Our aim is to make religious education stimulating, fun and rewarding

Kol Chai Religion School

Our Religion School is HaMakom (“The Place”), the first pluralistic religion school in the UK, and takes place at Bessborough Road, in Harrow.

Children aged from 5 to 18 get a wide and grounded Jewish education, study for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah in a way suitable for each synagogue, and can then take part in our Kabbalat Torah programme and become Assistant Teachers.  Our religion school is inclusive and accepting.

We aim to teach children from pre-school to 18.  The post Bar/Bat Mitzvah explores Torah, Jewish Ethics, Jewish History and the Holocaust, as well as Tikkun Olam – social action issues.  We aim to give our children a love and emotional attachment to Judaism, and the knowledge and educational tools to equip them to practise their Judaism.  If they love Judaism, they will continue to learn for the rest of their lives.

We aim to provide a stimulating and enjoyable programme with a strong connection to community for all children, including those who attend Jewish day schools, and we welcome children from mixed faith families.

For further information about HaMakom, please contact Rabbi Naomi or our head teachers, Viki Kenton and Toria Bacon.

Aims and Ethos of HaMakom:

HaMakom reflects the coming together of our communities to educate our children and young adults in Progressive Judaism.  As a pluralistic school, we fully respect and honour Liberal, Reform and Masorti approaches and values with respect to Jewish practice and status / descent.

Our mission is to instil a love for Judaism and a feeling of belonging to a community, so that students emerge with attitudes and tools which will enable them to access Judaism both formally and informally at any point in their lives.

HaMakom aims:

  • To create and foster a sense of Jewish identity and commitment, manifested in seeking further learning and maintaining involvement in Judaism throughout the lives of its students
  • To teach a core knowledge of Judaism within the areas of Jewish practice, history and Hebrew with sensitivity to the differing stages of a student’s cognitive, social and emotional development
  • To imbue the pupils with a clear sense of positive and life enhancing ethical values, by way of learning and in their behaviour in the class, such as sharing, generosity, compassion and fairness
  • To introduce the students to the challenges of becoming knowledgeable, independently enquiring, committed and socially involved Jews
  • To develop students’ potential for enhanced spiritual growth by:
    Developing awareness of the fundamental questions of life raised by human experiences and how Jewish teachings relate to them
    Reflecting on their own beliefs, values and experiences in the light of study
    Enabling pupils to participate fully in services and congregational life
    Developing an understanding of Jewish values that help them to form their own informed, independent decisions regarding moral issues
  • To develop a Jewish perspective on other faith communities that they may encounter, so that they may live confidently as Jews in a pluralistic society, comfortable in their interaction with those of other faiths or no faith while maintaining a positive attitude to being Jewish
  • To include informal and creative opportunities with an awareness of and sensitivity to the needs and interest of young people, both in the context of  classroom learning and in the synagogue
  • To enable students to participate meaningfully in services and synagogue life
  • To utilize and develop the strengths and interests of the staff members and volunteers, value them as individuals and facilitate their development as educators.

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