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Yavneh on the Hill Jewish Education Program

Yavneh on the Hill is Hill Havurah’s Jewish
education program for students in PreK-3
through 6th grade, with post-B'nai Mitzvah opportunities for involvement.  Children are welcomed into a rich, engaging and supportive learning
environment taught by experienced, caring
teachers who are passionate about sharing their
Jewish heritage. We seek to foster a warm,
inclusive environment for students and their

The curriculum introduces students to blessings
and prayers in the early elementary grades and
builds to preparing students to participate in a
B’nai Mitzvah service. 


All Events
  • Saturday
    Sep  7
    Torah Study
    Shabbat, Sep 7th 9:00a to 10:00a
    Join us for a lively discussion on this week's Torah portion over coffee and light snacks. Stick around for our Shabbat morning service immediately following Torah Study.


  • Saturday
    Sep  7
    Shabbat Morning Service
    Shabbat, Sep 7th 10:00a to 12:00p
    Join Rabbi Hannah as she leads our short and accessible Shabbat morning service followed by a light kiddush.


  • Saturday
    Sep  7
    "Welcome, Rabbi Julie" Picnic
    Shabbat, Sep 7th 12:00p to 1:30p
    Following our 10 am Shabbat morning service (in the Shalom Room at 212 E. Capitol St., NE), an opportunity for Yavneh, Gan Shalom, and all Hill Havurah families to meet our new Rabbi Educator, Rabbi Julie Gordon. Bagels, fruit, snacks, and refreshments to be served.


  • Tuesday
    Sep  10
    Hill Havurah Board Meeting
    Tuesday, Sep 10th 7:30p to 9:00p


  • Saturday
    Sep  14
    Tot Shabbat
    Shabbat, Sep 14th 10:00a to 11:00a
    Join Rabbi Hannah as she and lay-leaders incorporate music, story, and legendary “Torah Parades” to create a joyous Shabbat experience for toddlers and their parents.


  • Tuesday
    Sep  17
    Discussion Group on Anti-Semitism and Racism
    Tuesday, Sep 17th 7:30p to 9:00p
    Registration required.


  • Friday
    Sep  20
    Pizza Shabbat and Sing along
    Friday, Sep 20th 6:00p to 6:30p
    Join Rabbi Hannah for Pizza and a shabbat sing-along


  • Friday
    Sep  20
    Kabbalat Shabbat and Potluck Dinner
    Friday, Sep 20th 6:30p to 8:30p
    Join Rabbi Hannah as she leads us in welcoming Shabbat with a spirited service followed by a potluck. We supply the wine and drinks, congregants bring a dairy or vegetarian dish.


  • Sunday
    Sep  22
    Walking Tour of Jewish H Street, NE
    Sunday, Sep 22nd 10:00a to 11:30a
    Did you know that there were more than 75 Jewish businesses on H Street dating back to the late 19th century? Do you know the location of a former synagogue building just off of H? Join the Capital Jewish Museum on a one hour walking tour to learn all about the H Street corridor and its Jewish businesses and residents. The tour will be led by volunteer and Capital Jewish Museum Board Member (and Hill Havurah's own) Marlene Zakai. Space is limited, so please register now at this link.


  • Sunday
    Sep  29
    Erev Rosh Hashanah
    Sunday, Sep 29th 6:00p to 7:00p
    Service followed by a Kiddush downstairs in the Parish Hall.




The goals of Yavneh are to provide students with the opportunity to:

  • Develop an appreciation for all aspects of Jewish culture and its rich tradition, including religion, history, literature, arts and crafts, customs and ceremonies;

  • Gain the knowledge of Jewish communal practice through the celebration of holidays and life-cycle events, and participation in a student-motivated Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) project;​

  • Develop a love, concern and commitment to the Jewish people in their community and all over the world and a respect for peoples of other faiths and traditions;​

  • Gain a foundation in Hebrew reading to facilitate understanding, reciting and chanting the essential prayers.


Our 2019/20 school year calendar can be downloaded HERE.

  • Children enrolled in Pre-K3 and Pre-K4:
    • The Pre-Yavneh Program runs on Sunday mornings from 10:00-11:30 am.  There is an optional opportunity for unstructured playtime from 9:30-10:00 am. Students are also welcome to stay for Shacharit, or morning prayer service with singing, discussion, and movement from 11:30 am-12:30 pm.
  • Children enrolled in Kindergarten through 3rd Grade:
    • The core program runs from 9:30 am-12:30 pm on Sunday mornings, with an option for children to be picked up at 11:30 am.  The time between 9:30-11:30 am will be split between Hebrew and Judaics (see below for more detail), and the time between 11:30 am-12:30 pm will be dedicated to a weekly Shacharit morning prayer service with singing, discussion, and movement.
  • Children enrolled in 4th Grade through 6th Grade:
    • The core program runs from 9:30 am-12:30 pm each Sunday morning and is designed to give the children more time to delve into their studies, both Hebrew and Judaics, as they prepare to become B’nai Mitzvah.​

Curriculum Highlights


  • Pre-Yavneh (Pre-K3 & Pre-K4): Learn basic spoken Hebrew words and songs.

  • Kindergarten through 3rd Grade:  Learn brachot (blessings) and the Aleph-Bet through song, art, Aleph Bet Yoga, and Hebrew through Movement.

  • 4th & 5th Grade students will use workbooks paired with an online learning center to strengthen their Hebrew reading skills and knowledge of the brachot.

  • The B’nai Mitzvah class will develop their Hebrew skills while learning the Shabbat morning service.


Each class will be engaging in a year-long investigation into a specific topic.

  • Pre-Yavneh (Pre-K3 & Pre-K4): What does it mean to be Jewish when you are 3 or 4 years old?  The curriculum will follow the lead of the children’s interests and experiences.  In addition, the value of tikkun olam will be introduced through the concepts of a mitzvah and helping others.​

  • Kindergarten: We will explore the meaning of kehillah (community) and the concept of making friends in a Jewish community through reading and comparing stories.

  • 1st Grade: What are the important symbols of Judaism and what do they mean?  Students will have hands-on experiences with the kippah, mezuzah, tzedakah box, and more.

  • 2nd Grade: Students will explore key stories from the Torah and Prophets and find fun and lessons within them.

  • 3rd Grade: We will focus on the concept of mitzvot.  What is a mitzvah and what are some examples?  How do they relate to our lives?   Students will explore topics such as the mitzvot of  Torah study, the pursuit of justice, visiting the sick, loving your neighbor and protecting the environment.

  • 4th Grade: Students will explore Jewish history, including a look at the Talmud, the Golden Age of Spanish Jewry, the shtetl culture, the rise of the Reform Movement, and immigration at the turn of the twentieth century.

  • 5th Grade:  Students will explore the land and state of Israel, including geography, civics, and culture.  Students will also learn about the Sho'ah (Holocaust), as well as Jewish and non-Jewish heroes within it.

  • 6th Grade / B’nai Mitzvah Preparation Class: What is Jewish adulthood?  Students will question our roles in Jewish community, exploring unfamiliar mitzvot and examining our relationships with familiar ones.  Students will also delve into parshat hashavua, studying the weekly Torah portion, and finding wisdom within it through their own interpretations. Finally, students will also strengthen their understanding and mastery of the Shabbat morning prayer service.


Each class in Yavneh will learn about major holidays and celebrate each holiday as a school.  At the same time, every grade will focus in on a couple of holidays and dig deeply into them, exploring their meaning, rituals, and symbols.

  • Pre-Yavneh (Pre-K3 & Pre-K4): A little bit of every holiday!

  • Kindergarten: Rosh Hashanah and Shabbat

  • 1st Grade: Havdalah and Pesach

  • 2nd Grade: Yom Kippur and Channukah

  • 3rd Grade: Sukkot and Purim

  • 4th Grade:  Simchat Torah and Tu Bishvat

  • 5th Grade: Yom HaZikaron and Yom Ha’Atzma’ut. Students will create a school-wide observance of these holidays to showcase their learning.

  • 6th Grade:  Shavuot and Rosh Chodesh. Students will create a school-wide Shavuot observance to showcase their learning.


Each class will develop their connection to Israel throughout the year.

  • Pre-Yavneh: What is Israel?

  • Kindergarten: Lives of children in Israel.

  • 1st Grade:  Important sites in Israel and their meaning.

  • 2nd Grade: Exploring the places in Israel where the Torah stories took place.

  • 3rd Grade: Diversity of people in Israel.

  • 4th Grade: Israel as it pertains to Jewish history.

  • 5th Grade:  Truly delving into geographic and demographic diversity in Israel, Israeli civics, exploring our relationship with Israel, and engaging in project-based learning on topics of students’ choice.

Tuition and Registration


Fees for Yavneh are $1400 for members and $1750 for non-members. 


Fees for Pre-Yavneh are $900 for members and $1272 for non-members. 

Please review our enrollment email for the 2019-20 school year to learn more about new developments in our program this year. 

If you have questions about enrollment or payment, please contact Director of Operations Alan Shusterman at

If you have questions about the program, please contact Rabbi Julie Gordon at

If you would like information about financial assistance, please contact Director of Operations Alan Shusterman at



Sun, August 25 2019 24 Av 5779