Beth Jacob Youth Education

Our vision: Children’s learning programs in the Beth Jacob community cultivate in each learner the value that we are all integral in the deep and diverse Jewish conversation.

Our congregation is inclusive of every child and family regardless of learning needs.

Shabbat is at the center of the Beth Jacob community. Children and families in our community continue learning throughout the week, formally and informally, in the community and at Beth Jacob, and return together each Shabbat for oneg and Torah.


Learning on Shabbat

Iyunim: Jewish Explorations @ BJC (PreK – grade 4)

Register for Iyunim


Iyunim is Beth Jacob’s hands-on, curiosity-driven Jewish learning program that meets at 9:30 on Shabbat mornings for children age 3–4th grade, plus one Sunday morning a month for their whole families. Iyunim also meets on Wednesdays at the St. Paul Talmud Torah!

In Iyunim, we recognize wholeness of a child’s Jewish identity, and seek to grow their participation in Jewish life as well as their Jewish knowledge. We ask big questions and give children the tools to know each other as partners in learning.

Iyunim is Reggio-inspired, with a dedicated faculty and family learning community. Iyunim teachers listen to children. Classroom lessons work to enable children’s self-motivated learning, reflect children’s interests and experiences, and uphold our community’s Jewish values. In developing the Iyunim program, parents, teachers, and the Beth Jacob community came together to articulate our core values. These are:

  • We value children and adults as responsible partners in learning, together creating the next layers of our ongoing Jewish conversation.
  • We value genuine listening that allows us to express and learn from multiple perspectives, creating a learning community in which each child and family is truly welcome.
  • We value living in Jewish time and using Hebrew language; Jewish stories are at the center of our learning.
  • We value a joyful, embodied, exploratory approach to learning, motivated by our children’s questions and curiosity.

We would love to hear from you. If you’d like to learn more, contact D.Marcos Vital.

Iyunim is supported by a grant from the Alumni Venture Fund of the Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel and is inspired by the Jewish Enrichment Center in Chicago.


Kehillat Shabbat (grades 4 – 8)

Register for Kehillat Shabbat

KS-Logo w-text - filledBeth Jacob has gathered an amazing team of teachers to work with your children. We are here to make meaning with them, to share learning with them, to teach, to be delighted in our Jewish learning, and to make community. Please join us!

Kehillat Shabbat – 5th-6th grade children grow their learning relationships with Jewish text, with each other, and with their Jewish community. They will deepen their understanding of how Torah becomes part of Jewish life through story, interpretation, prayer, and language. They also learn and reinforce their skills of Hebrew, trope, and tefillah.

Kehillat Shabbat and Jewish Ethics – 7th-8th graders delve into Jewish values, discussing ethical questions through a Jewish lens. Their presence and continuity in the group reinforces their connection with each other and ability to share important thoughts.

This learning is complementary to other Jewish learning contexts, and we do not focus on building Hebrew language skills on Shabbat mornings. We are happy to help make connections to other contexts for Jewish and Hebrew language learning – at one of the Talmud Torahs, in day school, or in one-on-one or small group learning environments.

Please reach out with your thoughts and questions!


Madrichim & Teen Sicha

Our teens are an essential part of youth learning at Beth Jacob. They help to lead youth tefillah and are madrichim in the nursery and in our older classes, working one on one and with small groups of children, guided by their teachers. Our teens often read Torah and lead services in the main sanctuary, and participate in their own learning, discussions, and leadership development.


Shabbat minyanim for children and families

Minyan Katan

For ages 0 – PreK with families, every Shabbat morning at 11:30 am (all year long)

Children and families join together for lively, joyful, and song-filled tefillah; creative, parent-led learning; and even the occasional puppet show that will have your sides in stitches. Want to learn more? Want to help lead tefillot or a Torah story? Thank you! Contact D.Marcos for more.

Minyan Gadol

For grades K – 4, every Shabbat morning at 10:30 am (during the school year)

Minyan Gadol brings more singing and joyful tefillot for children in grades K-4, who are learning more songs and prayers, and growing in their ability and interest in learning and leading. Families are welcome to join in. Want to learn more? Ask D.Marcos.

Youth Tefillah

Every Shabbat morning at 11:30 am

For children in grades 5-8, we meet every week in the chapel just after the Torah service for joyful tefillah and a Torah discussion. Families are welcome to join us if you’d like.


Learning during the week

Beth Jacob families enroll in community education programs when possible. Please explore the programs at the Newman School, HMJDS, and the afternoon and Midrasha programs of the Talmud Torahs of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Beth Jacob offers financial support for the cost of learning programs (as well as camp enrollment). Please do not hesitate to access these forms. All financial conversations are confidential.

Iyunim Afternoons continue this year at the St. Paul Talmud Torah, Wednesdays, 4 – 6 pm, for PreK – grade 1 children. This is our Beth Jacob Iyunim program, hosted by TTSP. Iyunim afternoons bring kids from Shabbat Iyunim classes together to learn and play during the week, continuing curricular learning and growing social connections.

What’s new: Learning Pods!

Groups of two to five students will work with a teacher on specific Hebrew and Jewish material during the week or on Sundays. Pods are geared towards children grades 2 – 6 (organized based on families that sign up). Learning pods are an alternative to tutoring that reflects our value of community and belief in learning in relationships. If individual tutoring is the only option or most preferable option, we offer families contact information for a range of tutors, and we can work with families and tutors to determine material and learning goals

Interested in having your child participate in a Learning Pod? Sign up here!


For any questions or thoughts, please contact D.Marcos Vital, Education and Youth Director:, 651-452-2226 (Beth Jacob office phone)





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