Chavaya, meaning experience, is our Jewish Education program for youth in Kindergarten-12th grade.. Similar to a camp-like atmosphere, groups learn together as two grades through art, music, stories, bayit (bunk time) and more. The purpose of Chavaya is for learners to feel a deep connection to the TINR community and the Jewish community as a whole and be able to express how Middot (Jewish values) relate to them. This educational model has been planned to be introduced over the course of three years. In 2012-2013 we piloted the program with 1st and 2nd graders. In the 2013-2014 programming year we will transition the 3rd and 4th grade groups and 5th-6th grade groups in 2014-2015 to this educational model. By the time a participant has been through the entire program culminating in graduation from our High School program, he or she will be acquainted with prayerbook Hebrew, Bible, Israel, Jewish rituals, holiday and life cycle customs, Jewish values, ethics, theology, and the Holocaust. An important feature of the overall curriculum is the experience of Jewish life and culture through the arts, including music, storytelling, art, food and film. The Judaic Studies portion of the program promotes the free expression of ideas and questions about Jewish identity and the role of religion in a person’s life. Youth in our Kindergarten-2nd grade groups experience conversational Hebrew integrated into their curricular topics.
Our Hebrew program for 3rd-6th grade emphasizes prayer Hebrew through Mitkadem, a self-paced program that promotes individual as well as group work and allows for individual growth of all learners. Post-Bar and Bat Mitzvah participants expand on their prayerbook Hebrew knowledge while having the option to be introduced to modern Hebrew. We strive to create a feeling of comfort and familiarity with Jewish prayer, which will permit participants to fully participate in the ceremonies and rituals of Jewish life.