Sunday School: Atidaynu
Atidaynu, “Our Future,” is Har Shalom’s Sunday school for families with children from ages 3 – 13. Parents/guardians and other volunteers lead the program with the assistance and guidance of Laurie Franklin. We typically meet every other Sunday 10 a.m. – Noon during the Missoula school year. Registration for 2021-22 is upcoming and the Atidaynu calendar will follow.
We honor and enjoy the diversity of every participating household. Interfaith families are welcome. No prior knowledge of Judaism or Hebrew is required.
Each class provides a variety of religious, social, and educational opportunities. Our basic structure is:
10-10:30 a.m.: Welcome gathering and opening song and t’filah (prayer)
10:30-11 a.m.: Learning activity on Judaism and Jewish holidays, history, and culture
11-11:15 a.m.: Snacks and socializing
11:15-11:45 a.m.: Hebrew/B’nei Mitzvah classes
11:45 a.m.-noon: Closing group activity
Depending on the activity, children are divided into groups based on age and Hebrew ability. Younger kids spend time with stories, arts and crafts, and games, learning in a variety of ways—through studying Bible stories, the Hebrew alphabet, and Jewish customs. As they grow older, they learn more about acting on Jewish values in the home and in the community. During the two to four years preceding bar or bat mitzvah age, students learn to read Hebrew and lead prayers.
When possible, parents/guardians enrich our community by participating in Atidaynu, too. As you can, please learn, lead, and connect with us—we will put you to good work!
B’nei Mitzvah Education
We recommend beginning preparation for b’nei mitzvah at least one year, and preferably two, before the anticipated date of the bar or bat mitzvah. Each student works with a tutor to build reading, chanting and prayer skills and meets monthly with Spiritual Leader and Rabbinic Intern Laurie Franklin to discuss ideas and meanings in Torah, Haftarah, and words of prayer. Engaging a tutor is the responsibility of the bar or bat mitzvah’s family. Laurie will communicates regularly with tutors and family about each student’s progress. We expect that students are enrolled in Atidaynu and attend services regularly. Each student engages in a community service project as part of b’nei mitzvah education. Har Shalom’s draft b’nei mitzvah guide will soon be available here.