Temple Sholom's religious school is an innovative program with a seasoned and professional faculty, offering K-7 Sunday School, Grade 3-7 Hebrew School, B'Nei Mitzvah studies, and post-B'Nei Mitzvah and Confirmation studies. Our unique Family Track program offers an alternative schedule and course of study available to families who require additional flexibility.
Like every other Jewish congregation, we read the whole cycle of the Torah throughout the year. However, Temple Sholom's Religious School operates on a trimester program, which means that we deeply study certain topics on a four-year rotating schedule.
Each trimester theme is explored in our Sunday morning Religious School classes (9:30am - Noon), our Tuesday afternoon Hebrew School classes (4:00 - 6:00pm), and all Family track activities (plus our Adult Education classes, too!) with age appropriate activities, curriculum, and programming. In this way, everyone participating in our educational programs is studying and learning about the same topic at the same time. Our ultimate goal is to empower students to become leaders of
meaningful Jewish life and worship.
All K-7th grade students in our Jewish Education program attend Religious School on Sundays from September through May. The Tuesday Hebrew School program begins in the third grade. Combined, the program provides a solid foundation of Jewish history, culture and religious studies.
Our unique and award-winning curriculum is child-centered and values-based, and our teaching staff is trained in backwards design – a pedagogical strategy to insure all students absorb the curriculum's main ideas.
MORE DETAIL? Check out the parents' handbook
Hebrew School (Tuesdays)
Temple Sholom’s Hebrew School is self-paced, individualized, informal and carefully structured so that all students can succeed. Each session is split between traditional classroom and open classroom environments. During open classroom, students work at their own pace, moving from room to room to learn about each of the prayers – focusing on both the meaning and prayer fluency - under the guidance of the teachers and aides.
Teachers are able to accommodate different learning styles and needs, and can give students the option to learn alone or with small groups. Extra tutoring with aides or teachers is also available.
Family Track (Year-Round)
Because we know that our congregants sometimes have other commitments that conflict with Religious School (e.g., sports, vacations, etc.), we created a Family Track option to give families greater scheduling flexibility while allowing students to keep pace with the rest of their class on that trimester’s theme.
Instead of attending the weekly Sunday Religious School, Family Track participants engage in a variety of multi-generational learning experiences and congregational programs held at various sites and times.
Throughout the trimester, Family Track families must attend one Congregation Education Day, three Havdalah programs,three Shabbat
or holiday worship services, and participate in three hours of “at-home”
activities – either alone or with others in Family Track. Sign up for Family Track.
Religious School families are only eligible to participate in Family
Trackup to two trimesters per year. Read more about Family
Track in the Parents' Handbook (page 8).
J.U. (Jewish University)
J.U. is Temple Sholom's unique post-B'nei Mitzvah program designed to further our teens' Jewish education and provide them with enriching, fun experiences with their peers. The program balances quarterly educational courses with fun and engaging social activities. Each spring, the teens travel
to Rutgers University for a weekend retreat where they explore different
ways to live Jewish lives outside of their homes and our congregation.
The next phase in our students' Jewish journey is Confirmation, which has been a part of Temple Sholom for over 100 years. The Confirmation class leads our Shavuot service each year, where they mark their willingness to join the chain of Jewish tradition (shalshelet hakabbalah) and are confirmed. Part of the 10th grade curriculum is a Jewish heritage trip to Central Europe, chaperoned by other members of the congregation, where we celebrate Shabbat with our sister congregation in Budapest.
Congregational Education Day
Twice a year, we come together as a full congregation – children and adults of all ages – to enjoy a variety of classes on a single topic. Congregational Education Days include classes for adults alone, children alone, and families together, and are taught by our Rabbi, Cantor, Religious School Director and teaching staff, and fellow congregants.