The Shir Libeynu School: a supplemental program that will start right after Yom Kippur, on Sundays, at a downtown location. It is for children ages eight to 11 years old, and will run as a pilot project with a series of five-week sessions or units focusing on specific topics. This is a program that will be especially welcoming of those children who have had minimal or no formal Jewish education, and for whom this is a first learning experience about their heritage. This is a Sunday-morning program.
The first unit’s topic is Jewish Stories: incorporating them from the Bible, the Torah, legends, history and other sources.
The second unit’s topic is: Jewish Time. This will include the Jewish yearly calendar, Jewish holidays, the Jewish week and Shabbat practices.
The third unit’s topic is: Jewish Families: Historical, Traditional & Contemporary.
The fourth and final unit of the year’s topic will be: Jewish Art and Culture.
Our innovative supplemental school starts its fourth unit on Sunday, March 25, 2018.
We will introduce these topics through a variety of activities including reading, drama, arts and crafts, music and writing. We will incorporate Hebrew vocabulary throughout these sessions. Our goal is for all children who go through the year to gain a sense of Jewish identity through learning about our stories, how we organize time, and other themes. Parents may enrol their children in one, several or, ideally, all of the five-week units.
We are now accepting registrations for the fourth and final unit of the year, Jewish Art and Culture. It begins on Sunday, March 25 and ends on April 29th (no classes on April 1st) at a central location, accessible by public transportation. Registration has begun; please sign up by Sunday, February 4, 2018.
The teacher for this school is Dana Rubinshtein, an educator who speaks English, French, Hebrew and Russian. Dana holds a bachelor’s degree in science from Concordia University, and now is pursuing a teaching degree through the faculty of education, York University. She has experience in the classroom of a Toronto Jewish after-school program and at its summer camp. Dana has also worked as: a presenter of science workshops for children and youth, a Hebrew and science tutor to children, and an assistant at a Montreal Jewish day school.
There will be a modest fee for this supplemental school, very much in keeping with what is charged elsewhere in the city.
Rabbi Goldberg will be overseeing the curriculum/lesson planning for the Shir Libeynu School, and is also the teacher’s supervisor.
We are grateful to Shir Libeynu members Jon Novick and Denis Frawley for their generosity in donating venue space in which to hold the program for the first year.
The Junior Congregation: is a new program, also for children in the eight to 11 year old age group, and occurring monthly at the same time as services, when their parents and grandparents may be in the chapel. For the hour or so that this program takes place, the young people will work with an experienced teacher and musician on themes, prayers and the parsha, or Torah reading, of the day. They will join the service after that hour to join in and contribute what they have learned to the congregation.
The teacher for this program is Ella Gladstone Martin, an educator and a professional musician who plays and sings in Hebrew, Yiddish, Arabic and English. She has worked as a supervisor and counsellor at Camp Shomria, and as a spokesperson and coordinator at Hashomer Hatzair Canada. She currently works at a local Jewish supplemental school, as well. Ella and her family attended our services when we were still holding High Holy Days at Cecil Community Centre.
As always, children are welcome to drop in to the monthly sessions of both of our Shabbat morning sessions, and there is no fee. But we hope that parents and grandparents will see their ways to making this a regular part of the shul experience every month.
Rabbi Goldberg will be overseeing the content and themes for the junior congregation, and is also the teacher’s supervisor.
The Shabbat Morning Younger-Children’s Program: to run on Saturday mornings, at the same time as our services, for those ages three to eight years old. It is a continuation and enhancement of our present program which will have crafts, stories, songs and other approaches to what is occurring at Shabbat that day in the chapel, where, of course, children are also always welcome to join their adults, who will also be welcome in the children’s room.
The teacher is Leanne Stevens, who has experience as a supplemental Jewish school teacher at a liberal synagogue in the GTA, and has been a long-time camper and then counsellor at Camp George in Ontario. She also brings to us her background attending Jewish Sunday school throughout her own childhood, as well as years of working one on one with young children of differing abilities. Leanne has an honours bachelor of arts degree from Ryerson University, where she currently works in governance.
As always, children are welcome to drop in to the monthly sessions of both of our Shabbat morning services, and there is no fee. But we hope that parents and grandparents will see their ways to making this a regular part of the shul experience every month.
Rabbi Goldberg will be overseeing the learning content of the children’s program, and is also the teacher’s supervisor.
The Bnei Mitzvah Learning Enrichment Program
Our next b’nei mitzvah learning enrichment program will begin in the autumn of 2017, when we will welcome a small cohort of candidates.
This is a year-long series of classes, excursions and socializing that usually precedes the young person becoming a bar or bat mitzvah with Shir Libeynu. You can expect: a learning enrichment program that will include a series of workshops and sessions with the youngsters, as well as their families; social opportunities for families at oneg Shabbat, a tour of Jewish Toronto and other excursions; a Tzedekah project, and more.
Families who wish their children to become a bar or bat mitzvah with Shir Libeynu must enroll them in this program well in advance of the ceremony. Families usually proceed to the simcha part of the bar/bat mitzvah process after this program, but it is not a requirement. For more detailed information on what you can expect from our entire program, including the paramaters and details of the ceremony led by Rabbi Goldberg at Shir Libeynu, click here.
Please click here to register your child for our bnei mitzvah enrichment learning program.
Our B’nei Mitzvah learning enrichment teacher is Elise Eisenkraft Klein, who graduated from McGill with a degree in Jewish history and Women & Gender studies, and is now in the Master of Teaching program at OISE (U of T). She previously worked as a teacher at a progressive Jewish Sunday school, and one-on-one with children of many backgrounds and learning styles. Elise has been involved in Klezmer music scenes and Jewish cultural and artistic communities for many years, including at the annual Klezkanada retreat. As a member of the Jewstice League Klezmer Ensemble, she has performed at Shir Libeynu functions and other gigs in Toronto and Montreal. Elise has attended our shul with her family for more than 18 years, where she has volunteered with our children’s programs and as a violin accompanist to the choir and chazzan.
For more detailed information on our b’nei mitzvah learning enrichment classes and the program at Shir Libeynu, click here.
Rabbi Goldberg oversees the curriculum of the Bnei Mitzvah program, and is also the supervisor of the program’s teacher.