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Religion School

Religion School

The world itself rests upon the breath of the children in our schools – Talmud: Shabbat

The Wimbledon Synagogue Religion School, which we call the Cheder (Hebrew for Room), aims to provide a caring environment for the children of the community in which to learn together and make new friends.

We aim to foster a positive Jewish identity amongst our pupils, where all are equal and individual strengths and talents are celebrated. We fully support children with special needs and recognise all areas of skill including drama, crafts and Mitzvah projects.

We also strive to provide the highest level of Jewish Education. The curriculum in Playshul (pre-school) through to  Hay ( year 5 ) focuses on:

  • Festivals
  • Bible
  • Jewish history and current events
  • Israel
  • Hebrew reading and writing skills
  • Jewish values
  • Lifecycle events and traditions

Bar / Bat Mitzvah Programme – For Children School Years 6 to 8

At age 11 to 13, the curriculum focuses on the diversity of Jewish life and what it means to be Jewish in a non-Jewish world. This course of study will ensure that every child is prepared to become a Jewish adult in the community. The curriculum is based on 6 strands:

  • Jewish literature – Torah, Tanach and Talmud
  • Jewish History
  • Prayer and ritual – Festivals, traditions and synagogue literacy
  • God
  • Israel
  • Hebrew

Judaism and Ethics for Teens Programme

The Re’ut (year 9) and Atid (year 10) classes are the final years of Cheder, and also of our bespoke Judaism and Ethics for Teens Programme.

The mission of this two-year course is to equip our teens with the Jewish knowledge and skills to

  • Fully participate competently in Jewish lif
  • Make ethical choices, and
  • Serve as effective assistants in the Wimbledon Synagogue Cheder

In the first year of the programme (Re’ut class), students studied Judaism and Jewish practice.  Atid is the ethics class, and we have spirited discussions grappling with Jewish perspectives on topics like body ethics, the environment, wealth, conflict, and crime and punishment.  In our conversations we also explore different  ways of engaging with Judaism, including text, practice, mussar (ethics  and character), spirituality and mysticism (with an introduction to Kabbalah), tikkun olam (social justice), and the creative approaches of midrash.

We participate in our community, learning how to create social justice programmes and completing a class project in support of the Synagogue Night Shelter.  Students explore their own thinking, their family background, and the opinions of other Jews through Individual and group projects, building leadership and communication skills along the way.  Finally, teacher training will prepare students to come back as assistants if they wish in the autumn.

Students who complete all of the requirements of the course will be eligible to become assistants, and will also receive an official award certificate from Leo Baeck College, presented by Dr. Jo-Ann Meyers, Director of Jewish Education and our external examiner.