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Youth Education

Families of all kinds are a critical part of SAJ – we proudly stand together with families and children in all forms of diversity, including race, sexual orientation, gender identity, and Jewish background. And we create opportunities for children and parents to stand with each other, the broader SAJ community, and to stand for social justice beyond our walls.                                                  

We invite you to speak with our Director of Education and Family Engagement, Tehilah Eisenstadt, to find out more. If you’d like to enroll in our 2018-9/5779 school year please click here. 

SAJ Youth Programs

Pela, the Hebrew word for “wonder,” brings children 0-4 yrs together with their parents and caregivers, to build friendships and a connection to joy, through storytime, singing, dancing, and play. Pela meets at SAJ (Saturdays, weekly during the school year), St. Agnes Library & the Harlem JCC (Fridays, monthly), and Book Culture on Columbus (Tuesdays, weekly throughout the year).New this year, we’re hosting monthly Parenting conversations in public spaces. Supporting families of all ages, emphasis on families with children newborn – age 4. Click here for a calendar.  

Check the calendar for details

Pela/Parenting Info

Makom (Hebrew for “Place”) is the cornerstone of our education program, for children K-6th grades. Our experiential approach to Jewish learning and living emphasizes openness, deep exploration and creativity. It meets on Saturday morning for grades 4th – 6th grade.

For 4th – 6th grade students and their families, Makom Shabbaton is a special, monthly full-family program meant to build community, create meaningful family time, and provide chances for parents to recharge and reconnect. Children in Kindergarten – 3rd grade come together in youth groups, creating positive social connections and having a raucous good time in their SAJ home. 4th – 6th graders learn alongside their parents for 45 min, in small Mishpacha/family groups. Afterwards parents learn with Rabbi Lauren as a group, 4th – 6th graders learn in their chosen specialty (Ex: Midrash art, Song Writing, Spoken Word, Circus, Story blogging). 7th grade families come together as a group for 45 minutes each month to learn with Rabbi Lauren and other SAJ leaders in preparation for your Bnei Mitzvah year. The 2nd half of the afternoon parents join with the rest of the parent community for adult education with Rabbi Lauren and other SAJ leaders, students gather for social time and camp-like learning activities. We end in ritual with a song-filled, educational havdallah.

If you have questions about any of our programs or wonder which class would best be suited to your child, please call Tehilah Eisenstadt, our Director of Education and Family Engagement at 212-724-7000 x 15. If you are ready to enroll as a new family, please email

To receive your family’s personal enrollment link please contact Rachel Bitterfield, our Synagogue Office Administrator.

Saturday mornings or Tuesday afternoons. Check the calendar for details

SAJ Teens continue to take part in the life of the community while having fun and acting in service and solidarity with meaningful causes. They can choose to join our teen “professional track” where they receive guidance on their new age of responsibility while receiving service hours or a stipend. Our teens also have their own experiential education track that meets with the Rabbi to explore NYC, and takes part in an annual social justice trip – we’ve gone to DC to lobby for immigrants and LGBT rights, and to Portland Oregon to take part in service and activism projects.

Check the calendar for details

SAJ Teens Info

The B’Nei Mitzvah experience involves 7th and 8th graders in a personalized program emphasizing their distinct journey into the Jewish age of responsibility for the community, engaging them as young adults and also their family in an exploration of text, values, spirituality and its relevance to their lives. As we are a small synagogue, families engage directly with the Rabbi and the Education Director as part of this program. It often includes a service or activism project, and culminates in a meaningful, joyous and low-key Saturday morning service among friends, family, and the broader SAJ community of which they are becoming an even greater part.

Please check the calendar for details

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