What type of school is CHS and why do parents choose CHS for their children?
CHS is a supplementary Jewish education program for Kindergarten through Grade 7. We meet during the scholastic year, on Sundays from 9-11:30am, and an additional slot for grades 6-7 on Wednesdays 4:30-6pm.
Our curriculum is designed with creativity and intelligence, and meets the contemporary American child. The environment at CHS is joyful and passionate, with a non-judgmental spirit of acceptance and respect. These values resonate from Rabbi Mendy and Malkie Herson, each of the staff members, and the families who make up our community.
So that is why families choose Chabad!
Our family is not observant. Will we feel out of place at CHS?
Look around at the people who live in your town. It is “normal” people like that who come to Chabad. Our student body is comprised of local families from the Greater Somerset County area, including Basking Ridge, Bernardsville, Bridgewater, Longhill, Warren, Watchung, Raritan,
Some families retain membership in other synagogues and Temples, and many choose Chabad for their Jewish-community address. The choice is up to you. If someone wants to strengthen their Jewish connection, we are here to help in whatever way we can. In the spirit of Chabad’s credo, everyone is accepted; we’re all family.
What do you offer for the CHS parent body?
We encourage parent involvement…not only to benefit the adult’s experience, but to enhance the child’s educational journey. During Hebrew School hours, we have a simultaneous adult education class (a rather spirited and dynamic group) led by Rabbi Mendy Herson, in addition to a multitude of classes and social events for adults throughout the year. Parents have the opportunity to serve as Class Parents, and other volunteer positions in the school.
I am looking for “community,” (but services are not my thing)?
We totally get you! Humans, by nature, are social beings and a sense of community is so important to our psyches. And Jewish community is important to our souls! For some, this is achieved with attendance at weekly Shabbat services; for others, holiday programming, adult education, etc. does the trick. Chabad offers a plethora of programs, events and classes that cater to all ages, interests and levels of observance. Obviously, the more one puts into this pursuit, the stronger the connection will be!
How do you prepare the children for Bar/Bat Mitzvah?
In designing our Bar/Bat Mitzvah program, we approached it from the ground up. Rather than implement a program that seemed disconnected from our families’ lifestyles, we asked ourselves these core questions: “What is the goal of this Life Cycle Event?” And, “How can we best meet that goal.” In doing so, we were able to create a program that truly meets our children’s needs. (Click herefor more information.) Based on the feedback we’ve received over the years, it appears as if we’re achieving our goal.
What happens after grade 7?
For the students to feel that Judaism is a living and relevant heritage, their education and connection should not stop after Hebrew School. For grade 8, we have a once-monthly program, in which the children meet for a short class with Rabbi Mendel Shemtov, and then partake in a social service activity. (Click here: www.jewishrelief.org). For High School students, we are part of the national CTEENS program, (Click here: www.cteen.com), which – facilitated by Rivka Herson – is a teen-run group with trips, meetings and social services.