Welcome to Temple of Israel Religious School
Proudly, we remain small enough to provide personalized attention to each student and each family. At the same time, we belong to the world’s largest network for Jewish education, the Reform movement. Applying Reform’s newest nationally developed curriculum, the Chai Curriculum, we provide state of the art education, in a friendly, hospitable atmosphere. We strive to help each student actualize his or her “individuality," his or her unique roles as an individual and a member of our Jewish community.
School Director – Sherry Grooms
Classes * Core Program, Grades K to 7:
Our small classes allow for much individual attention from our experienced and talented staff. Our many co-curricular activities create a lively and engaging day for our students. Each class participates in community service projects, often chosen by the students.
* Hebrew School, Grades 4 to 7:
We provide four years of preparation for Bar and Bat Mitzvah and a lifetime of Jewish study and experiences, focusing on learning to read and chant most of our main prayers and stressing understanding of what our prayers mean and why they are significant. We emphasize relevance and questioning over rote learning. We use the Mitkadem program, from the national Chai Curriculum.
* B’nai Mitzvah Preparation:
Beyond our Hebrew School classes, our students meet with Rabbi Sidlofsky for about seven to eight months to prepare their D’var Torah (sermon), explore their Torah portion and Haftarah and lead service blessings. A tutor can be arranged for an additional fee, if needed. Students complete a Mitzvah Project, some form of community service. A B’nai Mitzvah Manual is provided to each student and family to enhance the significance of the process and a full rehearsal is held with the Rabbi.
* Mazel Tots:
For ages 2-4, our early childhood program meets two Sundays each month, from 9:30 -11:30 am. Our youngest students also participate in school events and our Family Shabbat Services on the third Friday of each month, with services starting at 7:00 PM. Music, arts/crafts, stories and food play central roles in our early childhood activities. Charlotte Rosenberg, who coordinates our programs, also leads music for Shabbat Services as our Temple’s Soloist and helps develop music learning for students of all ages.
* Post B’nai Mitzvah Class
This teen program for grades 8 - 10 meets on Sundays and focuses on continuing the student’s education through studies and fun activities, leading to confirmation in 10th grade.
* Confirmation Class
In 10th grade, students study monthly with Rabbi Sidlofsky to explore topics including Reform Judaism and Jewish Bioethics. They discuss current topics of interest and help prepare a Confirmation service.
Goals for each student: The goals every student, regardless of age, should gain from a Temple of Israel education are: create (improve) connections and community; gain significant learning (insights that could be life transforming); have fun; create (improve) our world (tikkun olam); and experience a safe, nurturing environment for spiritual searching and questioning. We want to give students the tools they need to want to lead active, committed Jewish lives. When a child leaves school, we encourage the parents to ask not only what did they learn, but more crucially, what good questions did they ask.
Governance: Our Religious Education Committee, known as REC, sets policies and basic procedures. The chairman of the REC is Cheryl Dickman. Active participants include the director of the religious school, Sherry Grooms, Rabbi Sidlofsky and active, interested temple members. The school director coordinates implementation of policies, supervises staff, and advises the REC. Then, the REC members, as volunteers, fill many typical roles of a School Board, such as: plan & implement events, coordinate early childhood programs and music, picnics, curriculum review, finances, communication with parents and publicity. The Rabbi leads the weekly kehilah, participates in school activities and visits all classes. We always have more tasks for volunteers, whether you are a parent, or not. Please contact us if you can help. If you have any questions contact the Director or a REC committee member.
Click here for the Religious School Calendar