JEA-USCJ Webinar: Taking the Leap - The Shabbat School Alternative - Shared screen with speaker view
I'm having trouble hearing. Can you remind everyone to mute themselves again?
Steve Kerbel, firstname.lastname@example.org, JEA, www.jewisheducators.org
Kids who don't come from a Jewish background are exposed to Jewish community
It encourages those family members not takingpart in the school to be present at services
I think people often feel like they need to choose one day to come to shul: Shabbat or Sunday
We ask them to come on Shabbat anyway. Maybe having them come more often would be more productive
Please mute- EVERYONE bc the screen switches when there is noise at a computer, etc..
most of the unmuted people are on their phones and can't see this chat
One challenge: It might be seen as "working" on Shabat. People may see Shabat as a day off and not want to work then.
ALSO - sometimes the Cantor/Director is in services.
Hard to get teachers who are not shomer shabbat
another challenge- finding a space for families outside of main sanctuary.
Another benefit is the kids get to learn prayers and services through hearing and experiencing them rather than having to sit and learn them without any kavanah or context
also incorporating day school students
Hard for Rabbi to participate in school programming
How do we mute out line?
Another challenge: Shabat school might take away from the down time/spiritual rest of staff and administration
We require our kids on Shabbat already. Most skip because they have to be here the next mornig.
I run a Shabbat program, too. I find that it plays hell with my personal Shabbat practice.
HOw much leway does a community have l'shem chinuch when it comes to the melachot?
BUT...I find the educational benefits outweigh that consideration for me.
on shabbat, we also don't have to deal with kids on their phones. it makes a big difference.
I think it's actually a challenge with Day School families
I agree with Day School dilemna - meant it as a potential problem
People who have dialed in can't see the chat box, so as an accommodation to them I will keep reading as many as I can for Sue.
Kids on their phones?? I have to deal with that on Shabbat... my whole 7th grade comes every Shabbat, and they manage not to be on their phones in the sanctuary.
Phones are no longer allowed in our school, no matter what day of the week it is. Parents have thanked me.
Can sue put her powerpoint on full screen. That will help with the space used by the videos.
Rabbi Suzanne Brody
l'shem chinuch doesn't trump the laws of Shabbat...
Day Schoolers are probably not on the same level as our congregational school students. So what you plan for your congregational school might not be relevant or interesting to the Day schoolers.
I also believe that being creative in what we can and can’t do because of the laws of Shabbat is educational in and of itself.
Rabbi Suzanne Brody
but any halakhic decision should be made by the mara d'atra for your community (most lkely the senior rabbi)
My understanding of the driving-on-Shabat ruling was that it was just for going to Shul. Could it be extrapolated to include Shabat school? I am not against the idea. I think it's very interesting...but don't know how to make it workable.
That is correct, but if they are observing Shabbat and doing some prayer, isn’t that in line with the intention of the Yeshiva?
I meant teshuva (stupid auto-correct)
When we think about "Shabbat School", we are using language in a limiting manner. If we think about having a day of community building, celebrating Torah, and studying holy texts, etc. then we are moving in the right direction. Maybe we need a different term than "Shabbat School" - Torah School? Kehilah Kedosha?
Kehilah Kedoshah is an amazing name for a Shabat school :)
It's what my Mormon neighbors do... spend all day "doing" the Sabbath.
It's definitely important to seperate the idea of school from shabbat communityy learning
What people said above here
about calling it something else
and looking at it through a different framework
Our Religious School is called "Kesher" and so our once a month Shabbat program is called "Kesher Shabbat" using the play on words for connection to our larger Shabbat community with the religious school community (happy to elaborate for those who are interested)
I am planning a shabbat school (do it twice a year) with a station based program - one of which is Tefillah- so the grades will go together through the stations - did something similar on the HHDs. It allows it not to be a "school" based program
Has anyone done this in a joint religious school between 2 or more synagogues?
Our program is is called JoLT...Jewish Learning Together.
I have a monthly Shabbat School. Since several teachers won't come, and because it is Shabbat, it needs to be a different piece of curriculum. We focus on middot through a Mussar lens, plus youth services.
Miriam, I direct a joint religious school (Conservative and Reform). I don't know what a Shabat school program would look like, since we utilize two buildings and two synagogues.
Another question: does anybody present a choice for families to chose between a Sunday or a Shabbat for the entire school year?
And Salt Lake City is dual-affiliated!!
The program for our younger students (through age 8/9) is on Tuesdays and then they move up to our Shabbat program
But we also have a junior congregation for our Tuesday program on shabbat, which is twice a week.
thinking about that option
So it's not an option, but it's a combined / moving up program.
We have a small school and we do the first shabbat of the month followed by the rest of the sundays. The question is: should we move it completley to saturdays? or is a mix a good compormise?
**twice a month
I think a mix can make sense if htey are learning about different kinds of Jewish practice
I like the idea of "trying out" Shabat school by only doing it sometimes (once a month, maybe?), and seeing if it succeeds, before making an actual transition from Sunday to Shabat.
Adath Israel in Lower Merion does have a choice - 2/3 do Sunday;1/3 on Shabbat. contact Na’ama Yarden
Josh, is there a way you could send us a breakdown of these schedules so we could see them after the call?
How big is your school?
Yes, I'd like to see that too.
Rabbi Suzanne Brody
What about those who celebrate Bar/Bat Mitzvah in 6th grade?
I am considering rolling this out for a "trial" period in 5779 for the first 6-8 weeks. This will help with the HiHo scheduling issues and show folks how great this can be. Thoughts?
can you ellaborate more on the dance/shira from a conservative prespective? how do you do it?
What are some examples of the Shabbat appropriate art?
and pls. elaborate about the art projects
Do these students come on another day during the week as well?
Thank you Josh!
Say again who comes mid week = 2 - 6?
Do you have famililes that resisst coming on shabbat because of sports....
and how do you handle it?
We certainly have that problem with our sports loving families. We tell the kids to come in cleats if they have to and come whenever the game is over or leave for it.
Some of mine just miss when they have sports. debate / etc
But they are overall committed
and they learn about making choices
and trying to do both
That's a problem no matter what the day is.
But the kids who miss class, sometimes they will come to services even when there is no class
Because they are used to being there
In Salt Lake, everyone wants to ski on Sunday because the Mormons are not on the slopes on their Sabbath, so it's not so crowded. They would love me to move Religious School.
You have a unique situation.
Haha that's great!
then you should do it!!
What percentage of your parents stay for the main service versus drop off and go shoppipng.
I think one of the challenges of the Shabbat program is that it can be self selecting
Almost all my parents stay for services
CantorBatSarah, by moving school to Shabat you will also help cement Shabat as a "Jewish" day and showcase Jewish identity (as it contrasts with Mormons, maybe :) )
Does anyone have shabbat programming post bar/bat mitzvah?
My parents very quickly figured out that they could drop off and not stay. Still working on how to convince them that Shabbat services have value.
Thank you Rabbi Josh! I would love to see your breakout of the grades and themes. Todah!
Happy to share with Sue and Ed who can distribute it
Thank you Rabbi Josh - looking forward to getting more materials - as much as you can share!
Julie, I am worried about that and the message it sends to the children about how their parents feel about Shabbat
Cantor Alexis K. Sklar
That is a problem that we have - all the parents drop and go on Shabbat...
if you can't get them to stay, maybe match the kids int he shabbat program with the elder members. have them do some kind of project together. So they have a model for adults staying, have an older member that they feel close to, something like that
That's something we are working on
Maybe the students could use "Sidra Scenes" as a course at Shabat school...reenacting the parashah as a way to learn about it
Grades 3 and up - younger mostly don't have the reading skills - but they can improv
Cantor Alexis K. Sklar
I am curious how other Shabbat Schools structure the Tefilla/service component
Cantor Alexis K. Sklar
especially with the youngest kids who don't know what is going on yet
Shabbat buddies? Older and younger paired together?
First hour on middah, second hour in fairly traditional youth services - preK through 3rd grade (open to everyone, not just school students) and 4th-7th grades
"Fairly traditional" meaning ruach-filled, upbeat tunes, led by students as possible - but more or less basic jun cong
once every 6 weeks or so we pair our older student "buddies" with younger students to read a Shabbat story or work on an activity together
Followed by going into main sanctuary for adon olam and maybe a song we learned - and yes, major kvelling to see 50 kids on the bimah
My mic isn't working but Rabbi Rebecca Rosenthal ran a camp style multi grade Shabbat program at IKAR in LA. It is also a smaller community that built up Shabbat attendance, among other things, through the program. It also made Shabbat its own thing, not totally tied to the weekday program. She would have a lot of advice and recommendations.
We are thinking of moving to a full Shabbat model (instead of our Sunday morning program) and so this year we began with once a month Kesher Shabbat, easing our families into this type of programming, showing our teachers that they have the creativity and ability to do this successfully and to have our shabbat community along with our parents feel the importantance and excitement around what a Shabbat program brings to everyone
Thank you Susan and Ed!
Will you email the Powerpoint to all of us? It will help me to understand my scribbled notes.
Thank you for organizing this - very helpful
Thank you! This was terrific.
Can you also send us the chat?
Thank you. I hope you will share the power points.
I think for those of us excited to try and move to this model something that would be most useful is activities or curriculum that people have used for shabbat-friendly learning
How about a couple of focused calls - one on how to unroll, one on Kosher ideas, one on Tots to teens?
I am interested in the process of changing over - the challenges, the steps, the message, communication, buy-in, etc.
Interested in hearing more from Ayelet how her "moving up" program works
Thank you. I would like to continue the conversation. We had initial success the first year, but not so much the second year. This year we are trying Kabbalat Shabbat School
Chag sameach and Shabat Shalom!
When we first started our hebrew school programming it was with a Shabbat program