TEMPLE EMANU-EL
 
RELIGIOUS SCHOOL
 
HANDBOOK

 RS Pix

2016-2017
 
5777

School Hours
 
Kindergarten - Grade 7: Sundays, 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Grades 3-7: Wednesdays, 4:00-5:30 p.m.
 
 
Temple Emanu-El Religious School
 
Mission Statement
 
The Temple Emanu-El Religious School strives
to enable students and their families to:
 
v  Cultivate a strong Jewish identity that expresses love for and understanding of our heritage.
v  Apply the principals of Judaism to personal and community conduct and family life.
 
 
Religious School Goals
 
 
v  To transmit fundamental skills, values and ethics consistent with the principles and practices of Judaism.
v  To provide opportunities for our children to develop meaningful ritual and spiritual practices. `
v  To develop knowledge of Jewish history and an understanding of its relevance to today’s world.
v  To cultivate an understanding Torah and Jewish traditions, and infuse these teachings into the daily lives of our children and families.
v  To instill the importance of tzedukah and other acts of tikkun olam (healing the world).
v  To establish community partnerships through active involvement in service projects.
v  To encourage the integration of Jewish observance into student’s lives as a whole.

 

 

                          TE Picture Front

    Temple Emanu-El

  Cassi Kail, Rabbi          Henry Bamberger, Rabbi Emeritus          Joe Silberlicht, President

Dear Parents:

You are reading this because you value your Jewish heritage, and want to pass it on to your children. Temple Emanu-El’s Religious School is a place where your children can learn about Judaism—its language, history, beliefs, practices, holidays, and values. More than that, it is a place of Jewish community, a place where they can build friendships and develop a sense of self-esteem and pride in who they are. Our Religious School’s coordinator, Russell Marcus, and our phenomenal teachers are hard at work to create an exciting and nurturing environment in which every child can learn and grow, happily.

In partnership, we can create the best program possible for your children. I hope you will take an active role in encouraging your children’s Jewish learning. You can do this by attending Shabbat and holiday services with them, volunteering to help with special Religious School events, becoming active in our Religious School Committee, and simply taking an interest in your child’s learning. Please see page 4 for worship service requirements, page 5 for information about our expectations for parental involvement, and pages 7-11 for information about our updated curriculum for the 2016-2017 school year. Together we can create a vibrant and exciting home for Jewish learning and living.

The Religious School experience is a team effort.  Please contact Russell Marcus or myself with any questions or suggestions regarding school operating policies, or for consultation regarding family situations, specific learning needs, or other concerns.

Together, let’s make 5777 a phenomenal year!

L’shalom,


ATTENDANCE

A community does not function effectively without all of its members present. It is important that each child participate fully throughout the year, as many long-term themes and projects are part of our curriculum. Classes start promptly, and students are expected to arrive on time for each class.

Students are expected to attend all of their classes.  We monitor every child’s attendance.  If a child is absent repeatedly, Russell or Rabbi Cassi will contact you to discuss your child’s situation. In the event that family or health circumstances render it impossible for you to comply with our attendance policies, please contact Russell.

 

TIKKUN OLAM (HEALING THE WORLD)

Jewish ethics stress the importance of giving to those in need. We do this through volunteering to work for noble causes. We also partake in tikkun olam through the positive experience of giving tzedakah (usually translated as “charity,” though more correctly defined as “righteous giving”).  Each Sunday Karen Ami (“Fund of My People”) is collected. Our Karen Ami program has been a successful tradition at Temple Emanu-El; please ensure your child’s weekly participation; even a little change each week adds up over the year. The money that is collected will be donated to organizations chosen by the students. This provides the children with the understanding of how their tzedakah benefits people who are in need, playing an important part in healing the world.

 

SERVICE ATTENDANCE

An important component of fostering a child’s Jewish identity is the worship service. By attending, students develop a comfort with the service and can apply their classroom learning.  Even more importantly, they begin to see themselves as part of a larger Jewish community. Consistent attendance will have a huge impact on your child’s Jewish identity, and will relieve a great deal of unnecessary stress as your child approaches a Bar/Bat Mitzvah.

Students should attend a number of services throughout the year, more as they grow. Family, class, and regular Shabbat services all count toward their requirements. Holiday services count for up to three of the required services. In addition, up to three Jewish services attended in outside congregation count. Each service will earn the child a sticker to place on a service chart posted in the Religious School office. Please help us to keep track of your children’s attendance by checking the chart during the year. At the end of the year students who meet or exceed their service requirements will receive an award honoring them (and you) for this commitment.

Service requirements are as follows:

Kindergarten: 4 services

1st grade: 5 services
2nd grade: 6 services
3rd grade: 7 services
4th grade: 8 services
5th grade: 9 services
6th grade: 10 services
7th grade: 13 services

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BAR/BAT MITZVAH

The Bar/Bat Mitzvah is an important milestone in your child’s Jewish life. There is a separate handbook for students when they reach this stage of their education, and a B’nai Mitzvah family class.  Candidates for Bar/Bat Mitzvah must satisfactorily complete four years of Religious School, complete 13 hours of community service, do a family project of your choosing, and meet the 7th grade service requirement.

 

AFTER THE BAR/BAT MITZVAH

Jewish education does not end with the Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Quite the contrary, this milestone affords students with the opportunity to explore their Jewish identities by focusing on the topics of greatest interest to them in Hebrew High classes. Students are expected to continue their Jewish education throughout their High School years, and beyond, with exciting once a month conversations with Rabbi Cassi.

          Children (adults!) who have completed their Bar/Bat Mitzvah are also encouraged to volunteer at the Religious School.  Contact Russell or Rabbi Cassi to volunteer.

 

HOMEWORK

It is difficult to learn any language, especially a language with a different alphabet, when we are studying one to two days a week. For this reason, homework may be assigned. Your children’s progress will be more successful if they review what they have learned, even for 5 or 10 minutes each day. If students fall behind in the Hebrew program, their teachers may ask them to complete work at home in order to keep up with the class.

PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT

We strive to create enriching special programs for Religious School students. With the assistance of Temple Sisterhood, holiday celebrations are an educational and enjoyable part of the curriculum:   eating apples and honey on Rosh Hashanah; a Chanukah party; the Purim carnival; a model seder to celebrate Pesach (Passover); and more.  In addition, each class leads us in a family service one Shabbat per year.

In order to ensure the success of each of these experiences, Temple Emanu-El’s Religious School needs your help. We expect families of students in the Religious School to sign up to help with at least two of these events this year. They require just a few hours of time, but by being present, you will help us to ensure students’ safety and well-being while enhancing dynamic Jewish learning and exploration. Please indicate on the enclosed registration form the events in which you will take part. Please also consider joining the Youth Committee, which meets about one Sunday during Religious School. 

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 PICK-UP

If your child must leave school early, a written request must be presented to the classroom teacher by a parent at the beginning of school.  This will enable our teachers to prepare home assignments.  A responsible party must pick up the child inside the building.  Please indicate in the parental note if someone other than the parent or guardian will pick up the student. Once inside the building, please go to the office and the Religious School secretary will dismiss your child to you.

 

SAFETY

To insure the safety of your children, the doors to Temple will be locked at all times.  When you come to the Religious School, an adult will either buzz you in or open the door for you.  Please be patient with this process.

          Occasionally, we will alert you about special drop off or pick up procedures required due to conflicts with other events at Temple.

 

BEHAVIORAL EXPECTATIONS

A safe, respectful environment is essential for learning. Our Religious School creates such an environment based on the Jewish value of derech eretz --- courtesy and kindness to our fellow human beings --- and the principle of kavod --- basic respect that is owed to teachers, students, and staff.  Students and staff are all expected to uphold these core values.

On the first day of school, students and their teachers will discuss more specific expectations for their classes. Together, they will develop a b’rit, a contract or covenant, with guidelines for learning and behavioral expectations for the year.

 

SPECIAL SITUATIONS

We recognize that there are children with special physical, family, emotional, or learning challenges. The Religious School makes every effort to accommodate their special needs. However, accommodation can only occur if the parents inform us of these special situations. Parents should speak to the Religious School chair or rabbi.  Information will be shared only with the child’s teacher if necessary.  Concerns should be mentioned when the child enters school, or as soon as they become evident.

 

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

The Jewish education of your child(ren) is important to our community, and Temple Emanu-El is proud to subsidize our members’ religious education. If the current cost of Religious School is prohibitive, please do not hesitate to contact Rabbi Cassi, who will confidentially work with you.

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Sunday Curriculum

GRADES K-7

The Temple Emanu-El Religious School offers students a well-rounded education, including Hebrew, Judaic studies, art, and music. Students will create hands-on projects in cultural arts and learn songs and prayers in Shirim (music class). They will learn Hebrew, sometimes independently at their own pace and sometimes in groups. Students in Grades 1-7 will have Judaic Studies using our Chai curriculum, which highlights three important Jewish values in three distinct units: Torah, Avodah (worship and contemplation of God and holiness), and G’milut Chasidim (acts of loving kindness). Each class will explore the topics from an age-appropriate standpoint.

Sample Sunday Schedules

RS Sunday Schedule 

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JUDAIC STUDIES CURRICULUM

 

Kindergarten and Grade One                                             Morah: Amanda Agata

Level 2 of the Chai curriculum is focuses on what it means to be part of the Jewish people. Through hands-on activities and class discussions, students will begin with a unit about Torah, tracing our people’s story from slavery in Egypt to liberation to entering a covenant with God.  They will then turn their attention to the Avodah (worship/spirituality) section of the curriculum, in which they will discuss their conceptions of God, and ways to connect with God. In their final unit, G’milut Chasidim (acts of lovingkindness), they will consider ways that they can care for elderly people, hungry people, and other people in need. They will explore what it means to be God’s partner in repairing the world.

 

 

Grades Two and Three                                                         Morah: Amanda Agata

Level 2 of the Chai curriculum is focuses on what it means to be part of the Jewish people. Through hands-on activities and class discussions, students will begin with a unit about Torah, tracing our people’s story from slavery in Egypt to liberation to entering a covenant with God.  They will then turn their attention to the Avodah (worship/spirituality) section of the curriculum, in which they will discuss their conceptions of God, and ways to connect with God. In their final unit, G’milut Chasidim (acts of lovingkindness), they will consider ways that they can care for elderly people, hungry people, and other people in need. They will explore what it means to be God’s partner in repairing the world.

 

 

 

Grades Four and Five                                                            Morah: Amanda Agata

Level 4 of the Chai curriculum is focuses on what it means to be part of the community. Through hands-on activities and class discussions, students will learn about Torah, Avodah (worship/spirituality) and G’milut Chasidim (acts of lovingkindness). In a section about Torah, they will consider the what it means to be a member of Am Yisrael (People Israel), and how our community gradually changed in the Torah. In their avodah unit, students will focus on keva (the practice of prayer) and kavana (the intention of prayer), while gaining a greater understanding of the prayers and rituals we practice on Shabbat. Finally, in their G’milut Chasadim unit, students will explore the responsibilities they have towards others in their community, and importance of making peace between friends, in our homes, and beyond.

 

Grades Six and Seven                                                            Moreh: Dan Van Leeuwen

Level 7’s theme is “Hineini – Here I am” This year they will explore stories from the book of Genesis in a new light—from Abraham’s journey, to the relationship between Cain and Abel, to the binding of Isaac, Rebekah and Isaac’s relationship, and the struggles between God and Abraham, and God and Jacob. Students will be asked to consider the many lessons the book of Genesis offers them. In the Avodah section, they will explore the Jewish lifecycle, from Bnei mitzvah to marriage, birth to death. They will look at the Jewish calendar, and explore their own Jewish identities. Finally, they will delve into Jewish ethics in friendship, acts of kindness, standing up for what is right, being slow to anger, to living generously and with compassion and courage.

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 HEBREW CURRICULUM

 

Kindergarten and Grade 1                                          Morah: Abby Tulchinsky

Students will learn the aleph-bet song and the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, and begin to decode Hebrew words. This class will merge music, art, and other interactive activities, to assist our youngest students develop a love of Hebrew.

 

Grades Two and Three                                                 Moreh: Abby Tulchinsky

Students will continue to decode Hebrew words, strengthening their reading skills, and learning some Hebrew vocabulary—both secular words and the vocabulary of some of our most beloved prayers.

 

Grades Four Through Six                                              Moreh: Abby Tulchinsky

Students will take part in an exciting curriculum called Mitkadem. Mitkadem is designed to make learning Hebrew enjoyable and successful for students who learn languages at different speeds. Students will spend some time working from workbooks, individually or with a partner; and some time working on a new computer component of the curriculum, in our computer lab. Teachers and volunteers will offer thorough oversight and guidance.

Since the students can access the Hebrew program from any computer, parents can be more involved in their children’s Hebrew progress. Teachers automatically receive notification whenever a student completes an activity online, from any location.

 

Grade Seven (B’nei Mitzvah)                                                            Rabbi Cassi Kail

Students will meet with Rabbi Cassi, where they will reinforce their learning and understandings of Hebrew prayer, and learn how to chant Torah and Haftarah. They will also have conversations about what it means to be taking on the awesome responsibility of being an adult in the eyes of Judaism.

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ENRICHMENT CLASSES (CHUGS)

 

SHIRAH (Music)                                                                                   Morah: Linda Slavin

Students will have music approximately once a month, alternating with cultural arts and Israel studies. Students will enjoy learning about our Jewish culture through the art of music.  They will learn songs that are present in our Shabbat services as well as songs that tell stories about Jewish holidays. This will meet every other week, alternating with Tefillah.

 

TEFILLAH (Prayer)                                                       Morah: Rabbi Cassi Kail

Students will now have the opportunity to learn and pray the morning Tefillah (prayer service). Complete with songs, dancing, and an exploration of the meaning of prayer, this short service will engage students of all ages in prayer, utilizing their newfound Hebrew skills, contextualizing Jewish traditions, and embracing each child’s inquisitive nature.

 

CULTURAL ARTS                                                                            Morah: Keri Campbell

Students will enjoy expanding their classroom knowledge in our cultural arts class through hands-on projects with crafts, cooking, drama and dance.  They will use their creativity to make original projects for the various celebrations throughout the year. Cultural arts will meet approximately every other week, alternating with Israel studies.    

 

ISRAEL STUDIES                                                                             Moreh: Vic Pearlman

Students in Grades K-5 will have the opportunity to explore their relationship to Israel. Through age-appropriate lessons, they will consider topics such as why Israel was important to their ancestors, what it means that the Jewish calendar is firmly based on the agricultural norms of Israel, geography, and the diversity within Israel. Older students will be able to explore some of the challenges in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the concept of Israel as a Promised Land, and religious pluralism within the modern state of Israel. This class will meet approximately every other week, alternating with Cultural arts.

 

HOLOCAUST STUDIES                                                               Moreh: Dan Van Leeuwen

This course will cover the period from the 1930's (pre-Holocaust Germany) to 1948 (post holocaust and the founding of the Jewish state). It will be geared to the ages of the students . There will be a focus on letters, written, at that time, by children at each stage of the Holocaust. Discussions will be encouraged. Moreh Dan will also contribute some experiences of his own family. Parents are welcome to participate at any time.

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 Wednesday Hebrew Curriculum

GRADES 3-7

September through December

3rd graders 4th – 6th graders
4–5

Ramah (Level) 3, and some of 4

With Morah Dori

Beginning in classroom # 3

Continue Ramah work

With Rabbi Cassi and Moreh John

Beginning in the youth lounge

5–5:30 Tefillah with Rabbi Cassi in the small sanctuary        


January through May

3rd and 4th graders 5th and 6th graders
4–4:30

Continuing Ramah work

in classroom #3 with Morah Dori

Continuing Ramah work

in youth lounge

with Rabbi Cassi and Moreh John

4:30–5

Continuing Ramah work

in youth lounge with Moreh John

Continuing Ramah work

in classroom #3 with Morah Dori

5–5:30 Tefillah with Rabbi Cassi in the small sanctuary

 

MITKADEM

For the first hour of class, students in Grades 2-7 participate in an exciting Hebrew curriculum called Mitkadem. Mitkadem is designed to make learning Hebrew enjoyable and successful for students who learn languages at different speeds. Students will work at their own pace in engaging workbooks, individually or with a partner. The Hebrew curriculum is on-line, too, so students can access their work from a home computer. Teachers and volunteers will offer thorough oversight and guidance during Hebrew school, and parents can be more involved in their child’s Hebrew progress on line.

 

TEFILLAH

From 5:00-5:30, students will meet for Tefillah (Prayer). Services are an important part of our children’s Hebrew studies. Led by Rabbi Cassi, Tefillah will place their Hebrew learning in perspective, as students delve into the meanings and context of prayers and take part in a weekly prayer service, using our brand new age-appropriate siddurim (prayer books).

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Administration

 

Rabbi Cassi plays an interactive role in the Religious School. She oversees the curriculum, and works with teachers to create an exciting and engaging environment for all of our students. Her door is always open to teachers, students, and families alike. You can reach her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling the temple at 724-4177.

 

Russell Marcus is the Religious School Coordinator. A teacher for over twenty-five years, Russell has worked with students from elementary school through graduate school. His responsibilities include overseeing staff training, and providing staff support, organizing Religious School trips, holiday events, class services and special activities, and working with families who need extra support. You can reach Russell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., by phone at 381-3513, or by stopping by the Religious school during school hours.

 

The combined Religious School and Youth Committee, which gives parents an opportunity to provide feedback and input on curriculum, activities, and other aspects of Religious School. The committee provides support for Religious School special programs, services, and fundraisers. In addition to their work with the Religious School, this group works to meet the needs of children who are not yet old enough to go to Religious School and those who have graduated. The goal of the committee is to provide meaningful Jewish experiences for children from birth until they graduate from high school.

Parents with children of all ages are very much encouraged to count themselves as members. The committee will brainstorm and address the needs and desires of our children, as well as our needs and desires as parents. We can support Religious School events, as well as be active in creating events outside of the temple, social events for parents, and other stimulating experiences.

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