Exploring Torah stories, celebrating Jewish holidays, creating friendship and communityaround Shabbat, engaging in community service activities, and developing Jewish identity -- all are significant parts of every child's Havurah experience. The Havurah curriculum is co-constructed by children and their teachers to include aspects of diverse topics thatare most interesting and appropriate for each particular group of students. Weeklyreflections give families the opportunity to continue our conversations outside of theclassroom, and occasional family days offer families time to partake in Havurah’s joyfulJewish learning.
Torah stories are at the core of each Havurah group’s curriculum. Teachers tell Torahstories in multimodal ways, work together with children to grapple with bigquestions about the stories’ values, and engage in activities that offer theopportunity to understand the stories from multiple perspectives.
Each class has three 5-week specialties throughout the year. Specialties include yoga,cooking, origami, storytelling, animation/movie making, ceramics, and more. Specialistsprepare children for upcoming Jewish holidays by sharing holiday narratives; providingexperiences with holiday traditions, customs, and rituals; and enabling children to partake injoyful Jewish celebrations.
Celebrating Shabbat together is an important part of Havurah. In addition to making blessings over the candles, grape juice, and challah, then having Shabbat snacktogether, each class develops its own unique Shabbat tradition to create a personalizedShabbat feeling in their Havurah space.
Each week in Havurah, children spend time with our talented music specialist, singingholiday songs, Shabbat songs, Israeli songs, and songs about Jewish culture and values. Inaddition to deepening classroom learning, music is also a time during which children areexposed to Hebrew language in a fun and developmentally appropriate way.
COMMUNITY SERVICE & FIELD TRIPS
Throughout the year, children join their classes on field trips to diverse cultural institutions,from The Tenement Museum to The Central Park Zoo. Additionally, children travel tosites in which they engage in community service activities. The Jewish act of mitzvot, orhelping others, is a significant part of our approach to education. Our children haveopportunities to cook meals and deliver them to food pantries, make blankets forhospitalized children, help beautify New York’s parks, and visit fire departments to expressgratitude. These activities are all tied to Torah stories, holiday practices, and Jewish valuesthat are being learned in each classroom.