2018-19 Learning Center Enrollment NOW OPEN!! -- Click here for the 2018-19 PJC LC Registration Forms. In an effort to assist us with staffing and program planning, please send in your completed registration forms and a deposit or full payment TODAY!!
The PJC Learning Center's mission is to create a vibrant and welcoming learning environment in which our children and families develop a love of God and Torah. We believe that the family and the Learning Center must work together to nourish our children's Jewish identities in our synagogue, homes and the broader community. We provide opportunities to learn together participating in Jewish rituals and social action, as well as studying Torah, Jewish history, Hebrew and Klal Israel.
"On three things the world stands: Torah, Avodah, and G'emilut Hasadim"
(Pirkei Avot, 1:2)
We want our graduates to be committed to the love of Torah (study), Avodah (worship) and Guemilut Hasadim (moral and spiritual justice).
"The process of learning will prove a pleasant and easy experience if you stay there willingly with the intention of deriving from your studies a higher purpose.(…) When you finally depart from the house of learning, be conscious of what are you taking home with you. Fasten it in your mind and deposit it in your heart."
~ Maimonides, Letter on Ethics (to his son, Abraham)
We strive to help our students feel comfortable:
Asking questions about life and growing up, while seeking answers within the framework of Jewish tradition.
Transmitting the Jewish tradition to the next generation.
Being linked to a rich tradition and realizing their place in this chain through the study of Jewish history and culture.
Using their skills regarding Shabbat, holidays and other religious observances in their home.
Praying in the synagogue as part of a community of worshipers and experiencing prayer as our attempt to draw closer to God. As they progress through our school's curriculum, students will:
- Know the Jewish calendar, and celebrate life cycle events and the yearly cycle of holidays.
- Read the siddur in Hebrew and be aware of its theological themes and various liturgies, especially the Shabbat service.
- Experience modern Hebrew language, using Hebrew in the classroom and acquiring a basic vocabulary.
- Experience Jewish literature, music and the arts as creative expressions of our heritage.
- Recognize the TaNaKh (Bible) and other classical Jewish texts as the record of the evolving Brit (covenant) between the Jewish people and God.
- Recall stories of our ancestors and themes of ethical behavior from the TaNaKh.
- Identify Torah (Jewish learning) as the source of mitzvot (commandments).
- Understand and willingly undertake mitzvoth between themselves and others, as well as between themselves and God.
- Accept responsibility for giving Tzedakah (righteous giving) and performing actions of Tikkun Olam (making the world a better place).
- Understand that the world is God's gift to humanity and that it is our responsibility to protect it and use it wisely.
- Understand the value of the Jewish community and be committed to being a member of it.
- Identify with all Jews (Klal Israel) as brothers and sisters and be committed to Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people.
- Understand the principles of Conservative Judaism.
We encourage parents to partner with us in educating their children and connecting them to our sacred traditions. The Learning Center starts with pre-school (the youngest students are four) and continues through high school.
The Learning Center's curriculum centers on the study of Bible and prayer Hebrew (with some modern spoken Hebrew). Students celebrate the Jewish holidays; learn about Israel; experience prayer in their classrooms and in junior congregation services; and learn the importance of mitzvot in Jewish life. They read Jewish literature, listen to Jewish music and learn to appreciate Jewish arts as creative expressions of their heritage. They commit themselves to tzedakah (charity) and gemilut hasadim (acts of lovingkindness). The congregation's Social Action committee has a member dedicated to organizing the tzedakah projects in the school. The sixth graders' service in the Mount Vernon Soup Kitchen counts as part of their curriculum. The seventh-grade program emphasizes Bar or Bat Mitzvah preparation. Click here to learn more about Becoming Bar/Bat Mitzvah.
Hours: The younger grades meet once a week for one and a half to two hours. From the third grade to the seventh grade, students meet twice a week for a total of four hours. There are no classes on Sundays, but the students participate in family programs several times a year on Sunday.
Faculty: Our teachers are deeply committed to the children and to the curriculum of our school. Learning Center teachers come from all denominations of Judaism and are all certified or in the process of acquiring a teaching certificate. They understand and respect the uniqueness of each individual learner and work to integrate the curriculum into the lives' of the students. Our faculty understands that as Jewish teachers, they must be positive role models and skilled communicators of Jewish knowledge and values.
Contact the PJC Education Director, Ana Turkienicz, at [email protected] or 914-738-6008, ext. 2, for more information.