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Limudim: Kids’ Learning


Limudim inspires children and families to love Judaism, engage deeply with Jewish questions, and bring more justice to the world.

  • Mission
  • Philosophy
  • Curriculum
  • Hancock Park Schedule + FAQ's
  • Pricing & Registration
  • Meet Our Teachers

Mission: Limudim inspires children and families to love Judaism, engage deeply with Jewish questions, and bring more justice to the world.

Core Values:

צלם אלוהים Betzelem Elohim – Image of GodAll human beings are created in the image of God. We honor the uniqueness and inestimable worth of every individual. Therefore, we treat everyone with kindness, empathy and respect. We welcome students and families of all races, ethnicities, abilities, sexual orientation, gender identities and expression as well as interfaith families.

תלמוד תורה Talmud Torah – Jewish Learning  – We engage deeply with Jewish ideas and encourage critical thinking and debate. We seek to uncover innovative paths to God, Torah, and living a Jewish life of purpose.

צדק צדק תרדוף Tzedek, Tzedek Tirdof – Pursuit of JusticeWe believe that the active pursuit of justice and dignity for all is core to what it means to be Jewish. We integrate that belief into everything we do at Limudim.

דרך ארץ Derekh Eretz – Respectful BehaviorWe show respect to each other, our teachers, and to our families. Through our words and actions, we create a caring community in which every person is supported.

תשובה Teshuvah – Reflecting and RepairingWe believe mistakes and missteps are an opportunity for growth and taking responsibility for our actions. Through Teshuvah, we recognize and acknowledge what we have done wrong, work to repair the situation and learn for the future.

Knowing Judaism, Experiencing Judaism, Living Judaism.

Experiential education is a core principle of our teaching and learning.

We believe that when teaching kids, there is definitely a need for a basic core curriculum that will provide students with a common Jewish knowledge. However, children learn best when they are able to experience the material on their own in a hands-on way and relate it to their own daily lives, and utilize and explore their own natural skills, talents, and areas of interest.

This principle of experiential learning is especially important in Jewish education, where so much of the curriculum already relies on experience: one could tell a lot to a child about Sukkot, for example, but nothing will make that child grasp the essence of the holiday better than actually sitting in a sukkah and shaking the lulav and etrog. Similarly, we can teach our students about tzedakah, but nothing will make them truly understand the meaning of it like actually participating in a social action project.

We also strongly believe that the learning process should not end in the classroom, but rather continue in the homes of the students and the community at large. Judaism, at its core is about community. To this end, Limudim students meet on Shabbat, with the rest of the IKAR community, which helps both students and parents to learn together, feel the rhythm of the Jewish week, and establish their own Shabbat routine and practice.

Most importantly, we want our students to understand the core principle that their Judaism is not only a part of their Limudim experience, but of their entire lives. We do not want them to just ‘be Jewish’ in Limudim or at IKAR, but to understand and internalize the fact that what they learn here applies to every aspect of their lives, and that their Judaism carries through to their daily lives and their entire existence.

At IKAR, we promote a culture of both honoring and challenging the tradition. We believe that open questioning is vital and that every generation has a new set of questions. We encourage critical thinking and debate, and hope to together uncover innovative new paths to God, Torah, and a Jewish life of purpose. At the same time, we hope to instill a sense of love, commitment, obligation and responsibility to the Jewish people and to the larger world. We engage thoughtfully and seriously in the important questions facing us as Jews and as human beings.

Our students learn about social justice and tikkun olam (repairing the world) through study, advocacy and action on behalf of local and global causes. Limudim aims to bring the spirit of IKAR to our children, blending social justice with spiritual depth and helping students connect to Judaism and the world. Our community is creative, spiritual, and egalitarian, welcoming people of diverse backgrounds, affiliations and lifestyles.

Graduates of Limudim are young Jewish adults who possess a vast knowledge of Judaism and are deeply connected to their Jewish community. They have developed a deep appreciation for Judaism and a strong Jewish identity. They will have come out of our program with a strong sense of culture and of what it means to be Jewish and live Jewishly.

Judaic Studies

The Limudim curriculum is a spiral curriculum and a core knowledge curriculum. This means that some of the subjects are taught initially in the earlier grades and then revisited in later grades. These include Torah (and Nevi’im and Ketuvim), Avodah (prayer and liturgy), Mitzvot (and social Justice), and Jewish Holidays.

In Torah, students learn age-appropriate narratives from the tradition. In Avodah, students learn about the meaning and origins of some of the prayers and blessings they have practiced in services. In Mitzvot, students learn about different mitzvot and Jewish values. In Jewish holidays, students learn the customs, traditions, symbols, stories, and songs around each holiday, focusing in each grade on a different aspect of the holiday.

Hebrew

The Hebrew program at Limudim is based on meeting the students where they are, catering to their individual needs, and teaching them at their level.

Both on Saturdays and Tuesdays students have specific periods dedicated to Hebrew only. The students are divided into mixed-ages levels based on assessments. The teachers use appropriate books, materials, games, and other resources in order to make the learning challenging, but also fun and engaging. The Hebrew curriculum is based on modern day Hebrew vocabulary, with the higher levels also focusing on liturgy and words and vocabulary from the Siddur.

Huggim

Huggim (electives) are a way of enhancing the Limudim program through hands-on experiential education that calls on the creativity and artistic side of the students (and teachers). Through different electives, such as drama, music, cooking, and art, the students get to create and experiment with different projects as a complement to their standard curriculum. The Huggim are taught by professional specialists.

We primarily follow the LAUSD calendar and are also closed on Jewish holidays. Please see the 2021-2022 Limudim Calendar here.

When does Limudim start?
Shabbat Limudim begins on September 18th.  Tuesday Limudim begins on October 5th. Here is the Limudim calendar.

What time is Limudim?
Saturday: While Limudim is in the park in September and October, Limudim will run from 9:30am–12:00pm. PreK – 6th meets from 9:30am-12:00pm and 7th grade meets from 9:30-11:45am.

Tuesday: 4:00-6:00pm at Shalhevet; kids choosing in-person Hebrew will stay until 6:30pm. Please let us know which Tuesday option you are choosing by filling in this survey today.

Who is meeting at the park? 
PreK-6th grade will have Limudim at the park for the months of September and October.

What about 7th grade? 
7th grade will meet at Shalhevet High School. Because 7th graders will participate in tefillot at IKAR as they prepare to become B’nai Mitzvah, 7th graders should dress for Shabbat services (no jeans or shorts). We’ll provide snack for 7th grade as well.

Where do we go? 
Hancock Park is located at 5800 Wilshire Blvd. There is metered parking on the South side of 6th street adjacent to the park, and free parking on the North side of 6th street. We will meet in the Amphitheater, which is between LACMA and the Page Museum. The closest gate to the Amphitheater is the 6th street pedestrian gate, between Fairfax and Curson. Please see the attached map.

What is the drop-off/pick up procedure? 
Drop off: 
The first day will be an experiment. Teachers and madrikhim (teachers’ assistants) will stand by the pedestrian gate on 6th street, ready to walk your child into the park and check them in with their teachers. Alternatively, you can park and walk your child into the amphitheater where you’ll find your child’s class and get your child checked in with their teacher.

Pick up: 
Drive East on 6th street toward Curson. Our plan is to have parents pull up near the pedestrian gate and we’ll bring your kids out to you. We are not sure what traffic will look like on Saturday mornings on 6th street. We’ll try it on September 18th, knowing that we may need to adjust our pick-up procedure. Alternatively, you can park and walk in to pick up your child.

For security, your child needs to be checked in and out with their teacher. Please do not take your child from the park without ensuring that your child has been officially checked out.

Will there be security? 
Yes. We have hired two armed security guards who will be with us at the park for the duration of Limudim. All Limudim faculty will do a walk-through of the park with the security team prior to the start of Limudim to ensure that faculty knows and can implement all security procedures. The safety of our children is our top priority.

What if my child gets hurt or has medical needs?
We’ll have first aid kids available for any minor injuries. For major injuries, we will contact you immediately and call 911. If your child has severe allergies or other medical needs, please reach out to Rebecca so we can make sure that your child is safe at the park.

Can I still pray at Shalhevet?  
Yes! Shalhevet is .5 miles from Hancock Park, about a 10-minute walk. IKAR’s services generally run from 9:30-11:30, which is plenty of time for you to pray and shmooze and pick up your kiddos.

Can we walk from Shalhevet? 
We’re considering starting a walking group, where parents might walk groups of kids from Shalhevet to the park (and back). It’s .5 miles and about 10 minutes. If you’re interested in participating, please sign up here.

Can I stay at the park? 
If you volunteer to help supervise, then we absolutely want you to be 100% present with us.  If you are not “on” as a volunteer, we ask you and any siblings not in Limudim to choose a spot to hang out that is away from the kids, so that Limudimers can focus on learning.

Are there bathrooms available and who will accompany my child?
Public restrooms are available behind the PAGE museum on the East side of the park. These restrooms open at 9:30am. In addition, there are restrooms outside LACMA which open at 10:00am. Parents, madrikhim (teachers’ assistants) or teachers will accompany your child to the restroom.

We’re outside. Does my child need to wear a mask? 
Yes. It is IKAR’s policy that all children and adults need to be masked, even while outside.

What does my child need to bring to the park? 
Please have your child bring a backpack with the following items: 

  1. Mask (and a spare or two)
  2. Water bottle
  3. Hat
  4. Sweatshirt
  5. Beach towel (to sit on)
  6. Optional vegetarian/kosher snack (We’ll provide prepackaged snacks)

What should my child wear? 
Please have your child dress comfortably for the park (shorts, T-shirts etc.). Please make sure your child is wearing sunscreen when they arrive.

What if it rains or there’s bad air quality? 
Rebecca will contact all room parents by 8:00am to notify them that we need to cancel. Room parents will send out WhatsApp and email messages to all parents. If you do not use technology on Shabbat and need an alternative notification in the event of last-minute changes, please let us know.

How can I help?
Supervision at the Park 
We need at least 2 parents from every grade to stay at the park during the duration of Limudim (9:30-12:00) to help supervise kids, walk kids to the bathroom etc. Please sign up here.

Room parents, Sukkah hosts, Limudim committees and more! 
We’re going to have an amazing year and to make it even more amazing, we need your help! If you are interested in joining a committee or becoming a room parent please fill in this SignUp Genius. Let us know how much time you have and we can find the perfect job for you. Questions? Contact Roslyn Chaplin, or Kim Morchower.

Community Learning Days: 
Community learning days are an opportunity for young IKARites to join with the Limudim community on Shabbat once a month for holiday-focused learning. Students in 3rd through 8th grade are also encouraged to participate in our Limudim Shabbaton, which is included in tuition. Reach out to Rebecca at [email protected] to discuss if this is the right fit for your family.

Limudim registration is now open to IKAR members! Register here.

HOW MUCH IS TUITION?
View a full list of tuition amounts here. Early bird rates ended June 30, 2021.

LIMUDIM EZRA TUITION
Limudim will not turn any child away due to financial constraints, thanks in large part to generosity of the Horowitz/Weintraub Memorial Early Childhood Education Fund. Donate to the fund here. If you would like to speak to IKAR about your situation, please e-mail [email protected].org.

2020-2021 TUITION CREDIT
We are offering a 25% credit for those who made tuition payments for the 2020-2021 Limudim year. Please contact Natasha Newman Tobin at [email protected] if you did not receive notification of your credit amount.

For more information about Limudim contact: Rebecca Berger, Director of Education, [email protected].

Gan Katan/Gan (PreK/K, Shabbat)
Judye Hendlish 
Judye Hendlish has been teaching at Day schools and Hebrew schools in the Jewish community in Los Angeles since 2011.  She graduated from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, earning her BFA in Illustration with a minor in photography.  She taught at Hebrew schools and day schools on the East Coast for several years and then moved to Israel, where she worked as a graphic artist for four years.  When she returned from Israel, she moved to California where she worked in both civil and criminal law.  She retired from the L.A. District Attorney’s office to stay home and raise her children. When she decided to go back into the workforce, she knew she wanted to be a teacher. Judye was accepted into the DeLeT fellowship program at Hebrew Union College, earning her Jewish Day School Teaching Certificate and a multi subject credential.  In her spare time, Judye enjoys spending time with her three children, baking, hiking, and swimming. 

Debbie Younesi
Debbie Younesi was born and raised in Iran. She lived in Israel for many years, earning her BA in Linguistics and Early Childhood Education. She has been teaching for over 25 years. Debbie works at our ECC during the week, and at several religious schools on the weekends. She is passionate about inspiring a love of Judaism in children.

Kitah Alef (1st grade, Shabbat)
Racheli Peltier
Racheli is the daughter, sister, and granddaughter of lifelong educators. Her passion for teaching and creating a safe community for children stems from when she’d visit her mom’s Special Education classroom as a second-grader. Racheli is passionate about creating a world where all individuals feel heard, valued, and safe. When not teaching at Limudim, she works full time at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as the manager of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, writing about non-toxic and environmentally friendly lifestyles and advocating for young adult cancer patients. Rachel shares: “I love bringing communities together by hosting Shabbat dinners and going on weekend getaways with my friends and taking road trips with my partner, Adam, and our two rescue dogs, Sylvester and Tobino.” When looking for some “me time,” Racheli turns to Pilates, meditating, and roaming the Melrose Trading Post flea market for secondhand and repurposed furniture and clothes.

Adam Peltier (1st grade, Shabbat)
Adam is an Army Veteran and former West Point cadet. He’s currently pursuing his MFA at CalArts where you can find him acting, writing, and directing himself in all sorts of projects. Every day he finds time to hop on his rower and pretend like he’s out on the open water…because he’s actually in the safety of his own home where he doesn’t have to worry about putting sunscreen on (if you have red hair you’ll understand that this is a huge win). Adam is thrilled to be back in person and spending another year being both a student and a teacher!

Eva Katz (K/1st Kitah Kef, Tuesday)
Eva Katz is a writer and an educator. She’s a native Angeleno, which basically makes her a unicorn. She believes in never losing childlike curiosity and wonder and approaches education in much the same way: with play, laughter, and kindness. As the grandchild of Holocaust survivors, Eva feels passionate about spreading Torah and tradition. Friday night candle lighting is her zen.

Kitah Bet (2nd grade, Shabbat and Tuesday)
Anne Hromadka Greenwald
Anne is an art consultant, curator, and educator. When she is not planning exhibitions, she loves teaching children in both formal and informal settings and has been teaching for over twenty years. Anne spent a decade working at JCC Ranch Camp in Colorado and piloted an after-school arts program in Dallas. She also creates annual, full-day immersive holiday programming for synagogues in LA, and has taught religious school classes that incorporate creative, project-based learning for hundreds of children. Anne holds a BFA in Printmaking and an MA in Non-profit Management and Curatorial Studies. She is married and is a mom to a precocious two-year-old.

Kitah Gimel (3rd grade, Shabbat)
Steven Fields
Steven teaches Kitah Gimel on Shabbat. He is an LA native who grew up going to religious schools and Jewish sleepaway camps (go Alonim!). He earned his BA in Psychology and Dance & his MA in Psychology from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, focusing on child development. He has worked across various Jewish educational spaces including Temple Etz Chaim in Thousand Oaks, Camp Alonim in Simi Valley, and Congregation Adath Israel in Middletown, CT. He brings a love for combining music, dance, games, Judaism, and so much more into his lessons. When not teaching, Steven works in entertainment market research where he specializes in kids’ media, and in his free time enjoys writing Jewish music and cooking.

Daniella Plutchok (3rd grade, Tuesday)
Daniella Plutchok teaches Kitah Gimel on Tuesdays. As a child, she made Aliyah and grew up in Israel, where she learned to speak fluent Hebrew. Daniella has a strong academic background in psychology (BA) and expressive therapies (MA). She loves learning and teaching and has experience working in experiential education, including in various religious schools in LA and at Camp Ramah. Daniella loves witnessing kids’ natural curiosity and building upon kids’ questions to facilitate engaging discussions. In her free time, Daniella loves to bake, read, walk, and do yoga. This is her first year teaching at IKAR!

Kitah Dalet (4th grade)
Ted Goldstein (Shabbat and Tuesday)
Ted Goldstein is a writer and educator from Los Angeles. He graduated from Princeton University with a degree in History and absolutely loves all things historical. As a loyal Camp Alonim alumnus, he has been passionate about making Judaism fun, meaningful, and accessible for young Jews for a long time. In addition to teaching Limudim, he also runs a writing and rhetoric program that helps learners of all ages and backgrounds master their written and verbal communication skills. When it comes to teaching, he believes that everything starts with respect and care. When the teacher respects and cares about the student, the student will respect and care about the lesson. When the student respects and cares about the lesson, that’s when the real learning begins.

Kitah Hey (5th grade)
Leor Bases (Shabbat and Tuesday)
Leor was born and raised in Los Angeles, where he grew up attending Valley Beth Shalom Synagogue and Camp Alonim. He studied At UC Berkeley and Hebrew University. While at Berkeley, he taught Hebrew for Temple Beth Abraham in Oakland and Wilderness Torah in Berkeley. In addition to working at IKAR, he works as an educator at Wilshire Boulevard Temple. Leor cares deeply about making Jewish education engaging and accessible for all kids.

Ethan Harris Riggs (Shabbat and Tuesday)
Ethan is an educator, actor, and healer. He was born in Brooklyn, raised in Illinois, and now lives in Los Angeles. Since moving to the West Coast ten years ago, Ethan has studied under renowned actors and artists and honed his practice at the California Institute of Arts. Ethan is actively engaged in bringing the creative arts into his curriculum, providing a safe and secure space for youth to express themselves. He believes that we need to release stress from our bodies so that we can learn and grow. IKAR has become a sacred space for this form of exploration into mind, body, and spirit.

Kitah Vav (6th grade) 
Meghan Stein (Shabbat)
Meghan earned her teaching credential through the DeLeT program at Hebrew Union College. She then taught third and fourth grade at Pressman Academy for five years. She is currently teaching at VBSDS where she has been teaching 4th grade for the past three years. At Limudim, Meghan has worked in almost every grade and she is excited to be starting her eighth year on staff. She believes that every student has something unique to offer the class. She tries to create a safe class community to ensure that everyone is able to be the best version of themselves. When not teaching, Meghan enjoys cooking, baking, yoga, and playing with her new son, Spencer.

Rabbi Morris Panitz (Tuesday)
Rabbi Morris Panitz is thrilled to be an Assistant Rabbi at IKAR, a community he’s cherished for the past 7 years. Previously, he served as the Director of the Ziering BCI Program and Director of Immersive Experiences at American Jewish University.  He cherishes the opportunity to partner with people who are seeking meaningful connection to Jewish wisdom and community. Morris received rabbinical ordination from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies and was a recipient of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship. Prior to rabbinical school, he combined his love for Jewish, experiential education and environmental sustainability as the Program Director of the Pearlstone Center in Baltimore, Maryland. Morris completed a Certificate in Jewish, Experiential Education from Yeshiva University and received his B.A. from the University of Maryland in philosophy and Jewish Studies. Morris loves hiking and gardening with his wife, Elana, and two children, Ziva and Matan.

Kitah Zain (7th grade)
Rachel Katz (Shabbat and Tuesday)
Rachel is an aspiring historian and teacher who is so excited to share the infinite creativity, wisdom, and dynamism of Jewish texts and traditions with Kitah Zayin! Outside of Limudim, Rachel spends a lot of time listening to podcasts, playing with her twelve-year-old calico cat Gretel, and thinking about climate justice. She is currently a Ph.D. student (almost candidate!) in medieval Jewish thought. Rachel is so grateful to be joining the amazing Limudim community!

Danny Zeff (Shabbat)
Danny is excited for his 9th year teaching at Limudim! Before discovering IKAR, Danny shared his love of Jewish culture and education at Mosaic Law Congregation, Camp Ramah, and Chapman University Hillel. When he’s not learning Talmud with his cat Rudy, he works as a manager for the SAG-AFTRA Foundation. Danny encourages his students to ask lots of questions and act out their favorite stories.

Jessie Duke (Tuesday)
Jessie is a gatherer, facilitator, and ritualist passionate about empowering others to be in a deeper relationship with themselves and the earth through Jewish traditions, connecting with the elements, and tending to the body. Outside of Limudim, Jessie is an entrepreneur building a ceremonial cacao company (with the influence of her Sephardic & Ashkenazi ancestors), a volunteer at Shemesh Farms, and an avid dancer, singer, and music maker. She is grateful to be supporting students in their B’nai Mitzvah year as they consider their responsibility around Tikkun Olam, a question that has shaped her life.

K-5 Virtual Learning
Elana Mischel
Elana Mischel is originally from Highland Park, New Jersey. She has attended religious schools for most of her life and spent a year studying in Israel. She has taught at various Hebrew schools as well as a Montessori school. Her priority as a teacher is to get students engaged by making learning fun. Elana uses her background in acting to invent new and exciting learning games. She believes the dramatic arts can be a powerful teaching tool, specifically for remembering bible stories. Outside of teaching Elana works as a singer/songwriter and actress.

Floaters
Anton Cipriani
Anton Cipriani was born in Canada and moved to NYC with his parents soon after. His family made aliyah when he was three years old and stayed there until he was sixteen. He attended Southern Connecticut State University while teaching Hebrew school on weekends at a Temple in Greenwich, CT. This is where he discovered his passion for imparting Jewish studies and values to young learners and has continued to work with Hebrew and Bar/Bat Mitzvah students throughout the years. He currently lives with his wife and two-year-old daughter in Lakewood and is very excited to be joining the Ikar community!

Benjamin Paul
Ben Paul, one of our Saturday Floaters, is from Los Angeles and attended Sinai Akiba Academy and Shalhevet High School. He has been teaching Limudim for two years and has worked as a counselor at Camp Ramah. Ben has a strong background in Jewish history, religion, and the Hebrew language. He is interested in exploring the world’s cultures and has lived abroad for many years in China. His six-year-old daughter attends Limudim on Saturdays.

Specialists
Gabi Diamond Kacal – Shinshinit (Israel specialist)
Gabi Diamond Kacal, 18, comes from Israel as part of the Jewish Agency’s Gap Year Shinshinim program. Gabi is originally from the town of Tzur Hadassah in the Jerusalem area. She’s active in the Reform Judaism Youth Movement in Israel, where she served as a counselor for all different ages and led the country-wide youth leadership committee. She is looking forward to joining the Limudim program this year and bringing her knowledge and passion for Hebrew, Judaism, and Israel to Limudim students.

Samara Hutman – Righteous Conversations Project and Remember US
Samara (Sam) Hutman is the director of the Remember Us (RU) organization and the Co-Founder of The Righteous Conversations Project (RCP). She has dedicated her time, love, and care over the last 13 years to honoring the memories of the one and half million children who were killed in the Shoah and nurturing relationships with their contemporaries who survived, friends, neighbors, cousins, brothers and sisters, who are the last generation to hold living memory of this history in their hearts and minds. Sam believes there is deep value for our children in lifting up, making space, and paying attention to this unique moment in Jewish history. In it are the seeds of catalyst for compassion, decency, and tenderness for all humanity. Sam studied film and dramatic writing at NYU Film School and graduated from Barnard College with a degree in Art History. She has gratefully served the IKAR community in this work and other areas for the last 18 years and has been the blessed recipient of the richness and goodness that is IKAR. She is the proud, loving mother of grown-up Rebecca who is 27 and works in affordable housing in San Francisco.

Pari Moussazadeh – Hebrew Through Movement
Pari Moussazadeh was born and raised in Tehran, Iran. After graduating from high school, she moved to Israel. She continued her education at Technion College and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Math & Computer Science from Tel-Aviv University. After ten years living in Israel, she moved to LA and earned her Teacher Associate Degree in child development from Santa Monica College. Pari has been teaching Hebrew and Judaic studies at different Jewish schools for the last 30 years. She currently works at IKAR as a preschool teacher and Hebrew Through Movement Specialist at Limudim. She is passionate about Hebrew and Judaism and loves sharing her passions with children. Pari’s goal is to provide a warm, fun, and nurturing environment for children, where they can learn Hebrew vocabulary through HTM (Hebrew Through Movement).

Erez Sivan – Music
Erez is an artist, producer & DJ from Tel Aviv, now based in Los Angeles. She has been incorporating teaching with her industry work for the past decade, out of the belief that working with kids is essential for our growth as a society. She is excited by sparking creativity within her students as she teaches them how to compose, produce and perform their own songs. Erez is a hugg (elective) teacher and works with Limudim students on Tuesdays.