Thank you for all of your support, commitment, and flexibility as we all learned how to live through a pandemic these past several months. The world has changed in ways that we could never have predicted, and watching our JRS community come together through all of the transitions to virtual learning has been beautiful. Here is a short video of how JRS pivoted during COVID-19 and a celebration of Alyssa's leadership. To see more about SPS during the first several months of COVID-19, click here .

Now that it is summer and we think about our plans for the fall, we are happy to share our plans for JRS with you. These have been created based on feedback from our family survey, in conjunction with the JRS Committee, and what we think provides the best learning opportunities for our students and faculty. We recognize that no plan is perfect—please know that we are doing our best during difficult circumstances, and that Alyssa is always available to discuss how to make your family’s experience positive.

As our public and private schools begin to announce their plans for September, we recognize the role we play in our community as we prioritize keeping the curve flat and keeping our community safe. Therefore, JRS will be virtual from September until the end of the High Holiday season, in mid-October. We believe this is the most responsible decision to make at this time for planning purposes, and it allows us to be being good community members in the larger NYC environment by limiting in-person interaction between various social groups during this time.

After the High Holidays, we will re-evaluate the situation and see if we are able to transition to hybrid learning —a hybrid between in-person and virtual learning.

Please see below for more information about our virtual learning and hybrid plans. The hybrid plan is at the very bottom of this email.
Virtual Learning: Beginning in September
The amount of time is a bit shorter than in-person learning as we understand that for many of our students, especially the younger ones, it is difficult to remain in front of a screen for too long.
All students will have virtual learning, although we will schedule outdoor, socially-distanced class “meet ups” before JRS starts, if possible.
We will continue our program of having students in K-2 attend JRS one day per week, students in grades 3-6 attend two days per week, and 7th grade students attend a "seminar style" class one day per week plus individual bar/bat mitzvah sessions and family programming with Rabbi Ain.

We recognize that families are balancing many schedules in order to attend JRS and get the most out of a solid Jewish education. Therefore, we have created three tracks for our 3rd-6th grades to optimize people's opportunities to enroll. You can register for any of the three tracks through our enrollment form. The three tracks are:
  • Wednesday and Monday afternoons
  • Wednesday afternoon and Shabbat morning
  • Wednesday afternoon and private tutoring
Gan (K)- Kitah Bet (2 nd grade): virtual learning on Wednesdays from 4-5 pm.

Sessions will include:
  • Tefillah
  • Judaics content: holidays, Torah stories, Israel, synagogue & the Jewish community, Jewish values, etc.
  • Hebrew

We will send home a weekly video/resource for families to supplement the learning and can be done at your own time, if you so choose.
Kitah Gimmel (3 rd grade)- Kitah Vav (6 th grade) : virtual learning for all 3rd-6th grade will take place on Wednesdays, with a choice of Monday or Saturday during their regular class times. The exact schedules will be shared once we set the individual Hebrew tutoring schedule.

  • Wednesdays: between 4-6 pm
  • Individual Hebrew tutoring
  • Tefillah
  • Judaics content: Jewish history (general, American, Holocaust, Israel), life cycles, Jewish values, etc.

AND

  • Mondays: between 4-6 pm
  • Individual Hebrew tutoring
  • Class-based Tefillah or Hebrew
  • Judaics content: holidays, Torah stories, Jewish values, etc.

OR

  • Saturdays: between 9-10:30 am
  • Individual Hebrew tutoring
  • Class-based Tefillah or Hebrew
  • Judaics content: holidays, Torah stories, Jewish values, etc.
Kitah Zayin (7 th grade): virtual learning on Wednesdays between the hours of 4-6:30 pm. The exact schedule will be shared once we determine the individual Hebrew tutoring schedule.
  • Individual Hebrew tutoring
  • Tefillah
  • Modern Hebrew
  • Judaics curriculum: Think Like a Jew, Speak Like a Jew, Act Like a Jew
  • Jewish values
We know you have lots of questions!
Here are some answers:
When will JRS begin in Fall 2020?

As always, JRS will begin after Labor Day. For our twice-a-week students, the first day(s) of virtual JRS will be on Saturday, September 12 and Monday, September 14 . For our Wednesday-only students, the first day of virtual JRS will be on Wednesday, September 16 .
How much will JRS cost?

We are holding prices the same as they were in 2019-2020.
  • Gan (K)- Kitah Bet (2nd grade): $1520
  • $760 due upon enrollment
  • $760 will be billed to your account--due November 1

  • Kitah Gimmel (3rd)- Kitah Vav (6th):
  • Twice per week: $2740
  • $1370 due upon enrollment
  • $1370 will be billed to your account--due November 1
  • Once per week + private tutoring: $4770
  • $1370 due upon enrollment
  • $1370 will be billed to your account--due November 1
  • $1015 will be billed to your account--due December 1
  • $1015 will be billed to your account--due January 1

  • Kitah Zayin Seminar (7th grade): $2740
  • $1370 due upon enrollment
  • $1370 will be billed to your account--due November 1

Please know that the operating budget of SPS invests significantly to the cost of running JRS programming because creating a strong Jewish educational enterprise is a core value of the synagogue. The tuition JRS families pay does not cover all of our JRS expenses, which is why membership is required to attend JRS. Please click here to join SPS or renew your annual membership .

We never want finances to be a barrier to affiliation or to a Jewish education. Therefore, financial assistance is available. For a confidential conversation about financial concerns and/or to set-up a payment plan, please reach out to Hunter Gold , Executive Director.
Calendar

Please click here to access our preliminary calendar. This calendar may change as we learn more information about the coming school year. We are not planning on adding our “special events” into the calendar until 2021.
How will enrollment work this year?

We will use our new ShulCloud system for enrollment— CLICK HERE to login and enroll!
Why are you making virtual class time longer than it was during the Spring of 2020?

Based on the JRS survey, families want to maximize, as best as possible, their children’s ability to learn. We believe that extending the virtual learning time will provide more opportunity to expand students’ content knowledge. We recognize that the additional time might not work for all students, so please do what is best for your family.
What will students be learning this year?

We will build on the successful curriculum that we started to implement this past year ( click to see ), as well as on the responses to the JRS survey in which families shared that their priorities are to study Jewish holidays, Jewish values, and Hebrew reading. We will achieve these goals while continuing to teach Tefillah, Torah stories, Jewish history, and Israel—especially in the older grades.

We are in consultation with various Jewish educational resources that are at the forefront of providing content for a digital world. Implementing these resources will allow us to have more flexibility to be virtual or in-person. Our JRS teachers will be creating and adapting lesson plans all year. 
Will the students still have Tefillah? How can they sing in groups?

We will have virtual Tefillah with Cantor Malachi as we begin our year together. Once we are able to return to having in-person JRS (based on the hybrid model), we will only have one class in the sanctuary at a time, the chairs will be spread far apart to ensure appropriate social-distancing, and all students will be wearing masks.

If we aren’t allowed to sing in groups at all, we will make alternative plans that allow our students to continue learning about the themes of Tefillah, as well as exploring the words and melodies in other ways. 
Will there be N'siyah and Kadima this year?

YES! Hannah Levin will be coordinating our youth activities and teen engagement again this year. We are so excited that she's continuing in this role! Stay tuned for information about our programming and enrollment.
How different will this year be from 2019-2020?
  • Gesher (Bridge to JRS from 3:15-3:50 Wednesdays): Due to the nature of Gesher being a multi-grade program, we will not be able to offer Gesher this year.

  • Individual Supplies: This year, each JRS student will have their own set of class supplies, including textbooks/siddurim. We will be in contact about distributing textbooks and supplies to enrolled students later in the summer.
How do we enroll in JRS 2020-2021?
We will use ShulCloud for enrollment this year. Each family has an account, which you will login to as part of enrollment. By using ShulCloud, the form and billing are both streamlined.


If you have questions about ShulCloud, please reach out to Abby Johnson or Alyssa Schwager .
Hybrid Learning: Modified in-person learning using the largest spaces in the building to allow for social-distancing. Classes will stay together during JRS and will not be combined for programming. 
Gan (K)- Kitah Bet (2 nd grade): in-person classes on Wednesdays

  • Gan (Kindergarten): 4:00-5:45 pm
  • Kitah Aleph (1st grade) & Kitah Bet (2nd grade): 4:00-6:00 pm
Kitah Gimmel (3 rd grade)-Kitah Vav (6 th grade): virtual learning on Wednesdays ; in-person learning on Mondays/Shabbat School .

  • Mondays: in-person class is from 4:00-6:00 pm
  • Saturdays: in-person class is from 9-10:30 am
  • Wednesdays: virtual schedule—see above
Kitah Zayin (7 th grade): all learning will be on Wednesdays and we will determine if it will remain virtual or if we can bring all the students together.

  • Class: 4-6:30 pm
  • This will not include dinner.