Philosophy and Expectations

Basic philosophy of Temple Beth El’s Religious School Program:
  • The Religious School experience is designed to develop well-rounded and knowledgeable Jews who can participate meaningfully in the Jewish community.
  • The primary goal of this program is building Jewish identity, which includes Jewish traditions, values, and practices; basic Hebrew skills; and a connection to Israel.
  • Hebrew is critical for a strong and sustainable Jewish identity.
  • Jewish education and identity are a lifelong process, and continue beyond B’nei Mitzvah. Therefore, we provide programs through 12th grade, including Confirmation and the opportunity for post-Confirmation students to serve as madrichim (teaching assistants) in the Religious School classroom.
  • A significant goal of our programs is to build community among students, and for students to acquire a positive image of both Judaism and the synagogue.
  • All programs include both formal (curriculum-based) and informal (activity-based) learning environments.
  • The synagogue’s role in building Jewish identity is complementary to the parents’ role. Programs are designed to empower family discussion, practice, and participation.
What Parents Can Expect from Temple Beth El’s Religious School:
  • A commitment to provide students with an engaging Jewish education that includes both Judaica and Hebrew.
  • A physically, emotionally, and spiritually safe environment for the children.
  • We embrace children who have a non-Jewish parent or extended family members.
  • Class sizes of no more than 15 students.
  • Faculty that is also committed to their own Jewish identity development.
  • Frequent communication with parents, as well as responsiveness to parent feedback.
  • A sincere attempt to meet any reasonable request or special need.
  • Written feedback at least twice per year specific to each student.
  • Resources for parents to help their children.
  • Opportunities for parents to develop their own Jewish identity and knowledge.
  • Respect for other religious traditions of our world.
What Temple Beth El’s Religious School Expects from Parents:
  • Commitment to regular participation in Religious School. Students must attend classes at least 75% of the time in order to have a B’nei Mitzvah and Confirmation.
  • Reinforcement of Jewish learning and practice at home – ultimately, religious identity comes from parents. Parents are also asked to ensure that their children review Hebrew outside of class time (we recommend another 45 minutes-1 hour per week)
  • Agreement to raise your child Jewish. While many of our families are interfaith, and are most welcome, TBE follows the Reform movement’s resolution to educate children raised in homes where no other religious identity is taught.