A Bigger Community
Ner Shalom is proud to co-sponsor the
Community School for Jewish Learning - known as "J School" - alongside
B'nai Israel Jewish Center of Petaluma. By joining together, we have
built an exciting, engaging and diverse student body and parent
community. We offer our children a strong peer group, critical mass in
classes, fun, friendship, Hebrew, history, art, nature and tzedakah.
~ Raising menschn enveloped in Jewish
At J School, we
involve our students in:
Our students learn...
Hakodesh – our holy language of Hebrew, in prayer, text and song
– our sacred text, our library and the values they teach us: how to
live them and how to talk about them
– our holy days and what they mean historically, ritually and
- Derech Eretz
– "the way of the world" — how to live an ethical life based on
millennia of Jewish teachings
We want for our
- What does it mean to be Jewish?
- What is tzedakah?
- What is a sacred community?
- What is holy work and who does it?
- How can the Torah inform how we live and act in
the world today?
- How does our story of liberation inspire us to
- How do we infuse our days, weeks and years with
meaning and connections?
- How are we connected to our people and the
natural world through time and place and purpose?
- How are we connected to Eretz Yisrael (the land of Israel),
Am Yisrael (the
people of Israel) and Medinat Yisrael
(the State of Israel)?
- How can prayer affect what we do?
- How can prayers come off the page and out into
...to learn and
practice Jewish values, increase their Jewish literacy, deepen their
sense of spirituality and build lasting friendships with their
Where, When & How
Students are grouped by K-2, 3-4, and 5-7 grades, and then post-B'nei
Mitzvah. Students in our younger grades study mitzvot
, Torah stories and
holidays, and learn basic Hebrew through movement and song. Our oldest
class learns Hebrew decoding, prayer, Jewish values and Jewish history,
all in a way that allows them to understand the beauty, wisdom and
relevance of Jewish tradition to their own life experience. We use art,
music, drama, cooking and engagement with nature, and of course texts
to bring Judaism alive.
The 5th-7th class also prepares Bar/Bat Mitzvah students through
learning prayer, melodies, Torah trope, and ways to understand and
relate to Torah text. J School is also open to young people who have
chosen not to have a B-Mitzvah ceremony. Understanding the role of an
adult in the Jewish community and in this world is relevant to all our
High schoolers who participate in our Torah
(learning for its own sake) class explore areas of
Jewish interest that they choose. Over the past years this has included
mysticism, Biblical history, messianism, Hebrew poetry, folklore and
humor. This class, taught by Reb
is typically held in a café over hot
chocolate. (Perks of growing up.)
Special Needs Track
J School is proud to collaborate with a special course of
engagement for young people with serious disabilities and their
families. Now in its eighth year, the Celebrations Program, in
partnership with the Jewish Community
Federation (JCF) of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma
Counties, offers a pioneering program for children and teens
special needs who cannot comfortably participate in a traditional
religious school setting. Click here
to find out more about the "Celebrations" class and community.
Hours and Schedule
2016-2017 School Year starts on September 11, 2016!
Our academic calendar will soon be available in this psot.
All K-7th grade students meet together on Sundays from 9:00 to 11:30.
We start with a circle of song, story and prayer for the whole
community—students, parents and teachers. Afterwards, students and
teachers go to their classrooms to learn together. The 5th-7th graders
stay for a pizza lunch and an extra hour of study.
This year, sessions are held at B'nai
Israel Jewish Center, 740 Western in Petaluma.
Ready to Get Involved?
You can register your children on line by clicking
For more information on J School, contact Reb Mia Cohen or Leslee
Lauritzen by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at (707)
And don't let money
stop you. Tuition scholarships may be available for families who need