Welcome to Religious School!
If you spent your Sunday mornings in religious school, I have a sneaking suspicion that you and I might have had a similar experience. I felt like I did the same thing time and time again; we made a tzedakah box, played dreidel, and read the same picture books year after year. My teachers were wonderful people, with a commitment to their students and Jewish Education, who were not offered or introduced to all of the resources at their disposal.
We want our students to have a different experience so we’re excitedly making a change.
This year, we have adopted a new Judaic Studies curriculum from the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life (ISJL) which promises to give all of our students, faculty, and staff access to a network of innovators in Jewish Education. Our new lesson plans set our teachers up for success in a way like never before and through a spiraled curriculum, our students will have a roadmap on which to grow their Jewish literacy. Students will rotate through 10 key-content areas, including Community, Jewish Holidays, Mitzvot and Jewish Values, and TaNaKh (Torah, Prophets, and Writings/The Hebrew Bible). As they matriculate, students will revisit the content with increased sophistication.
Our students will still have their staple moments: they’ll make challah covers, learn holiday songs, and yes, make a tzedakah box. But as they get older, they’ll also watch films by Jewish directors, use Instagram and comics to retell stories from the Torah, and engage in project-based learning to be leaders in their communities.
While the curriculum of our school is changing, the things that make Temple Beth-El’s Religious School so unique, including our specials like cooking and music, will remain part of the schedule. We are also happy to continue to offer an annual family education opportunity for each grade level. Cindy Berman is back by popular demand and will continue to provide a space for families to learn together and build relationships with one another.
On behalf of the faculty and staff at Temple Beth-El, welcome. We are thrilled your family has joined us as partners in your child’s Jewish Education. Together we will work as a team to ensure that all of the students in our school foster lasting and meaningful relationships with one another, their teachers, and our rich religious traditions. Thank you for embracing change with us.
Director of Congregational Learning