At Schechter, we embrace Joyful Judaism.
Jewish values are seamlessly interwoven into everything we do, helping our students cultivate a positive, enduring Jewish identity.
מצוה גדולה להיות בשמחה תמיד
It’s a great mitzvah to always be joyful! —Rebbe Nachman of Breslov
Students develop a sense of pride in who they are as individuals and as members of a strong and vibrant Jewish community.
The school beats to the rhythm of the Jewish calendar. Students sing together at joyful weekly Likrat Shabbat and participate in holiday celebrations from Rosh Hashanah through Shavuot. Highlights include joining with their Tribe for a Tu B’Shevat seder, dressing in silly costumes and reading the megillah at Purim, taking part in meaningful observances of Yom Hazikaron and Yom HaShoah, and rejoicing together on Yom Haatzmaut. Through these experiences, students learn the significance of the chagim (Jewish holidays), and uncover the meaning, exuberance, and ruach (spirit) of the holidays as a community.
At Schechter, we foster a strong bond with Israel, our Jewish homeland, culminating in our own eighth grade trip to Israel. Through immersive experiences, cultural exploration, and authentic connections, we empower our students to forge a deep and enduring relationship with the land, history, language, and people of Israel.
Beginning in Kindergarten, our students take part in meaningful milestone ceremonies that create special moments for families to join together to celebrate their children’s growth and connection to their Jewish identity. These include exploring their relationship with God, receiving their first siddur and tikkun (prayer books), chanting from the Torah, and completing their study of Bereshit (Genesis, the first book of the Torah).
Sager School Milestone Ceremonies
Community is so important at Schechter. At the beginning of the school year, Sager School Kindergarten students and their parents come together to build their special community and celebrate the joy of Shabbat. Students showcase what they have learned about shabbat, and parents have a chance to meet and enjoy lunch together.
In January, Chagigat Hagan provides our Kindergarteners and their families with another opportunity to strengthen their community. This event provides families with a window into Kindergarten as guests are invited to participate in a morning meeting, a special project. and community t’fillah (prayer). We celebrate how much our students have grown!
In first grade, students begin to explore their relationship with God. They consider who God is, ask God questions, and determine how they can be God’s partner to create a better world. Students write letters to God which they share at a special ceremony in the spring filled with song and dance.
In early November, our second grade students receive their first siddur during a special ceremony that symbolizes their growing understanding of t’fillah and connection to their Jewish heritage. This significant event marks a beautiful tradition as we gather together to celebrate the spiritual journey of these young learners.
In third grade, our students begin their study of Torah and also begin to learn Torah trope (musical symbols that determine how each word in the Torah is chanted) so they can serve as Torah readers for their community. During this ceremony, they receive their tikkun (a book of Torah scroll text) and chumash (a printed and bound version of the Torah used for study).
In third and fourth grades, our students study Bereshit, the first book of the Torah. Following their completion of this book, they celebrate with a siyum (a ceremony that marks an ending). The students present a joyful performance of the key moments in the book of Bereshit with songs and dances in both Hebrew and English.