The Shabbat Centered Learning Model

Congregations understand Shabbat as a core Jewish living and learning experience. These models do more than simply change the time of school to Shabbat. Rather these models place Shabbat at the center of the learning experience.

Learners come together within the context of Shabbat to worship, study, and connect to one another. Shabbat centered models often involve the entire family, parents and children in a particular grade, an intergenerational cross-section of the congregation or varying combinations of these three communities. These models often focus on building relationships between young families and the larger congregational community.

Some models provide separate worship experiences for learners while others invite learners to join in congregation-wide worship. Learners typically share meals together as well as they celebrate Shabbat on Friday evening, Shabbat morning, or Shabbat afternoon. Shabbat learning can happen either in the synagogue or in another setting like homes. The centrality of Shabbat often informs the content of the learning with a focus on Torah, prayer and ritual.

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Shabbat Centered Learning Models (click on each for full description):


Related Resources

Provides learning for the entire family on Shabbat, a family retreat, or Sunday school hours. Locations include the synagogue, Tikkun Olam project sites, or homes. A list of Family Learning models has been assembled here.
This model provides children with the opportunity to create relationships with teens and/or older adults who can serve as Jewish role models. See our list of Intergenerational Learning Models and their detailed descriptions.

Related networks

Suri Jacknis
This continuing network will help you develop best practices in the field of family education. You will set your own goals for enhancing your model of family learning, for experimenting with various strategies to engage the whole family, and /or for increasing parental/family engagement in Jewish experiences and learning. Together we will consider ways to help parents and families see Judaism as a gift that can add connections, meaning, and joy to their lives. In this way, more Jewish children and families will thrive as human beings and as Jews.