Mental Health Shabbat
Mental Health Shabbat
Sat 12 Jan 2019 10:30
followed by brunch & a panel discussion
Find out more...
Sing, Sing, Sing!
Sing, Sing, Sing!
Wed 16 Jan 2019 19:30
with renowned singer-songwriter Jess Gold
Find out more...
Shabbat Shira
Shabbat Shira
Sat 19 Jan 2019 10:30
new music learnt at the singing workshops
Find out more...
November 2018Events calendar
View full calendar »

Kol Chai Religion School


Kol Chai is part of the first Pluralist Supplementary School in the country which runs on a Sunday morning. Four local synagogues, Hatch End Masorti, Mosaic Liberal, Kol Chai and Mosaic Reform (both of which are members of the Movement for Reform Judaism) have joined together to offer their children a broad religious education encapsulating the ethos of all three progressive movements.

The school is called HaMakom, the Place, as we hope it is the place where our children want to come and learn to be caring and committed Jews.

HaMakom is headed up by Toria & Vikki and is staffed by a group of enthusiastic teachers who are members of one of the constituent synagogues. Most are either professional teachers or have completed the DJE training (Education department of Movement for Reform Judaism), before joining the school as teachers. Teachers are helped by fully trained assistants who join to make the school and learning, fun and lively.

The team aims to motivate children to develop and enjoy learning at HaMakom. We encourage all our students to keep learning with us until they go to university. Past experience shows that retaining our young people in this way works. We run classes for each age group with a syllabus of Jewish studies, Jewish knowledge and Hebrew and a focus on being a good person. We use a variety of methods to teach our children including singing, drama and art. Which supplement the more formal educational methods. Classes are small and with many assistants who have been through our school we can offer lots of one to one help especially with Hebrew learning. In order to help our children feel comfortable in synagogue services we hold Tefilah (prayer) sessions once every half term where the whole school comes together to pray.


HaMakom runs on a Sunday morning from 9:45am-12:30pm. Classes are offered for children aged 5 years and upwards. We use the premises of Mosaic, although  we also have activities at Kol Chai from time to time.  (We aim to ensure our children feel connected to their own community as well as to the HaMakom community).

For children 10 years and upwards, we have run residential programmes. These are normally in the spring and offer fun and informal education. Children spend the weekend at a local centre run by the assistants who are trained youth workers.

Mitzvah Day

Each year in November, Kol Chai joins thousands of volunteers to celebrate Mitzvah Day. We have done a variety of activities including: packing boxes of gifts for Barnados; helping the Harrow Nature Conservation Forum in conserving and cleaning up different common areas in the borough; helping pack clothes and bedding for World Jewish Relief; entertaining residents at Pocklington House ( a residential home for the blind and partially sighted); and working with a group of refugee teenagers. Find out more about Mitzvah Day here and what we will be doing each year.

Many families join the event, helping out in a wide range of events. Some adult members encourage shoppers to donate groceries for The New Hope Trust in Watford; whilst others give up their time and join in fun activities. Each year has some highlighted events. Last year we visited Northwood (Residential home for Blind and Partially sighted adults). We sang and chatted to the residents.

Recognising our youth

We participate in a range of awards that recognise the contribution of children and young adults in our community. We have taken part in the annual Massuot Awards run by the Movement for Reform Judaism (link to MRJ) Several of our Religion school children have been short listed and won awards in a variety of categories.

We take part in the Jack Petchey Awards for London and Essex. Each year we are able to award students a certificate of achievement and recognition for all the work they put into the community.

Bar/Bat mitzvah class

Our bnei mitzvah programme is a specially designed a two year course. The course is part of religion school, with dedicated teachers focused on these special years of learning. As part of the year, each child chooses a T'zedakah project of their choice. Examples of projects include: raising money by sponsorship, collecting items and cake sales. The program helps the bnei class to choose a community to work with and to give back through their chosen project. Learning of the portion is dealt with on an individual basis, often at the student's home.

Courses for Years 9 and 10

Our GCSE Jewish studies course is available to students in school years 9 and 10. The AQA course runs over the 2 years and is open to young people from all local communities and other synagogues. A highlight of the course is a visit to Amsterdam to remember Holocaust victims.

We also offer a Kabalat Torah course which studies the Holocaust in more detail as well as looking at the weekly portion. These students visit Berlin as part of their course.
Kol Chai Silver Award

In 2011 Kol Chai became the first Jewish organisation to achieve a Government backed Silver Quality Framework Award, in recognition of a high level of community based supplementary education. This is after having achieved the Bronze level last year. HaMakom  reflects a similar level of standard.

To find out more about our Religion School contact religionschool@kolchai.org

No images found
Website development: Red Sphere Media