Our Religious School Program
Note about 2020-21 Religious School and Public Health
As of August 13, we have made the decision to begin the year remotely for the health of all in our community. While we acknowledge that remote learning is not ideal, we have crafted this program to meet the unique needs of families this year. Some curricular priorities have shifted and some formats have changed, but our intention to provide families with inspiring Jewish learning and a strong sense of community remains.
We believe that with creativity, it is possible to give our youth, teens, and families a deeply meaningful Jewish learning experience while observing health and safety guidelines.
Above you will find an outline of our remote learning plan and the calendar for the year. This plan includes several options, some virtual, some that families can do on their own screen-free. Our hope is that each family can find something that resonates with them throughout each month.
We will continually monitor Covid data and information from public health officials. When it is safe to gather in person, we will start to phase in in-person gatherings. This will likely mean starting with outdoor gatherings with robust safety precautions in place. TE policies will meet or exceed guidelines from the CDC and local health officials.
We strive to make Judaism come alive for every family in ways that are meaningful to them. Our children have the opportunity to explore, create and discover their strong Jewish identity in a comfortable setting. Our philosophy is one of Enthusiastic Judaism. Not only do we want our families to be active participants in learning, we want them to find and share joy and pride in their Jewishness. We strive to teach our children to be mensches, to love Judaism, and to understand their history, theology, language, and culture. Our congregation has a rich history in Reform Judaism and we recognize the great honor and responsibility for teaching our children the values, knowledge and practices we embrace. In the spirit of family, we welcome everyone home on Sunday mornings for Religious School.
Our methodology of teaching is as varied as the topics. Our creative teachers find innovative ways to teach such as art, music, science, re-enactment, construction, sports, photography and interviews. We are intentionally experiential in our teaching and often use the concepts of Project-Based Learning to achieve our educational goals. We bring speakers in when appropriate and we take students on field trips. Our school is bustling with excitement and enthusiasm each week.
The curriculum we offer at Temple Emanuel is innovative and inspiring. We challenge our students spiritually, intellectually and ethically. As a smaller school, we have the flexibility to teach to the needs of each particular class. While we have specific curriculum goals for each year, our director and teachers are continually upgrading curriculum base on student interest. Each topic we cover is taught with the values of Torah (Jewish learning), Avodah (worship) and/or G'milut Chasadim (acts of loving kindness).
Our Religious School meets most Sundays throughout the school year. We begin welcoming families at 9am for a full breakfast. This gives families the chance to socialize with one another and gather as a community. Once a month at 9:30, we invite everyone into the sanctuary for a brief family worship service with Rabbi Hersh and a songleader. At 10:00am, students head to grade-level classes where they learn about and celebrate their Judaism. On non-family service weeks, students go to class at 9:30 and come together as a school for Kehillah (Community), an interactive program for about 20 minutes in the middle of the day. While students are in class, most parents choose to stay at temple and attend Adult Education, work on school related projects or socialize with other parents. Religious School ends at 11:30am. Hebrew and Confirmation Class are held from 11:30 – 12:30pm.