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Welcome to Scarsdale Synagogue's Religious School!

2023 Jewish Education Plan


What distinguishes this synagogue is that it is a warm, inclusive community. While many places may use this language, our synagogue’s actions consistently reflect these values. This plan is designed to be aligned with Jewish values, with creative and relevant content in a safe and flexible format. Children and parents will be able to learn about Judaism, celebrate their Jewish lives, and form and maintain meaningful relationships. Elements of the program will be unique to this year, but all that we have learned from this process will guide us this year and in future years, including an innovative, flexible approach aligned with our core values. Our program will be high quality, flexible, individualized Jewish education in the context of a caring community.

Content and Format

The Jewish education program will include some fixed learning times as well as the multitude of Jewish experiences that are part of Scarsdale Synagogue.  

Sunday Online Learning in Pods and as a Whole School Community (Kehillah)

Synchronous learning will take place online on a weekly basis in small pods. Families will be able to indicate preferences for the time and makeup of the pods. This will allow us to create small groups of students to meet with a teacher and madrich (teen teaching aide).  A Pre-K pod will meet monthly rather than weekly, although they are welcome at the weekly Sunday community half-hour.

Sunday pod learning will involve community building at a level that is developmentally appropriate for the learners in each pod. Madrichim buddies (see below for more on our Madrichim program) will be assigned to pods and will also be paired with individual students to help guide learning and make connections. All participants will sign a code of conduct, and we ask that parents can see or hear the virtual meetings to ensure proper conduct as well.  

In addition to pod learning, Sunday from 9:30-10:00 a.m. will be a community-wide learning activity (Kehillah) on Zoom. These will include things like: 

  • Meeting with an Israeli youth ambassador (Shinshin), who will share their learning experiences about different parts of Israel

  • Jewish cooking

  • Self-care and wellness 

  • Musical concerts

  • Virtual trips: tours of museums and learning about Jewish communities around the world

  • Social action opportunities

We expect that some of our youngest children will only join us for either the pod or the whole-school activity. All of the Kehillah sessions will be recorded and available on our YouTube channel for you to watch at your convenience as well. 

Finally, we are planning a number of outdoor community experiences where families can get together, wearing masks and maintain social distancing. These events will take place in the fall on Sunday mornings, weather permitting. 

Weekday Hebrew Learning for Grades K-7

Hebrew learning for grades 4-7 will be flexible and in small groups. Teachers and madrichim will meet with small groups for individualized Hebrew learning at a time that works for you, 30 minutes/week. In addition, students will check in with their teachers individually once/week to ask questions and make sure they are on track. This can be done by sending a recording or through a one-on-one phone call. Recordings and explanations of prayers that children need to learn to help lead services will be created by Cantor Becker and housed on our YouTube channel.

Children in grades K-3 will learn Hebrew words through an innovative Hebrew through Movement curriculum on Sundays as part of their pods. We are also happy to offer a conversational Hebrew elective if there is interest.  

In addition to bar and bat mitzvah tutoring, we are excited to introduce a new b’nai mitzvah program for our 6th and 7th grade families with the clergy through an organization called Moving Traditions. There will be four programs offered virtually throughout the year for each of these grades in addition to two family sessions.

Week at a Glance

View a sample week at a glance.

Family Opportunities

It is easier than ever and arguably more important than ever for families to participate in online holiday worship, including Friday night Shabbat worship, Saturday night havdalah programs, and the fall holidays. Please join us. We will schedule family services and will be inviting you and your children to read/lead parts in the service. 

Children and adults will be able to participate in choir online. If you are interested, please email Cantor Becker

Parents will have opportunities to socialize through our virtual Kibbitz Kafe and other fun programs, and we encourage you to participate in Shabbat and holiday worship. You are also invited to be part of Kehillah for 30 minutes on Sunday morning. We ask that you help us to supervise the program by having your children where you can see and hear them when they are learning. We will be offering some family programming and parenting groups with professionals about mental health and parenting in this challenging time.

Madrichim Leadership Training Program

Youth who have completed bar/bat mitzvah are invited to apply to this special program. Madrichim will help out in Sunday classes as well as Hebrew (if they are willing and able), provide feedback and creative ideas for our educational programs, plan and lead social programming for their peers and the younger students, participate in social action opportunities on causes that matter to them, discuss current topics during special quality time with the clergy, and have a safe space for self-care and wellness discussions and learning coping strategies with trained professionals. 8th graders can participate at no charge and high schoolers will be paid for their work hours. If your child is interested in the madrichim program, please register them, and Jody will be in touch regarding placement.


Wed, July 24 2024 18 Tammuz 5784