Our intention for the 5782 (2021-2022) school year is to be in person as often as possible in all of our learning programs. Rabbi Holzman will be at the helm of our educational programs in addition to many of his other duties as we search for a new leader for our programs for next year. Prior to his tenure at NVHC, Rabbi Holzman led the youth education programs in his previous rabbinic position and he brings that experience to this endeavor.

We have also increased the administrative support for the education program and have hired Eric Berman, a teacher in Arlington County and experienced Jewish educational leader, to be our part-time Principal for Sunday mornings. We are thrilled to have someone with his experience and passion on the team!

The anticipated reunion this fall of families who enrolled last year with families who, for many understandable reasons, took the year off, is why our focus in 5782 year will be on engagement, relationships, and building community. Our Sunday morning program, which is the center of our learning experience, will reflect these priorities. Read more below or check out the presentations to the right to learn more about changes to our program this year.

You will also see some changes to our facilities and the format in the coming year, all to keep everyone healthy. We have installed new HEPA air filters and updated our HVAC settings. We plan to reduce classroom size and avoid mixing across learning groups. In addition, all teachers will be vaccinated. COVID has also taught us new skills and we have found areas of opportunity to improve our program using these new skills. That is why midweek Hebrew will be online only, as we build upon our highly effective online program.

The upcoming year will be an exciting time of renewed relationships, learning, and celebration of Jewish life. Thank you for joining us on this journey through the pandemic. As we enter this next phase, we do so with the confidence that comes from belonging to a supportive community.

Register for Religious School

If you are not yet a member of our community but would like to register your children for religious school, please email our Executive Director ShowClick Here to View Contact Information to learn more about how you can join our community.

Religious School Town Hall

On June 2, 2021, NVHC hosted a Town Hall about the upcoming changes to our program this year. Our education team gave a detailed overview of what school will look like next year, and parents had the opportunity to ask questions. Click here to watch the recording and click here to view the slideshow that Rabbi Holzman presented.

Information for Each Grade

Punims - ages 0-4

A “Punim” in Yiddish is a face – a particularly sweet face!

We invite all of our punims (ages 0 to 4) and their families to join us on select Sundays to learn, sing, play, and be together at NVHC! Click here to learn more!

Bonim (Builders) - Pre-K and Kindergarten

We love being able to welcome in our youngest learners each year! Our Bonim (Builders) program is designed for Pre-K students, Kindergarteners, and their families to all participate in together. They will meet one Sunday each month to learn about the Jewish holidays, with heavy emphasis on Shabbat; Jewish values; and different aspects of the synagogue. This will also be an opportunity for students and families to connect with each other and learn together as a group.

Tzofim (Scouts) - 1st & 2nd Grade

In 1st and 2nd grades, our students continue learning how to build connections with each other while learning about Torah stories, Israel, Jewish values, Jewish holidays, and beginning to learn to recognize Hebrew letters. 

Students will meet weekly on Sunday mornings in a combination of indoor and outdoor learning. They will build on their core learning and relationship building through activities like art projects, stories, and engaging conversations. They will also have the opportunity to participate in Music, Sports, and learn Hebrew through a program called Hebrew Through Movement.

Hebrew Through Movement is a proven method of learning Hebrew by which students learn Hebrew through hearing and responding to Hebrew words through movement. Click here to learn more about the Hebrew Through Movement methodology. We will have two levels; one for students who are new to Hebrew Through Movement, and one for students who participated in the program last year.

Olim (Ascenders) - 3rd-5th Grade

In 3rd & 4th grade, our students engage in their core Judaic learning in a looped two-year curriculum. In Year Aleph, students learn about the narratives of Jacob and Moses, focusing on the stories from Genesis and Exodus. In Year Bet, students learn about Jewish holidays and modern Israel.

In 5th grade, students students learn about Jewish lifecycle events.

Students will participate in a variety of indoor and outdoor learning experiences. For their Judaics content, students will be able to choose from a variety of electives. Each elective is a small group of students with a teacher and madrich/a; previous electives have included Game Making, Odyssey of the Mind, Green STEAM in Israel, Arts & Culture, and Video Making. They will also participate in outdoor social action and youth group activities and Sunday & Mid-Week Hebrew.

Hebrew in the Classroom

We will offer three levels of Hebrew – Hebrew I, Hebrew II, and Hebrew III. Students will begin with Hebrew I in 3rd grade. Students who are beginning Hebrew after 3rd grade will begin in Hebrew I with age-appropriate peers. There are two components of this program – a Sunday morning class, separate from their Judaics class, and a mid-week session. All mid-week Hebrew will take place online. Students will be able to choose from two options – either small group learning that meets with one of our Hebrew teachers or 1:1 Hebrew tutoring.

Students in Hebrew I can expect to learn letter and vowel recognition as well as basic decoding skills.

Students in Hebrew II can expect to learn short blessings (such as Barechu and blessings over food), Ma’ariv Aravim/Yotzer Or, the Four Questions, Kiddush, and Havdalah

Students in Hebrew III can expect to learn Sh’ma/V’ahavtah, Mi Chamocha, Avot v’Imahot, G’vurot, and K’dusha.

Chalutzim (Pioneers) - 6th & 7th Grade

New this year, our Chalutzim (Pioneers) program combines 6th and 7th grades to create an experience that is designed to support students as they move through adolescence, prepare to become Bar or Bat Mitzvah, and continue their Jewish educational journey post-B’nai Mitzvah. Divided into 8 groups based on their Bar/Bat Mitzvah dates, students will move through 6th and 7th grade together as a cohort. Students will have ample opportunities to mix with the other groups and be with their peers as a full class.

This program focuses on important values and life lessons, and helps students develop and strengthen their own sense of Jewish identity. They will study Jewish values and challenges in their lives through the lens of the weekly Torah portion, how that relates through current events, and engage in doing mitzvot – the ways that we live out our Jewish values.

Our current Torah Corps program, led by Cantor Susan Caro and Sam Blum, will now be expanded and integrated into Sunday mornings as a core part of the Chalutzim curriculum for both 6th and 7th graders. They will continue to be at the helm, where students can expect to review all prayers previously learned and build on them with the addition of the Torah Service, which includes blessings surrounding the ritual of removing the Torah from the ark, the Torah Blessings, and Haftarah blessings.

The small cohorts by date match the student’s place along the preparation journey, encompassing learning Torah cantillation and synagogue skills, with learning specific to each student that is more directed for their Bar or Bat Mitzvah. As they become Bar or Bat Mitzvah, their cohort will shift their learning focus to a broader understanding of Hebrew and prayer.

6th grade students will continue with one-on-one mid-week Hebrew tutoring (online only) with an experienced Hebrew tutor. There is no mid-week Hebrew for 7th grade students.

Please note: all B’nai Mitzvah instruction will now occur within the hours of Kehillat Limmud. There will be no additional classes outside of Sunday mornings. As before, students will also need to be practicing at home in preparation for B’nai Mitzvah and will do best with good family support for the journey.

Tamid (8th-12th Grade)

Tamid is our weekly program for 8th-12th graders. Click here to learn more!

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