Article in Jewish Journal

Thursday, 10 February, 2011 - 9:52 pm

Jewish After-School Program Makes the Grade
Jewish Journal Yossi Levy.JPG
See,0,6711919.story or read below:

Chabad Chayil's Hebrew after-school program at the Aventura Waterways K-8 Center was recently rated as one of the best in Miami-Dade County by A Gift for the Soul, an educational consulting company hired by the county.

Cynthia Serure, president for the educational consulting company, spent two weeks observing and analyzing every aspect of the program and concluded it was exemplary.

"This program scored at the top on virtually all analytical criteria including quality of staff, student-teacher interaction and curriculum," Serure said in a written statement prepared by Chabad Chayil. "It is a model program."

Now in its third year, the program is geared towards Jewish students in grades K-7 who don't attend day schools and includes Jewish history, holidays, Parsha, art, ceramics, Israeli taekwondo runs and Shabbat parties from 3-4:30 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, 2-4 p.m. on Wednesdays, and 3-4 p.m. on Fridays. Pre- and after-Hebrew school programs including homework help, tutoring, music and trips are available from 1:30 to 6 p.m. for a nominal fee at Chabad of Highland Lakes located in front of the school. Enrollment for this program has risen from a maximum of 27 children in its first year to approximately 100 this year.

"The demand has been overwhelming," said Rabbi Moishe Kievman, who co-directs the program with his wife Layah. "Registration keeps climbing and we are constantly adding classes to keep up with enrollment."

Kievman also discussed the goals for the program.

"We want kids to walk away with an identity, to know where they come from and to walk away with knowing their roots, their tradition, and to be more familiar with the Hebrew language," he said. "We want all this to be associated with them in a fun way."

Kievman said the program is hoping to get its own building in the future.

"We want to expand the program," he added. "We believe that we can expand it to hundreds of kids."

Rabbi Yosef Levy, a teacher in the program, says that the children really enjoy it.

"The way we teach is we try doing it in a fun but educational way," Levy added. "We involve games and activities to make it more engaging for the students."

Avishag Elimelech, an Aventura resident and parent of two girls in the school, said she's very happy with the program.

"They learn songs, they learn the Hebrew alphabet, they do prayers, they do a lot of holidays, holiday songs -- they do everything," Elimelech added.

Student Ziv Yehezkely, 11, said "I have the most fun that you can ever get at any school. You learn so much. You learn to read, you learn to write and you learn about the history of the Jewish nation."

Another student, Raquel Zohar, 10, said "Learning here inspires me to become a Hebrew teacher."

To register, for more information, and to see parent testimonials, visit or contact Kievman at 305-770-1919 or at [email protected]. The school is located at 21101 NE 26th Ave.

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