Our school is open to everyone without the requirement of membership in Beth Chaverim up to fifth grade. This new and unprecedented model is meant to address families’ desire to educate their children but who are not ready for the commitment of membership. Once a student enters middle school, membership is required. Families can enroll their children for Session 1 and/or Session 2 corresponding to the fall and spring semesters. A small discount is offered for registering for both sessions at the same time in the fall. Each session is 12 weeks, on Sundays from 9:30 to 11:30am. Contact us for more information about this innovative approach to educating children.
Jewish education is the key ingredient of Jewish continuity, as one generation passes on its wisdom to the next. We believe that Jewish education develops a meaningful Jewish identity.
We are proud to create an environment for the honest questioning of life’s essential issues. There are no unthinkable thoughts nor any unaskable questions. Only in this way can we hope that our children eventually will become freethinking individuals who affirmatively take ownership of their Jewish identity.
Kindergarten through Second Grade Focus
Our primary students are on a three-year curricular rotation to cover kindergarten and first and second grades. The curriculum includes Bible stories, Jewish identity, and mitzvot or good deeds as they learn to become good people by being the youngest participants in tikkun olam or repairing the world and making it a better place. They learn about the Jewish holidays throughout as well.
Third and Fourth Grade Focus
Our third and fourth grade students study Jewish heroes and history. Jewish children need a cultural literacy about their heritage, and role models to whom they can look when confronted with difficult issues in their lives. A hero is not an idol, and not simply someone who is outstanding in his or her field. Rather a true hero is someone who has overcome an obstacle to succeed, set an important moral or ethical example, or led his or her community in a different and better direction. In the alternate year, these students study the Jewish life cycle from birth to death and Jewish literature, including the Bible, Talmud, midrash and contemporary stories.
Fifth and sixth grade students focus on Israel, both in historic and modern times. They learn the significance of the Land of Israel to the Jewish people, and come to understand the complex issues facing the Middle East today.They also study Chicago Jewish History representing “here” with Israel being “there.” In the alternate year, this class studies immigration, Eastern European Jewry and Yiddish culture.
Middle School Focus
Seventh and eighth grade students will be privileged to have a full year of Holocaust studies (see below) unparalleled in any supplemental school in the Chicago area. In the alternate year, the class studies American Jewish history, and prejudice and tolerance.
One-year learn to read Hebrew program, in conjunction with Bar/Bat Mitzvah preparation culminating in a Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony
Ninth Grade Focus
Ninth grade students study ethics in a class leading to confirmation.
Beth Chaverim offers an innovative and exciting educational opportunity for people who live more than fifty miles from us. The Beth Chaverim Distance Learning Program (“DLP”) allows grade school and middle school students to have a Humanistic Jewish education even if their hometown does not offer the appropriate opportunities. Through the DLP, written materials as well as projects that are grade level appropriate are sent to the student to be completed and returned to the school. Those students who are able are requested to attend religious school once a month; for others for whom the distance is too great for monthly attendance, they are encouraged to attend three programs during the school year; and for those for whom the distance is prohibitive, the entire program will be offered via email and regular mail. All supplies, including books and craft project materials will be provided.