Our religious school is divided into several sections:

  • Grades K-2 meet once a week, on Sunday mornings. Depending upon enrollment, classes sometimes follow a “family grouping” model with students from more than one public school grade together in one class (K-1 and 2 currently).
  • Grades 3-6 meet twice a week, on Sunday mornings and Wednesday afternoons. Third grade classes are “self-contained”, with one teacher for both Judaic Studies and Hebrew.
    • Students in grades 4-6 have two teachers/grade level–one for Hebrew and one for Judaic Studies. We also provide Resource Room assistance for students who need extra, individual attention, usually with Hebrew.
  • Bar/Bat Mitzvah Preparation Class (BMPC) is a requirement for students as part of their training in either sixth or seventh grade. During the BMPC cycle, a student is expected to attend religious school one extra day/week for ten weeks on Monday afternoons. Classes are kept small, and students study with three teachers each time they attend. Our Cantor, Education Director and / or confirmation teacher all teach during each BMPC cycle.
  • Grade 7 is a “bridge” between grades 3-6 and 8-10 (our Confirmation Program). While seventh graders attend school on Tuesday evenings, along with the Confirmation Program students, they have their own special Graduation ceremony at the end of the spring trimester. The curriculum includes a variety of CORE or “required” courses, but we give students a “taste” of what they might enjoy in the Confirmation Program by allowing them to choose an elective or two before the end of the year ( usually in the last trimester if there are enough students).
  • Grades 8-10 meet weekly on Tuesday evenings. Students participating in this Confirmation Program take three CORE courses and three electives each year. Students in all three grades may take many courses together. At the end of their third year of the Confirmation Program, tenth graders participate together in our inspiring Confirmation Shavuot Services, reaffirming their faith in Judaism
  • Grades 11-12 Students in who have completed our Confirmation Program may continue to take courses, at no charge, provided there is space in a particular class. They are also invited to participate in our Gesher L’Kesher Mentor Training Program, as described elsewhere in this outline.

Lifelong Learning-

The obligation to teach one's children is set forth in the first paragraph of the Sh'ma Yisrael and V’ahafta prayer: “Take to heart these instructions with which I charge you this day. Impress them upon your children. Recite them when you stay at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as sign on your hand and let them serve as a symbol on your forehead; inscribe them on the doorposts of your house and your gates.” (Deut 6:6-9)

But Albert Einstein did say it best when it comes to learning- lifelong learning Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.”

We at Temple B’nai Shalom agree. Education does not start in a walled classroom and does not end with a cap and gown sometime later. Education- both Jewish and secular is a lifetime journey. We offer numerous choices to take that journey with us. From Hebrew and Judaica lessons for students in grades kindergarten through 10th grade; a Gesher l’Kesher program for our confirmation graduates — grades 11 and 12, to both young and more senior adult B’nai Mitzvah classes, there are always opportunities to learn.

We have an Adult Education program for those who, like Socrates, think learning is a well spent exercise:

“There is nothing more notable in Socrates than that he found time, when he was an old man, to learn music and dancing, and thought it time well spent.” ? Michel de Montaigne

There is a way sometimes to describe how people feel about food. Food is so much a part of Jewish life, it belongs in any conversation. Some people live to eat, others eat to live. The same kind of analogy can be used for education as described by John Dewy:

“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”

We at Temple B’nai Shalom agree- so join us in this quest of knowledge.

Commit yourself to lifelong learning. The most valuable asset you’ll ever have is your mind and what you put into it.

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