Pre-School and Reception (0-to-5-year-olds): Welcome to the Jewish World
Our intention for our youngest New Londoners is to welcome them to the world, to their tradition, and to the shul with warmth and joy. We want them to create happy Jewish memories and to see our beautiful building as a place to sing, play, and feel loved. We also aim to create spaces in which young families can get to know one another as part of the larger New London family.
We currently run monthly livestreamed services at 10am aimed at the pre-school crowd (on the first Shabbat of every month), along with occasional Zoom services before Jewish festivals. Young New Londoners are welcome to join the Cheder in Reception.
Early School Years (6-8-year-olds): Education, Experience, Excitement
As our young New Londoners enter this early school age, they become more interested in concrete learning. We find this the perfect time to start learning how to read Hebrew, how the prayers go together, how Shabbat and kashrut work, and so much more. And now we can use their learning to build on the fun!
Our thriving Cheder continues to work with our young New Londoners, especially encouraging the beginning of Hebrew learning and other pieces of Jewish education. We run occasional Cheder Shabbatot, in which we have the young New Londoners hold their own service and learning, and then join us in the main service to help lead Musaf. When we are in-building, we run monthly Shabbat services for this age group, led by New London teenagers. We also run occasional social and educational events around Jewish festivals.
The B’nei Mitzvah Journey (9-13-year-olds): Taking Ownership
As our New Londoners begin thinking about their B’nei Mitzvah celebrations, we begin the journey into Jewish adulthood. It is important to us that they bond as a group as they transition into taking ownership of their own Jewish identities and explore what it means to walk in the world as a Jew.
Our young New Londoners continue in the Cheder up to Year 7, learning Hebrew, exploring Jewish subjects, and spending social time together. In Year 8, we take this learning outside of the cheder, and the BM class learn and discuss themes of Jewish adulthood with Rabbi Natasha (and guest teachers) on a weekday evening online. Learning is also done one-on-one with B’nei Mitzvah tutors. When we are in-building, we run monthly Shabbat services for all students up to BM, which are led by the New London teenagers. The BM class are invited to spend time on occasional Shabbatot with Rabbi Natasha, and are encouraged to attend one another’s celebrations. This is also the time in which it is hugely beneficial for them to be spending time at Noam Camp, building their Jewish identities away from home at summer camp.
Teens at NLS (13+): Identity and Inspiration
After the B’nei Mitzvah journey, we encourage our teen New Londoners to take ownership of their Jewish identities. We want to create spaces for them to take that ownership, pass along their wisdom as being beyond the B’nei Mitzvah journey, and find spaces to discuss their identities and experiences in the world.
We love for our teenage New Londoners to come back as madrichim in the Cheder and as leaders of the children’s services. Both of these positions are provided with support from our staff, come with a little pocket money, and look great on applications and CVs. We are also setting up an online Beit Midrash space, in which teens can spend some time learning and discussing Jewish topics relevant to their lives, and spend some social time playing games together. This is also an age in which they would benefit hugely from Noam Camp (building Jewish identities and social circles away from home), and especially from Israel Tour. There is really no experience in the world like exploring Israel with other Jewish teenagers, learning and growing together, and making memories that will last a lifetime.
Noam Masorti Youth
You can find more information about Noam Masorti Youth here (https://masortiyouth.org/). Noam run in-person residential camps in the summer and winter (Year 5+), day camps during half-term (Reception-Year 4), and online clubs during the year. We hugely, hugely recommend spending time with Noam.
We are currently welcoming children 12+ to our services, and babies who will stay with parents through the service. We look forward to being able to open up to Shabbat services with our youth once we reach Step Four.
We are currently running a livestreamed 0-6 service on the first Shabbat of every month, and a livestreamed 7+ youth service on the third Shabbat of every month. You can find this at 10am on our livestream here (https://www.newlondon.org.uk/digital/).
If you are looking for more online resources for your young New Londoner, we hugely recommend:
PJ Library (https://pjlibrary.org/familyactivities), who provide numerous written resources for families.
BimBam (https://www.bimbam.com/), who provide many digital resources. They specialise in creating videos for children explaining the Torah portion and other Jewish learning.
If you would like to offer your thoughts, or be more involved, please email email@example.com.