Poway Hebrew School

Your Questions, Answered.


  1. We are not observant.  Will my child feel out of place at your Chabad school?

One of the common myths associated with Chabad, is that it is a place for religious Jews.  Although the synagogue is traditional, and our staff is observant,  almost NONE of our Hebrew School families are orthodox.   Orthodox children go to Jewish day schools and our students are all public school or non-Jewish private school students who are looking for supplementary Jewish education.  Many of our families belong to Conservative or Reform synagogues but choose to send their children to Chabad Hebrew School because of the excellent quality of education we offer.  Many of our families are unaffiliated.  The range of observance is varied, some families attend synagogue or do Shabbat at home, some observe the holidays, some parents read Hebrew, many do not.  When teaching about observance and Mitzvot, our teachers are careful to include all children.  Our curriculum teaches Judaism, without labels or divisions.


  1. I want my child to have a Bar/Bat Mitzvah but my family is not comfortable in an Orthodox synagogue.

At Chabad Hebrew School, your child will learn the necessary skills to celebrate Bar/Bat Mitzvah in the synagogue of your choice.  Our students consistently read more fluently than students at other Hebrew Schools, as our classes are smaller and our program more individualized.  Families who choose to hold Bar/Bat Mitzvah services at Chabad are welcome to do so as Chabad does not require any membership fees.  Our slogan is: “No need to join, you already belong here.”  Some families prefer to celebrate elsewhere and maintain membership at various local synagogues.  Please check with your synagogue regarding their Bar/Bat Mitzvah guidelines.


  1. My spouse is not Jewish.  How does Chabad deal with interfaith families?   

We welcome all children who would like to receive a Jewish education, no questions asked.  In fact, many students at Chabad Hebrew School are living in interfaith families.  Jewish law determines identity by the mother, and thus, children born to a Jewish mother are Jewish, regardless of the faith of the father.  Children with a non-Jewish mother cannot be Bar/Bat Mitzvahed at Chabad but are welcome in our classrooms.  Our curriculum is sensitive to interfaith families and no child is ever judged or made to feel different.  Non Jewish parents are encouraged to participate in all of our programming and in Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremonies. 


  1. How does Chabad Hebrew School train my child for Bar/Bat Mitzvah?

At Chabad, we believe that your child’s No matter where you choose to celebrate your child’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah, your child will be ready.  Our students read Hebrew fluently and we are proud that the cantors and Rabbis at other synagogues routinely praise our student’s level of Judaic knowledge and Hebrew fluency.   Our Bar/Bat Mizvah Discovery Club is a 6 month intensive study course that opens your child’s soul at this important time in his/her life with provocative discussions, book and movie selections, and the warmth and camaraderie of being with other Jewish adolescents.   Rabbi Mendy and Bluma are available to your family to discuss the best way for your family to celebrate this milestone, whether at Chabad, your home, or the synagogue of your choice.  


We believe that a good Hebrew School education does much more than prepare his/her for a Bar/Bat Mitzvah.  A quality Jewish education should prepare your child for life as a Jew and inspire further Jewish learning.


  1. I understand that boys and girls celebrate Bar/Bat Mitzvah differently at Chabad.  Are girls treated differently than boys in the classroom?  Is the curriculum gender specific?

Boys and girls study together in all classes at Poway Hebrew School and share an identical curriculum.  Bar and Bat Mitzvahs differ in many ways at Chabad because we believe that girls and boys have different spiritual and emotional needs.  We have a wonderful Bat Mitzvah ceremony that honors the maturity of our daughters and the unique contributions that women make to Judaism.  Families are encouraged to choose a Bat/Bat Mitzvah setting that meets the needs of their child and feels right for both parents.


            5.   What is Chabad all about?  Are they Orthodox or Chassidic? 

Chabad Lubavitch is a sect of Chassidim, best known for their Jewish outreach work.  With over 2000 centers across the globe, Chabad runs the largest Jewish network of preschools, Hebrew Schools, and camps worldwide.  In most Chabad centers, the Rabbi and his wife work as a team to provide Jewish educational services to their communities, with a warm, spiritual, and non-judgmental attitude.   Chabad Rabbis embody the teachings of Chabad’s spiritual mentor, the late Lubavticher Rebbe, who taught that every Jew has a soul that is precious to G‑d.  From Hong Kong to Alaska, in large Jewish communities and tiny ones in the Ukraine, you will find Chabad emissaries that devote their lives to Jewish education for adults and children.  For more information on Chabad, Click Here.

        6.  What is the Aleph Champ Reading Program?

The Aleph Champ reading program is Chabad’s Hebrew reading fluency program.  This system was designed by a Chabad Hebrew School teacher from California, who is a black belt in Karate.  She realized that the martial arts program was highly motivating for children and tried to re-create it with Hebrew reading.  Every child starts off on the Red Aleph level and works to advance through the color coded system.  Our students are self motivated to work through the program with the assistance of teachers, in groups, and at home.  Recognition and rewards are presented to children at the Aleph Champ ceremony, to which parents are invited.

  1. By the time the school day is over, my child may find it difficult to concentrate on Hebrew.  How do you address this learning issue in an after-school setting?

Chabad Hebrew Schools around the world (there are more than 800) have revolutionized the Hebrew School experience by using creative teaching methods and a progressive attitude towards different learning styles. Our teachers use very little frontal teaching and every class incorporates a hands-on, engaging style of learning. When our students learn about history, they create a Torah Fair with real life depictions of their studies.  We believe that learning has to be student directed and involve all five senses.  This is the secret to our success in the classroom.