Introducing: Beth Abraham’s GOAL! Program
Go Out And Learn!
Led by our Cantor and Education Director, Andrea Raizen, our religious school educational program for children and families, GOAL!, is based on a phrase from the Passover Haggadah that introduces the Maggid section: צֵא וּלְמַד (Tzei Ulmad) – Go Out ANd Learn. What were the rabbis trying to teach us? “Yes, you can sit in a classroom, read, discuss and learn from others. But if you really want to learn, if you really want to see what is happening in the world, you must ‘go out and learn.’ You must get up and go out and experience life yourself, see it with your eyes and feel it so that it becomes instilled deep within your bones.” (Natalie Gerber)
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Research has shown that Hebrew learning in part-time synagogue programs has become less effective in the past several years. #OnwardHebrew is a fast-growing movement spearheaded by Jewish education directors motivated to address these challenges. This new approach, based on natural language acquisition, is best summed up in the short video entitled, “Let’s Turn Hebrew Learning on its Head!” I encourage you to take the 12 minutes to watch this informative video.
Our Sunday morning class schedule is no more than two Sundays per month. With fewer Sundays, our program is highly focused. While this leaves one to two open Sunday per month for families to share together as they wish, it also means that it’s even more important that children regularly attend the program. Jewish values are our core emphasis of learning. We highlight 3-4 for any given school year. As with traditional Jewish learning, we will continue to learn Torah, study the holidays and pray together.
Many months will have a Sunday congregational program scheduled. These are open to families and other members of the congregation. There will be activities/learning for all ages. Depending on the particular program, there might be some adult only and child only sessions, mixed group activities, hands on components, or text-based learning.
To encourage observance of Shabbat and holidays with community, we have incorporated those celebrations into the calendar to include a couple of Friday evening dinners, Shabbat mornings, Havdalah, Simchat Torah and Purim.