Students attend weekly with at least one parent for 15 weeks. The class is taught by an experienced family educator and teacher, along with the rabbi and cantor. The family class allows the parents to not only join their children in learning about Judaism, but also allows them to teach their children about Jewish life. In the sixth grade curriculum, participants learn about Shabbat worship as they prepare to lead the congregation through Shabbat services. The families in this program engage in meaningful Torah study, including having discussions of b’nai mitzvah Torah portions, helping families develop strong and meaningful b’nai mitzvah tzedakah projects, and exploring what b’nai mitzvah means to each family. A Hebrew pre-primer is used in this class. Through this program, stronger and longer-lasting relationships are built among the families and between families and staff of the congregation.
Parents who learn alongside their children demonstrate long-term commitments to Jewish education. Oak Park Temple is trying to build a culture where it is understood and acceptable for parents to be very involved in their children’s Jewish education.
Grade levels: 6
Learners: Children (pre-B’nai Mitzvah)
Child and at least one parent are required to participate in the program.
Year Implemented: 2015
Oak Park Temple B’nai Abraham Zion
Oak Park, IL
B’nai Mitzvah each year: 40