Something new is happening at Temple Beth Shalom in Needham. Since the launch of Mayim, their “re-imagined” supplementary education program this past fall, the kids can’t wait to get to class. When they get home, they can’t wait to show their parents what they’ve accomplished.
Mayim is the result of two years of study and preparation by the whole synagogue community in collaboration with CJP’s Jewish Learning Connections (JLC) initiative, which provided the leadership, strategy and engagement of the community in rethinking Jewish education.
As the kids and their teachers immerse themselves in experiential projects, barriers to learning seem to fall away, while the kids rush to meet new challenges. The 4th and 5th grades at TBS recently created a series of original blessings and artwork that was transformed into an iPhone app called Pocket Blessings, now available for download.
“Pocket Blessings is just one example of many creative, relevant and yet uniquely Jewish projects that the kids can produce themselves,” says Julie Vanek, Director of Jewish Learning Connections at CJP. “We’re so excited to partner with more congregations to create new ways of learning.”