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Religious School Schedule:
4th-7th Grade Hebrew: 4:30-6pm
TBC Religious School Curriculum, 2021-2022/5782
Here at Temple B’nai Chaim, we strive to teach our children what it means to be the best Jews they can be. We welcome them as active members of our K’hillah K’doshah, our sacred community, through Jewish education and experiences. These experiences will shape our children’s Jewish identity and help guide them to become well-rounded, confident Jewish adults. At Temple B’nai Chaim, we work together to support our children as they learn and grow.
The Jewish Studies curriculum provides our students with the basic foundations of Judaism. In our youngest grades, our children learn about Jewish holidays, rituals, Bible Stories, and mitzvot. Throughout the grade-school years, they dive more deeply into Jewish holiday experiences, study Torah, Jewish Life Cycle, concepts of God, the history of the Jewish people, and the Land of Israel. As they prepare to become Bar and Bat Mitzvah, they learn about the values embodied in Torah and other Jewish sacred texts, and come to understand how these values play a vital role in their own lives. With TBC Teens, we focus on strengthening our teenagers’ Jewish identity through engaging academic and social experiences.
Temple B’nai Chaim provides a Hebrew-rich environment for all students through t’filah (prayer), the use of Hebrew words for objects we see and use daily, Hebrew song, and a program called “Hebrew Through Movement,” which incorporates conversational Hebrew using the whole body to learn, practice, and understand vocabulary. Formal Hebrew learning begins in Grade 4 and continues through Grade 7. Informal Hebrew opportunities are available to any post-B’nai Mitzvah student who wishes. (Speak to Cantor Harriet for more information.)
Our formal Hebrew curriculum focuses primarily on the prayers found in the Shabbat evening and morning services, as well as holiday and festival blessings. The Grade 4 curriculum emphasizes decoding skills, vocabulary acquisition, and basic grammar, along with introductory prayers. This continues in Grade 5 with an expanded prayer curriculum and greater emphasis on reading and comprehension. With consistent effort, our students will be able to read Hebrew accurately, fluently, and with some comprehension. In their Sunday Jewish Studies program, our PK-3 students are exposed to the alef-bet and Jewish heritage words. When they begin attending midweek Hebrew classes in Grade 4, they learn to recognize block letters and to write in Hebrew. Students in Grades 6 and 7 are introduced to Trope (Torah and Haftarah cantillation), which will help them better prepare for becoming Bar and Bat Mitzvah as Torah chanters, a valuable lifelong Jewish skill.
For more information, please contact:
Cantor Harriet Dunkerley, Spiritual Leader/Director of Education
Elisheva Gluck, Assistant Director of Education/Youth Coordinator
B’nai Mitzvah Program
Our B’nai Mitzvah program provides students and families with an encouraging, supportive, and deeply meaningful experience. It offers:
- a private coach assigned for B’nai Mitzvah preparation
- support for a significant mitzvah project
- an opportunity for the majority of our Saturday morning Shabbat service to be led by the Bar / Bat Mitzvah student
We strive to ensure that the Bar/Bat Mitzvah is understood to be a milestone, not the end point, on the path of a child’s Jewish education.
Post-B’nai Mitzvah Programming at TBC
Our Madrichim Program is an amazing opportunity for High School students to make a difference in the lives of our younger students by volunteering in their classes on Sunday mornings from 9:30am-11:30am. Teens meaningfully participate as volunteers, assisting teachers in the classroom and serving as role models and leaders for younger students.
TBC Teens is the educational component to our dynamic and engaging Post-B’nai Mitzvah Program for students in grades 8-12! It is the perfect way for our teens to continue their commitment to Jewish life and Jewish education as they learn about topics that are relevant and important to them in today’s world. We are planning for two Sundays a month where we can have a balance between educational NFTY-style (Youth Group) programming with additional social events, fundraising events, and creative worship experiences thrown into the mix throughout the year.
- Participation in TBC Teens is encouraged for students in 8th – 12th grades.
- TBC Teens & TBC Youth will have various activities throughout the year such as social action projects, fundraising events, shul-ins, movie nights, hiking & havdalah, writing creative shabbat services, preparing and running a Purim Carnival, leadership training, URJ camps, NFTY events, etc.
- Annual L’taken Seminars (TBD for 2022)
- At the Bernard and Audre Rapoport L’Taken Social Justice Seminars, teens from across North America converge on Washington, DC for four days of advocacy and action.
- You’ll discuss how the Reform Movement applies Jewish perspectives to mobilize around issues like reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, climate change, Israel, health care, and more. You’ll spend time meeting new people, exploring Washington, DC, and traveling to Capitol Hill to meet with Congress to advocate for the things YOU care about. Join us and make your voice heard!
- Participants attend L’Taken as part of a congregational delegation or another Jewish communal group.
- For more information please visit https://rac.org/leadership-development/empowering-young-leaders/ltaken-social-justice-seminars
Holiday Celebrations and Family Education
The Religious School year includes many engaging, enjoyable and meaningful activities and celebrations, including:
- Special all-school holiday events, including Sukkot, Hanukkah, Tu B’Shevat, Purim, Passover, and Yom HaAtzmaut
- Virtual visits with members of the Young Israeli Emissary program
- Family programming that allows parents and kids to learn together