Synagogues are often called by their Yiddish name, shul, which means school. Learning is an on-going activity and an important part of life at Temple Isaiah, through every strata of our membership. There is ALWAYS something happening at TI and it can be heard echoing throughout our lovely spiritual home: the squeals and singing of Tot Shabbat, the patter of little feet in the Preschool wing, the joyous laughter of our Kulanu students, chatter of teens in our Youth Groups, and the meaningful discussions in our Adult Education programs.

1) Shalom, baby!

It is never too soon to start introducing little ones to the rich sensory experiences that Judaism has to offer — the glow of Shabbat candles, a whispered Sh’ma before bed, the smells of a holiday meal. All these and more will help anchor your children in a joyous home life filled with Jewish rituals.

Young ones thrive on routine. Our fun programs have predictable schedules and rituals so that your child can relax and know what comes next.
It is never too soon for little ones to start coming to Babies & Bagels and Tot Shabbat — lap babies love snuggling with their parents while enjoying the music. Before you know it, they’ll request “Bim Bam” at bedtime.

2) Early Childhood Education

In early childhood education programs, educators engage with, observe, and listen to children in order to provide for all areas of the child’s development: physical, cognitive, social, linguistic, emotional, and spiritual through an integrated approach to learning that is real, concrete, and relevant to each child. Young children need an atmosphere that is warm, nurturing, and accepting, that allows children to take risks and explore their world through play.

Skills that develop in Preschool:

  • Using language to communicate with other children and adults
  • Developing problem-solving skills
  • Building fine and gross motor skills on the playground, in the sandbox, learning how to grasp and use crayons, markers, brushes, and other materials, etc.
  • Developing manipulative coordination through activities using lacing, stringing, small building, and other play materials
  • Fostering positive self-esteem
  • Feeling comfortable to express feelings and emotions

Additional Benefits of a Jewish Preschool:

  • Children feeling at home in the synagogue
  • Learning how to celebrate holidays
  • Developing a connection to Israel
  • Learning Hebrew prayers and songs
  • Learning mitzvot and thinking of God as a comforting force in their lives
  • Learning how to become a mensch

3) Elementary School

This is a time during which children grow in their Jewish knowledge, gain the ability to learn things on their own, and continue acquiring the skills needed to be informed members of the Jewish community, each in their own unique way.

  • Here, students build bonds of friendship that will follow them through the Kulanu program, and the rest of their lives.
  • Students learn using the Hebrew Through Movement strategy, allowing them to hear, respond to, and use Hebrew as a modern language.
  • Growing social needs are met through interactions within and across the older grades in Kulanu, including Club 34 and JYTI events after regular Kulanu hours.
  • More focus on their Hebrew decoding skills, building on previous years to create confident Hebrew readers in preparation for B’nai Mitzvah and beyond.

4) Teen Years

As children enter into adolescence, they engage in an intense period of identity formation. Who am I? What matters to me? How can I matter? Our programming for teens is designed to give them a space to begin grappling with these questions, all while building meaningful relationships with peers and mentors, and acquiring the Jewish knowledge and skills to carry into adult life.

  • The Next Dor program puts teens in the driver’s seat, able to customize their learning experience and choose the topics and projects they are most interested in.
  • Teens crave independence and the chance to be “in charge.” Our madrichim enjoy having their teachers relying on them, and younger students look up to them as role models. Youth group leaders create programming for their peers, with an advisor to provide guidance when needed.
  • A study of alumni of NFTY and other URJ youth programs found that program alumni were 3x as likely as their Jewish peers to say that “being part of a Jewish community” is essential. Additionally, 89% of alumni provide their children with a Reform Jewish education, compared to only 39% of their peers.
  • After conversations with many of our teens and parents, as well as leading practitioners across the country, we’re preparing to make some big changes to our teen program.
  • We are in continual conversation with our parents, teens, and leading practitioners around the country to make sure our programs provide a meaningful Jewish experience that meets the needs of our teens.

5) Adult Education

The fun of Jewish learning definitely isn’t limited to the young! Adult Education at TI includes weekly Torah study; periodic Lunch & Learn sessions; one-shot and multi-session classes; weekends each year with special guests: artists, musicians, and scholars-in-residence.