Kahal Chaverim offers a full Sunday School program from kindergarten through Bar and Bat Mitzvah. Unlike in a traditional Hebrew School, our students are engaged in coursework that provides them with a foundation to understand Jewish history and culture from a Humanistic perspective and sets them on a journey toward becoming responsible young adults through ethical decision-making and by giving back to their community.
Our students are divided into four age-appropriate classes that are taught by well-qualified teachers with a multi-year rotating curriculum. Our K-2 class, which is taught by the owner of a pre-school who is a member our congregation, has fun learning about Jewish culture, Humanistic customs and holiday celebrations.
Students in our 3rd – 4th grade class begin to learn to distinguish between Jewish history and mythical history. The coursework in our 5th – 6th grade class includes Jews in America, Oppression and Resistance, and the History of Humanistic Judaism. At both of these levels, ethics is another important part of the curriculum.
Our pre-Mitzvah class, which is led by our ceremonial leader, prepares our students for their B’Nai Mitzvah after they have demonstrated that they have achieved certain competencies consistent with our Humanistic Jewish values and that reflect the high standards we use to define “responsible young adult” in our community. The requirements include guided exercises in ethical problem-solving, a significant social action project, a research project related to Humanistic Judaism, and an essay on gratitude. The B’nai Mitzvah students articulate their values and present to the younger children in the Sunday School. They also write and lead a class Shabbat or Havdalah service.
It is exciting to see all the components of Jewish culture, customs, history, and Humanism come together in a thorough and interesting program!
Our excellent Adult Ed program presents a variety of topics of interest to Jews and Humanists. Recent subjects have included the Jews of Sicily and Italy, Jewish Genealogy and Histories of Surnames, Jewish perspectives on Jesus, the Monuments Men, Jews in Rock and Roll, the Bintel Briefs, and Holocaust Kindertransport Survivors’ Stories.
Adult Ed programs take place on selected Sundays from 9:30 to 11:30am in Randolph, NJ. They are presented concurrent with Sunday School so that parents can easily attend while children are in class. They begin with half an hour of socializing over fresh coffee and bagels followed by a presentation, often by an expert guest speaker. Prospective members are welcome to attend. A complete listing of our upcoming Adult Ed programs are listed in the Calendar.