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Jewish Family Learning

B’Yachad*: Jewish Family Learning is the Santa Monica Synagogue’s program of religious education for youth and families. Synagogue members and their children meet together on Sunday mornings once a month to learn about the Torah, the history of Judaism, Jewish values and traditions, and the Hebrew language. Led by Rabbi Shira Freidlin and supported by Madrichim (tutors) drawn from our teens, the interactive Sunday sessions use the Jewish holidays as the starting point for explorations of all things Jewish. We encourage parents (and grandparents) to participate along with their children, and each session includes opportunities for adults to share their experiences with their children as well as opportunities for smaller groups to address themes in age-appropriate ways. By participating in the program, students and parents will enhance their abilities to:

  • Explain the meaning of the holidays
    Demonstrate an understanding of holiday symbols and ritual objects
  • Recognize holiday prayers
  • Share their family’s holiday rituals, including holiday foods
  • Recognize varied holiday traditions

Learning Together

 B’Yachad classes occur on Sunday mornings from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm once each month (see Schedule below). The morning is divided into group learning opportunities, as well as informal times for relaxation and sharing.  Of course, food is featured. The class is divided into activities. A typical session might include the following:

  • 10:30 – 10:50 am    A Holiday-themed story told to the whole group by Rabbi Shira.
    Parents and grandparents are encouraged to share their own holiday-related experiences
    to bring additional perspectives to the discussion. 
  • 10:50 – 11:10 am    Rabbi Shira leads students in an exploration of the prayers
    (in Hebrew and English) that we associate with the holiday. With the help of the Madrichim, the students are divided into age-based groups for this segment. Parents meet separately and use this time to get to know one another and share the ways they engage in Jewish learning and celebration with their children. 
  • 11:10 – 11:30 am    Parents and children are introduced to the symbols and ritual objects associated with the holiday. 
  • 11:30 am – 12:10 pm    The focus shifts to traditions, including Holiday-related food, events and activities. This session involves family or multi-family projects, which might involve cooking, drawing, building or other hands-on activities.  Some projects will be completed during the class, others will be taken home and completed by the family.   
  • 12:10 pm – 12:30 pm    Wrap-up, including what was learned about the holiday, what families will do next, and what to look forward to at the next month’s B’Yachad class.   

2022-2023 Calendar 

There will be 10 monthly meetings during the school year.  In addition, we will provide an online activity focused on the High Holy Days that families and explore on their own.  Here are the remaining classes for this year:






Passover: 4/5-4/12


Yom Ha'atzma'ut

Yom Ha'atzma'ut: 4/25 - 4/26



Shavuot: 5/25-5/26


Siyyum[1]: Conclusion

Jewish Holidays

[1] Siyum means “completion.”

Grade Levels

The SMS B’Yachad Jewish Family Learning program will focus on students in grades K-5 in 2022-23. In future years, we will expand the program to serve older students. 

B’nai Mitzvah

We expect to restart our B’nai Mitzvah program in 2023-24. In the meantime, we will create personalized Hebrew learning programs using experienced tutors on an individual basis. Additional fees will be charged for Hebrew tutoring. Contact us for more details.


The B’Yachad program is included as part of The Santa Monica Synagogue membership. The fee for non-members is $550 per child.


We will provide baby-sitting for toddlers (ages 2-4) while K-5 students and their families are participating in classes. 


To Enroll in Jewish Family Learning

To enroll in our SMS B’Yachad program please provide the following information about your child(ren) and adult(s) who will be participating.  The program is targeted at children in grades K – 5, and children must be accompanied by one or more adults.

There is no charge for synagogue members attending with their children or grandchildren; the cost for non-members is $550 per family.
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For More information About Jewish Family Learning

To learn more about the program provide the following information and we will contact you.



Wed, March 22 2023 29 Adar 5783