Kulanu (Youth Education)

Kulanu (meaning “all of us”) is the name for Temple Isaiah’s Youth Programs, which encompasses Religious School and our Youth Groups.

On this page, you can learn about our Sunday morning programs for children in Pre-K through 6th Grade. Please go to our Teen Learning Page for information about programs for students in 7th grade and above.

Bonim (Pre-K – 3rd Grade)

Bonim means “building” and that is exactly what our young students do on Sunday mornings. In Bonim the students begin to build Jewish knowledge and develop a sense of belonging to the Jewish people, through play, music, stories, arts and crafts, and in many other ways; their connection will stay with them as they grow. Beginning in Pre-K and Kindergarten, students learn about the customs and traditions of the Jewish people, and as they move up the learning increases with stories from the Torah, holiday celebrations, learning about the Land of Israel, and more, all in a fun and supportive environment.

The Bonim program is highlighted by our Hebrew Through Movement program. This innovative Hebrew learning method helps students to learn and love Hebrew first as a living, spoken language, before concerning themselves with the intricacies of reading letters and vowels. This also gives our youngest Bonim students a chance to solidify the skills of learning to read English, before adding an entirely different language on top of it. In 3rd Grade, our Bonim students begin to work on the important skills of learning the letters and vowels, but with Hebrew Through Movement behind them (and continuing in 3rd Grade), they know that what they’re learning isn’t just a secret code, but a language that people use every day.

Bonim for Pre-K meets from 9–10:45am on the Sundays it is scheduled in the fall, then weekly beginning in late January.

Bonim for Kindergarten and 1st Grade meets from 9–10:45am on Sundays during the school year.

Bonim for 2nd and 3rd Grades meet 11am–1pm on Sundays during the school year. Four times a year, a “Club 23” program will immediately follow dismissal for those who wish to stay.

Olim (4th–6th Grades)

Olim means “moving up” and as our students get older, they are challenged to advance in their learning and begin to prepare for B’nai Mitzvah and beyond. Our Olim program has the students moving and interacting the entire time they are present at Temple Isaiah. Each student follows his or her unique path through the day, combining the academic skills needed for learning of Hebrew, with experiential education, social interaction, and spiritual growth. This method of learning allows students to get to know each other, experience a variety of teachers, and engage in the material at their own level.

Schedule of the Day

Each semester, the Olim students will focus on a new topic in Jewish learning and approach that topic in mixed-grade groupings that will use a variety of techniques to learn, understand, and experience the material. Using a curriculum developed and designed by our Rabbi-Educator, Daniel Plotkin, and based on his experience working at the URJ (Reform Movement) summer camps, our Lead Teachers create engaging lesson plans that are presented to all members of our Olim program.

All Olim students are in leveled Ivrit (Hebrew) classes, focusing on the skill of reading Hebrew. Classes may be mixed grades, as they are grouped based on the knowledge level of each individual student.

Each Sunday the students get a break time, during which they have an opportunity to purchase pizza (from Roma Pizza) and snacks (once such things are Covid-safe again), or eat something they brought from home while they socialize with their friends.

Knowing how to recite the prayers is only one part of prayer. During Tefilah time, Olim students explore the meanings and history behind our core prayers in single grade groups, with additional opportunities to explore their own sense of what prayer means. 5-6 times a year the class experiences a prayer service, integrating what they have learned in class.

In single grade groups, students explore a variety of topics, including holidays, and engage in social programs to help them develop friendships that will extend beyond the walls of Temple Isaiah. Rachel Petroff Kessler, our Family Educator, will be working with teachers to assure that this time is both educational and helps build the sense of community among our students.

4-6 times during the year, our JYTI (Junior Youth of Temple Isaiah Group) will have events immediately following dismissal for those who wish to stay.

7th Grade and Above

For information on 7th through 12th Grades, please visit our Teen Learning page.

Kulanu Parent Association

KPA is our Kulanu parents group, open to all parents of Kulanu students from Pre-K–12th Grade. Over the course of the year, the KPA sponsors opportunities for parents and families to get together both during and outside of Kulanu hours. The KPA also oversees the Kulanu pizza sale.