The Gan FAQs

Program and Philosophy:

In the 21st century, we know that Jewish learning is a holistic and integrated part of Jewish living. We know that our students have three thousand years of Jewish information at their fingertips through any of their devices. Yet, even with all this information, it is easy to feel isolated and alone. We want to focus on building community and offer Jewish learning with an emphasis on values and not just content, on community both in and out of the synagogue building. Our primary goal is for all our youth to be inspired to joyfully deepen their relationships to Judaism and the community by engaging their souls, hearts, and minds. The name of our Youth Learning and Engagement Program is Gan HaLimud, colloquially called The Gan, which means “Garden of Learning.” This term speaks to how we help our learners bloom and blossom, and it certainly connects to our Pacific Northwest landscape. Sometimes the word “HaGan” refers to the Garden of Eden. Here at Temple Beth Am, we use the term in our own distinct way—to remind ourselves we are all responsible for cultivating the garden of learning.

On Sundays, students will engage in peer-to-peer relationship building, establishing long lasting connections through intensive time, project based learning, and experiential education lead by Faculty and Madrichim. These joyful experiences will help our students strengthen their relationships to Judaism and the skills to live Jewishly. Our Midweek Learning Tracks are opportunities for students to engage in interestbased connections with others. For grades 4-6, tracks will emphasize lifecycle and b’nai mitzvah experiences through a variety of Jewish lenses. The focus of each track will be impacted by student interests. Then, as students continue through our program, Midweek classes are about shared Jewish interests, connecting with a variety of subjects, and building the bonds that last a lifetime.

All of our students work to develop their prayer readiness skills. We seek to utilize new and different tools to create a holistic and dynamic approach to learning Hebrew. Our students explore the aleph bet and Hebrew words and phrases that are an important part of our life-cycle events, community, and heritage. Using a combination of learning strategies, reading, songs, storytelling, games and more, students begin to construct and practice their Hebrew vocabulary, developing meaning and understanding that they will build upon each year. PK-2 utilizes adaptations from Hebrew through Movement, while 3rd-7th uses various personalized adaptations of decoding methods we have customized at Temple Beth Am to fit our students needs. 

Days, Times & Cost:

The Gan tuition includes Sunday and midweek classes, retreats and youth activities (grades 4-12), and snack fees, including pizza and salad midweek.

Tuition only covers 60% of The Gan’s costs. Our largest expense is the phenomenal teachers and mentors working with our children.  

Although all members help contribute to the cost of The Gan through their Annual Financial Commitment to Temple Beth Am (dues), tuition is essential to support this program.  In addition, our B’Mitzvah fees were phased out as of June 2021, and B’Mitzvah clergy meetings are now included as part of your tuition.

If you would like to donate the difference between the cost of The Gan and the subsidized tuition, there is an option to do so on the enrollment form.  

Scholarships are available upon request as we want all young people to have access to Jewish education. A link to the scholarship application will be provided upon completion of Gan enrollment. 

5785 Tuition: 
For grades PK-3
Subsidized Tuition

For grades 4-7
Subsidized Tuition

For grades 8-12
Subsidized Tuition

The Gan meets on Sundays from 9:30 AM-12:00 PM for all students & Madrichim grades Pre-K through 12. 

Midweek classes take place on Wednesdays from 6:30-8:00 PM for 7th & 8th graders and 9th-12th graders.

Midweek classes take place on Thursdays from 5-6:30 PM for 4th-6th graders.

In addition to these class times, there will be opportunities to attend retreats and grade level trips.

To see our full 2024-25 schedule for The Gan, click here!

Student Support:

The Gan is built on a differential learning approach which supports every student’s learning. Content is provided through different modalities which alleviates the need for many traditional accommodations. We work closely with our Faculty and Madrichim to create a successful approach to learning, with an emphasis on the social emotional spiritual learning needs of our students. We appreciate parent partnership and welcome an open dialogue with any parent who has guidance, concerns, or recommendations.

PK-7th Grade Students (Sundays):

The Gan begins in Pre-Kindergarten for students who have turned 4 years old in September 30th. The program on Sundays includes grades PK-8. The Midweek classes are for our grade 4-12 students.

Sunday classes begin at 9:30 am and end at 12:00 pm for a total of 2.5 hours of joyful experiential Jewish learning among grade level peers, Madrichim, and Faculty.

For our full 2024-25 schedule, click here!

4th-12th Grade Students (Midweek Classes):

In addition to Sundays from 9:30 AM-12:00 PM

7th-8th grades & 9th-12th grades meet on Wednesdays from 6:30-8:00 PM

4th-6th grades meet on Thursdays from 5:00-6:30 PM

For our full 2024-25 schedule, click here!

For Madrichim:

Our Madrichim Program begins in grade 8 with our Madrichim Internship Year. This first year in our program will teach our Madrichim the leadership skills that they will need to thrive as mentors, role models, and change makers in our community. Upon completion of this Internship year, students are eligible to apply to become one of the Madrichim. For more information regarding the Madrichim Program and Teen Leadership Opportunities in The Gan, please visit the Youth Learning Website.

Yes, all teens who participate in our Madrichim program must be enrolled in The Gan.

Participating in the Madrichim program is one of the most enriching experiences a teen can have. Our Madrichim program builds essential skills of resiliency, kindness, understanding, and relational literacy that last a lifetime! It is not only a great first job, it is a holistic learning and leadership experience. 

First Year Madrichim Interns are volunteers. Madrichim who have completed the Internship year are eligible to be paid or they can remain volunteers. The Madrichim are considered to be part of The Gan Faculty team and subject to professional expectations.

Trips and Retreats:

All enrolled students in grades 4-12 will be able to participate in one Shabbatonim/Weekend Retreat as part of the tuition of The Gan. 8th grader will take a trip as a cohort. Any member students who are not enrolled in The Gan, but who would like to participate in a Shabbaton/Weekend Retreat will have an opportunity to sign up and pay a registration fee.

For retreat dates, click here.

Our 10th Grade Covenenat Renewal students will have an opportunity to participate in The RAC’s L’Taken program in January  of 2024 in Washington D.C.. This amazing weekend features the unique opportunity for our 10th grade teens to join hundreds of other Reform Jewish Teens from across the U.S. to lobby staff on Capitol Hill about an issue that they care about. For more information about L’Taken, please visit The RAC L’Taken FAQ. The cost of this trip is not fully covered by tuition, however we are working on ways to subsidize the cost of registration, hotel and airfare to make it affordable for all families.

For L’Taken dates, click here.

As part of our Maimonides Moot Court program or for any 11th and 12th grade students we will be offering a trip to New York. The cost of this trip is not fully covered by tuition, however we are working on ways to subsidize the cost of registration, hotel and airfare to make it affordable for all families.

For NYC trip dates, click here.

Health and  Safety:

All students and staff at Temple Beth Am are required to be vaccinated and boosted when eligible. 
Parents/Guardians and anyone dropping off/picking up are also required to be fully vaccinated. We are not going to track this internally but ask that you recognize that Covid still poses real health risks to those that are vulnerable in our community and take this honor system seriously. 
We recognize that seeing faces is an important part of relationship building and connection. Therefore, while numbers remain low in King County, per local guidance, mask use in The Gan is now optional.  We may ask students and faculty to temporarily mask at times when case counts are high in the school or in the community. 
When to Stay Home from The Gan
With moving to a mask optional policy, it is more important than ever that students stay home when they are not feeling well. Please keep your child at home while testing, until symptoms improve, and to be 24 hours fever-free in order to return. 

Food will both be allowed and provided by Temple Beth Am during The Gan. We recognize that 2.5 hours is a substantial period of time to go without food for many young people. Part of The Gan experience is relationship building and learning while sharing a nosh or meal with your peers. On Sundays we will offer students prepackaged snacks, monthly challah, and Wednesday and Thursday night classes include pizza dinner and salad. 

Please note there is a small snack fee incorporated into your Gan tuition.

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