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At the Jewish Center for Arts and Learning (JCAL), we believe in learning that engages each child's whole person, body, heart, and soul.

Judaism teaches that one should learn Torah in order to live it out, and that one should do mitzvot in order to understand them. In other words, we have two opposing pedagogies: learn in order to do, and do in order to learn. At JCAL we do both.


JCAL is back for a meaningful and fun year of learning starting August 3oth, with online learning, activity boxes, and Camp JCAL in the Spring!

JCAL Registration is open for 2020-2021. Look for an email from JCAL for more information.
You must be logged into your TBY Member Account to complete your registration.

K - 6th Grade Curriculum

This year’s curriculum is being crafted to directly address the remarkable moment we’re living in and give children tools from the Jewish toolbox to address its challenges, tools that will help ground and guide them beyond this year. For the safety of our students, and in response to guidelines from the state, we have decided move JCAL learning online*, reassessing in the Spring. Did you notice that *asterisk? That’s because limitations are an invitation to creativity, and at the Jewish Center for Arts and Living, that’s what we’re all about—creativity. We have an exciting mix of learning experiences as part of the JCAL curriculum this year, from using Shalom Learning, an award-winning Jewish values curriculum built for online platforms, to the “Chag” and “Mitzvah Box” programs, to Camp JCAL in the Spring. Keep reading! In addition, as soon as it’s safe to be in person, we plan to have small group events in person focusing on family community activities, such as a beach Havdalah, Shabbat in the park, etc.

The curriculum is built upon 7 crucial Jewish concepts:

taking responsibility for our actions

honoring the image of God in ourselves and others

using strength to do what’s right

making the world a better place

seeking joy and being grateful

the power of words

contributing to a more peaceful world.

JCAL Schedule

JCAL Online, every Sunday:

  • 9 – 10:20 for grades K-2

  • 10 – 10:20 am Whole-School T’filah (prayer service/group experience)

  • 10 – 11:30 for grades 3rd – 7th

  • Confirmation Schedule coming soon

The Components of JCAL

Kindergarten, First and Second Grades

  • Online every Sunday (starting August 30th): 9:00 – 10:20 am, holidays and Jewish values

  • Family program of a Chag (holiday) Box approximately every other week (12 boxes over the course of the year). This exciting, new program will engage the whole family in the meaning and practice of the Jewish holidays, with opportunities to celebrate the holidays as a grade-level community. CLICK HERE to learn more.

  • Camp JCAL (more info below)

3rd – 6th Grades

  • Online, every Sunday, 10:00 – 11:30, Shalom Learning curriculum

  • Hebrew: 40-minute, small-group (of about 4 students) weekly sessions. Online.

    • See below for Small-Group Hebrew session options

  • Family program of a Mitzvah (good deed/commandment) Box approximately every other week (about 12 boxes over the course of the year). This exciting, new program will engage the whole family in the meaning and practice of the Jewish mitzvot, and will connect to the Shalom Learning curriculum. CLICK HERE to learn more.

  • Camp JCAL (more info below)

    Our Online Learning Partner

7th Grade Curriculum

7th Grade curriculum explores what it means to be an adult and a leader in the Jewish community. Like all of JCAL this year, the focus will be on creating a k’hilah k'doshah, a holy community. Learning will include community service projects, the history of modern Jewish life (including the Holocaust), and explore the meaning of the becoming b’nai mitzvah. This class is also a unique chance for children who went to Jewish day school and those who have gone to JCAL to build a single, cohesive community.

7th Grade Schedule

  • Online on Sundays : 10:00 – 11:30 am (beginning 8/30)

  • Mitzvah Box Program (see above).

  • Hebrew Small-Group Sessions are available to 7th graders who have not yet started the B'nai Mitzvah Prep Program. Click here for more details on the  B'nai Mitzvah Prep Program, which starts about 7 months before a student's ceremony.

  • 7th Grade will include community service projects, both in-person (tbd) and at home. The schedule may differ from the normal Sunday schedule if there’s an in-person service project.

Chag Box and Mitzvah Box Programs

JCAL is thinking outside of the box by thinking inside the box! In addition to JCAL Online, we’ll offer at-home programs for the entire family: the Chag (Holiday) and Mitzvah Box program! 12 boxes that include activities, background and conversation prompts around a particular holiday or mitzvah. The Chag Box program will connect to the K-2 JCAL Online curriculum, and the Mitzvah Box program will connect to the Shalom Learning Curriculum.

Chag Box Program: Explore the practices and meaning of the Jewish holidays as a family! All Kindergarten through 2nd grade families will receive 12 Chag Boxes a year. “Chag” is Hebrew for “holiday” (the ‘ch’ is pronounced like ‘Chanukah’ or ‘challah’), and the box will contain activities focused on the upcoming Jewish holiday or a mitzvah (good deed/commandment) related to the season. Contents will include hands-on activities to do as a family, background about the holiday for parents and older siblings, and questions to guide a family conversation. Families will then be invited for a hybrid online/in-person celebration.

Mitzvah Box Program: As a family, explore key mitzvot (commandments/good deeds) that apply to how we live with each other (including with our families) and take care of the world. Content will include background on the mitzvah, hands-on activities, guidance for doing this mitzvah in an ongoing way, and questions to guide a family conversation. Some of the Mitzvah Boxes will be the same as those in the Chag Box program; families who are subscribed to both programs will receive one box with enough materials for the entire family in those instances. The mitzvot in the program will connect to the Shalom Learning curriculum (3rd - 6th grades) and the community service/tikkun olam projects (7th grade).

Anyone may subscribe to the Chag and Mitzvah Box Programs for $60/program. Students already enrolled in JCAL will automatically receive the box program associated with that grade-level curriculum, with enough supplies for the entire family.

A big thank you to our generous underwriter for making this possible!

For questions e-mail Melissa Seidner, JCAL Admin, at


Once it's safe to be in-person this Spring, each grade will gather for a full day of "Camp JCAL" (9 am – 4 pm), in person at TBY, on a Sunday TBD. We will be following best practices for physically gathering in safety at that time.

We’ll be exploring how to create a k’hilah k’doshah, a holy community, and applying the values learned over the course of JCAL Online to build a visual example of that. The day-long experience is built on the template of camp, and learning experiences will be through arts, sports/movement and nature.



We have two components of Prayer Hebrew learning in JCAL:

  • Skills mastery (reading and chanting) – in small groups

  • Understanding and making meaning of prayers – integrated into JCAL

Students will master the skills of reading (“decoding” or sounding out) Hebrew and learning to chant the prayers in weekly, 40-minute learning sessions. Students will learn in small groups with about 3-5 other students at their Hebrew level and a Hebrew tutor.

Hebrew Small Groups Session Options (you will be asked to rank your choices in a follow-up e-mail following registration; we will do our best to honor preferences while making sure that your child is in the right group for him/her/them):

  • Tuesdays - 4:00 pm | 5:00 pm

  • Sundays - 8:30 am | 9:15 am | 11:45 am

Students will explore the meaning of Shabbat evening and morning prayers, as well as the overarching concepts of prayer in Judaism, through learning experiences spread across the four years when students learn Hebrew in JCAL, 3rd – 6th grade, and distinct from the 40-minute skills-mastery Hebrew sessions. This year that learning will be integrated into JCAL Online.

Teen Learning and Leadership

Madrichim Program

Teens 8th – 12th grade are invited to volunteer in our Madrichim, or teacher’s aides, Program. Madrichim help with their assigned JCAL class or program whenever it is in session. They are critical parts of our community and help make JCAL the warm, safe and learning-rich environment that it is, acting as role models for the children in JCAL. Madrichim go through an on-going leadership development program under the direction of Matthew Ghan, Director of Youth Engagement. To apply, fill out our Madrichim Application. Madrichim Application coming mid-August.


Schedule and curriculum coming soon.

Mon, August 10 2020 20 Av 5780