Jewish Life & Learning

Welcome

We welcome families who celebrate their Judaism in all different ways. While being proud of our Progressive Jewish heritage, we do not teach one way of being Jewish. Rather, we pride ourselves in providing Jewish learning opportunities and experiences and focus on teaching students to take pride in their identity and make informed choices on how they would like to express their Judaism with what works in their family. We partner families in raising curious children who learn to question the world around them and their place in it.

Hebrew

All students learn Hebrew from Kindergarten to Year 8. Classes range from beginner level, including a program in the Senior School for students with no prior knowledge of the language, to those accommodating students with more advanced Hebrew. The Hebrew program aims to encourage all students to achieve the ability to read and write Hebrew and basic conversation skills. Interested students can continue Hebrew into VCE and VET.

Yesh Israel Experience

Yesh (Yisrael Sheli - My Israel) is the School’s peak Israel program that transforms learning ‘about’ Israel to directly encountering it in an immersive experience. Involving four weeks exploring Israel’s history, society, political system and natural environment, including meaningful ‘mifgash’ (meetings) with Israeli teens, the program is transformative. Students deepen their sense of Jewish and Israel identification, while developing those personal, social and emotional skills that come with living in a group setting away from home.

B'nei Mitzvah
at King David

The King David School offers individualised Bar or Bat Mitzvah tuition during School hours for no additional cost to families. King David provides tutors for both Progressive and Orthodox / Conservative congregations. The program runs in the 12 months prior to the student’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah. The School keeps a centralised directory of Bar and Bat Mitzvah dates for parents to view in order to minimise clashes of dates among School families.

Engaging Jewish Education

Jewish Life and Learning involves actively engaging with Jewish festivals and traditions, immersing in history and heritage, exploring Jewish values and concepts, immersing in the great texts of our tradition, and learning about Israel, the land and state. Opportunities to participate in tefillah (prayer) are offered regularly, as are other key Jewish practices such as kabbalat shabbat, celebrating chagim (festivals) and participating in acts of tikkun olam (social justice). 

This rich educational journey takes place within Jewish Studies classes and through our vibrant Jewish Experiential Education program. These avenues offer students the opportunity to explore their identity and beliefs, to confirm or develop what they already know, and to feel comfortable in a space with other students who may feel differently. At the heart of this process is the building of a community that values Jewish heritage, promotes positive identity, and cherishes the views of each individual.

Yesh Israel Experience

Yesh (Yisrael Sheli – My Israel) is the School’s peak Israel program that transforms learning ‘about’ Israel to directly encountering it in an immersive experience.

Yesh made me think about: “My connection to Judaism”; “My Connection to Israel”; “My life and the paths I could take”. 

What I liked best was: “Experiencing such a complex country with so many friends”; “Getting closer with the year level”; “The food!”

These are just some of the students’ reactions after participating on Yesh, the School’s four-week Israel trip for Year 10 students. Over their time in Israel, students travel the length and breadth of the country. Highlights include encountering modern Tel Aviv, ascending Masada and walking back centuries with every step, hiking to a lookout from which sun can be seen rising over four countries (Israel, Egypt, Jordan & Saudi Arabia), hearing from people living on the border of Gaza, exploring the north of the country, including the mystical town of Safed.  The program culminates in experiencing Jerusalem – visiting the kotel, Yad Vashem, Har Herzl, Machane Yehuda and wandering its streets of Jerusalem. Within a short expanse of time, students experience much of the country’s natural and historical diversity.

The program invites students to experience the cultural and social mix that constitutes Israel in the 21st century by fostering encounters with Israelis from across the religious spectrum of Judaism, kibbutzniks, right-wing settlers, Bedouin, Palestinian and Druze minorities. Choices are offered through the ‘Tracks’ options, which include desert encounter, engaging in tikkun olam (social justice) or participating in a culinary tour. Rest and reflection are provided on the Shabbatot, when the pace slows and opportunities arise to discuss, reflect and soak up the special atmosphere.