Moving forward with the Kesher Center for Jewish Learning and Culture


The Kesher Center for Jewish Learning and Culture is a diverse and welcoming non-affiliated institution that uses innovative techniques to teach Modern Hebrew and Jewish culture educational experiences to children pre-school through middle school. Kesher serves Cambridge, Somerville, and surrounding areas.


Kesher was founded more than 25 years ago with a mission to become a center for Jewish learning and culture, serving children and families of an expanding Jewish community in the Somerville/Cambridge/Arlington area, identified in a 2015 CJP study as the new center of the Metro Boston Jewish community.


We have a long history of innovation and pioneering in designing curricula that integrate Jewish cultural education and instruction in Modern Hebrew as an organic experience in a spirited, joy-filled environment. Our inventive, challenging, and inclusive curriculum fosters the joy of learning, the reward of active community participation, and the richness of the Jewish tradition.


Kesher has touched the lives of more than 500 children and 300 families, licensed our curriculum or provided training to organizations in New York and Chicago, and inspired similar programs across the country.


The Kesher Board has set forth a vision to grow our program to serve the needs of the greater Cambridge/Somerville/Arlington community with expanded programs and services. Parent involvement in the day-to-day operations has increased significantly, and our community is benefitting from improved leadership, communications, and organization.


Now we're leveraging our methodology, knowledge, and networks to serve this growing population from our 6,250-square foot location between Porter and Union Squares, the geographic center of our current and potential families.


Starting in September 2018, we will reintegrate our preschool and after school programs at our large Porter Square location and further develop the Kesher Center for Jewish Learning and Culture with playgroups, early-childhood programs, adult education, family events, and ritual and activity space.


We believe our new vision will bring significant benefits to current families–and the larger Jewish community–including:

  • Central & convenient location

  • Continuous & integrated multi-age experience for children under one roof

  • Opportunities for meaningful connection between After-School & Preschool students (e.g., reading buddies, combined Shirah, etc.)

  • Large & flexible space with adjacent outdoor playground, sizable free parking lot, access to public transportation 

  • Kesher community-building with unified events (e.g., monthly Havdalah gatherings, Purim carnival, etc.)

  • Accessible center for families & adults connect with Jewish culture & innovative Jewish education outside formal synagogue structure

  • Expanded role as strong Jewish base for interfaith or unaffiliated families

  • Additional Jewish programs (e.g., infant/toddler play groups, B’nai Mitzvot prep, adult book/study/ulpan groups, meeting space for local unaffiliated Chavurahs, etc.)


What changes can you expect?

  • No changes to Preschool program or location

  • No changes to After-School curriculum

  • New After-School director with experience, vision, and great energy

  • After school program moves to the Porter Square location

  • Expanded transportation options for Cambridge and Somerville families

  • Greater efficiencies in administration and leadership

  • More community events and curricular partnerships

  • Single location means larger Shirah, bigger celebrations, more ruach

  • Transition from preschool after school program much more seamless


The success of Kesher After School has always depended on the input, dedication, and commitment of a strong community of parents–all of us–working together towards a common vision of Jewish education and values. We intend this to be a transparent, collaborative, and smooth process, and we welcome insight and guidance from families, friends, staff, and advisors to ensure that we move forward in ways that satisfy the needs of our community.


If you have advice, observations, questions, would like to be part of the planning process, or would like to support Kesher financially, please get in touch with us by using this form, sending an email, or in any way you feel comfortable.

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Hannukah Party

Join us for our celebration of the eighth night of Hannukah this Sunday from 4pm-6pm. There's going to be story-telling, latke's, and the lighting of the Hannukiah at sundown.

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