Wondering How to Share Judaism with Your Children? Beth Chaverim Reform Congregation's "Little Latkes" Programs Can Help

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Beth Chaverim Reform Congregation, a Reform synagogue in Loudoun County, VA, is proud to announce the launch of its "Little Latkes" programs for preschoolers and their families. New programs include Saturday Pajama Havdalah services, a mid-week facilitated parenting group called Bagels and Blocks, and a Sunday morning playgroup. The popular monthly Tot Shabbat services will be continuing. In addition, families with below school-aged children are now eligible for reduced membership rates as well as reduced tuition.

All are welcome to enter our "House of Friends"!

Beth Chaverim Reform Congregation, led by Rabbi Linda Joseph, offers a wide variety of religious, educational, cultural and social opportunities to individuals and familes of all types"

Beth Chaverim – House of Friends in Hebrew – is a Reform synagogue in Loudoun County, VA, that welcomes individuals and families of all types. This year in particular, BCRC's goal is to help families with young children introduce their little ones to Judaism in an accessible, age-appropriate manner. The "Little Latkes" Programs are designed to do just that.

Starting on September 8th, BCRC will introduce a monthly Saturday afternoon “Pajama Havdalah” service. Kids can wear their PJ’s, and bring a blanket and a lovie to say and sing “good-bye” to Shabbat. The program will run from 4:30 – 5:30 pm the first Saturday of each month (September through June). Children's songleader Emily Meyer will lead the group in some favorite songs, and kids can do a craft, hear a story and have a snack. Attendees are encouraged to stick around after the program for informal play time for the kids and a “happy hour” (BYOB) for adults – Beth Chaverim will supply some munchies.

Beth Chaverim also will offer a new mid-week facilitated parenting group called “Bagels & Blocks” for parents and their toddlers, ages 2 -- 5 years old. The 10-week session, starting on September 5th, will be held Wednesdays from 9:15 – 10:45 am. Participants will play, sing, and learn to celebrate Shabbat and holidays with their children and others. Run by synagogue member Betsy Goodwin (a licensed clinical social worker who specializes in working with preschool and early childhood-age children), Bagels & Blocks will help stimulate the child’s cognitive, social, motor and language development using age appropriate toys, songs, activities and Jewish celebrations. A typical day will include discussion of parenting issues, Jewish themes and Jewish holidays and traditions. Each week there will be a visit from the Rabbi to enhance the discussions and knowledge. Download a registration form on the BCRC website. Questions? E-mail Betsy Goodwin.

Can’t make a mid-week session? Attend the informal, free "Little Latkes" playgroup on Sunday mornings from 11 am -- noon, whenever religious school is in session. (Check the calendar here.) If the weather is nice, families may venture out to the playground.

In addition to these programs, BCRC will continue to hold its very popular Tot Shabbat services. This 30-minute service introduces children from newborn to 3rd grade to the prayers, songs, and traditions of Shabbat. Even the most active toddler will enjoy the upbeat tempo and kids' themes. The service is followed by a "Preneg," a joint oneg with juice and snacks between the Tot Shabbat and the adult service that follows. Tot Shabbat is held the third Friday of each month from 6:30 -- 7:00pm.

Beth Chaverim now offers a reduced financial commitment for families with young children. Families with below school-aged children can join and receive reduced dues and deferred building fund payments. BCRC religious school is more accessible too, with reduced tuition rates for children in grades pre-K and Kindergarten. Contact Membership VP Brian Giblin or Education VP Arlene Lechner with any questions.

Two upcoming events provide opportunities to learn more. Attend the Open House and Family Shabbat services on Friday, August 10th for a great introduction to the BCRC community. Services begin at 7:00 pm and will be followed by an ice cream social. The facility will be open for tours starting at 6:00 pm. And save the date for the Annual Congregational Picnic being held on Sunday, August 26th at Algonkian Park. A membership packet is available here.

Beth Chaverim Reform Congregation, an affiliate of the Union for Reform Judaism, is a dynamic synagogue that lives up to its name - House of Friends. Located in Ashburn, Loudoun County, Virginia, the synagogue connects new ideas with centuries of Jewish tradition. BCRC celebrates diversity by welcoming young families, seniors, singles, teens, empty nesters, interfaith families, same sex couples, Jews by birth and Jews by choice. Attend a service, educational session, or cultural event and you will want to become part of Beth Chaverim.

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Brian Giblin

Arlene Lechner
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