Childcare: Shabbat (10AM-12PM) & High Holidays
During the school year we provide child care from 10:00 am to noon on Shabbat mornings and (with extended hours) on holidays for children age 2-5. This is a drop-off program supervised by one of our preschool teachers. Children play, read stories and eat snacks while parents are participating in Shabbat and holiday services. We thank the Women's Club for sponsoring Shabbat child care and allowing us to provide this important service free of charge. For Shabbat, no reservations are necessary. On Shabbat we may be able to accommodate children under age 2, depending on the given circumstances on a given day. Please check in with the childcare provider as needed. For holidays, please see detailed information under High Holidays.
Children's Shabbat Prayer Services
Each Shabbat morning GJC offers a range of prayer services for children allowing them to participate in meaningful, age-appropriate worship.
Musical Marching Minyan, a parent-child service for preschoolers: 3rd Shabbat of the month during the school year at 11 AM
We offer a high-spirited, action packed monthly musical prayer service for children younger than elementary school, but old enough to walk (or be carried by a willing adult!). Meets monthly, generally the third Shabbat of the month, during the school year.
Ginat Shabbat, a family service for children through Grade 1: Saturdays at 11 AM (or 10 AM when there is Musical Marching Minyan) during the school year
A parent-child Shabbat service for children up to age 6. Ginat Shabbat is a garden of delights for our youngest families ready to move their bodies and take part in fun and engaging Shabbat activities! This minyan prays from its own age-appropriate siddur, and the service includes prayer, sharing, and storytelling that highlights themes from the weekly Torah portion or upcoming holiday. It is followed by a Kiddush snack. On the 3rd Shabbat of the month, we add in the guitar and musical instruments and transform this service into our Musical Marching Minyan: a full-body prayer experience! Led by Miss Amy Jo.
Junior Congregation, for children in Grades 2-6: Saturdays at 11 AM during the school year
In this weekly prayer service, children take the lead in running the program contributing in whatever way is comfortable for them. Some children lead prayers in English or Hebrew; some prepare Torah readings; even the youngest children participate in a variety of activities that do not require reading knowledge. Any child who wants a leadership role in the service can speak with the service coordinator about volunteering. Each service is followed by a special kids' kiddush.
Kid's Kiddush, kid-friendly fare and social time at noon for children in Grades 1-7.
Shabbat Kids Space: Kids are welcome to play Shabbat-friendly games in a dedicated space - bring your own and some will be provided. Please respect the space, clean up after yourselves and put all games away after use.
Junior Congregation Summer Edition, an adult-supervised youngster-led service for children of all ages from the end of school to Labor Day.
Summer Tot Shabbat
Look for GJC’s Friday evening outdoor Tot Shabbat Services in July and August. Puppets (along with their rabbis) teach the week’s Torah portion with stories and songs. Join the tambourine parade down to the playground for a delicious, tot-friendly dinner catered by Centre Catering. Advance RSVP ($8/adult, $4/child for dinner (age 2+)—sponsorships available upon request). Check our calendar for the July and August schedule.
J.A.M. (Jewish Arts & Movement)
The JAM programming series, developed in 2014 and funded by the Harold and Renee Berger Family Engagement Endowment Fund, brings exciting, fun and educational programs to children and families. Guest artists collaborate with GJC rabbis to lead Shabbat services, afternoon programs and other events with song, dance, storytelling, art, music, puppetry and more. JAM events are enjoyed by all, but geared towards children up to age 5. Check our calendar and spotlight events for upcoming programs, or stay connected through our JAM Facebook group.
GJC Celebrates! Sukkot
(geared towards ages 4+)
All are invited to this family-friendly, community celebration! The program begins with a Sukkot Extravaganza, where families go from station to station creating the symbols of sukkot and exploring their meaning. Learn how to hold your lulav and etrog, and perfect your shaking technique. From there we move into the Family Sukkot Service, and there will be a whole lot of shakin’ going on in a musical, story-filled Sukkot service led by Rabbi Adam Zeff and Rabbi Alanna Sklover. Afterwards, everyone enjoys treats in GJC's Sukkah.
GJC Celebrates! Simhat Torah
Join in singing & dancing as we read the last words of the Torah and begin anew! This multigenerational celebration includes a Torah Scavenger Hunt, where we unroll the ENTIRE Torah scroll and get searching, a Torah parade with marching, singing, and dancing, and a children’s Aliyot where all kids will be called to the Torah for a blessing for the New Year. Afterwards, enjoy sweet fun for the whole family during a very special oneg… DIY Caramel Apples!
GJC Celebrates! Hanukah
Start with GJC's annual You'll-Like-It-A-Latke Dinner (subsidized by the GJC Men's Club), complete with a dreidel-off, games & stories. After dinner, we come together to light the amazing Dancing Children Hanukiyah and sing with the GJC Choir. The evening wouldn't be complete without sufganiyot (from Rolings Bakery) and hot cocoa.
GJC Celebrates! Purim & the Purim Carnival
Come in costume and join the fun for a themed tribute to the Megillah! This is a Purim spiel not to be missed! Grab a grogger and take a seat for an amazing show put on by GJC kids for kids! Hungry for hamantaschen? There will be plenty, with many thanks to the GJC Women's Club, who provides these tri-cornered treats every year! After the show, come on up to the Purim Carnival! Which game will you play first? Which prize will you pick? Will you bounce? Will you run? Will you jump? Will you finally make that hole in one? Bring a friend or four to the funnest Purim Carnival in town! Entry is free, pay per game and lunch is available for purchase. See you there!