Living Judaism Program

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Our Staff

Our teachers are chosen for their positive, joyous approach to Judaism. We strive to make our Living Judaism programs engaging, hands-on and exciting experiences for our students. Our educators are aware of the awesome responsibility they hold in building our children’s sense of Jewish identity. They take this responsibility seriously and cherish the opportunity to work with the leaders of our future Jewish community.

Our Programs

Our Living Judaism programming is an innovative and unique program that is an all-inclusive experiential project-based learning model of Jewish education. We understand that different children learn in different ways, so the religious education we provide for our students is personalized, focusing on each individual student and his/her personal strengths and learning style.

Living Judaism at University Synagogue

Our Living Judaism program takes place at University Synagogue each Sunday morning. Both Hebrew and Judaica are taught in this setting and students interact with their teachers, Rabbi Rachlis and Cantor Braier. We are committed to engaging every learner, providing carefully constructed learning experiences, building strong identity, rooting our students firmly in tradition, and creating memories to last for years to come. Some of the experiences that are incorporated into our Living Judaism program include cooking, music, science, art, drama, games, technology, dance, debate, book club, Yiddish, as well as mitzvah corps and values.

Hebrew skills are taught using a spiral curriculum culminating in familiarity with the Shabbat service, and building basic conversational Hebrew skills. We use a blended approach to teaching Hebrew reading. Decoding skills are taught to parallel with the students learning to decode in their regular classrooms. This is the same skill with different symbols and our students learn to blend very quickly. Additionally, we use the whole language approach to reading, which allows those students who struggle to decode, to learn to read Hebrew without struggling. Our Hebrew is taught in small, fluid ability-based groups where students learn alongside those of a similar level. We have a Hebrew Intervention Specialist on staff, who works one-on-one with those students who joined a little later or those who need a little bit extra.

Living Judaism A Home

This option is available to students who are unable to make it to our regular program.  We will customize your children’s Living Judaism education and will either send a teacher or Skype with your children.  Please contact our Director of Congregational Learning, Sue Penn, for further information.

Learn More

If you would like to discuss our exciting programs, Sue Penn, our Director of Congregational Learning, invites you to come, meet with her, and tour our facilities. To set a meeting with Sue, contact her at or call 949-553-3535.