“Tigard needs this.” Chaya Orenstein, co-director of Tigard Chabad Jewish Center explained emphatically, as she talked about the launch of JUDA. JUDA, or “Judaism through the Arts”, turns the traditional Hebrew School model on its head, providing exciting and creative learning where kids can progress independently.
Comments like “our kids have questions, but my Jewish knowledge isn’t enough to address their needs,” and “I don’t know how to make my child excited to be Jewish” helped spur on this new program, says Chaya, the director of JUDA. “When I saw the desire that parents had to give over Judaism to their children, I knew we had to create something. This is an incredible opportunity for children to explore their Jewish roots, gain a deeper sense of Jewish pride, and learn about their heritage in a fun and creative way.”
Utilizing the internationally acclaimed Hebrew language program, Aleph Champ, students learn Hebrew at their own pace while moving through the Karate-inspired levels. With games, crafts, and unique activities, Aleph Champ empowers children to read Hebrew confidently. “It’s a fabulous Hebrew language program, and I am excited to be able to bring it to Tigard.” Chaya shared.
Each week, Jewish history, mitzvot, and holidays and classic Jewish songs will be brought to life. “It’s so important that children are interested and passionate about their Judaism. The hands-on learning style is an opportunity for each child to be an active participant in the learning experience, allowing the experience to be meaningful and relevant. JUDA also allows children to create a Jewish community of their own, with kids their age, a positive space that allows them to be proud of who they are,” said Chaya.
JUDA’s cutting-edge curriculums include Israel Quest, where Jewish history comes alive through a weekly adventure of discovery. Exciting Jewish holiday experiences utilizing multiple mediums and formats, make each festival exciting, fun, and relevant for the student and their family.
“This will be many students’ first real Jewish engagement, and it will set the foundation for their relationship with Judaism in the years to come.” I am looking forward to children waiting all week for Tuesday afternoons-waiting for JUDA,” Chaya shared.
JUDA will be following all state and local Covid protocols and recommendations, including mask-wearing, sanitizing, distancing, and outdoor learning, when possible, to ensure the safety of students and staff.
Registration is now open for the upcoming 2021-22 school year. Beginning October 5th, JUDA classes will take place on Tuesday afternoons, after school, from 3:30-5:15 for children in grades 2-7. To learn more about the JUDA and for registration information, visit www.jewishtigard.com/JUDA.