Welcome to the Youth Department of Congregation Sons of Israel! Our department’s mission is to fill the year with exciting events and regularly scheduled programs for the children of our shul. Through these events and programs, we hope to instill a strong sense of Jewish pride and affiliation to Sons of Israel. In addition, we also provide babysitting on Shabbos mornings and on the High Holidays.
Our events change year to year, but some of the children’s favorite highlights of the year include:
- The Fall Holiday Fair Opening Event
- Junior Congregation reward parties
- Pre-Holiday Crafts
- Pre-Holiday Storytime
- The Super Sukkah Hop
- Our Simchat Torah Celebration
- Attending Hockey Games and Baseball Games
- The Grocery Store Bracha Treasure Hunt
- The Tu B’Shvat Seder
- Our Huge Purim Carnival
- Last Chance Chometz Take-Out Sale
- The Shavuos Ice Cream Party
- Our Closing Youth Event
Children ages 1-3 are welcome to come and play with Ms. Barbara and Ms. Joanne. Age-appropriate toys and books give toddlers and preschoolers many ways to have fun while their parents can daven, confident with the knowledge that their children are safe and happy.
Babysitting begins at 10:00 AM and parents are asked to pick up their children no later than 12:00 PM. Parents must stay in the babysitting room with babies younger than one year.
Our babysitting room is a comfortable, cheerful place designed to accommodate the needs of our youngest members!
Junior Congregation is an opportunity for children to daven, learn, and interact with one another in a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere. The key to accomplishing this is to ensure each child’s comfort and familiarity with the content of the davening and the level of the games and discussions.
For this reason we have divided Junior Congregation into two groups:
Group Aleph: Our Alef group meets downstairs in the Junior Congregation lounge at 10:20 AM and is open to children in PreK-1st grade. The davening is tailored to the group’s age range, and will be sung out loud. Davening is followed by a story, usually about other kids having experiences to which the children can easily relate. This story is connected to a lesson learned in the parsha or an upcoming holiday. Age-appropriate discussion questions spark creative thinking. The session ends with a game selected specifically for its skill level, and will often have a humorous connection to the parsha.
Group Bet: Our Bet group caters to children in 2nd-6th grade. By creating an upper division of Junior Congregation, we give our older children a better suited environment to hone their skills as active, knowledgeable shul attendees and participants as they near the milestone of becoming a bar or bat mitzvah. The group meets at 10:20 AM in the Daily Chapel. The schedule is similar to that of our Alef group in that in will consist of davening, a story followed by a discussion, and a game. The important difference is the content of these activities. Group Bet’s davening reflects the shacharit service to which these children are accustomed, and gives them the opportunity to say prayers not yet learned by the younger children. Group Bet says the Shemonah Esray for Shabbat, as well as removing and replacing the Sefer Torah, a privilege best given to this age group. The discussion questions following the week’s story are more advanced and thought-provoking than those designed for the younger group. They will deal with the moral, ethical and/or emotional issues related to the part of the parsha addressed by the story. The game that rounds off the session is challenging and exciting, since the skill level required reflects the age range of the players. Again, a light humored connection to the parsha or upcoming holiday makes the game even more memorable.
Our goal is to give your child a tailor-made Junior Congregation experience that will make him or her eager and excited to attend every week!
NCSY has been an important part of Sons of Israel youth programming for many years. Our chapter which consists mostly of children between 5th and 8th grades, is currently part of the Atlantic Seaboard NCSY region. Each month our NCSY director organizes events and activities for our NCSY’ers. Some of the monthly activities include bowling, ice skating, movie nights, snow tubing, game night at the shul’s game room and all night learning on Shavuos. Through our programming and events, our NCSYers are learning about the fundamentals of Judaism in a fun, social environment.
Youth Director: Alyssa Komarow
Sunday-Friday 7:30 a.m.