Due to COVID-19 and the resulting CDC and Massachusetts State guidelines, JCC Greater Boston will not be running the Discovery After School Club program for the 2020-2021 school year.  Please check our website for a full array of virtual Children’s Enrichment Classes this summer and fall.  If you have further questions, please contact childrensclasses@jccgb.org.

Program Details

  • Expert-led workshops including Art, Chess, Cooking, Dance, Drama, Farming, Hebrew, Music, Nature Exploration, STEM, Sports, Swimming and Yoga
  • Integrated Jewish content
  • Community Projects
  • Indoor pool and basketball courts
  • Renovated indoor and outdoor play spaces

Days and Options

  • Open Mondays-Thursdays until 6pm
  • Safe, reliable transportation from Brookline, Needham and Newton schools
  • Great for children in grades K-4
  • Early release options
  • Healthy snacks
  • Stay connected with preschool and camp friends

How does it work?

Throughout the year, kids rotate in small, age-appropriate groups through a variety of 8-12 week workshops taught by experts who love what they do and help kids make Jewish connections.

Children will be greeted at the JCC in Newton and escorted to supervised free play, lunch and snack in our beautiful outdoor pavilion on nice days, and in our brand new indoor spaces during the colder months.

We will gather together for group activities centered on the core values of Discovery Club including community service projects, holiday celebrations, crafts, music and more!

You and your child will have the opportunity to select the workshops you are interested in participating in throughout the year in any of our four focus areas – Nature, Technology, Culture and Movement.

Sample Daily Schedule

12:30-1:45pmMid-day arrivals, lunch, indoor/outdoor free play
1:45-2pmGroup activities
2-3pmWorkshops (i.e. Sports, Art, Science)
3-3:45pmAfternoon arrivals, snack, indoor/outdoor free play
3:45-4pmGroup activities, departures
4-5pmWorkshops (i.e. Swim, Drama, Robotics)
5-5:15pmGroup activities
5:15-6pmFree play, departures

Focus Areas & Core Values

Our experiential learning model is rooted in four Focus Areas:

Nature (Teva)

Culture (Tarbut)

Technology (Technologia)

Movement (T'nua)

Our hands-on workshops are led by expert instructors who inspire young minds through Discovery Club’s Core Values: 

Wellness (Sh'mirat HaGuf)

Lovingkindness (Chesed)

Community (Kehillah)

Justice (Tzedek)

Kavanah (Direction of the Heart)

Meet Some of Our Expert Instructors

Shirah Hill-Cohen
Program Coordinator & Group Leader

Shirah is a graduate of Skidmore College where she studied Health and Exercise Science. She is a fluent Hebrew speaker and has taught English as a teaching fellow in Israel. She also served as a counselor and Sports Director at a Jewish summer camp in Pennsylvania for many summers.

Devon Barker
Instructor, Science & Technology

Devon Barker was born and raised in Boulder, Colorado where he filled his time with a mix of backpacking and robotics. With a degree in education, he taught technology and math before moving to Massachusetts to work for Temple Beth Elohim as a Youth Engagement Specialist. He looks forward to exploring the world through a scientific lens with Discovery Club!

Julie Middleton
Instructor, Artful Journeys

As an undergraduate Julie studied both Art History and English Literature at Ithaca College.  After receiving her degree, Julie furthered her education at Tufts University, earning a Certificate of Museum Studies with a concentration in Museum Education.  Julie went on to work in the Education Departments of both the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston where she created and implemented programs and public tours that helped visitors of all ages look at, think about, and discuss art. Julie is the mother of two children and is always working to find fun, new, and creative ways to introduce art and art history into their lives and believes it is never too early to start learning to look at and discuss art. She uses her enthusiasm and experiences to run Artful Playdates, an art appreciation program for kids ages 4 and up.

Emily Hall
Instructor, Music with Emily: Once Upon A Song

Emily loves all things musical, especially her two-year-old son, Sawyer, six-year-old son, Thomas, and the children she teaches and entertains through her interactive concerts, DVD’s, CD’s, internet videos and classes at her family-owned business. Emily began her career at age 4 performing in her family band, The Hall Family or The Hallabaloos. Later, she performed leading roles at regional theaters across the country, culminating in appearances at City Center, NYC and on Broadway. Having studied voice at Boston Conservatory of Music here in Boston, she has come full circle and is thrilled to be back in MA - teaching her own mother's early childhood music program that has been around for 45 years! She can't wait to add her own musical twists to her mom's music program with you and your children.

Reva Haselkorn
Director of Education, Newton Community Farm

Reva was born and raised in Newton Centre, around the corner from the library. She is thrilled to be back in her hometown playing in the dirt, growing and eating delicious food, and teaching and learning with kids of all ages at the farm.

Sharon Ellen Burtman
Instructor, Chess Challengers

Sharon Ellen Burtman is the 1995 United States Women’s Chess Champion. She also competed in two Women’s World Chess Championships. Sharon has over 30 years of teaching experience, and she was the keynote speaker at the Massachusetts Chess Association Education Expo in 2014 and 2015.

Nature Exploration

Just beyond our doors - in city and suburbs alike - there is a wondrous world of natural activity. Whether in a local forest, pond, or even the park at the end of the block, the cycle of life and the daily happenings of nature can delight a young child's unbridled curiosity all year round. PUDDLESTOMPERS' mission is to connect the youngest naturalists to the open spaces in their communities. By providing children and families with seeds of interest and tools of exploration, PUDDLESTOMPERS seeks to help build the foundation for lifelong enjoyment, love of the outdoors, and lasting stewardship of nature. A percentage of PUDDLESTOMPERS' revenues are given to the host towns to support local environmental education and/or conservation efforts. 

Four kids taking swim lessons
Swim Lessons & Swim Club
JCC Greater Boston

Swim Lessons: Anyone can be a happy, safe and confident swimmer. This is the philosophy of the Lenny Krayzelburg Swim Academy (LKSA) at the JCC.  Students are taught the SwimRight® method, which focuses on correct body positioning and proper alignment from the early stages of lessons. Progress is captured in colorful personal swimming journals that help to encourage lots of positive reinforcement. 

Karishim Swim Club: This competitive club is devoted to developing strong values, building self-esteem and enabling swimmers age 6-18 to meet their full potential. Karishim Swim Club is a supportive community of athletes and a great way to make new friends and be part of a team.

Get Ready for 2020-2021 School Year!