Who was I.L. Peretz?

Our school was named after the great Yiddish writer I. L. Peretz. He was born in 1852 in Zamosc, Poland. Though raised in the orthodox tradition, he also absorbed worldly knowledge. He is one of the most influential figures of modern Jewish culture. Dedicated to Yiddish culture, he recognized that Jews needed to adapt to[…]

Can you still be part of Peretz if you don’t have children in the school?

Peretz has an active “non-school” community for teens, young adults and older adults.  Members attend the holiday celebrations and Sunday-morning Yiddish language and Adult Education Programs at the school, run a monthly Friday-night education series, and enjoy Book Discussion Groups.  There is an adult-only Chanukah party, and school and community families come together for Rosh[…]

What is expected of parents to help run the school?

The minimal expectation for parents is to provide refreshments for two Sunday-morning programs, to help clean up the classrooms on those days, and to serve on one holiday committee (generally setting up and cleaning up food).  Heading up a committee or serving as an officer for at least two years is encouraged, as we are[…]

What does it cost?

This year, due to the pandemic, we have abbreviated our calendar to focus on holiday celebrations and social action. School membership, which also includes community membership benefits, is $425 (early bird) and $525 after September 1st. A family membership for those with no children in the school is $175.  Community membership for a single individual[…]

Are there opportunities for Community Service and Social Action?

There is a strong emphasis on mitzvah activities for the children and families.  Sing-alongs at a senior center, cooking meals for families at Ronald McDonald House, volunteer work with our county Parks Department, decorating a spring banner with children at a family shelter, tzedakah collection for Unicef, food and coat drives, jeans drives for the[…]

Are there Educational Programs for Adults?

While the children are in class, parents and other community members can attend Sunday-morning discussions over bagels and fruit, juice and coffee, on Jewish-themed topics, current events, and social justice.  A Yiddish Class is also offered on Sunday mornings as well as periodic Israeli folk dance workshops.  Peretz also offers monthly Friday-evening cultural, educational and[…]

Do children have Bar and Bat Mitzvahs?

The student’s education culminates with a graduation ceremony requiring students to research and present a topic on a Jewish theme. Parents may choose to perform a Bar or Bat Mitzvah ceremony outside of the school.  In our community, Bar and Bat Mitzvah ceremonies are as unique and individual as the students themselves and reflect their[…]

Are there Shabbat and Holiday Services? Is there a Rabbi?

There are no Friday-night or Saturday-morning Shabbat services and no Rabbi.  Holiday ceremonies are led by our President and school Principal. The unique ceremonies are not prayer-based; they are in English and focus on connecting the traditional holiday with current social issues. They often include lively group discussions, singing songs in English, Hebrew, Yiddish, and Ladino,[…]

What is a Secular Jewish School?

As a secular school, our curriculum emphasizes historical and cultural approaches to the study of Judaism.  An examination of religious perspectives is included, but we do not prescribe religious interpretations or practices for our children and prayers are not taught.  The weekly program includes the study of our traditions, history, literature (including bible stories) with[…]