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Explore Jewish life and Judaism at Congregation Etz Chayim. From adult classes to interactive family actives, learning happens every time we meet. Join us as we continue to find MEANING IN JEWISH LIFE.


Our learning programs provide creative ways for families to explore Judaism at each stage of their child(ren)’s development, enriching both at-home and in-synagogue Jewish experiences. Children may start with Shabbat Camp and Junior Congregation, Shabbat services and dinners, young family programs, weekly Shabbat services, then move on to Mitzvah Minds (Formerly referred to as Sunday Hebrew School). 

Shabbat Junior Congregation

Junior congregation and Shabbat camp meets from September to June at 10:00 am. Ages kindergarten to grade 2 have a program called Shabbat camp; older kids are part of the group “Junior Congregation” it is for grades 4 up to post B’nai Mitzvah.

Our Shabbat mornings are filled with activities. We engage children in the spirit of Shabbat through songs, prayers and discussion in the two different groups; each one tailored to their level. We have stories and lessons related to Jewish holidays relevant to the times. 

We offer twice a month, Shabbat mornings with special Improv Skills for grades 4-6 kids- led by Arielle Block. Improv is a great way to boost social skills, teamwork, and critical thinking; children learn to build confidence and empower them with new abilities. 

Children join the main services at the end to lead the concluding prayers. After Kiddush floor hockey and games are available for the kids to socialize with each other a little more.

You don’t need to register, just come as usual to services and let children enjoy some fun time with peers!

Mitzvah Minds

Mitzvah Minds is a unique learning opportunity for elementary school students of all ages. Cantor Tracy Kasner Greaves created it based on years of teaching children in preparation for B’nai Mitzvah (and classroom teaching).  She realized that children had so much more opportunity to learn if we could structure their learning as early as Kindergarten and start instilling in them basic synagogue skills at a much younger age, and more importantly the comfort and excitement about Jewish life.  She wanted to grab hold of that enormous early years learning capacity for exploring and absorbing new information, and exposing young humans to the treasure chest of Jewish life (as enrichment education beyond their Jewish Day school education, or as their main exposure to Judaism).

The class is structured with break-out sessions for students to explore concepts at their appropriate age and grade level. A team teaching approach ensures students benefit from individualized instruction within the classroom setting. Her team of teachers features some of our star Bnai Mitzvah students or leadership interns from Gray Academy of Jewish Education. Students in Grades 4 and above have the opportunity for specialized activities that will begin more in-depth learning in preparation for Bar or Bat Mitzvah (should this be an experience parents are considering for their child(ren) in the future).


Classes are run in two sessions every Sunday in the Kaufman Silverberg Library at the Asper Jewish Community Campus.


Tracy says, “It is high energy, extremely intense hard work and perhaps my most rewarding accomplishment in my entire career.  I feel sometimes as if I am implanting into their little souls a ‘inspirational hard drive chip’, filled with spiritual life that they can access at any time of their lives”.


Congregation Etz Chayim’s B’nai Mitzvah program offers the highest level of ritual training combined with the personal touch of Cantor Tracy and Rabbi Kliel who skillfully bring out each students’ individuality.

Classes focus on Torah reading, Haftarah reading, prayer services and Divrei Torah and the spiritual meaning of all of these different elements.


B’nai Mitzvah group classes are held Thursdays 4:30-5:15 pm in the Beit Midrash located at Gray Academy.  Families are also invited to get involved and meet with others once a month to learn together with Rabbi Kliel.


Individual classes are arranged by each family to suit their own schedules.


To enroll or to inquire about Etz Chayim’s B’nai Mitzvah program, contact us: 204-589-6305 or email

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