Jewish life on campus extends beyond the Hebrew and Jewish studies classes. At Pardes, we incorporate Jewish values, rituals, language, and culture throughout all aspects of each child’s school experience. Our students are surrounded by Judaism throughout their day.
Tefillah and Parashat Hashavuah
At Pardes students are engaged in meaningful prayer experiences that inspire a love of Tefillah and instill a sense of its importance for the Jewish people.
Tefillah is called Avodat HaLev (the Service of the Heart) because in the end, it is the heart that matters most. At Pardes, we use interactive methods through music and student empowerment to create more Kavanah (intention) and connect the students to the deeper meaning of various prayers.
On Thursdays morning community rabbis, educators, and speakers teach Pardes students Parshat Hashavuah (the weekly Torah portion). These discussions include the main concepts of each of the Parashot as well as personal stories and Midrashim to explain the meaning of the text. In our Middle School, students read from the Torah during the Thursday before becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah and their rabbi presents a short teaching about the Torah portion to the students. It is a wonderful time for our Pardes community to celebrate each student becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah.
Celebrating Jewish holidays is an integral part of Pardes student life and academic program. Students learn about the holidays’ traditions and customs in Hebrew and Jewish studies classes and participate in schoolwide celebrations. Students experience each holiday through learning of text, singing songs, and creating art projects. Parents are invited to attend Pardes celebrations and join the fun-filled festivities.
Each Friday, we conclude the week with a special Kabbalat Shabbat celebration that includes songs, stories and traditional blessings.
Tikun Olam is an important element of the Pardes experience. Each grade learns about specific Jewish values and develops ways to apply these values through giving Tzedakah, raising awareness and taking action.
Moreover, students of all grade levels focus on a year-long Tikkun Olam project that provides ongoing opportunities to participate in “repairing our world” and integrates the values of social action into daily activities. Over the past ten years, Pardes students have collected thousands of Box Tops for Education coupons off of household items. Typically schools across the country use money raised from this program for additional school supplies or programs. Each year, Pardes students select one organization to which funds collected from this program are sent. The school has supported organizations, such as The Go Campaign and Nothing but Nets.