KESHER Religious School

Mission

Larchmont Temple’s KESHER Education Program is a warm and nurturing community. We create an engaging, nourishing, and experiential program that enables our K – 12 learners and their families to experience the joy of Jewish living and connection to our vibrant Larchmont Temple community.

KESHER provides inclusive, interactive, and transformative learning where we live Judaism through Torah, Avodah, and Gemilut Chasadim.

  • KESHER believes that Torah is the foundation of the Jewish people as it informs our modern lives.
  • KESHER believes that meaningful Jewish prayer experiences enable reflection, creative spiritual expression, and a mindful relationship with oneself, one’s community, and God.
  • KESHER believes that each member of our community has a responsibility to each other and the world around us. Through understanding, compassion, and mitzvot, we contribute to Tikkun Olam: the Repairing of the World.

Learning in partnership with one another, we aspire to connect everyone at Larchmont Temple through our shared and sacred covenant.


Program

GRADES K-3
Camp LT

Meets

  • Sundays, 10am - 12pm

Based on a day camp model, our learners are led from place to place for joyful, interactive and engaging learning led by specialists (art, “storahtelling,” Hebrew and more). Campers explore being a mensch (a good person), the synagogue, singing, prayer, Torah and Jewish Hero stories, Israel, Hebrew Through Movement, Jewish Values and Holidays. The Hebrew learning portion of this curriculum is a nationally renowned program called "Hebrew Through Movement." This program introduces Hebrew in a playful and meaningful way, creating a positive first link between children and Hebrew. At tefillah (prayer), learners are introduced to Jewish songs and basic prayers such as the Barchu, Shema, prayers for gratitude and peace. 


GRADE 4
Weekly Learning Option

Meets

  • Wednesdays 3:45 – 5:45pm

    And, Choice of Hebrew Instruction:

  • Mondays, In-Person, 3:45 – 4:30pm
    Thursdays, Zoom, 4:45 – 5:30pm
    Sundays, Zoom, 10:00 – 10:40am

Grade 4 learners experience engaging Jewish learning activities every week at our STEAM program that includes art, drama, Israel, music and more. Grade 4 learners specifically focus on middot/Jewish values, Jewish holidays, Hebrew Prayer decoding, interpreting Torah stories, specialty electives such as art and drama, Israel, and learning the Friday night Shabbat service at our weekly Tefillah prayer service. Every other year, Grade 4 learners join with the Grade 5 community for a retreat up at the URJ Eisner Camp (currently scheduled for October 28-30). Grade 4 Hebrew includes letter and vowel recognition and starting to decode prayers and songs they have already been exposed to through Shira (singing), Tefillah (prayer), and Hebrew Through Movement.


GRADE 4
Alternative Option: Family Discovery

Meets

  • Three times a month, usually two Sundays, 12:45 - 2:00pm, and one Shabbat or holiday celebration

    And, Choice of Hebrew Instruction:

  • Mondays, In-Person, 3:45 – 4:30pm
    Thursdays, Zoom, 4:45 – 5:30pm
    Sundays, Zoom, 10:00 – 10:40am

Family Discovery is a Jewish learning and living program built upon the Family Education Group model. Families or a parent/child come together several times a year for joint learning, small-group Jewish experiences and Shabbat/Holiday celebrations. Older and younger siblings are always welcome to participate in Shabbat and Holiday Family Discovery events. Hebrew is offered weekly with the rest of the Grade 4 KESHER community (see above for Hebrew options). Every other year, Grade 4 learners join with the Grade 5 community for a retreat up at the URJ Eisner Camp (currently scheduled for October 28-30). Grade 4 Hebrew includes letter and vowel recognition and starting to decode prayers and songs they have already been exposed to through Shira (singing), Tefillah (prayer), and Hebrew Through Movement.

Family Discovery needs a minimum of 10 Grade 4 & 5 families to create a group.


GRADE 5
Weekly Learning Option

Meets

  • Wednesdays 3:45 – 5:45pm 

    And, Choice of Hebrew Instruction:
  • Tuesdays, Zoom, 4:45 – 5:30pm
    Thursdays, In-Person, 3:45 – 4:30pm
    Sundays, Zoom, 10:40 – 11:20am 

Grade 5 learners experience engaging Jewish learning activities every week at our STEAM program that includes art, drama, Israel, music and more. Grade 5 learners specifically focus upon Jewish Peoplehood, Jewish History, Israel, 4-weeks of a Yad Vashem Holocaust curriculum, Jewish holidays, Hebrew Prayer Decoding, learning the Friday evening Shabbat service at Tefillah prayer services and more. Every other year, Grade 5 learners join with the Grade 4 community for a retreat up at the URJ Eisner Camp (currently scheduled for October 28 – 30). In Grade 5 Hebrew sessions, learners will meet weekly to review the letters, vowels and build their repertoire of Friday night Kabbalat Shabbat Hebrew prayers.


GRADE 5
Alternative Option: Family Discovery

Meets

  • Three times a month, usually two Sundays 12:45 - 2:00pm and one Shabbat or holiday celebration.

    And, Choice of Hebrew Instruction:
  • Tuesdays, Zoom, 4:45 – 5:30pm
    Thursdays, In-Person, 3:45 – 4:30pm
    Sundays, Zoom, 10:40 – 11:20am 

Family Discovery is a Jewish learning and living program built upon the Family Education Group model. Families or a parent/child come together several times a year for joint learning, small-group Jewish experiences and Shabbat/Holiday celebrations. Older and younger siblings are always welcome to participate in Shabbat and Holiday Family Discovery events. Hebrew is offered weekly with the rest of the Grade 5 KESHER community (see above for Hebrew options). Every other year, Grade 5 learners join with the Grade 4 community for a retreat up at the URJ Eisner Camp (currently scheduled for October 28 – 30). Grade 5 Hebrew includes review of the letters and vowels, and then building their repertoire of Friday night Kabbalat Shabbat Hebrew prayers.

Family Discovery needs a minimum of 10 Grade 4 & 5 families to create a group.


GRADE 6
Weekly Learning Option

Meets

  • Wednesdays, 3:45 – 5:45pm

    And, Choice of Hebrew Instruction:

  • Mondays, Zoom, 4:45 – 5:30pm
    Tuesdays,* in person, 3:45 – 4:30pm
    Sundays, Zoom, 11:20 – 12pm

*Those Grade 6 learners with a September – December 2023 B’nai Mitzvah date MUST attend Hebrew on Tuesdays in person. In January, they will take an additional B’nai Mitzvah preparation class with the clergy on Tuesdays.

Grade 6 learners experience engaging Jewish learning activities every week at our STEAM program that includes art, drama, Israel, music and more. Grade 6 learners specifically focus upon the Jewish life cycle, Making a Difference in Our World, Jewish holidays, four weeks of a Yad Vashem Holocaust learning unit, Hebrew Prayer reading and fluency, and learning the Saturday Shabbat morning service and more. Grade 6 Hebrew continue to learn Shabbat prayer decoding and work on their prayer fluency.

All Grade 6 learners and families must attend the Grade 6 Family Shabbaton: The Launch of the Journey of Becoming B’nai Mitzvah in the Fall. Date TBD.


GRADE 6
Alternative Option: Family Discovery

Meets

  • Twice a month (in-person usually Tuesdays 6 – 7:15pm) and one Shabbat or holiday celebration per month

    And, Choice of Hebrew Instruction:
  • Mondays, Zoom, 4:45 – 5:30pm
    Tuesdays,* in person, 3:45 – 4:30pm
    Sundays, Zoom, 11:20 – 12pm

*Those Grade 6 learners with a September – December 2023 B’nai Mitzvah date MUST attend Hebrew on Tuesdays in person. In January, they will take an additional B’nai Mitzvah preparation class with the clergy on Tuesdays.

Family Discovery is a Jewish learning and living program built upon the Family Education Group model. Families or a parent/child come together several times a year for joint learning, small-group Jewish experiences and Shabbat/Holiday celebrations. Older and younger siblings are always welcome to participate in Shabbat and Holiday Family Discovery events. Grade 6 Hebrew continue to learn Shabbat prayer decoding and work on their prayer fluency. All Grade 6 learners and families must attend the Grade 6 Family Shabbaton: The Launch of the Journey of Becoming B’nai Mitzvah in the Fall. Date TBD.

Family Discovery needs a minimum of 10 Grade 6 families to create a group.

All Grade 6 learners and families must attend the Grade 6 Family Shabbaton: The Launch of the Journey of Becoming B’nai Mitzvah in the Fall. Date TBD.


GRADE 7
Jewish Learning

Meets

  • Tuesdays, 3:45 - 5:45pm 

Our Grade 7 learners explore Jewish Identity, Reform Judaism and other Jewish movements, the Holocaust, Israel, engage in several Mitzvah projects, continue with Hebrew and prepare to become B’nai Mitzvah.


GRADES 8-12
LTeens Connects

Madrichim (KESHER Teacher Assistant Program)

All 8th - 12th graders are invited to serve as a madrich/a in our KESHER Religious School program. Questions? Contact Yael Greene, Youth Engagement and KESHER Program Coordinator, ygreene@larchmonttemple.org. Applications are available toward the end of August.

LarFTY and NFTY (Grades 8 - 12)
Join our High School youth group! Led by our teens, LarFTY (Larchmont Federation of Temple Youth) offers programming designed and led by a peer-elected board. LarFTY has exciting programs available for all high schoolers, which include: social action, religious, cultural, educational, and social activities. Pre-COVID, LarFTY's year included a ski trip weekend in Vermont, an overnight shul-in, volunteering, apple picking, and weekly Starbucks meet ups. There are also lots of NFTY (North American Federation for Temple Youth) Regional and North American events! Questions? Contact Yael Greene, Youth Engagement and KESHER Program Coordinator, ygreene@larchmonttemple.org.

Confirmation (Grade 10)
Grade 10 learners have the extraordinary opportunity to spend the year learning with Rabbi Sirkman in Confirmation Class. Highlights include Tuesday night learning dedicated to developing one’s own theology, a trip to the Religious Action Center’s L’Taken Seminar, and participating in a special Shavuot Confirmation service at the end of the year.

8th and 9th Grade Travel
Last year, our 8th and 9th graders did a day trip to NYC to tour the lower east side and see a Broadway show and did a weekend trip to Philadelphia. Check back at the end of the summer to see what we have planned for 2022-2023!

Diner Dialogues (Grade 11 & 12)
11th and 12th grade learners meet with Rabbi Sirkman monthly — either online or in-person — for Diner Dialogues at the Nautilus Diner (when back in person!). We also offer a number of Packing for College workshops to prepare our teens for Jewish life on campus