Temple Beth El

Curriculum Overview

Our curriculum is based on the Ten Goals of the Temple Beth El Education Program listed previously. It is a spiraling curriculum, allowing several topics to “spiral” through the grades, growing in complexity as students mature.

Primary Grades
Students in grades Pre-K, Kindergarten, First and Second grades begin to develop skills and awareness of the holiday cycle, synagogue ritual, Jewish values & ethics, and Torah study, and begin a program of Hebrew Reading Readiness.

Age-appropriate worship services, music sessions with our Cantor, arts and crafts, field trips, and Family Education Programs enhance classroom studies.

Hebrew Department
Students in grades Alef(3rd grade) through Heh(7th grade) begin an integrated Hebrew and Judaica curriculum. Hebrew and Judaic studies are taught during both Sunday and Thursday sessions of Torah School.

Students develop functional literacy in siddur (prayerbook) Hebrew, become conversant with the order of the worship service and the meaning of prayers, study lifecycle events for historical development and personal meaning, explore the weekly Torah portions, forge a connection with the Land of Israel, and grapple with ethical dilemmas in a Jewish context.

Confirmation Department
Eighth, Ninth and Tenth Grade students who have become Bar or Bat Mitzvah will meet on Sunday afternoons from Noon – 2:30 p.m. to apply previously acquired skills and knowledge in a broader context, in an environment both familiar and safe in which to explore their most difficult questions. We are revising the curriculum for these grades, and will fine tune details throughout the year.

Eighth & Ninth Grades: Over the course of these two years, students will wrestle with these Enduring Understandings: Judaism speaks to issues that I encounter in my life and Contemporary Jewish history affects my life. Among the issues that will be addressed in these two years are: Where does Reform Judaism fit within the spectrum of Judaism? Where is MY place within the spectrum of Reform Judaism? How do I relate to God? What is the Jewish impetus to social justice? Who wrote the Torah and what does it have to do with me? What are the Jewish rituals that mark important life passages? How do I explore my spirituality within a Jewish context? How do I identify as a Jew? What makes Judaism distinct from other religions? What role does Israel play in my life? What are the issues that divide the Jewish community? How can I make Shabbat for myself? How do I incorporate Jewish rituals into my life?

Tenth Grade/Confirmation: Confirmation students study with Rabbi Briskin, exploring the confluence of belief and practice in their Jewish lives. Students will develop skills in critical thinking as they examine issues in religious life, and focus on their roles as adult members of our community. Students attend the Torah School Camp Weekend as CITs (Counselors-in-Training) and prepare their own ceremony of Confirmation.