appropriate learning activities covering history, values, holidays, Israel, Torah, and more as they delve into and celebrate the richness of being Jewish in San Francisco in the 21st century.
*madrichimot is a nonbinary version of the words madrichim/madrichot inspired by the Nonbinary Hebrew Project.
4th and 5th Grade (Kesher/indoor) Beit Midrash
In the Beit Midrash (academic) class, the approach will be text-based, taking deep dives into the content of prophets and Torah through research, discussion, and exploration of higher-level thinking questions. The expectation is that the students want to explore the material in greater depth and show their learning using a variety of presentation methods. Students will build relationships through partner and group study. If families are interested, there may be the possibility of ongoing research and/or a follow-up session during the week.
4th and 5th Grade (Kesher/indoor) Nisayon
In the Nisayon (experiential) class, the content areas of prophets and Torah will be covered through group work, discussions, skits, game-based activities, art, and cooking/baking. The students will have the opportunity to experience various learning modalities and to demonstrate their learning in many creative ways. Building an atmosphere of acceptance, respect, teamwork, and fun will make these last years before the more rigorous B’nei Mitzvah preparations a memorable one for all the students in the class.
The sixth grade program focuses on three topic areas and integrates with students’ preparation to become B’nei Mitzvah: 1) Jewish textual sources including the three sections of the Hebrew Bible (Torah, Prophets and Writings), and major works of Oral Torah – Talmud and Midrash (seven weeks taught by instructor), 2) understanding of the prayer service (seven sessions taught by clergy) and 3) B’nei Mitzvah specific whole family instruction about, for example, the meaning of becoming B’nei Mitzvah and reading a Torah portion for meaning (seven sessions taught by clergy).
Students in seventh grade will participate in Mitzvah Corps – working in groups to cook, volunteer at St. Anthony’s, and other service projects. In addition, students will meet weekly on Tuesday afternoons to explore issues of Jewish identity and plan a philanthropic project as a group.
LEO FUCHS: [email protected] (Design and vision)
SHANAH KUSHNER: [email protected] (General questions/information)
FLORA KUPFERMAN: [email protected] (Hebrew program, special needs, MiT, new family questions/information)
TORI STARKS: [email protected] (TEF 6-12th grade questions/information)
NATALYA GOMES: [email protected] (Registration, tuition, campership, login errors, class changes, rosters)
NAGHMEH NOVBAKHTIAN: [email protected] (B’nei Mitzvah scheduling, questions, information)
Youth and Family Education
Two Lake Street, San Francisco, CA 94118
Telephone: (415) 751-2535 Fax: (415) 751-2511
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