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CHAI Parents: Early Childhood Parent Education

For many families, the entrance into Jewish life and the synagogue begins when their children are at the preschool level.

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For many families, the entrance into Jewish life and the synagogue begins when their children are at the preschool level. This is a time of many tender beginnings, as the parents begin to give serious attention to the identity they would like to establish for their new family.

To help Jewish parents address their questions, and to enable them to create a Jewish home environment that will lead to a lifetime of meaningful affiliation, the CHAI Initiative offers eight complete lessons. These lessons can be taught by anyone in the congregation. They are complete and easy to follow. The topics include: bedtime rituals, morning rituals, tzedakah, and transitioning from preschool to kindergarten.

About the CHAI Curriculum

Lead students on an exploration of key values and principles of Torah, worship, and acts of loving kindness that build both Jewish identity and community with the help of this comprehensive, spiraling curriculum core and companion student workbooks.

The CHAI Curriculum is built on three strands - Torah, Avodah and G’milut Chasadim - using the principles of backward design outlined in Wiggins and McTighe’s Understanding by Design (UbD) to focus on the enduring understandings we want students to take with them in order to establish a strong basis for later Jewish learning and living.

CHAI articulates enduring understandings for each of its core strands:

•        Torah is an ongoing dialogue between the text and its students. It is real in our daily lives and goes with us wherever we are. Developing the skills to study Torah is essential to integrating Torah into our lives.

•        Avodah is the work we do to find sacred connections to God, community, and self. Engaging in the work of avodah can bring order, beauty, meaning and insight to our lives and our community. 

•        G'milut chasadim is our way of being personally responsible for making the world a better and holier place. 


Each strand features a spiral curriculum core that grows through seven levels, guided by age-appropriate enduring understandings for each level. Each core level contains 27 complete one-hour, scripted classroom lessons in Torah, avodah and g'milut chasdadim, plus family education lessons, and is designed to allow educators broad flexibility in structuring the school year and in adapting to student needs. Companion student workbooks for each level provide a place for student work and reflection as well as serve as a portfolio for assessment.