Congregation Emanu-El’s Youth and Family Education (YFE) Program is deeply rooted in the diversity of our urban setting, committed to transmitting our rich Jewish heritage, traditions and values. Our program is designed to instill pride, joy, and a deep sense of ownership over one’s Jewish identity through Torah (study), Avodah (action), and Gemilut Chassadim (acts of lovingkindness).
We aim to:
– Create a welcoming home for children and families, connecting them deeply with their community and their Jewish roots.
– Nurture students into literate, joyful Jewish adults who derive profound meaning from their identity and traditions.
– Encourage a culture of inquiry for deeper Jewish learning and understanding.
– Empower youth to lead in social action and foster social camaraderie.
Aligning with our strategic vision for 2030, we are dedicated to creating lasting connections within our community, across the country, in Israel, and globally, ensuring that Emanu-El remains a beacon of learning, connection, and Jewish life.


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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 (community) and tikkun olam (repairing the world). 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 Madeline Budman, active partnership with families, and will ultimately be inspired by the questions and curiosities of your children. 

Preschool – 5th Grade Kesher (indoor)
Inside the walls of Emanu-El, we 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. 

6th Grade
The sixth-grade program focuses on the Shabbat Morning Torah Service and the Prophetic Voice. The grade consists of four parts and integrates with students’ preparation to become B. Mitzvah: 1) 
understanding of the Shabbat morning prayer service (Shabbat Exchange, monthly Saturday morning exploration), 2) Jewish Prophetic voices from our Writings (haftarah exploration, monthly Saturday morning exploration), 3) 2-weekday evening Family Education Programs with members of our clergy, and 4) a 6th Grade Student retreat at Camp Newman. Students will also participate in their B’Mitzvah preparations, as needed. 

7th Grade
The seventh-grade program focuses on Mitzvah Consciousness. Through Mitzvah Corps – a decades long YFE program highlight – seventh grade students enact the mitzvot they learn about in their classroom. Whether feeding the hungry/unhoused (me’achil re’evim), caring for the elderly (kibud av v’em), welcoming the stranger (hachnasat orchim), or cleaning our local beaches/parks (shomrei adamah), our students learn what it means to take on the responsibility of the commandments, working as partners with God on improving our world. The year consists of Mitzvah Major (City Hope) and five (5) Mitzvah Minors (one shot mitzvah projects), as well Sunday morning learning sessions, weekday Hebrew, 2 weekday evening Family Education programs, as well as the B. Mitzvah preparations, as needed. 

8th-12th Grade (TEF) The Emanu-El Fellowship Program

YFE Team:  
Rabbi Madeline Budman: [email protected] (curriculum, rabbinic leadership)

Ariana Estoque: [email protected] (overall pre – 12th grade program logistics, planning, Hebrew, general questions, etc)
Tori Starks: [email protected] (TEF 6-12th grade, MiT program, questions/information)
Natalya Gomes: [email protected] (Registration, login issues, tuition, financial assistance, general information, campership, class changes, rosters)
Indy Jeremy: [email protected] (Emanu-El Temple Youth group, 6-12th grade youth events questions)
David Wolk: [email protected] (B. Mitzvah information and scheduling questions)


Make a gift in honor of Emanu-El’s Youth and Family Education program

Youth and Family Education  
Two Lake Street, San Francisco, CA 94118 
Telephone: (415) 751-2535   Fax: (415) 751-2511