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At Westminster Synagogue, we think it is key that our young people’s Jewish learning continues past learning for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah. The GCSE programme offered at Westminster Synagogue gives post-B'nei Mitzvah students (and friends from outside the synagogue who may wish to join them) the opportunity to pursue a two-year GCSE course in Religious Studies featuring Judaism and to achieve a full GCSE in year 10 or beyond. Students will tackle such questions as:

“Why do Jewish people vary so much in the way we understand and keep to the laws of Judaism?” 
“What do Jews believe about God, the soul and the afterlife?”
“Why do some Jews dress very differently from others, wearing what seems like 18th century clothes,
whilst I wear my normal clothes every day?”.

These, and many more questions will be answered through the interactive GCSE programme run at Westminster Synagogue. Students are given two years to develop their analytical and writing skills, allowing time to integrate their learning from the units into their lives. These skills will help with most other GCSE modules run at school and so can only be a benefit for the students. Throughout the programme, there will be extensive exam practice to make sure students are as ready for the exams as possible, as well as opportunities to experience the Jewish festivals and life cycle events learnt about within the community. All this will strengthen students' Jewish knowledge and ability to write from personal experience.

We are running this 2 year course for 13/14 year olds at Westminster Synagogue (and at home via Zoom) in 2021/22 . The focus is now on interfaith understanding with units being taught in Judaism and Christianity in accordance with new government requirements for all schools to study two religions. It is a course that offers fascinating  topics and a well rounded programme of study under the direction of our expert teacher, Janet Berenson. 

Please Click Here to read a letter from Yael and Janet, our GCSE teacher, about this year’s programme.


Term dates for 5782 will be:
Chanukah Term: 22nd September - 8th December (Half term on 20th & 27th October)
Pesach Term: The dates are likely but will be confirmed nearer the time- 5th January - 23rd March (Half term on 9th & 16th February)
Shavuot Term: The dates are likely but will be confirmed nearer the time-20th April - 6th July (Half term on 25th May & 1st June)

For more information, please contact Yael by email:

  1. Pastoral Care and Safeguarding of Children at Westminster Synagogue
  2. Safeguarding Statement
  3. Westminster Synagogue Policies relating to our Education Programmes

Click here to return to opportunities for Teens at Westminster Synagogue.

Mon, 27 March 2023 5 Nisan 5783