Religious School Pricing & FAQs

What will it cost to send my kids to religious school next year?                  

  JK-2nd   $1,000 per child
  3rd – 6th Grade   $1,050 per child
  7th – 8th Grade   $950 per child

Register Today!

Is there financial aid available?

Any family that needs to change their status needs financial assistance or has concerns about returning to an in-person model should reach out to Laurie Orenstein, Religious School Principal at lorenstein@ansheemet.org. Together, we will have a confidential conversation and make whatever adjustments are needed. We are committed to ensuring that money (or circumstances surrounding COVID-19) NEVER stand in the way of your child’s education. 

I have a friend who is interested in enrolling their child for school in the coming year, who should they contact?

Please have them call today: Laurie Orenstein 773.868.5131. Students are welcome to join us at every grade level and at any point in the school year! 


GENERAL FAQs

Can you summarize the changes this year?

The biggest changes this year include:

    1. A brand new curriculum being written for each grade. We are proud of our newly refined curriculum, which will allow students of all ages to focus on age-appropriate learning of Hebrew, Torah, and Jewish values, and building their Jewish identities together with their classmates and our outstanding faculty. Our model is not one size fits all, so we will continue to give you options no matter what comes. We remain committed to our vision pillars: Knowledge, Flexibility, Diversity, and Community. 
    2. Alternatives to Thursday learning offered to allow for online classes on Monday from 5-7 PM 
    3. The return of “family days” where, in place of Religious School, your whole family will learn together (mitzvah day, and field trip day) 
    4. A continuation of our partnership with Keshet to support our diverse learners 
    5. An expansion of the leveled Hebrew instruction that we started online this year. We have found that by meeting children where they are and working with them, they reach further and gain greater skills. All of us are excited to see how the in-person expansion will take shape!
    6. Continuation of our Hebrew through Movement program bringing Hebrew to our youngest learners through a lively and real-life methodology that is fun and exciting for all! 
    7. A continuation of our TEXTploration program for our third through seventh graders using the ARTS as a method of learning Sacred text. Last year was Photography, Theater, and Clay. We can’t wait to see what we will do in the coming year!  
    8. Age appropriate and fun Tefillah sessions for all lead by our Clergy and Sr. Educators each week  

What’s so different about the new curriculum?

This year we identified annual goals for what topics each grade should be learning. In addition, this year we are providing teachers with daily lesson plans as opposed to general outlines and annual curricular goals.  We have seen over the past year that this makes it easier for our teachers to know what to teach and when, while giving them the ability to bring their creativity, knowledge and adaptations to the classroom presentation of materials. While we are in the third year of the curriculum this year we will build upon the most up to date and improved and expanded curriculum. 

What’s the long-term plan? What changes can I expect to see next year?

A commitment to excellence in Jewish education means trying lots of ideas and then hearing feedback from parents, students, and teachers regarding what worked and what could be done better.  

Are the changes at the RS coming from the Rabbis or from parents? Was something wrong?

What we are striving for is excellence and a way to continue to meet the challenges and opportunities for our community and kids in the 21st century.  Over the last 5 years we have been operating based on the vision developed by the LaAtid Task Force (a group of 24 lay leaders, parents, teachers, and professionals) which called on us to rethink how we learn and teach, and to emphasize our four new pillars: Knowledge, Community, Diversity, and Flexibility.

How is the school supporting teachers?

We have a commitment to invest more than ever in our teachers. Each teacher is asked to participate in a weekly check-in with our Principal. Each grade is mentored by a “content coach” from amongst the master educators (each with an MA in Jewish Education or the equivalent)  on our Education Team (Maxine Segal Handelman, Rabbi D’ror Chankin-Gould, Hazzan Elizabeth Berke, and Samantha Isenstein). We have also added three full day professional development opportunities for our teachers. These are held during “family days” so that they don’t intervene with Religious School.

What can I do if I have ideas or I want to be part of planning for the future?

Please contact us! We always want and need more support, more ideas, and more people involved in securing our future.


CURRICULUM SPECIFICS 

As we emerge from the COVID year, what will Religious School look like for my children? 

We are planning to return to a pre pandemic model of in person school for our community while remaining flexible to your family’s needs:  
JK – 2nd: Sunday mornings 9 AM – 12 PM 
3rd – 7th:  Sunday mornings 9 AM – 12 PM AND either Thursday class 4:15 – 6:15 PM in person OR on-line learning Monday 5 – 7 PM  
8th: Sunday mornings 9 AM – 12 PM 

As we begin to exercise more flexible scheduling options, how will we maintain strong community and bonds between children? 

We agree that community is built when people are face to face. It is why we feel so strongly that while we want to have more options and flexibility, Sunday will always remain as an in person learning environment. But Sundays are not the only place where our kids and families will have time together in person.  Our Family Days are designed specifically to create and grow relationships between students and families.  Our Shabbat services (one for each grade) are all about making and deepening friendships. We strongly encourage families to participate in youth group activities, Shabbat is Awesome (Shabbat afternoon sports and crafts for the whole family) and family programs (like our AMAZING Anshe Emet Community Retreat – May 20-22, 2022 – email Maxine Handelman at mhandelman@ansheemet.org) to increase those community ties.  Anshe Emet has so many opportunities, we hope you take advantage of them.

What exactly does the partnership with Keshet do for us?  

Keshet is Chicago’s leading Jewish organization working to celebrate and support people with disabilities. Anshe Emet is the only Chicago city synagogue with an official partnership with Keshet to support diverse learners.  Keshet works with our team to provide professional development, individualized support for our teachers and our learners, and to consult and advise about how our school can become a model of inclusive learning at its best.  We also will make sure that our teaching assistants (madrichim) have training from Keshet, especially if they are working with kids with diverse needs.

These teen learning options look like they’re all at different times. What’s the deal with that? 

Tikkun Chicago offers four different mini-courses to 9th-12th graders, each one scheduled at a different day and time (Sunday afternoons, online in weekday evenings, Shabbat afternoons, etc.)  The goal is to make sure that no matter what sport your kid plays, or what clubs or activities they are involved in, there is a Jewish learning opportunity that will fit in their schedule.

Can you explain more about life cycle events in the curriculum?  My kid(s) told me they are going to be attending one. 

Anshe Emet strives to provide authentic experiences rather than simulations.  We want each child to attend and participate in lifecycle events (bris/baby naming, conversion, wedding, shiva minyan) rather than simply learning about them. In 3rd-7th grade your student will be invited to be part of the community by playing a role in a life-cycle event for an Anshe Emet member.  Our educators seek families who are enthusiastic about opening up their events and homes to our students.  This is what being in Jewish community is all about!

What else can my child do to stay involved at the synagogue?

Our amazing youth groups offer active opportunities for students of all ages to engage in fun, camp-like activities including sports, outings, retreats, and more! For example, at Shabbat is Awesome (monthly Shabbat afternoon hang-outs for children and families) basketball, soccer, ga-ga, crafts, board games, and more take center stage. Our youth groups go ice skating, play basketball, attend baseball games, and do other fun activities. To learn more contact Samantha Isenstein. 

Are children required or encouraged to attend Shabbat services outside of religious school?

The only way to become familiar and comfortable with Jewish prayer is to make it a regular part of your family’s life. We strongly encourage families to regularly attend the many different youth and family prayer services which Anshe Emet offers.

My kid is struggling with Hebrew / my kid is far ahead of the pack in Hebrew, what’s the plan for meeting his/her needs? 

Each student is so different! Every child will work with students at a similar Hebrew level. We meet kids where they are and together move forward!   Students who are struggling or soaring will be offered tailor-made approaches to meet their needs. 

What is the purpose of these Family Day activities? 

We want to bring Jewish ideas to life for your family out in the world they live in. Family Days are designed to bring together every member of your family, along with others who you may or may not know, to experience Jewish learning in the real world. We hope that these experiences will help make new friendships and bonds for children and adults alike. We believe that those who participate will have so much to gain!


AS A PARENT 

How many times during the year are parents expected to participate in person?

Generally speaking, we expect parent participation at the Religious School during the following times:

    • Opening Day of School, Chanukah, Purim, and Last Day of School
    • Three Family Days (Mitzvah Day, Field Trip Day, and Home-Hosted Shabbat)
    • One parent brunch and learn per grade during Religious School
    • One Shabbat experience per grade at Anshe Emet where students lead and participate
    • 6th graders and their families attend J2M (Journey to Mitzvot) a six session learning opportunity preparing for Bar or Bat Mitzvah

Of course, this is just one avenue to support youth education as parents.  We encourage participation throughout the year and would be happy to talk about ways for you and your family to be even more involved in the Anshe Emet community.

How will the school do better at creating community between the students and families, and enabling more connection among RS families?

We are experimenting with different methods of communication so that we can keep you informed and involved in your child’s education. You will hear from us at least once a week during the school year. If there are other ideas you have about improving communication, please share!