CAJE Helps Congregational Schools Create Summer Experience for Our Children

Posted on 06/08/2020 @ 01:00 PM

Tags: Jewish Schools & Educational Services

Congregational (religious) schools create virtual Jewish activities in July for K-8th grade students and teens  

With the Coronavirus pandemic keeping so many children at home this summer, Congregational (Religious) School Directors were trying to brainstorm ways to maintain contact with their children and teens by offering them activities to stay connected and have fun with their friends.

Tamara Donnenfeld, Director of Lifelong Learning at Temple Beth Am, reached out with a possible model to Joy Schandler, CAJE’s Director of Congregational Education.

When Joy convened all the directors through CAJE's Congregational Educators Professional Network (CEPN), they loved the concept and decided to join together to create CHAI Fi -- a Jewish virtual summer experience set to open online in July with four one-week sessions filled with activities led by congregational education teachers and youth engagement professionals for children in Kindergarten through 8th grade so they can have a positive summer to remember.

CHAI Fi is also offering two unique tracks for their teens: an option for teens to work as madrichim/leaders in the children’s activities and one offering weekly programming planned and led by the teens from our community’s congregations.

CAJE is proud to be able to support the congregations by handling all the administrative and financial aspects of this initiative, in addition to bringing the schools together.

Demonstrating the power of networking, CHAI Fi is a collaboration between 10 congregations: Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center, Bet Shira Congregation, Beth Moshe Congregation, Beth Torah Benny Rok Campus, Skylake Synagogue, Temple Beth Am, Temple Beth Sholom, Temple Judea, Temple Menorah, Temple Sinai of North Dade.

Rabbi David Paskin, Director of Youth Education at Temple Sinai of North Dade, has volunteered to oversee all the details of the program along with a committee of his fellow educators.

Since all of the Congregational Education Directors have been doing virtual programming over the last 3 months of their religious school programs, CAJE and our congregational education directors readily offered to share their valuable expertise with Miami’s three JCCs in the event that they need to close their in-person camp programs due to a Covid-19 incident.

Check out CHAI Fi by visiting

Registration is open to all children in K – 8th grade whether or not families are members of a congregation.

For more information on CHAI Fi and how your children or grandchildren can participate, contact Joy Schandler


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