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Youth & Family Education

Tefillot for Shabbat and Holidays  |  Bar/Bat Mitzvah Training

Family & Multigenerational Programs  |  Youth Programs

"And you shall teach them diligently"
(Deuteronomy 6:7)

The Northern Hills Synagogue community holds a strong commitment to Jewish education for all age groups.  The professional staff and many volunteers work very hard to ensure that education continues to be a top priority.  Both formal and informal programming allow us to transfer and share information surrounding Jewish ritual, heritage, history, language, holidays, and many other topics.

We encourage all family members to be a part of our educational programming and to learn and participate together.  Jewish learning occurs at Northern Hills in many forms and places.  We offer special religious services during Shabbat and holidays for our younger congregants and their families.  We also conduct inter-generational programs for families, which focus on different themes throughout the year.

Our Spark School for Experiential Jewish Learning boasts a highly qualified teaching staff that is certified as a Framework for Excellence School by United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. Our high school aged students learn as part of a community high school program known as Mercaz. We encourage our youth of all ages to participate in informal Jewish education opportunities through involvement in North Cincinnati Youth Group. Providing a quality Jewish education for our youth and for all members of the Northern Hills family dor l'dor is a top priority.  We are committed to building upon our rich heritage.

T'filot for Shabbat and Holidays

World Wide Wrap 2013Each week, and on each holiday, there are study opportunities for youth of all ages.  In addition, we hold a special Shabbat Gedollah program on one Saturday morning each month, coinciding with the week we hold a congregational luncheon.

Shabbat Gedollah:
For Jews worldwide, Shabbat has always served as the most eagerly anticipated weekly event.  Jews from all over the world flocked to their synagogues for a day which grabbed their souls and romanced their senses. They saw their friends and family and spent quality time together; they danced and sang songs while their kids played games; they enjoyed delicious food; and they heard the beautiful words of the Torah. The Shabbat of our ancestors offered a unique opportunity to connect their past to their present, and renew themselves physically and spiritually to tackle a new week.

Shabbat Gedollah is designed to rekindle the romanticism of the past by fusing it with the present.  It is held each month on the Saturday morning coinciding with the monthly congregational luncheon.  Beginning at 10:05 a.m., children in grades K-3 and their parents meet with Claire Lee to learn and sing zmirot (songs) for Shabbat.  Meanwhile, youth in grades 4-7 and their parents participate in a learning session with Brian Freedman.  At 11:05 a.m., children in grades K-2 have a short service led by a parent volunteer, while youth in grades 3 and up participate in Junior Congregation.

Youth and parents join with the congregation for the closing prayers, and then enjoy a delicious lunch, spending quality time eating, talking and laughing with the rest of the congregation.  After lunch, the opportunity for socializing by parents and children continues, with board games and other Shabbat appropriate activities.  For how long?  As long as you are having fun!  Stay as long as you like, even if that is most of the Shabbat afternoon.

Special services are held each year for younger congregants and their families during the fall High Holidays and other holidays as well.  Services are structured for the different age groups and encourage active participation.  Many younger congregants lead parts of the services themselves. Please look at the Northern Hills calendar of events to find out more about holiday services for children and youth.

Family Education and Multi-Generational Programming

Purim Carnival in 2013We offer programs meant for the entire family all year round.  We celebrate Judaism by bringing Judaism into the home and through synagogue and out-of-synagogue activities and experiences.

We enjoy engaging in programming that crosses age lines.  We have offered programs in conjunction with Men’s Club and Sisterhood to honor veterans at a Havdallah service, which allowed our children to hear and understand the military experiences of our adult members.  We've also made tallit and mezzuzot together, and plan to make shofarot this winter in an activity that will cross the generations.  In planning programs, we attempt to offer activities that allow us to connect with each other, make a difference in our community, and help Northern Hills Synagogue be a welcoming place for all of our families.  

Likewise, we strive to create an environment that nurtures and encourages personal growth and spiritual enlightenment via fun and exciting programming.  In addition to Shabbat Gedollah and our holiday programming, we host a Purim Carnival and other programs to make Judaism meaningful to all.

Our intergenerational programs also take us outside of the synagogue to engage in relaxed, social activities. These have included attending baseball and hockey games and going to museum exhibits. Come join us as we take advantage of everything Cincinnati has to offer!


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