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Youth & family education

At Shearith Israel, we emphasize experiential education, personal religious development, and whole family learning. We have programs for families with young children and a variety of opportunities for children in grades K-12.

Young families

Congregation Shearith Israel welcomes and embraces young families into our community. Since consistency and repetition is important for children’s learning, we love for you to attend programs alongside your child(ren)!  We have a family style program specifically designed for you and your child(ren), called the K’tonton (2 - 4 year old program). Learn more and register here.


religious school

Machaneh Shai (K - 7th Grade)

In Congregation Shearith Israel’s Machaneh Shai (Hebrew for “Camp Shearith Israel”) program, our elementary school age students benefit from the best practices and leading-edge research in the field of Jewish education! The result? Children from kindergarten through 7th grade get a rich, engaging educational environment in which to learn! Our program is a totally different kind of religious school where we emphasize experiential education, personal religious development, and whole family learning. Machaneh Shai provides fun, hands-on, and engaging ways to learn about Jewish traditions, prayers, Torah, Israel, and Jewish history.

Our educational programs work at developing the creativity, character, Jewish literacy and spiritual life of our students. The result? Your children are encouraged to live the values of our Judaism, to “raise their hand” and be of service to others, and to do good in the world.

Synagogue Membership Is Not Required! We understand that joining a synagogue is a big commitment for families! Shearith Israel offers the option for parents to enroll their children at Machaneh Shai for two years paying only for their Jewish education – while receiving all the perks of synagogue membership. For more details, please contact the office!

We hope that you will decide to enroll your child for the upcoming school year. For more information, please contact our Director of Youth Education, Sharon Graetz, at

Read More About Our Machaneh Shai program!



Through the values learned in K-7 Machaneh Shai, students explored Jewish text, history, tefillah (prayer), and holidays. By the time they become teens, they start thinking not just about their own lives, but also more about how the world around them works. It’s important for teenagers to see real-world examples of Jews who have the same values we’ve been teaching them, and how they can use these values to do good in their own daily lives. 


Gesher (8TH GRADE)

The class is a bridge (Gesher in Hebrew) between the end of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah year and Shai High. This class meets monthly on Sundays at 4 - 5:30 pm at the home of Lance and Erin Chernow, and is taught by Lance Chernow. The curriculum is titled "Talmud on Training Wheels". The class is a socratic, discussion-based class introducing teens to some basic concepts and Halacha (Jewish law), as well as Aggadah (stories from the Talmud). Students will also enjoy group rec time and snacks.

Learn About Gesher & Enroll


shai High (9TH - 11th Grade)

Shai High is the next stage of learning for our high schoolers. This interactive series guides teens through the oftentimes arduous process of being a young Jewish adult. Through on-site learning, guest speakers, and local field trips, students in Shai High will explore the complexity of Jewish life through two distinct units.

Learn About Shai High & Enroll

life yeshiva (12TH grade)

Now Seniors, the teens are ready to apply what they’ve learned into their daily lives! Taught by Joey Heyman, the class meets every other Shabbat. The curriculum is based on Jewish texts and discussion with a focus on leadership.

Learn more about Life Yeshiva & Enroll


Jewish Youth Groups


As part of the national Kadima movement in Conservative Judaism, our 6th through 8th graders have a Kadima group that meets monthly for activities and learning. Usually based around a social function, programming includes religious, educational, and social-action activities. Programs include movies, ice skating, pool parties, rock climbing, and other social, engaging events.

Kadima - Learn More & Register


United Synagogue Youth (USY) is Conservative Judaism’s premier youth group, run by its parent organization, USCJ, for teenagers in 9th through 12th grades. Through year-round programming and domestic and international travel opportunities, USY provides meaningful, immersive Jewish experiences, helping teens integrate Jewish rituals and values into their everyday lives. Past programming has included social justice initiatives, challah baking for charity, an overnight “lock-in” at the shul, Israel-focused events, teen Shabbat, conventions, and more. For info and to register, visit our USY page.

USY - Learn More & Register

Fri, February 23 2024 14 Adar I 5784