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1.  Jewish Fluency – At Journey, one of our primary goals is to help students grow in their mastery (or fluency) for what it means to be Jewish in the 21st century in Houston, TX.  A developed Jewish identity is one that encompasses knowledge of one’s Jewish heritage, understanding of what it has meant and can mean, applicability to the important and everyday moments of one’s life, and the invitation and ability to create new Jewish paths forward.  This is the Jewish Fluency we strive to help to take root.  Oh, and we insist on doing all this in a fun and engaging manner. 

2.  Hebrew Osmosis – It is absolutely our intention that our Journey students will become Bar and Bat Mitzvah.  One of the key ingredients to a successful Bar or Bat Mitzvah is a student’s ability to read, chant and sing in Hebrew.  Thus our approach to Hebrew, especially in the early grades, is guided by “Hebrew through Osmosis.”  Group singing, group lessons, and arts and crafts, as well as other kinds of hands-on projects that bring the Hebrew letters to life, are the primary means by which our students are exposed to Hebrew.  Our focus is on nurturing a love and appreciation for the way Hebrew letters, words and construction give meaning to a child’s Jewish identity.  

3.  Bar/Bat Mitzvah is a central goal of our education program. Bar/Bat Mitzvah – There is so much to say about the Bar/Bat Mitzvah experience, and to learn about all of the details, click here.  But here's just a short primer:

  • As the students enter 5th and 6th grades, Hebrew instruction increases in preparation for the path to Bar/Bat Mitzvah that takes about a year. Not because of “continuity’s sake,” but for the potential of spiritual formation, it is truly unique to this age and stage of life.
  • Because the experience of working hard on something intellectual and emotional that isn’t school, forms a lifelong badge of pride.
  • Because the opportunity to lead, as well as to be recognized as important, loved and honorable by one's parents, spiritual leaders, and even peers, is a unique gift of what it means to be Jewish and human.
  • Because, while we are not suggesting that this is the only time that a child will have the chance to grow in their spiritual identity, it is a precious window that has, for the ages, served as a meaningful point for growth and development.

4.  Tikkun Etzem – OK, this may be a newly coined term.  Tikkun, of course, means “repair” and there exists the notion of three levels of “Tikkun” – atzmi (personal), am (peoplehood) and olam (world).  We learn from this that real repair requires that our focus be on the ways we can bring healing to the world at large, to our community, and to ourselves.  Etzem in Hebrew means “essence” – the “thing-ness” of Tikkun - what makes something or even someone authentic, real, and true.  For this, there is no specific curricular approach, it is however a general sentiment that Jewish life should draw us closer to what makes our lives matter.

Now, what are we going to do this coming year at Journey?

We will begin on August 28, 2022, but you can join at anytime.  Our Journey sessions will be structured around “Theme and Project Based Learning.”

Each Journey session will be centered around a Jewish value – for example, compassion,  gratitude,  justice, or peace. Our songs, our prayers, the Hebrew we learn, and the hands on projects we engage in that day, will all be centered on growing our understanding of the ways in which this value is an important part of Jewish life.

Students will arrive at the ERJCC classrooms by 9:45 am each Sunday morning, and our hands-on learning sessions will conclude by noon.

We welcome all Jewish children, and children being in raised in Jewish homes, and even those interested but not sure where they fall, to enroll – ages 4 to 7th grade.  8th grade students and older are strongly encouraged to join us as Madrichim (counselors) to work with the younger kids.  Certified Volunteer Hours are available.

Parent/Guardian Information

We will communicate by both email and text.

Child Information


PLEASE NOTE: When you submit this form, you will be prompted to make an immediate payment via a credit/debit card OR have your child's tuition billed to your account.

If you are signed into your account, you can set up a payment plan by choosing the option above and click on how often you would like to be billed.

If you are not signed into your account, and you choose the "bill my account" option, please submit and then click on "my account" at the top of your screen. You will be prompted to set up a payment plan on a schedule that works for you starting between now and five days from now. If you need longer than five days to make your first payment, please simply revisit the "my account" section when you are ready to set up your payment plan. If you want to pay by check, select Bill my Account" and submit your check to Shma Koleinu PO Box 1808 Bellaire, TX 77402

We Need You!

We are always looking for volunteers to help lead, facilitate and participate Journey program events.

Do you like to work with kids? Can you read Hebrew (sound out consonants and vowels)? How about working with teenagers? Are you artistic? Do you like gardening? Can you sing or play guitar? Can you cook/bake?

If you have any of these (or other!) talents, please let us know in the space below.

Note: All adult teachers (volunteer and paid) will be required to undergo a background check.

Thank you for enrolling your child in Journey, the Jewish Discovery Project at Shma Koleinu! 

To enroll an additional child, please complete a separate registration form.


- The Shma Koleinu Journey Team


Mon, November 28 2022 4 Kislev 5783