|Kesher is a Hebrew school after school, located on the border between Cambridge and Somerville, MA. A non-affiliated, diverse community, where learners are immersed in Jewish learning and life. Established in 1992, Kesher serves families living in Cambridge and surrounding towns. Kesher is licensed by the state of Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care.Kesher, Hebrew for “connection,” is a program that combines after-school child care with excellence in Jewish and Hebrew learning. With respect and camaraderie in a joy-filled, nurturing environment, we foster Jewish knowledge, sense of community and a vitality of spirit that makes our children proud, educated Jews. Children and their families come to value Jewish learning as a natural process, unfolding throughout their lives. For more than 17 years, Kesher Community Hebrew School After School has been pioneering new approaches to Jewish education, for children and their families living in Cambridge and surrounding towns. Kesher has many facets–it serves as an afterschool for children K-Highschool, summer day camp, a community of family education– and much more.
Kesher combines quality after school care with quality Hebrew and Jewish education.To think of Kesher as only a Hebrew school/afterschool misses the essence of what makes Kesher,Kesher. Though Hebrew school and after school are still at the core of what Kesher does, since its beginning, Kesher has become a community. Kesher’s inclusive policy and mission have attracted a number of families who, for various reasons, e.g., being mixed-faith or same-sex parents, feel welcome and comfortable. Among the families there is a range in level of observance from non-observant to quite observant. Approximately 57% of Kesher families are affiliated with area congregations and chavurot and 43% are unaffiliated. Kesher serves families from seven different towns. We have students from public, private and charter schools.
Kesher addresses the growth of each child and each parent through a foundation of learning and a diversity of Jewish experiences with Jewish values at the core. Families seek Kesher out because Kesher is welcoming, provides after-school care and a strong foundation of Jewish experience and knowledge. Families come for our strong curricular reputation and our child care, and they also know that Kesher is a place where they can grow as a Jewish family. When prospective teachers, parents and other visitors come to Kesher, they notice how happy the kids are and how at home they feel. Parents often describe Kesher as their children’s home away from home.
Click here to CONTACT US, to view Kesher’s brochure, or to view Our Daily Schedule. The curriculum is designed for kids to come a minimum of 2 days a week, with families choosing one day from Monday/Tuesday and one day from Wednesday/Thursday. Some kids come more frequently – typically in the younger grades, the kids join their Kesher Groups by age and proficiency.
A keystone of the Kesher experience is our teachers’ Kesher tzevet(staff) groundbreaking level of commitment and involvement. Kesher teachers are hired not only for their knowledge, but also for their excellence in bringing Judaism to life and their commitment to nourishing our students’ well being. Kesher is distinctive for the number of non-contact hours teachers spend in professional development and in classroom preparation. Our Judaic Studies teachers help the kids taste a tradition worth loving, a love that leads to a lifelong Jewish identity
Kesher Short History
Kesher Community Hebrew School/After School in Cambridge was founded by Marlene Booth in 1992 to address the needs of working parents with the desire for a strong Jewish education and community for their children. Kesher’s model Jewish education program addresses the changing demographics of America’s Jewish families. It pioneers a new method of teaching Hebrew and Judaica in an informal setting. Children learn through play and practice as well as discussion and text study. In 1995, founding director Linda Echt and Kesher in Cambridge received a Covenant Grant from the Covenant Foundation which allowed them to put time and effort into thoughtfully building an innovative program relevant to children’s lives.
**Our beautiful new building is located at 13 Garden Court off of Somerville Ave in Somerville, just minutes away from Porter Square.
**Our phone number is: 617-576-0830.