Jewish Learning Center (JLC) in 2015-16

Highlights of our year:

The Jewish Learning Center continued to grow this year. By the end of the year we had 138 students (hard to believe that we started with 20 students only 7 years ago!). We have already crossed the 150 mark for the current school year, too!

More students this past year celebrated unique, personalized b’nai mitzvahs this year, as we continued to refine and grow our program and offerings. Celebrations took place everywhere from Joshua Tree to Malibu, a family’s backyard and Elysian Park.

Our JLC teachers participated in more thorough trainings throughout the year as a team, and our leaders worked hard to create a unique, dynamic and complete curriculum for grades k-8. We are thrilled to be expanding to include a teen program this coming year, as our core community keeps growing and the demand for more kid and young adult programming keeps growing. 

JLC parents continued to participate in parallell learning through our Sunday Symposium as their children were in their JLC classes. Symposium topics included The Four Children of Passover:  Framing the Approaching Holiday Through Our Own Experiences, Learning identities - Trying out Informal Education, The Wandering Jew: Portrayals of Jews in 1930s American Cinema, Containing Multitudes: Jewish Identity in Multi-Faith Families, Creativity Play: A Key to the Soul, Connection With the Divine and Parent’s Torah: Spiritual Lessons Children Teach Us.

We held an all-school excursion to the Islamic Center to make hygiene kits and bagged lunches for the homeless as a joint service project. While students met and participated in service learning together, parents participated in an open discussion aimed at breaking down barriers and increasing understand among Muslim and Jewish families. The program was a huge success. Check out this video about our experience.

Our final JLC of the year included the most epic pot luck that SIJCC has ever seen. All of our families come together, parents joined students in the classes to hear about what they’d learned, we watched a movie highlighting the past year at JLC, and we all took a tour of the new Cultural Wing!

"SIJCC is on cutting edge of 21st century Judaism because it takes the vitality of the community and grows it. The exceeding intelligence, enthusiasm, and commitment of the JLC faculty brings this passion and knowledge to our kids." - Michael Alexander, JLC Parent and Maimonides Chair in Jewish Studies, University of California, Riverside

 Photo credit: Adam Shalachman