Religious School & Lifelong Learning

Our vision is to cultivate a vibrant and inclusive culture of lifelong learning deeply rooted in the Jewish values of learning Torah, exploring spirituality and practicing lovingkindness. We celebrate diversity, nurture creativity and encourage curiosity, embracing every student’s unique perspectives and experiences. We delight in the joy of Judaism and foster a community suffused with love and gratitude, cultivating each family’s passion for Jewish life.

A Message from Mike Witman, Director of Lifelong Learning

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

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.

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.

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.

Chugim (Electives)

Once a month 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.

religious school

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.

religious school

Apply, Visit, & Other Forms

Apply to the Religious School, schedule a visit, register for Religious School with Honors the forms and information you need in one place.

religious school

Program & Curriculum

Check out our exciting, experiential curriculum for students in pre-K through high school and how to participate in Religious School with Honors!

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.

תַלְמוּד תּוֹרָה כְּנֶגֶד כֻּלָּם



A window into our vibrant Religious School community.


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