Mission: JQuest B’Yachad engages Reform and Conservative students in meaningful, intentional Jewish learning while putting student voice and choice at the center
Vision: JQuest B’Yachad is the collaborative religious school for AJ, BSC, and KI. At JQuest B’Yachad, families maintain strong relationships with their synagogues while creating a new, multi-denominational Jewish community.
Our Quest is for our learners to become Jewish adults with:
- A joyful and loving connection to our Jewish community and history
- Competence and confidence in decoding Hebrew and participating in synagogue worship
- An ability to find inspiration & meaning in the study of Torah and the Jewish tradition
- A dedication to Jewish actions (mitzvot) and a connection to Jewish rituals
- An understanding of modern & cultural Hebrew words
- A strong Jewish identity
- A passion for tikkun olam (repairing the world) and tzedek (justice) both in and beyond the Jewish community
- A relationship with God: noting God in their world, being thankful for blessings, and reaching out in times of need
- A familiarity with Jewish arts and an ability to join in the songs and culture of our people
- A commitment to Am Yisrael (People of Israel), Eretz Yisrael (Land of Israel), and Medinat Yisrael (State of Israel
At JQuest B’Yachad our goal is to teach students to become competent and confident prayer leaders and to feel a connection to the Hebrew language as the language of the Jewish people.
To achieve this goal we provide our students with both synagogue and Hebrew experiences that are full of meaning, ritual, and are engaging.
- T’fillot (services): Each time we gather students have the opportunity to pray with the clergy learning both the meaning of prayer (kavanah) and the prayers and rituals of services (keva). As students grow they begin to take on roles leading these t’fillot and strengthen their prayer skills.
- Ivrit (Hebrew through Movement): Students in Grades K-5 learn Hebrew through a call and response curriculum that teaches them basic movement words and classroom objects. The lesson is fun and full of running, jumping, and turning around. After they learn the foundational vocabulary they add holiday and heritage words based on the time of year and their grade. The 15 minute weekly Ivrit class helps our students gain and aural basis for Hebrew and learn Hebrew names for holiday, ritual and syangogue objects. This helps them connect with our religious and cultural traditions, our holy language and the state of Israel.
- Shira (music): Each week our K-3rd graders sing the songs of the Jewish people reinforcing their connection to the language and the holidays.
- Decoding: At JQuest B’Yachad we teach Hebrew decoding (putting sounds to letters) in 4th or 5th grade - once students reach an age where they do not confuse letters/numbers and can easily identify discrete shapes. Teaching students at a younger age can serve to confuse them and they have not had an opportunity to form an aural basis for the language. We teach decoding (putting sounds to letters and blending to sound out words) once a week with online homework for review.
- Prayer Proficiency: Once students know how to decode students then work in a small group by level to practice and become proficient at specific grade level goals, as identified by the clergy. Students are encouraged to practice these prayers at home to reach fluency.
By teaching decoding at an age appropriate grade we increase motivation, minimize confusion and frustration, and have been able to spend the younger grades focused on theology, modern Hebrew, and connections to the syangogue and our students still emerge from our program with a strong ability to decode and a high degree of prayer proficiency.
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Expectations and Inclusivity
Who we serve and statement of inclusivity
JQuest B’Yachad warmly welcomes all children of families who belong to Adath Jeshurun, Beth Sholom Congregation, and Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel or who are interested in belonging to one of these congregations.
JQuest B’Yachad is committed to creating an inclusive environment for all families, respecting and welcoming equally all learning styles, races, sexual orientation, gender identities, family structures, and religious backgrounds. We strive to meet the needs of all learners. If at any time you feel that your family has not been warmly welcomed or we are not meeting your child’s needs, please contact a director so we can address your concerns.
Students are expected to behave in a way that allows others to learn and feel safe in order to be in the JQuest B’Yachad program. All JQuest B’Yachad students and families are expected to handle themselves according to Jewish values and a spirit of inclusiveness. Families will be asked to follow theBrit (behavior contract)
- Be Talmidim Tovim (active learners)
- Treat everyone with Hesed (Kindness)
- Help build our Kehillah Kedosha (Holy community)
Not Yet A Synagogue Member?
If you are not yet a synagogue member and have a student in kindergarten through fourth grade, we invite you to enroll in a trial year of JQuest B'Yachad before joining Adath Jeshurun, Beth Sholom Congregation or Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel.
JQuest B'Yachad welcomes families that are not yet affiliated with a Synagogue. Our curriculum is student centered, so no matter what age or stage your child is beginning their Jewish education they can jump right in and start learning! Hebrew decoding is taught in 4th and 5th grade, prior Hebrew knowledge is not a requirement for younger students. Hebrew language is taught beginning in kindergarten in a warm, inclusive way so students who have not yet begun will not feel left behind but instead develop deep foundational work which provides the way for strong, successful, and meaningful Hebrew decoding in the older grades,
What are the expectations of families?
The one year introduction to JQuest B'Yachad enables your child and your family a chance to experience a different type of religious education, one based on the most current educational philosophy that engages students and nurtures their passions in a Jewish setting. JQuest B'Yachad is open to all families who are raising Jewish children. We are committed to maintaining a warm and welcoming space where all students and parents can be included. Students who participate in the trial year will have the ability to get to know all three synagogues and their clergy and will then be asked to join a synagogue at the conclusion of the year.
How does it work when the program is split between movements?
Families should select what movement they think might be right for them when enrolling in JQuest B’Yachad. Rabbi Rigler is eager to speak with you and help you connect with clergy if you need help with this decision. Families are also welcome to try both experiences over the two semesters in the trial year.