August 6, 2020


Dear Friends,

With so much out of our control right now, we want you to give you choices.  While Chicago is in phase 4, your family will be able to choose whether to learn at Anshe Emet or online.  Please read this full letter for important details, and sign-up information.

We are living in a whole new world and understand that each of us lives with a different set of circumstances. Please know that we are committed to providing you with a safe and comfortable environment to learn in both at Anshe Emet and online. Our goal is to make choices available for you that will work for your family, while working within the guidelines of the CDC, the Governor’s office, and the Anshe Emet Health and Safety committee, while respecting our partnership with Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School.

With that said, this year’s learning will also look very different from what you saw last Spring. We have spent all summer redeveloping our curriculum to ensure that our students can meet the curriculum guidelines, whether socially distanced or online, in ways that represent best practices. This includes substantially enriching the way we teach Hebrew online, both for upper and lower grades, increasing opportunities for arts-based education across the curriculum, and providing more student choices for ways to study text. We are working with our teaching staff to provide extensive professional development to build new skills, both to enhance their online teaching, and to help them learn new ways to make socially distanced classrooms as engaging as possible while remaining safe for everyone.

This week, a plan was approved by the Health and Safety Committee that allows us to take a unique approach where families can choose what type of instruction works best for them, while knowing their kids will have the same access to high quality Jewish education, either online or in-person.

We are operating under these big assumptions:

  • Every family will have the option to be exclusively online if that is best for them
  • Families who do choose to come to school can feel safe that
    • There will be limited exposures to students outside of their child’s immediate classroom- Classes will be limited to ensure no more than 20 people per space
    • All Singing and Tefilah (prayer) will be on line
    • There will be no eating or drinking
    • Everyone will wear a mask while inside the building
    • Hand washing and sanitation will be available and encouraged by all staff and students
    • We will be ready to go exclusively online if at any point necessary

The structure will look similar to  this:

JK-2nd (Sundays only)


  • Tefillah online 8:30-9:00


  • 2 hours in person 10 a.m. – 12pm
  • 1 hour online on Sunday ( time TBD)

3rd-7th Grade 



  • In Person (9:30-11:45)
  • Online (2 hours on Sunday time TBD)


  • Choice between Monday (5-6:45)  and Thursday (4:15-6:00) online
  • Includes Tefilah and small group Hebrew

We do ask that you make your choice by August 15th. We understand that you may need week-to-week flexibility. For example, if you normally attend in-person, but want to go online for a week or two when someone in your household is unwell, you will have that option available!  However, for staffing purposes, we do need to know your primary choice so we can keep all class sizes small enough to allow for both safety and adherence to best practices in online education.

 Choice form to a google form for you to fill out indicating all of your choices.  We will follow up with a FAQ as well as some zoom meetings to provide you an opportunity to ask questions in the coming week.  All options are dependent on minimum enrollment and potential budget limitations.

Please note, due to the Chaggim, religious school will not begin until October 18.

All of us on the Education team are here to assist you as we all sort through this new abnormal/normal.  We are available to review this information for you specifically at any time, additionally we  will be offering families two zoom meeting to answer any questions parents may have please join us:

Tuesday August 11 8:00 pm Register here

Thursday August 13 4:00 pm  Register here

We are here and we care!


Laurie Orenstein
Joseph & Belle Braun Anshe Emet Religious School