FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
1 So what is the Kesher School at Eitz Chayim?
The school is an integration of the Kesher afterschool and the Eitz Chayim Sunday programs, spanning from toddlers through high school-aged children. We have a new director for the school and are at a single location in Cambridgeport.
2 What programs are available?
The Kesher at Eitz Chayim school offers an After School program that focuses on spoken Hebrew and Judaica, and three programson Sunday: a drop-in preschool program (Gan Rishon), a teen leadership program (Madrichim) and a Sunday Program for grades K-7 to help prepare children for B'nai Mitzvah. Sunday Program children in grades 3-7 also attend class on Wednesdays.
3 My child has already been attending Eitz Chayim: what does this new school mean for my family?
For Eitz Chayim families, the Sunday program remains in place but will improve under the new director. Furthermore the Wednesday program for grades 3-7 has moved to two Fridays a month (see FAQ #2). EC Families can also sign up for the After School program at a discounted rate due to the congregation’s support of the school.
4 My child has already been attending Kesher: what does this new school mean for my family?
For Kesher families, the program has reduced tuition rates, moved to Cambridgeport and now has additional transportation options.
5 Do I have to be a member of Eitz Chayim to attend the Kesher at Eitz Chayim school?
6 Do I have to be a member of Eitz Chayim to attend the Sunday Programs?
Sundays start with Community Time for kids K-12 from 10-10:30AM with Rabbi Liza Stern. This is open to everyone and is a wonderful way to get to know the Eitz Chayim community. Gan Rishon and Madrichim programs are open to everyone; the Sunday Program for grades K-7 is designed for Eitz Chayim members.
7 What is the Madrichim program?
The Madrichim program is geared toward teens from 8th grade and higher. Madrichim will focus on developing a love of lifelong Jewish learning together with adult members of the community, and Madrichim will be leaders of the school and help with teaching the younger students.
8 What is the Gan Rishon Program?
We offer a drop-in, 2-hour program for children aged 2-5 to learn about Jewish traditions through art projects, songs and games. This program is available twice a month. Parents are welcome to stay with their child.
9 Is the school open on Jewish Holidays?
Kesher@EC After School will be closed for both days of Rosh Hashana and on Yom Kippur, and the first day of Passover (and closes early on erev hag - the night before each holiday). We will remain open on other Jewish holidays.
10 How about during public school vacations?
The after-school will follow the Cambridge Public School District calendar and will be open early on early release days but closed on school holidays. The Sunday programs will be closed during school vacation weeks and long weekends
11 How will my child get to after-school?
Students can arrive on their own/with parents, from the Cambridge Public School District (CPSD) bus, or by the vans owned by the school. The CPSD bus drops the children off at the corner of Putnam Ave and Magazine St, where they will be met by a Kesher@EC staff member and escorted in to the school.
We are able to offer transportation from some Somerville public schools and local private schools using vans. We currently provide transportation from the West Somerville Neighborhood School, Brown School, and Healey School in Somerville, and the Cambridge Friends School and Cambridge Montessori School. For the 2015-16 school year there will be a $250 transportation fee per student. We ask families to sign up for transportation as part of the registration process. Please note that depending on the demand for transportation, we may only be able to accommodate some schools on certain days, in order to ensure that we can pick up all children in a timely fashion. If your child will be attending a different school and you would like Kesher @ EC to provide transportation, please call to discuss and we will do our best to meet your needs.
12 Where do I park near the Kesher @ EC school?
There is no parking lot at Eitz Chayim for use during pickup. There is one space in the driveway which may be available for use by parents with special needs. Parking on Magazine and other nearby streets generally requires a Cambridge permit.
Eitz Chayim is located approximately 0.6 miles from the Central Square T station and is easily accessible by foot or by the 47 bus. There is a Hubway station approximately 2 blocks away at Dana Park.
We are exploring using the van to drop children off at certain North Cambridge and Somerville locations. Please let us know if you are interested in this service.