Our Philosophy

Kivun means direction. It shares the root of the word Kavanah, which means intent and mindfulness. Our aim is to help children live consciously, incorporating Jewish values and Jewish literacy into their daily lives. Our great city is as an extension of our classrooms, with museums, parks and local establishments serving as alternate places to discover Judaism. Using an experiential and text-based approach, we focus on the importance of Jewish knowledge, community and joy as the foundation that will guide and inspire our students throughout their lives.

Our approach is built on three pillars:

Joy and Respect: We start with the ideals of Chabad as taught by the Rebbe: the drive to share the beauty and joy of Torah and Mitzvot with love, respect and acceptance of every family and every student. We meet our families where they are and are sensitive to the various levels of observance and beliefs in each family.

Alignment with HHLA: We serve the students who attend the Harlem Hebrew Language Academy. We follow the language methodology of the ACTFL in teaching Hebrew, the foundation used for language acquisition and literacy. We seek connections to what they are learning in school about Israel, in social studies and in Literary arts. We also use the Workshop model which is a method of fostering independence in learning that is used in their classrooms at HHLA.

Learning as a Family: We also build our learning on our interactions with our parents through a design thinking approach, through our conversations with them and through surveys. Their values and educational goals are the foundation on which this learning is built. Family events and holiday celebrations throughout the year bring us together to learn, share, play and celebrate as a community.

Core Values that drive the educational experience:

  • Torah as Hora’ah: Torah as a guide for life;
  • Becoming Partners in Creation: creating, caring for and protecting G‑d’s world;
  • Artzeinu Hakedosha: Eretz Yisrael is holy and ours;
  • Ahavat V’Achdut Yisrael: Sense of belonging to the people of Israel, and love of your fellow Jew;
  • Tzelem Elokim: Respecting the value of every individual

Alongside the core values,we want our students to develop a core Jewish literacy that will inform and enrich their relationship with the Jewish people, with Judaism and with the broader world. We want our students to leave with the following knowledge, skills and values:

Our Learners will:

  • learn to utilize prayer as a powerful tool to connect to G‑d

  • appreciate the rhythm of the Jewish cycle of time: the holidays, Shabbat, Parshat hashavua, life cycle events

  • explore Jewish history, culture and geography, connecting it to their personal and family experiences

  • navigate and be comfortable in engaging in Jewish ritual and practice

  • acquire a working knowledge of Tanach, knowing its people, times and eternal messages

  • understand and appreciate the Jewish perspective on ethics and morality