Growing Together: Jewish Family Learning
  • Explore Jewish tradition with your children

  • In an open and welcoming environment 

  • With a diverse community of families

Growing Together, Jewish Gateways' twice-monthly family learning program, is an alternative to traditional Hebrew or Religious school. 

Adults and children explore the same topics both together and at their own level. Everyone in the family leaves with unique learning to share with one another about the day’s topics and themes.  

Families speak about Growing Together -- hear more about each of their stories below.

All are welcome: interfaith, intercultural, LGBTQIA+, multiracial, low-income, and adoptive families; people of color; single parents; and grandparents. No Jewish knowledge or experience is necessary. Feel free to pass the word about the program to friends who might be interested.

Register for the 2022 - 2023 School Year

If you'd like to learn more, Rabbi Educator Stephanie Kennedy welcomes your email or your call at 510-859-7866.

Quick Details

 

Program Overview:

 

  • Currently enrolling preK - 5th grade* 

  • Saturday morning 10:00 - 12:30 meetings that accommodate school holidays

  • Regular meetings September - May, twice monthly. See our calendar here

  • Our theme this year will be: Creating Community, Working for a Better World

* Each year we extend Growing Together by an additional grade. In 2023-2024 we will include 6th grade; in the following year we will include 7th grade.

 

Location: Arlington Community Church, 52 Arlington Avenue, Kensington*

*A short distance from our previous location at Jewish Community Center of the East Bay (JCCEB), 1414 Walnut Street, Berkeley. Their space is not currently available due to COVID; we hope to return to the JCCEB when that is possible.

 

Tuition: We are committed to ensuring that financial constraints are never a barrier to participation. At the same time, we rely on tuition to sustain the program.

 

  • First child: $1000. (Parents are included in the cost of tuition.)

  • Each additional child $900

  • Register before August 22nd for the Early Bird $100 discount! 

  • $100 discount on tuition if you refer a new family that enrolls in Growing Together!

  • Tuition may be paid in installments

  • Apply here for financial assistance

B-Mitzvah (gender-neutral term for bar, bat, and b'nei mitzvah):

  • Our Hebrew and Open Tent B-Mitzvah programs are now being developed. They will be available for our current 5th graders when they transition to 6th and 7th grade.

dad Betto reading to sons, Atzin and Daviel look at book Purim 2018_edited.jpg

Celebrating Purim, the Jewish costume holiday!

Program Schedule: What Happens at a Session of Growing Together? 

 

10:00 - 10:30 am: Families join together for Shabbat and holiday songs with musician Micah Bernhard, and we introduce the one or two big ideas we will cover that day.

 

10:30 am - 12:00 pm: Children explore the topics of the day with their teachers through art, music, drama, stories, and other age-appropriate activities in groups organized by age and grade. Adults meet with Rabbi Bridget Wynne for learning and discussion on the day's topics.

 

All children have a break and snack.

12:00 pm - 12:30 pm: Adults and children come together to share about the morning's experiences, then conclude with blessings, challah, and juice.

 

Variations in schedule: At some sessions parents and children come back together at 11:30am for shared activities and learning. At other times we spend the entire session together for a holiday celebration or other special activity.

COVID Safety Guidelines


1. All individuals who attend our events must be fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID to the fullest extent possible. Exceptions will be made for those who are not yet age-eligible to receive the vaccine and those who have valid medical reasons.
2. Everyone 2 years and older must wear a mask indoors and outdoors unless eating or drinking.
3. Please do not attend if you are ill or have had COVID in the last 10 days.

Our Goals at Growing Together ...

  • Build on the truth that families need community -- we are not meant to do this alone!

  • Offer families the tools to develop their own connections to Jewish traditions and teachings

  • Give adults time together to ...

    • Get to know each other, key to building a supportive community

    • Draw on Jewish wisdom and spirituality to address the challenges of parenting, and the big life issues it brings up

    • Explore adult questions about Jewish tradition in an intellectually-honest, non-judgmental environment

Our vibrant community will support your family as you create the Jewish life you choose.

Register for the 2022 - 2023 School Year

What Families Have Said ...

 

"The learning and community my family has established together are a rare treasure."

 

"We are constantly amazed at the welcoming space for folks of every sort to access the material where they are."

"A welcoming, compelling program for our first Jewish community experience as a family."

"I found my spiritual home and my most special time in the week ... a level of honest sharing that is truly magical, safe, deep, and moving."

 

"It was with both excitement and trepidation that we first attended. We were delighted to find a warm, accepting space, a well-designed and developed (and thus engaging) program, and a lively, friendly community we are very happy to be a part of."

Want to learn more or ask questions about Growing Together? Rabbi Educator Stephanie Kennedy welcomes your email or your call at 510-859-7866.

Dina and Alex's story

Alberto and Vanessa's story

Curious about other Jewish experiences for families with young children? Check out Jewish Gateways Holiday Celebrations for Young Children and Lox & Talks: Soul Food for Parents.