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Youth Education

Welcome to KESHER!

Achduth Vesholom’s KESHER (“Connection”) programming features an engaging mix of virtual and in-person learning experiences for our youngest Temple members to:

  • Experience Jewish Values to build lasting Jewish Identity.
  • Learn about Jewish Time by “doing” Jewish Holidays.
  • Acquire the building blocks of Hebrew learning to access Jewish Prayers and Jewish Texts.
  • Access resources for Jewish family life during occasional parent and family programs.

Our calendar for 2023-2024 includes several in-person Family Shabbaton and KESHER youth-oriented simcha and yontiff celebrations, including:

  • Pizza in the Hut for Sukkot
  • Simchat Torah Celebration
  • Hanukkah Party
  • Tu BiShvat Seder
  • Hamantaschen Baking
  • Purim Carnival
  • Passover Second Seder
  • Lag B’Omer Campfire

These programs are open to youth and families of all ages!

Questions? Please contact Religious School Committee Chair Leise Rosman at


Joy Vey! A Kid-ish Shabbat for Youth Ages 0-5

Gather ‘round your little ones and join us in the tradition of blessing our children as we make a joyful place for Shabbat in our lives and hearts… together.

Ages 0-5ish and older siblings join together on the second Friday night of most months from 5:30 to 6 p.m. to light candles, pray, sing songs, move and groove, and even practice mindfulness.  

Values Classes on Sundays

Our school-aged youth gather together on Sunday mornings to experience Jewish values as a meaningful way to navigate the world.

Values Classes: Mitzvot for Youth Ages 6-11 (Registration required)

Our elementary-age students participate in interactive, values-based curriculum through the Union for Reform Judaism’s Shalom Learning program, which focuses on developing a positive Jewish identity. The pluralistic curriculum is based on values we all share, like “Using your inner strength to do what’s right” and “Taking responsibility for your actions.” Lessons incorporate Social 

and Emotional Learning (SEL) skills in the context of introductory Hebrew study, living 12 Jewish values, celebrating Jewish holidays, and exploring Jewish texts and prayers. 

Students also participate in weekly online Hebrew instruction through Shalom Learning’s LinkED program, featuring such classes as: Hebrew Decoded – a Journey through the Alphabet; Friday Night and Home Prayers; and Morning Prayers.

* Students ages 9 and above are required to enroll in and complete 3 full years of Values and Hebrew instruction prior to their B’nei Mitzvah.  Participation in Values and Hebrew programming by students ages 6-8 is optional.

Values Classes: B’Mitzvah Club for Youth Ages 11-13 (Registration Required)

Our Middle-School-age students who are preparing for their B’nai Mitzvot study with Rabbi Meir during in-person interactive family education sessions and preteen modules using Moving. Traditions curriculum to address such topics as: B-Mitzvah: Why am I doing this?; Repairing the World: What’s a Mitzvah?; Beyond Thank You: What does it mean to by a host? A guest?; Fitting in and Standing Out: How will I navigate the teen years?; You Just Don’t Understand: How do parents and teens talk to each other; “I’m Jewish AND…”: Exploring Jewish identity and antisemitism today; and Now What: Deepening friendships and finding community.

In addition to studying Hebrew individually with their B’nai Mitzvah tutors, students also participate in weekly online Hebrew instruction through Shalom Learning’s LinkED program, featuring such classes as: Shabbat Morning Torah Service; and Concluding Prayers. 

Values Classes: Middot for Youth Ages 13-15 (Registration Required)

Our students who are B’nai Mitzvah participate in monthly in-person collaborative sessions based on The Advot Project’s Teen Fellowship program to create deep connections between teens as they grapple with key issues like healthy relationships, communication, consent, self-worth, and the challenges of communication over technology, all grounded in Jewish texts and values. Students work together to explore and problem solve through interactive exercises, improvisation, and art-making. Through this program, students come to understand that positive healthy communication is the key to healthy relationships which can lead them toward success.

Values Classes: Mussar for Youth Ages 15-16 (Registration Required)

Our Confirmation-age youth will participate in regular sessions with Rabbi Meir exploring virtue-based ethics and principles of leading a meaningful and ethical life as students prepare to affirm their commitment to the Jewish people as Confirmands.

Family Resources

Our long tradition of meaningful Jewish education in Fort Wayne has been fostered by the hard work and dedication of teachers, rabbis and educators. We’re also fortunate to have the Rabbi Richard B. Safran Library as a resource here at the Temple.

The Temple also encourages our young people’s involvement with Jewish summer camps like Camp Joe and GUCI, SKIP programs to promote travel to Israel, and regional youth-focused NFTY enrichment programs.

The Temple also encourages our young people’s involvement with the Temple’s Junior Youth Group and FOrTY, as well as Jewish summer camps and NFTY programs.

Questions? Contact us at (260) 744-4245 or

A Great Year Of Jewish Learning in 2023-2024!

Classes will begin on Sunday, October 29 at the Temple. Families must be members of Achduth Vesholom to enroll their children. 

Please complete and submit registration materials here via Google Doc.

Religious School and KESHER Calendar 2023-2024

Pay Enrollment Fees Online

Questions? Please contact Religious School Committee Chair Leise Rosman at

Resources from the Union for Reform Judaism:

Our Goals

The Religious School at Congregation Achduth Vesholom seeks to provide an enriching learning experience that engenders a deeper, more purposeful appreciation of our students’ spiritual heritage.

Our aims and objects

  • To implant in our students and their families a feeling of belonging to the Jewish community.
  • To teach Jewish values, traditions, history and culture.
  • To create meaningful Jewish experiences for our children so that Judaism becomes a positive intellectual and emotional experience that brings pleasure, beauty and joy of life.
  • To strengthen and reinforce Jewish associations within the lives of our young people so that the TEMPLE and HOME become the centers for Jewish life and values.

Tzedakah Program

At Religious School, our children’s weekly education includes the recognition of Jewish responsibility and helping others in need in the community. Weekly collections of Tzedakah taken in each classroom on Sunday morning give each child the opportunity to put this knowledge into action. Please encourage your child to share his or her good fortune by giving from his or her allowance. Funds will be allocated during the school year as students learn about places and people in need.

Weather Cancellations

We look forward to meeting again in person when our building re-opens.

Religious School: In the event of inclement weather, a calling tree will go out to all families, teachers and aides no later than 8:30 a.m. on Sunday morning.

Hebrew School: If Fort Wayne Community Schools are closed due to weather, then we will not have Hebrew School. If the weather gets bad later in the day on Tuesday or Wednesday, a calling tree will go out to all Hebrew School families and teachers no later than 4 p.m.

As always, please use your discretion regarding the weather. You and your family’s health and safety are always the top priority.