About Kehillah – Religious School
Kehillah is Different!
Kehillah, our Reconstructionist learning community for tots through teens, provides engaging and meaningful educational opportunities and experiences for students of all ages, and encourages curiosity and exploration to keep Judaism relevant and alive. Our devotion to life-long learning is bolstered by our Kehillah students who grace us with their wisdom, creativity, and contributions to our greater community.
To learn more about our school community or to arrange a visit, contact Program Director Rabbi David Eber at email@example.com or 847-328-7678.
Kehillah Shabbat Program
Saturday mornings at JRC combine observance, learning, and community. While our Pre-K through 6th graders have regularly scheduled learning, our 7th graders can be found attending the Brit Mitzvah services of their peers along with congregants of all ages. Kehillah supports learners of all abilities in cultivating joy, curiosity, and resilience through exploration of sacred practices and values. Our Shabbat-based program is infused with a joyful spirit, allowing us to experience Shabbat together as a multi-generational community.
Learning Through a Reconstructionist Lens
Judaism is rooted in ancient traditions, practices, and texts and just like its people has adapted and evolved- reconstructed if you will- to support and enhance our lives today. We balance the connection to our Jewish past with the demands and challenges we continue to face. Reconstructionist Judaism provides a progressive, egalitarian, creative, and safe space so our students can engage authentically, resulting in a deeper connection to their Judaism, skills to continue their exploration, and a foundation that supports them as they find their place in the world.
Early Childhood Programming
Kehillah is for the littlest learners too! We are committed to offering year-long opportunities for families with young children to forge connections and build community. Programs include weekly Adult-Tot classes (on weekdays and Shabbat), 3 – 5 year old drop-off Kehillah class, Littles at the Lakefront, Tot-Shabbat, plus intergenerational and family programs that bring Jewish stories to life through immersive theater and imaginative play. Learn more about JRC’s programming for families with young children!
1:1 Hebrew & Project-Based Learning
Students acquire deeper knowledge and connection to their Judaism through active, hands-on exploration followed by the opportunity for reflection. Our curriculum enables and encourages students to take a deep dive into challenging questions and concepts and to share their views and understanding with their peers. 4th – 6th graders receive a private 30-minute Hebrew lesson each week with flexible options for either in-person or virtual sessions. This allows us to cater our lesson to each child’s unique learning style and readiness, and to each family’s schedule.
7th Grade - Embracing Jewish Identity through B'nai/Brit Mitzvah
Our 7th graders gather on Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings to explore their Jewish identities and values through Torah reading, D’var writing, social justice activities and discussion, and Hebrew. Preparing for this life-cycle event allows each student to take ownership of their process and how their connection to Judaism will be shared.
Derech - Post B'nai Mitzvah Program
JRC’s teen community for 8th – 12th graders empowers our young Jewish adult learners to explore leadership in our community and continue to create connections between their passions and interests and their Jewish identity. Affinity-based activities such as teen social justice travel, Tzelem- LGBTQIA+ Jewish identity exploration group, and madrichim leader training create opportunities to see other parts of their lives through a Jewish lens.
Inclusion and Antiracism
JRC strives to be an antiracist congregation and our teachers are educated and trained so that our students embrace and welcome the breadth of Jewish experience. Additionally, Kehillah supports learners of all ages and abilities in cultivating joy and acceptance by teaching and exploring our sacred and values-based practices. We want our students to bring their whole selves to JRC. We acknowledge, appreciate, and celebrate the fullness of gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, racial identity, multi-faith families, and Jewish observance and upbringing. Our talented group of teachers and clergy are supported by our professional inclusion coordinator who collaborates with parents, students, and staff and actively supports all learners.
Kehillah for the Whole Family
There is something for everyone at Kehillah! On Shabbat morning we gather as a community to learn, to schmooze, to pray, and to “do Jewish* together. Our building is buzzing with activity. As students head to their classrooms, community members and visitors attend services in our main sanctuary or Minyan in our small chapel. Folks are baking, meditating, attending speaker-led events on issues ranging from Gun Violence Protection to Reparations, or simply having coffee at our weekly Brewchim Ha’baim Coffee Lounge. Once a month the entire family and congregation join together at Chodesh Shabbat for an educational experience and an Oneg -of course, there’s food!