Emanu-El Downtown: Play. Explore. Learn.

Emanu-El Downtown.
Play. Explore. Learn.

For babies, kids, and their grown-ups.

Take out that Shofar – Emanu- El is heading Downtown

By Dina Mann | Director, Emanu-El Downtown

This Friday, Jews around the world will add the shofar to their morning prayer service signaling the new Hebrew month of Elul, which precedes Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. The shofar is a wake-up call. A jarring reminder to get to work on yourself, your family, and your community.

My wake-up call is usually my son at 6:00 AM. He wants to know the score of the Mets game, or when he can have breakfast, or if he can play Wordle. 

Kids have a way of bringing things back down to earth. And yet, there is a magic in watching them grow and explore, create new connections with friends, and also connect with their heritage. 

And that is what we are doing at Emanu-El Downtown. Creating a space for babies, kids, and their grown-ups to connect, explore and learn together. Emanu-El Downtown is based at the General Theological Seminary in Chelsea on West 21st St., between Ninth and Tenth Ave. It is open to all!

What will this look like? In year one, we are starting with our little ones. 

    • We are opening our doors for Let’s Play!, a 2s program for toddlers 18-26 months that follows the interests of the children in a classroom setting. This two-day-a-week play-based class will be led by Dana Glat, a trained Speech Language Pathologist. Children will challenge themselves in all areas of gross, fine motor, and language development with Jewish holidays and Shabbat integrated into the curriculum. 
    • Shabbat Together! A Friday morning mixed-age sing-a-long that will encourage children, parents, and caregivers to joyfully bring in Shabbat. 
    • Parenting Groups. Based on the success of Rabbi Ehrlich’s uptown Young Families parenting classes, we are replicating the model for downtown. Parents will have the opportunity to meet in a group setting with therapist Jennifer Leopold and Rabbi Ehrlich to discuss the highs and lows of parenting.
    • Religious School for Pre-K-4th. An afterschool program that will create meaningful connections and empower children to explore Jewish life.

We hope you will join us downtown this fall and that we’ll see you on September 18 at our Fall Festival! It is free and open to the public, although advanced registration is required.

As we ready ourselves for the New Year, may the sounds of the shofar and our children awaken our souls and allow us to create meaningful connections with each other and the world around us.