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Planning Update: 2020 - 2021

Updated: Jul 20, 2020

Dear Families, As we look towards the fall, there is nothing I would want more than for us all to be able to gather at PSJC regularly for Hebrew School classes and family programs. Given the realities of Covid-19 safety and the complications of DOE/school scheduling and procedures, it currently seems unlikely. With every challenge, however, comes an opportunity to grow and learning something new. Below you can read about the basic structure we are planning for the 2020 - 2021 Hebrew School year, a hybrid learning plan through at least the February break. We are planning for learning to take place primarily online, with options for smaller groups of in-person learning, class gatherings, and asynchronous hevruta work, as permitted. For more details, you can visit, and we look forward to sharing more information throughout the summer. From the pandemic to racial injustice, it is our hope that PSJC Hebrew School will be able to provide meaningful experiences for Jewish learning, but also opportunities to make meaning of the world around you. In response to this uncertainty and anxiety many of our students are feeling, we will be increasing the emphasis on Jewish values and action, as well as Social-Emotional-Spiritual Learning (SESL). A new curriculum will include kits for working on projects at home centered around six core Jewish values, as well as an individual lilmod brit, or learning covenant, for each student to think about an action step they would like to take connected to each value. In addition to this, other exciting changes include:

  • Classes will following a similar schedule to the “old normal” for any synchronous learning, whether online or can be in small groups in person, so that you can plan your schedule accordingly and keep a regular schedule amidst all of your planning

  • Implementing a learning management system with ShalomLearning that will allow students to work independently on Hebrew practice and teachers to easily share activities and practice resources

  • Online learning will be shortened from the spring and we will be adding an extended break in the middle

  • Small group or one-on-one Hebrew sessions, as well as regular check-in calls from your teacher

  • Project based learning for sixth and seventh grade

  • A team of our faculty members will be attending NewCAJE for professional development throughout July

  • If online learning does not work for your student, we will have separate asynchronous options that can be discussed in your brit

  • Families will be assigned a havurah or pod to meet that will allow for smaller gatherings when possible

  • Chugim (electives) such as cooking, virtual choir, trope, running / yoga, modern Hebrew, and more will meet on Sundays/Shabbat

If you have not already registered for next year and submitted your deposit, please do so by June 30th to take advantage of early bird tuition pricing. Complete registration forms and a calendar will be sent to you in August with information related to scheduling, friend requests for family pods, health and safety procedures, and technology support questions. Obviously as we learn more about plans from the DOE and receive guidance from medical experts and the PSJC Covid Advisory Committee, our plans may shift, hopefully with increases in the ability to be together. Look for information on virtual coffee chats with me throughout the summer to provide feedback on our plans and to hear updates. Please do not hesitate to be in touch with any questions or concerns or reach out to the Hebrew School Committee co-chairs, Lise Engber or Dina Nadler-Serber . I cannot wait for a new year of learning and community building together. Aileen

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