KINDERGARTEN | Sundays, 9:15 - 11:00 am
Teacher: Andrea Elkrief
Our morning begins each week with Assembly at 9:15 am—parents welcome! Children in our Religious School’s introductory grade explore Jewish awareness, the synagogue and Jewish symbols they see around our building. In addition, the class learns about the holidays we celebrate throughout the year. From Rosh Hashanah through Shavuot, beautiful arts and crafts projects are created to reflect each student’s learning. We celebrate Shabbat each week in the classroom, learning the candle lighting blessing, the Kiddush and Hamotzi, and enjoying challah for snack. We also collect tzedakah to support our grade’s project, read aloud from wonderful Jewish storybooks, and sing with our teen musical teaching assistants. Learning about Israel, we share elementary conversational Hebrew words, and enjoy Torah learning with stories including Creation, Noah’s Ark and Biblical ancestors.
GRADE 1 | Sundays, 9:15 - 11:00 am
Teacher: Ellen Flaks
Our morning begins each week with Assembly at 9:15 am—parents welcome! In Grade 1, the children are introduced to Hebrew letter learning, so that by the end of the school year our students have a foundation in the Alef-Bet. Throughout the year, we expand our knowledge of Jewish holidays, and enjoy interactive, hands-on holiday-themed projects. Celebrating Shabbat together in class each week, the children recite the traditional blessings over the candles, and enjoy a snack, with Kiddush for juice and Motzi for challah. We also collect tzedakah each week and stress the importance of the mitzvah of reaching out to help the larger community. Our students learn a variety of Jewish songs, which we sing both in class and during our school-wide Assemblies.
GRADE 2 | Sundays, 9:15 - 11:00 am
Teacher: Debra Aronson
Our morning begins each week with Assembly at 9:15 am—parents welcome! In Grade 2, the students learn all the letters of the Alef-Bet and their accompanying vowels, and begin to read simple Hebrew words. Our special study of Shabbat and it’s traditions incorporates a yearlong project, in which children’s Shabbat literature is studied and our students are inspired to create what will become their Shabbat heirlooms of candlesticks, Kiddush cups and challah covers. In addition, stories of Genesis are read aloud, discussed, and interpreted through drama and puppetry. The class has an ongoing discussion about the importance of tzedakah, and we collect funds in our tzedakah box each week that are donated in the spring to an organization of the class’ choice. Reading stories, singing songs, and creating art projects in celebration of the Jewish holidays are an integral part of our exciting curriculum.
GRADE 3 | Sundays, 9:15 - 11:00 am;
Wednesdays, 3:30 - 4:20 pm
Teachers: Cantor Robin Joseph + Dina Friedman
Our morning begins each week with Assembly at 9:15 am—parents welcome! In Grade 3, Hebrew is introduced as a language of both communication and prayer, and our class focuses on recognition and decoding of Hebrew words. Working from a colorful textbook and workbook, the children read and write Hebrew and learn about language and culture as it is experienced in Israel today. Students also learn about the important symbols and rituals associated with the holidays as they occur throughout the school year, shaking the lulav and etrog on Sukkot and playing dreidel on Chanukah. We also add an intellectual and ethical component, discussing the historical and possible moral issues of each holiday. As we continue our journey through the Torah, the students engage in discussions and bibliodrama to find deeper meaning in the relationships and issues that our biblical ancestors faced. We also collect Tzedakah every week in Grade 3, and the class selects an organization to which these funds will be contributed at the end of the school year.
GRADE 4 | Sundays, 11:15 am - 1:00 pm;
Wednesdays, 3:30 - 4:20 pm
Teachers: Rabbi Ben Newman + Ellen Flaks (+ Debra Aronson on Wednesdays)
In this stimulating year, our students focus their Hebrew studies on reading prayers and singing the Shabbat blessings, the Shema, the V’Ahavta, and Mi Chamocha, as well as Hatikvah, Israel’s national anthem. Our study of Jewish values allows the children to learn important lessons that have been passed down from our rabbis through the ages. This is accomplished through literature, class discussions, improvisation and drama, and is linked to our weekly collection of tzedakah. We celebrate all the Jewish holidays with an emphasis on the special customs and traditions that accompany each festival, both in the synagogue and at home. We also collect Tzedakah every week in Grade 4, and the class selects an organization to which these funds will be contributed at the end of the school year. It is a privilege and meaningful experience for this grade to be responsible for the design and performance of the Temple’s Purimshpiel during our annual Purim Carnival
GRADE 5 | Sundays, 11:15 am - 1:00 pm;
Wednesdays, 4:30 - 5:20 pm
Teachers: Debra Aronson (+ Rabbi Ben Newman + Ellen Flaks on Wednesdays)
In Grade 5, the children’s study of Hebrew and prayer expands as they learn the Avot v’Imahot, Shalom Rav, Oseh Shalom, Lecha Dodi, V’shamru and Shalom Aleichem. Students have ample opportunity to practice their Hebrew reading this year to strengthen their skills as they prepare for their b’nei mitzvah. We also study the Jewish life cycle from birth through death and the many Jewish customs associated with life events. In addition, we learn about and actively participate in the mitzvah of tzedakah, and collect tzedakah every week for an organization of the class’ choosing. We also study the State of Israel—its creation in the wake of the Holocaust, its people, cities, religions, government, politics, foods, and culture—and the students do individual research and presentations on the leaders of Israel, from Theodor Herzl to the present. Our holiday curriculum consists of activities exploring the theme of each festival, and for Purim, the grade enjoys the privilege and responsibility of creating and running our Temple-wide annual Purim Carnival.
GRADE 6 | Sundays, 11:15 am - 1:00 pm;
Wednesdays 4:30 - 5:20 pm
Teachers: Cantor Robin Joseph + Dina Friedman
Grade 6 takes a journey through Jewish history, beginning with our earliest ancestors, Abraham and Sarah, and ending with the latest link in the chain—us! The children participate in interactive programming at each stage of the Jewish timeline, from role-playing a town meeting in a shtetl to simulating the journey to Ellis Island. To better connect our past and our present, students engage in three very special projects and events: our annual trip to the Lower East Side and the Tenement Museum; an oral report based on their interview of an immigrant to the US; and our Living Museum, in which the students curate an exhibit of important artifacts from their own families. Our Hebrew studies continue to prepare the children for all the prayers they will lead at their Bar/Bat Mitzvah service. The students also learn the Torah cantillation skills they will need to chant their Bar/Bat Mitzvah Torah portions. We collect tzedakah every week in Grade 6, and the class selects an organization to which these funds will be contributed at the end of the school year.
GRADE 7 | Mondays, 3:45 - 5:45 pm
Teachers: Cantor Robin Joseph, Laurence Holzman, Rabbi Ben Newman + Rachel Gordon Bernstein
Our Grade 7 curriculum delves deeply into Jewish values through the study of tzedakah, belief in God, and Torah as a guideline for living. Throughout the year, students have the opportunity to to explore their own beliefs and ideas while learning what Judaism has to say on each matter. In Hebrew, the students continue to work on the Shabbat morning liturgy, with an eye towards leading their own Bar/Bat Mitzvah service. In small group settings, and often one-on-one tutoring, the students complete mastery of these prayers as well as a Torah and Haftarah portion, suited specifically for each child. Our goal is to provide the tools with which our students can become critical thinkers about Judaism and gain insight into understanding their own beliefs and traditions as they face the future as young Jewish adults.
Sunday ARRIVAL + DISMISSAL
Please note that on Sunday mornings, we begin with Assembly in the Sanctuary. We encourage all families to join us for their children’s Assembly. Dismissal for Grades K+1, parents will pick up their children directly from the classroom. Students in Grades 2+3 will be dismissed to the parking lot.
Grades 4-6 will end the day with Assembly, starting at 12:40 pm. We encourage all families to join us.
GRADE SHABBAT AND FAMILY DINNERS + SERVICES
Join your child’s grade for a Shabbat dinner at 6:30 pm with family, classmates, and teachers. Then, at 7:30 pm, we welcome the entire congregation to our lively Family Shabbat Service, in which your child’s grade will participate.
Grades K+1: October 5
Grade 2+3: December 7
Grade 4+5: March 1
Grade 6: April 5
Grade 7: November 2
Families with students in all grades are encouraged to attend all our monthly Family Services.
THE SHARING COMMUNITY
Once a month, Temple Beth Shalom provides a lunch of baked ziti and loaf cakes for some 200 hungry men, women and children through The Sharing Community in Yonkers. As part of a continuing effort to make Tzedakah an integral part of our program, the Religious School will once again be leading this endeavor, and families in each grade will be asked to sign up on our emailed Google document to contribute Sundays, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm, as follows:
Grades K+1: October 21
Grade 2+3: December 16
Grade 4+5: March 10
Grade 6: April 7
Grade 7: November18
Tikkun Olam - Grades 8-12:
As always, the entire congregation is encouraged to sign up to contribute food each month.
PARENT VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
We are also looking for Religious School Class Parents in all grades. We appreciate your input and invite you to share talents, interests, hobbies, and professions. We also need your help with Tzedakah project.