Family Learning Models focus on families both learning and growing Jewishly through shared experiences and study. The structure may support the family unit by providing childcare, multi-age learning, or regular hands-on activities. Learning may take place in a variety of settings including the synagogue, Tikkun Olam project sites, or in one another’s homes. This learning might take place on Shabbat, on a family retreat, or parallel to traditional Sunday school hours. An emphasis on creating connections within and among participating families drives much of the educational design. A key to the Family Learning Model is the refocus on families, not only children, as learners.

These models are part of a larger collection of innovation models for Congregational Learning.

Merrick Jewish Center

Merrick Jewish Centre, Merrick, NY. Established congregants meet with families to share their personal stories about a mitzvah they are passionate about. Then families engage in an activity that focuses on that mitzvah.

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Temple Shaaray Tefila, New York, NY. MASA (the Hebrew word means journey) is an innovative year-long Jewish educational “journey” for groups of 25 families with children in grades K-7.

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Family Learning Model - Temple Adat Elohim

Temple Adat Elohim, Thousand Oaks, CA. Families come together twice a month, once to experience Shabbat as a B’Yachad community and another time to help heal the world by participating in Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) projects

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Chavurah CSR

Community Synagogue of Rye (CSR), NY. Learners in 5th-7th grade meet weekly with a moreh derech (guide/teacher) in each other’s homes to explore Jewish answers to everyday questions. The model includes Family Limmud monthly.

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Mensch-ify Logo

Mensch-ify is an alternative learning program that is held twice a month for families with children in Pre-K to 6th grade. It is a developmentally appropriate program, built upon the parent-child co-learning experience, that combines stories, songs, art, movement, and play to provide families with the tools they need to live a Jewish life that works for them.

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cookie baking

Ahavat Achim Synagogue, Atlanta, GA. Students and their families meet five times a year, outside of regular religious school hours, as a group based on geographic location, to celebrate and learn about mitzvot. 

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