Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation offers a program of religious and Hebrew education for students in Kindergarten through 10th grade. Our curriculum, combined with the care and expertise of wonderful faculty members, strives to give each child a solid foundation of Jewish knowledge within a Reform Jewish perspective, the opportunity to develop their personal beliefs and connections to their faith, and the understanding that Jewish teachings and values can apply to every aspect of their daily life. Through stimulating academic lessons, hands-on experiences, and community-building activities, we offer an educational program that will lead our students into a lifetime of Jewish learning and living. We want each student to know that they are a vital member of our congregation and school community.
IHC’s program also weaves the formal education experience with our informal youth engagement programs. With youth groups for K-12th grade students, we strive to engage our students in a myriad of ways.
Registration begins each summer for the year starting in late Augusts. Children must be members of the congregation to be enrolled. If you are interested in learning more about our program and membership, please be in touch with our Assistant to the Office of Life Long Learning, Beth Meade-Hession to schedule an appointment with Rabbi/Director of Lifelong Learning, Rabbi Roxanne Shapiro and/or Pete Smithhisler, Executive Director. Current members received information about enrollment in June. if you have not recieved this information, please be in touch with Beth Meade-Hession.
Jewish Learning Program (Religious School)
Kindergarten through 7th Grade
K-6th Graders meet on Sundays 9:30am-11:45am
7th Graders meet on Sundays 10:00am-11:50am
Our robust program includes:
- 20 faculty members and specialists
- T’filah & Boker Tov (Prayer and Good Morning) – 9:30 a.m. – a community gathering students and their families (all are welcome)
- K-2 Specialties include: Art, Inclusion, Modern Hebrew, Music, and Storytelling
- 3rd-7th Chugim (Electives): offering a wide array of choices throughout the school year.
- Formal Hebrew study begins in 3rd grade. 4th – 6th grade has Hebrew Intensives, in addition to class on Sunday morning.
- Hebrew Intensives are offered in-person or via Zoom on Sunday or during the week. Sign-ups for slots occurs in early August.
- FLEx – Family Learning Experiences (as scheduled)
Derech Torah (Dehr-ech To-rah)
This program is tailored for the “post b’nai mitzvah” student, grades 8-10
- 8th – 10th Grade (Confirmation in 10th Grade)
- 8th – 10th Core Courses, Electives, and all-school programs
- Capstone project, of the student’s choosing, is also a key element of the program
- Tailored for the “post-b’nai mitzvah” student
Life-cycle Events during the Formal Learning Journey:
The ceremony of Consecration celebrates the beginning of one’s formal Jewish studies, typically in Kindergarten. During the holiday of Simchat Torah (falling usually in September/October), our students are called to the Ark (where the Torah scrolls are held) to receive their own mini-Torah and to recite the Shema as a class.
The ceremony of b’nai mitzvah marks the time when our youth reach the age of 13- the age when one is considered the age of a responsible and contributing member of our religious community. At this time, the student affirms their willingness to be a part of our Jewish community by leading worship, reading Torah, and sharing a lesson they have gleaned from their Torah portion. The journey to b’nai mitzvah begins with their formal Jewish studies (Consecration) and continues through their religious and Hebrew studies in our program. Students select their b’nai mitzvah date during their 4th grade year. As enter the year before the date, students are scheduled to begin their intensive preparation with our rabbis and cantor and b’nai mitzvah tutor. Enrollment and attendance in our Jewish Learning Program, including Hebrew Intensives, is a perquisite to the b’nai mitzvah ceremony.
Click here for our B’nai Mitzvah Resources
At the end of 10th grade, during the Confirmation ceremony (typically around the holiday of Shavuot), students affirm their faith and connection to the Jewish people. While this is a personal affirmation, the process takes place surrounded by the community of their Confirmation class. By 10th grade, students have a personal perspective on their Jewish education, thus it is no longer learning only what others think, but taking that knowledge and figuring out how it fits into their own belief system. This ceremony is a culmination of all they have gathered from their years in religious education, but also of in-depth exploration of the topics that connect with them the most as Jewish teens.