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Religious School - Overview

Temple Sholom's religious school is an innovative program with a seasoned and professional faculty, offering K-6 Sunday School, Grade 3-6 Hebrew School, B'Nei Mitzvah studies, 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.

The school consists of a Tuesday evening Hebrew School program for grades 3 through 6 that teaches reading, chanting, and contextualizing prayers in Hebrew and a Sunday Religious School program for all school aged children. The Religious School curriculum is divided into trimesters that focus on biblical teachings, Jewish history, and the applications of these teachings to our everyday lives. Families are required to attend Congregational Education Day, which happens once each trimester on a Sunday morning near the end of the trimester. The first trimester this year will focus on Holiness in Time. The first day of school is September 11th, and if you are signed up for Family Track, the first Havdalah service is September 10th.

 


SIGN UP: 

CLICK HERE or HERE for our Religious School enrollment form: Please Note you must be a member to enroll in Religious School


Sunday School

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-6th 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
Track up to two trimesters per year. 
Read more about Family
Track in the Parents' Handbook
 (page 8).

 

Gesher (7th Grade) 

Gesher (the Hebrew word for bridge) is our 7th grade religious school program. This year is a “bridge” for our 7th grade students, not just from our Sunday program to the larger community high school program that we are a part of, called HaMakom, but also a path to their next lifecycle event, namely Confirmation. Gesher will meet four to five time per trimester, and study one subject per trimester. Although we are not following the Religious School’s trimester themes, 7th graders are expected to join Congregational Ed. Day at the end of each trimester.
 
The topics that will be covered are the three pillars of Jewish life and will help students continue to expand their knowledge and lives as Reform Jews

HaMakom (8th-12th Grade)

We are very excited to be participating in HaMakom, the community Hebrew High School program, which takes place on Tuesday nights from 7:00PM-9:00 PM at Temple Emanu-el in Westfield (with holiday programs at other congregations, including our own).
 
Students from six local synagogues come together to learn, grow, and socialize. There are four mini-mesters and four all school programs. ​In e​ach mini-mester​,​ students choose a core class and an elective. (One core class, per grade is a required Temple Sholom class). For more information about HaMakom visit https://www.unionhamakom.org/

Confirmation

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

At the end of each Trimester, we come together as a full congregation – children and adults of all ages – to enjoy a variety of classes and activities on a single topic. Congregational Education Days include classes for adults alone, children alone, and/or families together, and are led by our Rabbi, Cantor, Religious School Director, teaching staff, and fellow congregants.

 

Wed, November 30 2022 6 Kislev 5783