New Classes Announced

We're so pleased to present our class schedule for MASKIT, the Youth Education Program at Astoria Center of Israel, for the 5778 (2017-2018) school year. See below for a full list, and join us at our open house on September 17, 2017. Learn more about our MASKIT.

Take a look at the poster of our classes here, or continue reading below. Programs marked with an asterisk require synagogue membership.

Tot-Shabbat  |  Age: 6 months - 4 years old. Parents are required to stay with their children  |  10:30 - 11:30, alternating Shabbat mornings

Whether you’re a Tot Shabbat veteran or you’re trying out this great program for the first time, hop on over to ACI for a fun, educational, and energetic Shabbat morning of songs through movement, stories, games, and the wonderful puppet, “Mitzvah Man.” Using arts and crafts, music, singing, storytelling, and movement, this program exposes children to Shabbat-themed songs and prayers. At the end of the program, the children and parents then join the congregation in the main sanctuary for the conclusion of Shabbat services.

Junior Congregation  |  Age: 5-8  |  Time: 10:15 - 11:30, alternating Shabbat mornings.

The service is designed to familiarize children with Shabbat morning prayers, themes, and songs. The goal is for children to eventually be able of participate in and lead an abbreviated Shabbat morning Service and be comfortable following along in a siddur. Parents bring their children to the chapel for the Junior Congregation service and proceed themselves to the adult service in the main sanctuary. At the end of the program, the children join their parents with the congregation in the main sanctuary for the conclusion of Shabbat services.

Kitah Aleph  |  Age: 5-7  |  Time: Tuesday afternoon from 3:30 - 5:30.

The class introduces children to the Hebrew alphabet with the goal of enabling them to read and write. Using songs, movement and arts and crafts, students learn about Jewish traditions, holiday and Shabbat rituals and prayers, the importance of Jewish practices and ethical behavior such as giving tzedakah and doing mitzvot. (Transportation options available. Please see our website for details).

Kitah Bet  |  Age: 8-9   |  Time: Tuesday afternoon from 3:30 - 5:30

This new program is designed to build on what children have learned in Kitah Aleph. This class will focus on reading, writing and conversing in Hebrew and will teach more advanced concepts in Jewish ethics, values and traditions.

Upper School*   |  Age: 10 - 13  |  Time: 10:00-11:30am, every Shabbat morning, while the main sanctuary service is taking place

This advanced class is an experiential path preparing students to engage in Jewish life, through study and practice of tradition, rituals, history, and text. Students works towards fluency in Hebrew reading and writing, become familiar with the structure and content of Tanach, and are exposed to the unique elements of Jewish heritage, including art, sports, food, geography, and philosophy.  At the end of each session, the children join their parents with the congregation in the main sanctuary for the conclusion of Shabbat services.

Hebrew Language Instruction*  |  Age: 10 - 14  |  Time: 9:15-10:00am, every Shabbat morning,

This supplemental Hebrew class is for students in the Upper Class, and builds upon their Hebrew reading, writing, and basic word skills to advance them towards mid level conversational Hebrew.

Torah Reading Instruction*   |   Age: 8 - 16    |   Time: Tuesdays 5:00- 5:30, alternating Shabbat mornings

This special 4-month class will teach trope (Torah cantillation) to MASKIT students ages 8-15.  Younger students who are already comfortable reading Hebrew will have a head start in preparing to begin bar/bat mitzvah tutoring, and older students will work towards joining ACI’s “Team Torah.”  

Bar/Bat Mitzvah Tutoring*   |   Age: 11 +    |   Time: Tuesdays

One-on-one Bar/Bat Mitzvah tutoring for students who have been in the Upper School for two years. Meet with Rabbi and Morah Ayelet to begin planning.  At Astoria Center of Israel, the Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony is celebrated at any age after 13.

Teen Group  |  Age: Post Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Students over Bar/Bat Mitzvah age are welcome to join the group in addition to their Upper Class instruction |  Time: TBD

This new youth group will focus on Jewish experiences both inside and outside the synagogue, with an emphasis on the greater Jewish community.

Post Bar/Bat Mitzvah Learning*   |   Age: ACI teens who have already celebrated their becoming b’nei mitzvah  |  Time: TBD

Students will read Torah four or five times throughout the year, and meet monthly for advanced Jewish study and discussion.

Signing Up: Fees structure and applications for all MASKIT programing, as well as for synagogue membership, will be available at the open house.

If you have any questions before then, please feel free to speak with Rabbi Pearl (, Aryeh Gershon (MASKIT Chair -, or Ayelet Pearl (Upper School Director -