RUACH ~ youth, families & teens

Welcome! RUACH community school ~ kids, youth, families & teen programs

RUACH community school of Beit Ahavah embodies RUACH (“ru-ach”). “RUACH – רוּחַ” is Hebrew for spirit, energy, wind and life!  RUACH is the dynamic force of Judaism of learning, social justice, tikkun olam (repair of the world), music, art, spirituality and Jewish expression. Kids and families experience community in a positive, Jewish environment creating pathways of connection.

JOIN US!  RUACH SIGN UP:  Please download the documents below and/or contact the office for registration packet and to speak with Rabbi Riqi (413-578-3770 x2, for more information.  If you are new and want to try RUACH, please let Rabbi Riqi know when you will be joining us.  Welcome!

1. RUACH Welcome Letter from Rabbi Riqi Kosovske & YOFIE committee.

2. RUACH Registration form

3. RUACH Enrollment & Tuition form (Youth preK-7 & Teens).

4.  RUACH Calendar, October-May, Sundays 3:30-5:30 p.m.
(Also click here for the Beit Ahavah Google calendar.)

For Hebrew Havurah, B’nei Mitzvah class dates and teen group, please email office.

5. RUACH Tuition Assistance form.

RUACH community school of Beit Ahavah embodies RUACH. “RUACH – רוּחַ” is Hebrew for spirit, energy, wind and life

RUACH students, core groups, parents and families partner with Rabbi Riqi Kosovske, Teachers, Madrichim (teens) and specialists. Please call Rabbi Riqi, 413-587-3770 x2, for registration packets and more information.

  • RUACH ARTS (grades PreK-2), taught by Anna Sobel.
  • RUACH LAB (grades 3-7)
  • HEBREW HAVURAH Thursdays (grades 3-7)
  • B’NEI MITZVAH JOURNEY – meets biweekly for 1-2 years prior to Bar/Bat/B’nei/B-Mitzvah celebrations for learning led by the Rabbi for study, discussion, art, class bonding, trips, tikkun olam projects, and creating a supportive container for students and families on the journey to Jewish young adulthood and becoming teens.
  • CREATIVE holiday and Shabbat gatherings – Being part of the amazing themes, rhythms and rituals throughout the Jewish year.
  • KEHILLAH for community and family-led assemblies
  • TOT SHABBAT and families with young kids, led by Marlene Rachelle – The growing, vibrant community of families and deepening friendships with each other and their young kids 0-7 to shape Jewish education.
  • TEENS: Post-B’nei Mitzvah Judaism/Tween/Teen life – new BAFTY temple youth group in formation, and involvement in Reform Judaism’s youth movement “NFTY-Northeast” and other groups.
  • YOFIE education committee for parent involvement – Parents and those dedicated to youth education gather to kibbitz, dream, and plan Jewish and family education that supports parenting and learning together.

May it be a sweet new year of creation, action and connection!

Meet some of the Teachers Rabbi Riqi Kosovske (rabbi, director and educator, RUACH director, B’nei Mitzvah Journey, Hebrew Havurah), , Anna Sobel (RUACH ARTS PreK-2, High Holydays Family Services and special events), Hannah Donnelly, Tamar Feinland & Aria Monet (Madrichot teen assistant), Marlene Rachelle (Tot Shabbat), Heidi Haas (Torah Improv),  Lois Peirent, Morgan Terres & Anne Bussler (YOFIE committee organizers, Tot Shabbat coordinator and specialties),and more!

See a sample of recent years’ good stuff on The L’CHAIM BLOG! preK-2.

RUACH ARTS – The PreK-2 group is taught by Anna Sobel, who is wonderful Jewish educator who also runs Talking Hands Theater.  This group  delves into Torah stories, holidays, values, Hebrew letter movement, prayer, cooking, Kids Tzedakah Shuk and family fun with art and exploration.

Shabbat Shirah & Shabbat B’Yachad (“Sabbath Together”) because taking time out for joy is what it’s all about. Singing, Torah Improv, Torah study, and Shabbat meals.

Chugim/workshops – Engage favorite passions and new skills. Parents and community members help teach specialties like Kids Chorus, plays, Jewish Potions & Lotions, Jews in sports, making Jewish cartoons, paper-cutting, Israel Inventions, and Teva (nature).

Kef = Fun! Dodging a ball in Ga-ga, Campfire s’mores-dallah, Shabbat-spa, bonding trips, scavenger hunt to the moon… because Jewish education is fun!

Tot Shabbat 
Tot Shabbat & Tot Sha-Potluck, 1st Friday of the Month, 5:15 p.m.

Class standing in outdoor frame during "Art in the Orchard" visit.A creative and progressive approach to Jewish learning, RUACH builds community that offers meaningful entryways into Jewish life, celebrates diversity, and deepens our commitment to tikkun olam (repairing the world) and love for our planet.  With teachers and mentors, friends and family, we study, learn Hebrew, celebrate holidays, bring core Jewish values to life, go on “chavaya” real-world experiences and trips, delve into subjects through specialties and electives, build and make art, and have a lot of fun!

RUACH embodies a teaching of the Sages:  “The world stands upon three things:  Torah (Jewish learning), Avodah (prayer and service) and G’milut Chasadim (acts of lovingkindness).”  – Avot d’Rabbi Natan 11:1

Torah = Study!  Engaging our minds and souls to deepen our connection with our past and to make our heritage relevant to how we live today through Jewish learning.

Avodah = Spirituality!  Awakening our hearts to connect to the Oneness of all creation through prayer, song, art, dance and other modalities, as well as service to others.

G’milut Chasadim = Acts of Lovingkindness!  Using our hands and hearts inspired by Jewish wisdom to perform actions that make the world a better place.

Teaching and Madrichim job opportunities

Program descriptions:

TOT SHABBAT & Tot Sha-potluck – for families with kids ages 0-6, meets the 1st Friday of the month, 5:15 p.m. led by Marlene Rachelle.  Flyer here.  The original Tot Shabbat  that swept the nation.  Tot Shabbat is the wonderful, musical hour celebrating the Sabbath and holidays followed by a vegetarian (no nuts) potluck, and pizza provided.  Bim Bam Ahavah is a morning play & prayer program for families with young kids focusing on music, movement and drumming.

RUACH ARTS – Grades preK-2 taught by Anna Sobel meets Sundays 3:30-5:30 p.m. with additional opportunities for Friday nights, Saturday morning “Shabbat B’Yachad” (Sabbath Together), family and holiday celebrations, gatherings, Hebrew aleph-bet through movement, art, cooking, Torah stories, values and crafts.  We also welcome pre-K kids who are 4-4.5 plus.

RUACH LAB – Grades 3-7 meets on Sunday afternoons 3:30-5:30 p.m. as a projects “laboratory” for advance Jewish learning, with off-site “chavaya” adventures,  opportunities for Saturday morning Shabbat B’Yachad (Sabbath Together) events and family holiday celebrations, and family-led gatherings.

HEBREW HAVURAH – Grades 3-7 meets Thursdays after school from 4:00-5:30 p.m. to study modern Hebrew and the prayer services, with healthy snacks, songs and fun in a great learning studio environment.  We utilize progressive curricula including URJ Mitkadem, Hebrew Through Movement, Shiri the Llama, Hebrew in Harmony, and have a lot of fun.   The Hebrew Havurah teaching staff is passionate about Hebrew for kids and includes Rabbi Riqi and Hebrew specialists.

B’NEI MITZVAH JOURNEY is led by Rabbi Riqi Kosovske for an exciting peer cohort class that meets bimonthly, Thursday evenings from 5:30-6:45 p.m. for students whose B’nei Mitzvah service is scheduled in the upcoming year or two, with family involvement in services and class Shabbat dinners.  Vegetarian/vegan pizza dinner is provided by families.

“TORAH IMPROV” led by Heidi Haas is a popular specialty during special events such as holidays or Shabbat B’Yachad.   Heidi Haas’s improvisational Torah Improv is a creative, theatrical experience of Jewish stories from the Torah, Holidays and Midrash, with games, fun and the imagination!

Tot Shabbat, Bim Bam Ahavah & programs for families with children 0-6

Tot Shabbat at Beit Ahavah

The wonderful, bedazzling musical hour led by Marlene Rachelle with Rabbi Riqi, full of movement, stories and instruments welcoming the Sabbath and holidays.  The 1st Friday of the month, 5:15-6:30 p.m. with a vegetarian Tot Sha-potluck dinner; cheese pizza provided.  Please bring a veggie dish (no nuts) to share.  Welcome parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, interfaith, LGBTQ, newcomers, old-timers… All are welcome!

See Tot Shabbat flyer here (pdf) for dates and more info.  Click HERE for the wonderful Gazette article on our joyful Tot Shabbat experience featuring many of our families — great quotes by beloved families.  Lois Peirent is our fabulous Tot Shabbat Coordinator (and Vice President) and happy to help welcome newcomers to our robust Tot Shabbat community.  Major funding provided by Harlold Grinspoon Foundation Family grant.  Co-sponsored by Jewish Federation and PJ Library.

*Post-B’nei Mitzvah/NFTY-Northeast Temple Youth Group & TEENS 9th-12th programs and BAFTY youth group*

Contact Rabbi Riqi to share your ideas for teen programs!  Supported generously by Harold Grinspoon Foundation teen grant.  NFTY-NE is the northeast region of the Reform youth movement – “North-American Federation of Temple Youth.”  Read about NFTY-NE regional events this year here:

SUMMER!  Jewish summer camp, Israel adventures & other Jewish immersive experiences of a lifetime for kids, teens and families.

Camp changes lives.  Rabbi Riqi Kosovske encourages and supports Jewish summer camp as an optimal Jewish experience for youth and teens.  She grew up at URJ Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute camp, was involved with NFTY,  attended NFTY EIE high school semester in Israel, and worked as a counselor at OSRUI, NFTY-in-Israel and JCC Camp Kingswood, and directed JCC summer daycamps in the East Bay, California.  Rabbi Riqi loves camp.  She has experience recommending URJ camps, Eden Village Camp and other camps and Jewish enrichment programs, and will help guide your family to choosing the right summer camp or program for your child!   Funding:  The Harold Grinspoon Foundation generously offers up to $1000 in HGF Camperships ($1500 for first summer), and up to $500 for Jewish Family Camp retreats and experiences.

Some links:
Great Area Day camps: Camp Shemesh day camp, JCC Springfield Summer camp
Great Overnight camps: URJ Youth CampsEden Village Camp, URJ Eisner Camp, URJ Crane Lake Camp, URJ Six-Points Sci-Tech Academy EastNFTY-in-Israel, URJ Heller High semester/summer in Israel.

See “Sending My Kids to Jewish Sleepaway Camp is the Best Investment I’ve Ever Made”.