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Simcha Learning Center

The Rabbi Stephen and Karen Franklin

Simcha Learning Center at Riverdale Temple

Nurturing Jewish Hearts and Kind Souls

Welcome to our engaging, diverse Jewish community!

We welcome children in kindergarten through Bar/Bat Mitzvah for meaningful, uplifting Jewish learning and enrichment. We help every child at the Simcha Learning Center find joy in our traditions, strengthen their Jewish identities, and make lots of wonderful friends!

Riverdale Temple is a progressive, welcoming, multigenerational Reform congregation.

The Simcha Learning Center fosters our children’s connection to Judaism through

  • Warm, welcoming classrooms
  • Nurturing teachers
  • Participatory holiday events
  • Personalized Hebrew education
  • Creative music and art programs
  • Exciting family celebrations

We believe each person’s Jewish identity is unique.

We look forward to accompanying you and your family on your Jewish journey.

For more information, please email Judy Weinberg at

Email Judy Weinberg now


Our School Mission

Education is essential for connecting us to our Jewish heritage and strengthening our identities to secure our future.

The Simcha Learning Center at Riverdale Temple offers a creative and engaging experience where children and families can find enrichment through our innovative programs focusing on Jewish Holidays, Social Action, Torah, and Hebrew. Students will connect to the warmth and joy of Judaism through music, art, prayer, and Torah. Our hands-on curriculum provides new, fun ways to learn with challah baking, Jewish song festivals, family Sukkah building, singing at senior centers, and other activities to give back to our greater community. We recognize and appreciate the uniqueness and diversity of all of our learners and together, with our teachers and clergy, we will travel with you on your Jewish journey. We look forward to coming together as a community to make new friendships, sustain old ones, and explore all that Judaism has to offer educationally, spiritually, and socially.

Meet Our Education and Engagement Specialist, Judy Weinberg

I am thrilled to be at Riverdale Temple as the Education and Engagement Specialist. I have honed my skills in educational leadership by teaching Jewish texts, culture, and values in the classroom and in workshops for families and teachers. I have vast experience in developing and piloting new programs and curricula that have an emphasis on social justice and Jewish values. It is of paramount importance that these educational experiences be positive aspects of our families’ lives in order to nurture strong Jewish identities.

I was born in America and grew up in Israel as the daughter of a Conservative rabbi; I served in the Israeli Air Force and have made it a point to include service as an integral part of my career and life. My dual Master’s degrees in Jewish Education and Management for Non-Profit Organizations has laid a strong foundation for me to consistently develop and execute programs that focus on social action, family education, volunteerism, and community building. I am happy to bring my experiences to Riverdale Temple and look forward to getting to know each and every one of you.

Click Here To Meet Our Simcha Learning Center Educators

Our Promise

Students who complete our entire program will have an understanding and appreciation for:

  • Components of the prayer service
  • Basic concepts and values of Jewish holidays and rituals
  • Major events of Jewish history from the Torah to today, including a focus on Israel
  • Values that define modern Judaism and how they have evolved from biblical times
  • What it means to be a Reform Jew today and how to make responsible Jewish choices about observing mitzvot
  • How to read Hebrew text and how to translate basic words and phrases

We accomplish this by putting students in small, mixed-ages learning groups with thoughtful, engaging discussion; direct instruction; art, music, dance, and cooking experiences. Children will develop a sense of community, connection to and confidence in their Judaism.

If you have any questions about our school, its curriculum, our philosophy or concerns about your child and religious school, please do not hesitate to contact our Education and Engagement Specialist Judy Weinberg at the temple, (718) 548-3800, ext. 4, or email to

Email Judy Weinberg now


You can now use the newly-created Simcha Learning Center Registration Form to register your children. Please complete a registration form for each child you are registering. For tuition information and to register your child, please click the button below.


Tuition information

Please note that payment arrangements and accommodations may be discussed with a finance officer. We will not allow financial difficulties to deprive your child of a Jewish education!

Thu, May 30 2024 22 Iyyar 5784