Religious School & Lifelong Learning

Registration for the 2024-2025 school year is open!

We are excited to welcome current and new families into our culture of אַהֲבָה-— ahava (love) and הַכָּרַת הַטּוֹב — hakarat ha’tov (gratitude) among students, teachers, parents, and community members. Through these Jewish values, we create an environment that promotes kindness, empathy and an appreciation for the many blessings in our lives.

We encourage you to learn more about our curriculum and register today.

A Message from Mike Witman, Director of Lifelong Learning

Culture

At Temple Emanu-El’s Religious School, we are dedicated to creating a culture of אַהֲבָה — ahava (love) and הַכָּרַת הַטּוֹב — hakarat ha’tov (gratitude) among students, teachers, parents and community members. Fostering a sense of love and gratitude within our community not only enhances our children’s educational experience, but also strengthens relational bonds, building trust and friendship. Through these Jewish values, we create an environment that promotes kindness, empathy and an appreciation for the many blessings in our lives. 

Our Model

Limmud (Curriculum)

Our curriculum offers students a comprehensive exploration of our Jewish heritage. Through the study of Jewish holidays and rituals, Hebrew language and liturgy, Jewish blessings and values, we  create a connection to customs, practices and beliefs that constitute a Jewish life. 

We  examine our people’s sacred writings, exploring Torah narratives and teachings, the Prophets’ call for justice, and stories reaching from ancient days to contemporary times. Delving into these texts helps our students connect to their people’s past by discovering resonance and parallels in their own lives. We utilize a variety of approaches, including role-play, to help our children understand the challenges faced by biblical ancestors and the importance of striving to make good choices. 

We delve into the rich history and adventures of the Jewish people, instilling a sense of identity, pride and inspiration through stories of courage, creativity, and leadership. At the same time, we lift up tikkun olam (repairing the world), emphasizing our role as partners with God in making a positive impact on the world both within and beyond our Jewish community.

Our curriculum highlights seminal events of the 20th century that shape contemporary Jewish identity and experience, including the Holocaust and the foundation of the state of Israel. We approach Israel as a homeland and a modern state, and teach about its diverse population, its promise and its challenges.

Tefilah (Prayer)

Tefilah is an integral part of the Religious School curriculum. Each Religious School session for grades 3 through 7 includes Tefilah. Students in kindergarten through second grade begin to learn the prayers through their music curriculum, and grades 3 through 7 participate in Tefilah almost every week.  Among our goals is for students to know Reform liturgy, feel comfortable praying in a variety of Jewish settings, and understand the meaning of traditional prayers. We also want them to connect with each other and with their own sense of spirituality through communal singing and worship. 

Once a month we gather together for a schoolwide Tefilah session, led by Temple Emanu-El’s clergy. They are filled with ruach (spirit) and focus on both keva (the fixed text) and kavanah (the intention we bring to the written prayers). Parents, family members and guests are always welcome to join us.

Ivrit (Hebrew)

We teach Hebrew through weekly, personalized, 30-minute, Zoom sessions at times that work well for each family. This approach ensures that every child receives the attention and guidance they need to excel. It also allows us to focus our time in Religious School on creating community, immersing in Jewish culture, and instilling Jewish values. We also integrate Hebrew vocabulary into classroom learning, practice it as a community in Tefila (prayer), and weave it throughout our school experience.

Tribes

Our added dose of community building and joy: Tribes! Students in 3rd through 5th grade are divided into three Tribes based on interests and characteristics shared with each Tribe’s biblical namesake: Sarah, Noah, Ruth, and more! Each of The Tribes curriculum is on a three-year rotation; each year is based on a quote from Pirkei Avot, a book of 2,000-year-old Jewish wisdom. Tribes includes Tribal Chiefs and Juniors (teen leaders) and Tribal Elders (Religious School teachers).  Empowering our teens as Tribal Leaders of tradition not only sets them as role models for their students and also serves as a deeper connection to their Jewish identity. The best part? Tribes are happening on both Sundays and Mondays!

Chugim (Electives)

Throughout the year we offer chugim (electives).  Chugim play a vital role in our new educational model, providing our children with valuable opportunities to exercise autonomy in their Jewish journey, as they select activities that align with their interests and preferred learning styles. This approach ensures that our students are actively engaged, and helps them integrate their Jewish identity within their full sense of self.

Havdalah (Distinction)

Havdalah is the brief and beautiful ceremony that helps us move from Shabbat into the beginning of the week. We will be using this ceremony at the beginning of each Religious School session to help students transition from the workday world into a sacred time and space of Jewish religion, history and culture. We welcome parents to participate in Havdalah with us, not only to take part in this centering, community ceremony, but also to grow comfortable with this ritual which families can incorporate into their home Jewish practice.

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General Information

Find out more about Temple Emanu-El’s Religious School Department of Lifelong Learning, including how to enroll and how to contact the Religious School office.

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Apply, Visit, & Other Forms

Apply to the Religious School, schedule a visit, learn more about our program, including tuition, and find the forms and information you need.

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Program & Curriculum

Check out our exciting, experiential curriculum for students in pre-K through high school and how to you can become a part of our Religious School community.

Parents as Partners

Our parents play a vital role in our School community, modeling the values we want to instill in our children and the lives we want them to lead. We know many parents in our community want to participate in the Jewish education of their children but also have busy schedules that can make it difficult to free up time during the workday. That’s why we are creating accessible moments that will enable parents to take part in their children’s Jewish learning. Join us for Havdalah and Tefilah while school is in session. We look forward to welcoming you to Shabbat dinners and community-wide holiday programming all year long.

Family Trip to Israel

Join us for a memorable adventure exploring Jewish history from Mount Sinai to Modern Israel. Families will walk through Jewish History from Mount Sinai to the modern state of Israel. Designed for families with children 7-14 years old, you will have the unique opportunity to celebrate Chanukah in the footsteps of our ancestors. The trip will culminate in a special B’nei Mitzvah celebration, creating lasting memories for all participants. Learn more and register.

תַלְמוּד תּוֹרָה כְּנֶגֶד כֻּלָּם

TALMUD TORAH K’NEGED KULAM – Mishnah Peah 1:1
(STUDY OF TORAH Leads TO them ALL)

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A window into our vibrant Religious School community.

Calendar

Check out these exciting events coming up!