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What should my child bring for their JEC class/program?
All we ask is that students come to class prepared to participate and interested in learning.  All materials will be provided unless otherwise indicated.  

Do you provide snacks?
All students will be offered challah as a snack during their session.  We ask that students not bring their own snacks, so that we can ensure that students with allergies are safe. 

How will I know what is happening in class?
Each day that your child's program takes place, your will receive a "Daily Check In" email, letting you know what your child learned that day, providing three questions for you to ask them when you pick them up and giving you a look at what they will be doing the following week or session. 

What if I need to pick up my child early?
We ask that if you need to pick up your child early, you get them during one of the two natural transitions during the day: before and after services (times listed below).  This ensures that we do not have people going in and out of the classroom throughout the day, which is distracting for both the students and teachers.  When you arrive, please park downstairs, come to the JEC office and sign out your child.  One of the JEC staff will get them from their classroom and meet you in the JEC office.  

Sunday - 9:50 or 10:20 AM
Tuesday - 4:35 or 5:05 PM

On-Site Pick Up Locations
Please note that it is against our synagogue’s Conditional Use Permit to park on Muskingum.  Out of respect to our neighbors, we ask that you please park inside of the garage, or on Sunset or El Medio.  

Parents are welcome to park and come in to get their children, or pull through the carpool line.  If using the carpool line, please ensure that you are not on your cell phone and are paying attention to directions to ensure safety for all students and staff.  Also, please ensure that anyone else who picks up your child knows which level they are going to, so that the line can move smoothly and quickly.  If you are using the carpool line, your child can be picked up in the following locations:

K-2nd grade and all older siblings - upper level
3rd-6th grade - lower level

4th-6th grade - lower level
7th grade - upper level

OJE Drop Off and Pickup Locations
All OJE students will now board the bus at our new curb cut (at KI).  Parents may drop off their child in the carpool line or park and walk them upstairs to the patio where they will meet before walking as a group to board the bus.  When the bus returns to KI, parents can meet their children on the patio, as it would be too crowded for everyone to gather on Sunset.  

What if I know my child will be absent?
If you know your child will be absent, please email Rabbi Carrie Vogel at

How can parents get involved?  
We ask for 1-2 parents to serve each year as Grade Level Representatives.  These parents help us share information with the families in their grade and organize one or two casual events each year for their grade.  There are also opportunities throughout the year when parents are invited to participate in classroom activities.  We also encourage all families to attend our monthly Family Shabbat Service and Community Dinner.   Additionally, if you would like to schedule time for coffee with Rabbi Daniel Sher (Youth and Family Rabbi) to talk about how you or your family can be more involved, you can email him at



What does JEC stand for?
JEC Stands for Jewish Experience Center.  We renamed our program several years ago, when we realized that we needed a better way to show that all of our programs - our weekly sessions, retreats, teen philanthropy programs and youth group events - come together to create an experience that gives students a strong Jewish foundation.  Moreover, we believe that the experiences our students have will make the deepest and longest impact on them while significantly enhancing the content that they learn.

Which grades does the JEC cover?
The JEC has opportunities for students in TK/PreK through twelfth grade.  When your children graduate and move on to college, we have ways to stay in touch with them as well!

Who are the JEC staff?
Rabbi Carrie Vogel - Director, Jewish Experience Center: Carrie was ordained as a rabbi from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion here in Los Angeles in 2009.  In addition she received a Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters in 2006 and a Master of Arts in Jewish Education in 2007 from HUC-JIR.  During Carrie's time in rabbinic school she worked at a number of synagogues, camps and day schools in the greater Los Angeles area.  She also earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Cincinnati.

Rabbi Daniel Sher - Youth and Family Rabbinic Fellow: Daniel was ordained as a rabbi through Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion here in Los Angeles in 2018.  He also received a Mater of Arts in Hebrew Letters in 2016.  Daniel is also a graduate of the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts in Religious and Judaic Studies.  Prior to rabbinic school, Daniel was the Director of a Jewish day camp for five years, which is where he discovered his passion for Jewish education and enrichment.

Rachel See - Assistant Director, Experiential Education: Rachel graduated from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion here in Los Angeles in 2012 with Masters Degrees in Jewish Education and Jewish Nonprofit Management.  She is also a graduate of UC Berkley where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies.  Her passion for Jewish and experiential education comes from years attending and working with religious schools, summer camps, Israel trips and youth groups.

Rachel Tichauer - Assistant Director, On-Site Programs: Rachel has worked in the JEC since 2013 as a teacher and now as Assistant Director.  After earning a Bachelor of Arts in Education from the University of Arizona in 2012, she went on to earn a Master of Arts in Education from American Jewish University in 2018.  Rachel grew up in Los Angeles, where she developed her passion for Jewish education by attending and working with religious schools, madrichim programs and youth groups.  

What is Project-Based Learning?
Project-Based Learning (PBL) is both a philosophy and a process that focuses on differentiated learning, real world connections and a depth of meaning-making.  Moreover, PBL provides an organic structure to incorporate a variety of topics into each year's curriculum.  We believe this range of content (rather than studying one topic for the majority of the year) will be more interesting for students and help them better understand and answer the core question for their grade.  For example, when answering the question, "What does it mean to be part of a Jewish family?" students will learn about Jewish naming ceremonies, Shabbat and Passover - all things which are generally done at home.  

Tell me about your Hebrew tutoring program?
All of our fourth, fifth and sixth grade students receive 20 sessions each year of one-on-one Hebrew tutoring.  This individualized approach allows students to learn at their own pace in the way in which they learn best.  It also gives students the space to "mess up" (an important part of learning) without being in front of their peers.  This individualized tutoring complements the Hebrew learning that students do on-site each week.

What is the Outdoor Jewish Experience?
This unique program allows students the opportunity to get a camp-like experience in lieu of attending weekly sessions.  Students have eight day-long sessions at Brandeis Bardin in Simi Valley (home of Camp Alonim) where they get to explore all of the experiences that Jewish summer camp has to offer.  The OJE curriculum draws on the on-site curriculum, and all OJE students also receive Hebrew tutoring.

What if my child starts in 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th grade?  Will they be behind?  Will they be able to make friends?
We have children begin in all grades, even joining our programs for the first time in 11th or 12th grade.  With the help of our individualized Hebrew tutoring program and cyclical Judaica program (as most of us need to learn things three times before we actually learn them), most students are able to catch up quickly without feeling like they are behind.  We also have systems in place to match up new families with existing families who have children at the same schools, involved in the same sports or clubs or who live near each other.  Since we have a relatively high number of students who are new each year, our students are very used to welcoming new kids into the community.

My child has some learning challenges - how are you able to provide them with a meaningful and educational learning environment?
Our curriculum's emphasis on Project-Based Learning ensure that students have a wide range of learning opportunities.  Lessons are designed to appeal to multiple intelligence levels and learning styles.  Moreover, all of our programs can be tailored based on each individual child's needs.

And one more for your child...What if my child says they don't want to go to religious school?  And I don't blame them because I thought religious school was boring?
We hear this a lot from prospective and new members.  This is a fair assessment because almost all adults between the ages of 30-50 went to very boring religious schools.  The good news is that things have changed a lot since then.  Not only do we know more about educational theory and practice now, but the world has changed, forcing us to be more creative and thoughtful in order to get and keep students' interest.  Unsurprisingly, when we are able to make clear connections between a student's current life and our ancient tradition, students are actually interested in the experience.  We find that once students get started, they see that we are not "just more school," and they form their community here; students are happy.  


Thu, April 25 2019 20 Nisan 5779