Our Religious School program is designed for families with children in grades K-7. Our child-centered curriculum focuses on mastery of synagogue skills, Torah study, mitzvot, and Jewish values. However, Jewish learning is not for the child alone. Family Education plays an important role at Temple Beth Sholom. As a regular part of our program, students and their families come together to explore their Judaism through hands-on experiences which include tefillah (worship), shared study, Shabbatonim, tikkun olam projects, and celebrations.
Each grade has a particular focus in each of the curriculum areas. Our youngest students, in Kindergarten and First Grade attend classes only on Sundays, from 9 a.m. to noon. These students learn about the holidays, home rituals, the Synagogue, Israel, being a mensch, and the Hebrew alphabet. Depending on the reading level of the first grade class, first graders may begin to learn Hebrew reading in a parent/child program during the Spring semester. Synagogue membership is not required for participation in this program.
Much of later learning is built on the foundation laid in Kindergarten and First Grade. Older students continue to learn mitzvot associated with the holidays, explore Jewish values (middot & mitzvot), study Torah, and learn about Israel. Formal Hebrew instruction begins in Second Grade and continues through Seventh Grade. By the end of the second grade year, students are able to help lead the concluding portion of adult services. As the children become more skilled, they are able to undertake more responsibility so that by the age of Bar or Bat Mitzvah, a child is able to lead services for the congregation.
Students in grades 2-6 attend twice a week, on Sundays, and on Wednesday afternoons. Our 7th and 8th graders meet for dinner and special classes with the Rabbi and Principal on Thursday evenings. In addition to regular classes, students and families in grades 3-6 participate in Shabbat family education programs as scheduled throughout the school year. All of our students in Grades 3-8 look forward to their annual grade level Shabbaton. Beginning in second grade, synagogue membership is a requirement for school enrollment.