Jewish education alive and well in the ACT

December 24, 2013 by J-Wire Staff
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Jewish families in Canberra have celebrated the successful conclusion of the first term of Canberra’s new Jewish after school Educational program and the achievements of the first 25 students who attended.

Rabbi Shmueli Feldman with pupils

Rabbi Shmueli Feldman with pupils

As part of the final class the children had a quiz in front of their parents on all the materials they learnt; the children recited the prayers by heart; Certificates of achievement and prizes were handed to each child for their academic achievements; and they had a blast on a jumping castle that was organised for the festivities.

Canberra does not have a Jewish day school so Chabad ACT recently established the after school program catering to children aged 5-12 years to enable them to have exposure to a quality Jewish education. Another group for 2-5 year olds is run simultaneously. The school operates out of the Chabad ACT Centre in Giralang in a specifically designed child-friendly environment.

Children attending public and private schools in the ACT and region have had the opportunity to have a top Jewish educational experience and thoroughly enjoy the curriculum of learning provided, as well as the hands on activities ranging from Kosher cooking for the needy to making their own toy Torahs and Dreidels and performing traditional Jewish songs as a choir at a public Chankuah event.

Consistent with Chabad policy, the school welcomes every Jew, regardless of religious background or level of observance. It does not require membership as a pre-condition for enrolment and no child is refused on financial grounds. The ACT Jewish after-school program has a committee of five local parents who roster the volunteer work for some of the tasks necessary in running the program.

“The purpose of our program is to allow the children to encounter a positive, enjoyable and meaningful exposure to their Jewish faith. It offers a first taste of the fundamental concepts of Judaism in a creative, joyful, interactive and interesting way.

We aim to instil within the children a a strong sense of tradition and love to their fellow by using lots of love, songs, games and innovative teaching techniques to enhance the learning experience.” said head educator Mrs Chasia Feldman.

”I thoroughly enjoyed the interesting class discussions with the children and am extremely proud of how much the children advanced in their studies this term.”

Mrs Arava Klein, one of the founding parents of the program said “Coming from Israel it was very important to my husband and I that there be an organised pleasant environment that our children could come to regularly to learn about their heritage, mingle with other Jewish children and develop strong Jewish identities.”

“We feel very lucky to now have access to such education in Canberra. Rabbi Feldman would come to our children’s school to teach them Jewish studies instead of them attending chapel, but having this regular study program is a great step forward in providing the basic educational requirements for a Jewish community.”

Arava’s sentiments were echoed by another founding parent and Jewish community stalwart Mrs Veronica Leydman, “My children have been having such a fun time here. They really enjoyed the Jewish educational program this term. We appreciate very much that Chabad has organised this.”

Rabbi Shmueli Feldman, Rabbi of the nation’s Capital and Chairman of Chabad ACT said; “Jewish education, particularly when supported by parents, is a proven factor in ensuring Jewish involvement and continuity. By establishing an After-School Jewish learning program in Canberra, we are guaranteeing that there will be Jewish continuity in this region.

As part of our mission here in Canberra we seek to enable every single child and/or adult to have access to a high-quality Jewish education. We were delighted to have taught over 25 children in our first term of operations and we are hopeful that this number will continue to grow in 2014.”

“We are also excited to be starting Canberra’s first Jewish Preschool/Long Day-Care Centre in February however we are still looking for a suitable Diploma qualified Educator to take the Director position.”

To register for the Hebrew School or Preschool, please call 02-6108-3927 or visit

For more information, please contact Rabbi Shmueli Feldman – 0431677805


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