Congregation Eitz Chayim was founded as the Hillel Children’s School by families seeking a Jewish education for their children. The school has a long history of providing children and teens from diverse backgrounds with both a strong Jewish education and an active Jewish community. In fall, 2015, Eitz Chayim established a a collaboration with Kesher, Cambridge’s Jewish after school program. The Kesher School at Eitz Chayim brings together the best of the Eitz Chayim School and Kesher under one roof – ours!
The Kesher at Eitz Chayim School Mission:
Provide a vibrant Jewish School for scholars, creative thinkers and Jewish adventurers ranging from Preschoolers to High Schoolers in the heart of Cambridge, serving the greater Cambridge community, dedicated to learning and experiencing Jewish culture, traditions, values and the Hebrew language.
We are delighted to have Ms. Dale Norman as our School Director. Dale has long experience with teaching children of all ages and developing curriculum and programs to meet children’s needs. She has worked as a journalist in a prior life and come to us with great energy and perspective. She started work in early July and will continue through the summer to get our new school up and running.
Prospective students and their parents are welcome to visit. For more information, an/or to arrange for a visit please go to http://www.kesherschoolec.org or call 617-576-0830.
There are two ways to register for the school. If you are a member of Eitz Chayim, or intend to be a member, please begin your registration with the Membership Enrollment with School Option. Otherwise, please register on the Kesher School website.
School might have been out for the summer, but Eitz Chayim families still gathered for a monthly Family Shabbat led by Gavi Wolfe and Vicky Steinberg. We discussed the Torah portion for the week, sang songs and topped off the night with challah and pizza!
If you are interested in participating in monthly family Shabbat, email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
[Vicky and Gavi leading the children to open the ark]
Director of Education
It may be winter in New England, but the Eitz Chayim School is very busy!
Sadye Sagov, our art specialist, is returning to make Purim crafts with grades
1-5 and Passover seder plates with our preteens and teen Ozrim. Holly Donaldson is baking hamentaschen with the school on Sunday, February 10th. On Sunday, February 10th from 10-11:30am we have an early childhood family education program, “Talking with Young Children about G-d”. Everyone is invited to celebrate Purim in costume on Saturday, February 23rd at EC at 6pm. Students in grades 4-7 will be reading from the Megillah along with adult congregants too. Students in grades 1-5 are going on a “Model Matzah Baking” field trip to Chabad on Sunday, March 3rd. We request that all parents accompany their children in all grades on Tzedakah Day on Sunday, March 10th from 10am -1pm. There are four interesting Jewish organizations for families to learn about and donate money to on Tzedakah Day. We will have our annual Parent Meeting on Sunday, March 17th from 10:30am – 12 noon. Come share your thoughts and ideas about our school and learn more about the May 3-4, Shabbat Family Retreat. Our teen Ozrim will continue their TELEM Program visits with older adults at the Center Communities of Brookline, as well as help the younger students at our school in February and March. Save the date! We have booked a Walking Tour of Jewish Boston for students in grades 6-12 their parents, and the adult congregation on Sunday, April 28th! The cost of the Walk is $25.00/adult and just $12.00 for students age 16 and under. We’ll meet in Boston and explore the Vilna Shul, the North End, the West End and go to the Holocaust Memorial together. Our first, annual, Family Shabbat Retreat will be held on the weekend of May 3-4, 2013 in Harvard, MA. Look for more details and fliers to follow about this exciting, overnight event! School will be held on Sunday, May 5th. Students who raise money for and go on the Walk for Hunger will be given an excused absence with parent confirmation of student/family participation. Our last day of school will be held on Sunday, May 19th. It’s going to be a busy and meaningful winter and spring at the Congregation Eitz Chayim School in the months ahead!
We have so much to look forward to in January at the Eitz Chayim School! As the almond trees begin to bloom in Israel, in time for Tu B’Shevat, all of our students will be learning about Israel and the environment at Eitz Chayim. Please join us for our annual, whole school Tu B’Shevat Presentation Program on Sunday, January 27 from 12:15-1pm, as grade K-7 students share what they have learned in class with their parents and the entire Eitz Chayim community.
January will be a busy month for our Early Childhood class families too. Our monthly Tot Shabbat service will be held on Friday, January 11th, at 6pm, followed by a pizza dinner for the children. Family Education programs move into high gear in January, with a Make Your Own Shabbat Kit program for Kindergarteners and their parents on Sunday, January 13th from 10am to 12 noon. Our Preschool class meets on Sunday, January 13th from 10am to 12 noon and the Toddler and Kindergarten classes will be held on Sunday, January 27th from 10am to 12 noon too.
Our Teen Ozrim have two TELEM Youth site visits in January. Teens will be joining older adults at Center Communities of Brookline on January 6th and 27th. Pictures from their recent intergenerational Chanukah party are on our website and will be posted on the TELEM website in the new year.
Tu B’Shevat higiah, chag la-ilanot. Tu B’Shevat is coming, the holiday of the trees. We look forward to celebrating Israel and the environment with you and your family at Eitz Chayim in January.
Congregation Eitz Chayim Teens held a Chanukah party with older adults from the Community Centers of Brookline as a part of their ongoing relationship through the Jewish Community Relations Council TELEM Youth Program!
TELEM is funded in part by the JCRC and Combined Jewish Philanthropies. Everyone enjoyed playing games of dreidel, eating latkes and making holiday cards to brighten the holidays at a local Veterans home.