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Mitzvah Secular Sunday School

Who We Are: Mitzvah Secular Sunday School is our custom education program for the secular Jewish community, dedicated to preserving, passing on and understanding Jewish identity, values, and culture through a non-theistic, humanistic lens. What distinguishes our curriculum from other Jewish Sunday Schools are our radical inclusivity, contextualizing Jewish mythology by integrating teaching their fictional nature, and finally, emphasizing the humanist value of the power and significance of personal responsibility in repairing the world, rather than appeal to or waiting on a higher authority.

What We Believe: Our goal as a school is to ensure our alumni come away with:

  • A contextual understanding of Jewish history, culture and traditions
  • Secular humanist values, including critical thinking, personal responsibility, and secular ethics
  • A deep connection to their Jewishness, influenced by secular humanist values, their family's unique Jewish experience, and what is personally meaningful to them

Who We Serve: As secular humanists, we firmly believe in radical inclusivity and self-identification. We do not turn prospective families away for frivolous reasons. All are welcome:

  • Regardless of familiarity: Families already familiar with Judaism who are looking to preserve Jewishness in their child(ren)'s upbringing, and families unfamiliar with Judaism looking to introduce Jewishness into their family, without compromising their humanistic values
  • Regardless of guardianship: Nuclear and intergenerational families, families where the guardians are relatives other than the parents, single-parent and multi-parent families (regardless of sexual orientation or gender identities of the guardians), married and divorced families
  • Regardless of heritage: Single-faith and interfaith families (both patrilineal and matrilineal), ethnically-Jewish and converted families, and even families who choose to identify with the Jewish experience despite no genetic or religious ties to Judaism

Where We Are: In an effort to bridge geographical gaps among prospective families around the Sound, our classes are centralized at the reform-aligned Stroum Jewish Community Center on Mercer Island. Hosting out classrooms at a local Jewish Community Center offers our students a culturally-relevant and welcoming environment for learning. Teachers are also able to leverage on-site Community Center resources to tailor a highly hands-on learning experience with our culture, such as via cooking, creating art, and playing musical instruments.

We Do More: Further to the end of being uniquely engaging, our curriculum calls for regular activities and projects that take place outside outside the classroom, designed to instill the humanist sense of personal responsibility for improving their communities, such as:

  • Environmental cleanup day for Tu Bishvat
  • Volunteering at Jewish Family Services's Annual Food Sort
  • Leadership opportunities at Secular Jewish Circle holiday events (such as shofar blowing/calling and cooking challah or latkes)
  • Fundraising for charities and causes our students choose and care about

Overview: Mitzvah Secular Sunday School has spots available year-round in grades from Pre-K (minimum age 4) through 7th, including an optional Cultural B Mitzvah program for school alumni and age-appropriate new enrollees. Classes meet for two hours, twice a month on Sundays (except Pre-K, which only meets once per month), from September through June, to mirror the class schedule of all local public school districts. Following classes, all students gather together, regardless of grade level, for a family-inclusive, thirty-minute “Circle Time” activity, where families and staff can catch up and review the day in-person.

Ready to Learn More?

Ready to enroll, curious about pricing, or are interested in shadowing a class? Click here!

Looking for more details about our curriculum and class schedule? Click here!

Want to meet our highly-trained, passionate faculty? Click here!

Have any other questions? Contact our Education Director, Emily!

Sat, 20 July 2024