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Youth and Family Education

Congregation Etz Chayim is an independent congregation, unaffiliated with any movement. We draw primarily from Reform and Conservative Judaism as we navigate and craft our 21st century Jewish lives.

These traditional teachings inform what we teach and how we do it.

כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל עָרֵבִים זֶה בַּזֶה 

Kol yisrael arevim zeh b’zeh

All Israel is responsible for each other (Shevuot 39a


אֵיזֶהוּ חָכָם, הַלּוֹמֵד מִכָּל אָדָם

Eizehu chacham, ha-lomed me kol adam

Who is wise? One who learns from every person. (Pirke Avot 4:1) 


וְלֹא הַמִּדְרָשׁ הוּא הָעִקָּר, אֶלָּא הַמַּעֲשֶׂה

V’lo ha-midrash hu ha-ikar, eleh ha’ma’aseh 

 What you do with the learning is what matters most (Pirke Avot 1:17) 


At the heart of Jewish living and learning is the question and response. Our learning programs are rooted in this approach. We ask questions and explore our Jewish texts and historical experience seeking wisdom, values, ethics, history and traditions from a variety of sources to guide us in understanding what it means to be Jewish and how to live Jewish lives.

The Youth and Family Learning progam at Etz Chayim partners with families in developing and strengthening Jewish identity and connections to K'lal Yisrael, the world Jewish community. We interact with historical, spiritual and cultural Jewish experiences through a variety of learning modalities including text-study, song, prayer, art, movement, discussion, story-telling, field trips, projects and technology. We do all of this with a focus on ensuring that the learning is experiential, deep, relevant and engaging.

We provide learning opportunities for Jewish children and their families from preschool through high school. We recognize that families come in different configurations with a multiplicity of interests and desires for Jewish learning and  community. We embrace the diversity of the members of our congregation and are committed to being an egalitarian, warm, inclusive community. Some of our programs are also available for families who are not members of the congregation.

 Our programs provide students with a foundation to:

  • Live ethical lives grounded in Jewish values
  • Observe Jewish holidays and rituals at home and in a synagogue or other communal setting

  • Participate in Shabbat and Holy Day services with confidence and understanding, including leading services in learning cohorts

  • Treasure and draw strength and insights from centuries of Jewish religion, tradition and civilization 

  • Explore and find their place as a member of K'lal Yisrael, the world Jewish community, starting from their learning cohort and expanding to others at Etz Chayim, the local community and beyond

  • Recognize Hebrew vocabulary that expresses Jewish concepts and values, including basic reading/decoding skills

  • Feel comfortable asking questions of, thinking critically about, and exploring our heritage for meaning and relevance

More information about our programs can be found by exploring the tabs below or by contacting our Director of Learning, Abra Greenspan. 

For questions about students with special needs, please contact Abra

Click here for a registration form.

Mon, May 20 2024 12 Iyyar 5784