Youth & Family Programs
KI has created a culture of participation, where members are encouraged to serve on the Board of Trustees, chair a committee, be a Minyan captain, learn to daven and lead a service, create a learning opportunity for themselves or others, or build a social action opportunity. Above all, KI is strongly intergenerational, where seniors and young adults daven together at Kabbalat Shabbat, teens and families work together on innovative social action programs, and learning partnerships stretch across the decades.
Nearly half a century ago, KI pioneered early childhood education by being among the first synagogues to open a preschool—and did it without requiring synagogue membership to attend. Our Preschool continues to adapt and expand, particularly in Hebrew language instruction. Along with expanded Hebrew Play classes and enriching Shabbat programming that includes Nitzanim (age 0 to 4), Mini-Minyan (Kindergarden & First Grade), Minyan Atid (Grades 2-6) and CuddleUp Shabbat, KI creates a warm and nurturing start to Jewish communal life.
Whether children are enrolled in our congregational school or our day schools, learning is for the entire family. Along with our special Shabbat services for all ages, KI brings families into the heart of our Shabbat morning sanctuary experience for seasonal Family Shul Saturdays to lead prayers, read Torah and Haftarah and to share teachings. By involving the entire family, we are able to emphasize the importance and centrality of Shabbat worship to the entire family.
We believe that students are not vessels to be filled, but rather fires to be kindled. By giving them a safe and engaging space and supportive opportunities to grow, they will be inspired and empowered to create their Jewish educational journey, through a wide breadth of knowledge and opportunities to dig deep into their own interests. Our goal is first and foremost to nurture a love of Judaism and the Jewish people, and to give our students a foundation of Jewish literacy and the tools that they need to be proud, informed, inquisitive Jews who participate fully in their Jewish community at KI and beyond. KI’s Religious School (KIRS) offers classes for students in kindergarten through seventh grade, and partners with Temple Israel for a high school program called the Monday Night School.
KI’s first century featured a period of unrivaled vitality (1940s-1960s) for teens, where role models were plentiful and peers encouraged Jewish commitment and entry into professional leadership. As we enter our second century, we are re-emphasizing the vital period of life between B’nei Mitzvah age and college to provide a greater focus on Shabbat community, contact with millennial role models, and justice work in and around the community.
This year we are launching a Brookline BBYO Chapter at KI!
Our next upcoming teen event is coming up on Saturday, November 14, 2020.
Join us online for our afternoon programming of our Fall Convention, planned by teens from around the New England Region (NER, Eastern MA and RI)
Zoom link to come. If you have any questions, please reach out to Madelyn Rubenstein (Chapter Advisor) at firstname.lastname@example.org or Samantha Walsh (New England Regional Director), at 401.490.1030
Innovative and empowering ritual practices are the core of the KI experience. By encouraging lay leaders to strengthen their davening skills and lead services, we deepen their Jewish knowledge and strengthen our community as a whole. Currently more than 150 congregants read Torah and lead services annually. By growing the Davening Corps—focusing on best practices, skill advancement, and deep learning—we enable every member of our community to learn and be able to lead the rituals of Jewish tradition.
Every year, KI chooses a “Library of Gratitude” book selection that is mailed to the entire congregation, with multiple discussion groups running concurrently throughout the community that meet monthly. With study offerings from beginning learners to weekly Talmud study, KI’s history of education continues. KI embraces Keva learning groups in conjunction with CJP, and actively promotes ways for our members to engage in regular text-based learning. Creating ways for working adults to set aside consistent time for Jewish learning that fits into the rhythms of the week is a high priority for KI. We plan to build upon the 40+ individuals currently engaged in bi-weekly learning with a study-partner (hevruta) to provide rich personal growth for many throughout our community for years to come.
One of the most compelling dimensions of our multi-generational campus is the many new opportunities for growth, inspiration and education for our seniors. In collaboration with the Town of Brookline, Hebrew Senior Life, and our anchor partner 2Life Communities, we bring an entirely new dynamism to senior life. Beyond conventional multigenerational connections between seniors and our preschoolers, KI is uniquely positioned to link our millennials with the seniors’ wisdom and life experience and provide in-depth daytime learning and worship.