Shofar is a Daycare that does more than care for your child and educate them. Shofar builds a Jewish community with each individual child at its heart…

Shofar will encourage a values based (rather than rules based) introduction to Judaism through 3 prisms:

Community

Shofar is an integral part of the communities of Alyth and FRS.

A few examples of how this will be demonstrated:

  • Invitations will be extended to events at the synagogues, suitable for the child’s whole family.
  • The communities’ leadership will take an active role in the day to day activities of Shofar.
  • We will be delighted to celebrate life cycle events for your family in our synagogues.

Ritual & Practice

Aspects of Jewish ritual and practice will form an integral part of the Shofar curriculum.  Shabbat, Jewish festivals, Torah and living a Jewish life will be taught and modelled to the children. This will be taught through the values that those practices encapsulate.

Some examples of how this will be demonstrated:

  • Values such as the importance of family, feeling part of Klal Yisrael (the community of Israel) and L’Dor V’Dor (Judaism passed through the generations) will create the backdrop for the rituals we are sharing.
  • In line with its Reform ethos Shofar will teach about a diversity in Jewish practice
  • Judaism will always be taught and expressed through an egalitarian lens – including all children being encouraged to wear a Kippah and both male and female rabbis being a significant part of Daycare life.
  • We will encourage our children to feel comfortable with the Hebrew language through song, vocabulary and seeing written Hebrew.
  • We will imbibe a love of Torah.

Jewish Values

Jewish values will be at the heart of every aspect of life at Shofar. For example loving ones neighbour, the importance of tzedakah (charity,) Bal tashchit (preservation of the environment.)

A few examples of how this will be demonstrated:

  • We will give a Jewish language to the way children are expected to be kind and respect one another
  • We will teach them to recognise that they can make a difference to the world through tzedakah initiatives.
  • We will give a Jewish language to the way that we encourage them to treat the natural world.

We will have succeeded in creating our vision if Shofar graduates become Jewishly literate, active in Reform communities and morally responsible adults.

Rabbi Miriam Berger

Miriam has wanted to be a Rabbi since her teens but had to wait until the summer of 2006 to receive s’micha – her Rabbinic ordination. She has been Rabbi at Finchley Reform since that time so the children she first encountered at the synagogue nursery are now her B’nei Mitzvah.  It was the birth of her own son in 2011 which solidified the need in  her mind for a full day care provision with the same “haimishe” feel and authentically Reform Jewish content as the synagogue nursery provides.  She takes great joy from her involvement at Shofar as well as FRS Kindergarten.

Rabbi Mark Goldsmith

Mark received s’micha from Leo Baeck College in 1996, on the same site as Shofar Day Nursery now stands.  He was Rabbi at Woodford Liberal Synagogue and then Finchley Progressive Synagogue before becoming Rabbi at Alyth Synagogue in 2006.  His two daughters, now teenagers, have gained so much from their friendships and learning in the Reform Jewish community that he is delighted to be helping this experience to be part of the lives of the children at Shofar and Alyth Kindergarten.   He believes that a caring and joyful start in life in the Jewish community gives a child a store of identity and security to draw upon throughout their lives and aims to help Shofar to be a wellspring of early years Jewish growth.