Jewish Learning Experiences (JLE)

JEWISH LEARNING EXPERIENCES (JLE) at Tikkun v’Or (formerly called “Religious School,” now called “jelly”) provides creative, interactive, and progressive Reform Jewish education for children in kindergarten through 7th grade. Our curriculum includes history, holidays, ethics, Torah, Israel, and Hebrew. Classes meet on Sunday mornings. Sixth and seventh grade students also meet on Wednesdays for additional Hebrew studies and preparation for becoming b’nai mitzvah.

We welcome all Jewish students, regardless of the childs’ and parent(s)’ religious backgrounds, ethnic identities, race, family configuration, gender identity and expression, or sexual orientation. We have many interfaith  LGBTQ+ families and children, people who are newly discovering Jewish connections, as well as those with a wide range of Jewish experiences.

We are pleased to work with many different kinds of learners, including students with special challenges. We will do our best to accommodate and nurture all students “al pi darko” (“according to their ways”).

Naomi Wilensky is the Education Director. Our teachers are community members and college students from nearby Ithaca College and Cornell University. Middle and high school students help out as madrichim. Parent volunteers are always welcome, especially to help with our chugim (electives) — a chance for students to choose activities such as Jewish music, cooking, art, dance, and more. We use the Hineini: The New Hebrew for Prayer series as a resource text for Hebrew.

Our schedule:
Kitah Bet (grade 2) through Kitah Zayin (grade 7) meets from 9 am – 12 pm.
On most weeks we gather as a community for tefillah (prayer) and ruach (spirited singing!). We often have special guests join us for ha-asharah (enrichment).
Kitah Vav and Zayin (6th and 7th grade) also meet on Wednesday afternoons.
Read the JLE Handbook.
More information and the full JLE schedule can be viewed here.

In 2021-2022, Kitah Gan and Alef (kindergarten and grade 1) will be a FAMILY JLE program, meeting from 10-11:30 am one Saturday a month. This change will allow us to open enrollment for the class to all who want to participate, while still keeping in mind everyone’s safety, COVID restrictions and spacing in the building,

Family JLE is for students in kindergarten and first grade, with at least one parent or caregiver staying for the program. 
Rabbi Tziona Szajman will lead activities for holidays, Shabbat, and Torah learning. It will include music, movement, stories, and crafts, and learning opportunities for children and adults.
Online registration for JLE (grades 2-7 ) and for Family JLE  (grades K and 1) for 2021-2022 is now closed. Please contact for information.
Family JaM (Joy and Meaning) will have our first program on  Sunday, September 26, 1-2:30 pm  Young children and their families are invited to join in decorating some gourds and shaking the lulav and etrog. We’ll be outside and masked. Bring a picnic blanket if you like. Please RSVP so that we can prepare enough supplies.

Tuition assistance is provided by Ithaca Area United Jewish Community. Requests for assistance should be sent attn: Presidents.

Summer Camp: Has your child been talking about overnight camp?  Have you looked at Jewish overnight camps? Ask about IAUJC Summer Camp and Teen Experience Camperships or download an application here. More information about Jewish camps is available at,

In 2020-2021 we are held all our classes virtually. Here is some Hebrew prayer art our vav/zayin students created:


A few highlights from 2018-2020:

Honey Child Soul Quintet at TvO

Today at TVO Religious School: We were happy to welcome Ms Elisa Keeler and Ms Harmony Malone of Honey Child Soul Quintet to lead us in learning about Music for Unity and Social Change. We heard and visualized peace to the sounds of a Native American flute, sang Para Los Ninos, and learned a chant (Stop, Think, Choose Peace) and a Ghanian dance. What Hebrew songs do we know that also talk about peace? Other highlights in our classes: Gan/Alef (1st/2nd grade) learned about the letter MEM, and the mezuzzah and the Shema prayer which is inside the mezuzzah. Bet/gimel (2nd/3rd grade) practiced Hebrew reading with and numbers with jumping jacks, a Jenga game, and Kitah daled/hey (4th/5th grade) explored the development of Hebrew letters by making the shapes with their bodies.Vav/zayin (6th/7th grade) made fatush (a yummy salad with fruit and feta and zaatar) in honor of Tu B’shvat.

Posted by Congregation Tikkun v'Or (Ithaca Reform Temple) on Sunday, January 27, 2019