West End Temple’s Religious School strives to encourage a strong Jewish identity. It enables children to learn about their Jewish heritage, history, and traditions through the five senses, art, and music. Because Jewish education is a life-long journey, we believe that the journey should be meaningful, challenging, and inspiring. Most importantly, we believe that it should start early.
OVERVIEW: The multifaceted curriculum of our school builds upon a student’s previous Jewish learning experiences while introducing new concepts and experiences appropriate to the student’s development. Each grade cluster has a specific focus integrated with Torah study, Bible, History, Holidays, Israel, Life Cycle, Jewish Values, and Mitzvot. Students are invited to think about God’s role in their lives as well as their own and their family’s connection to West End Temple and the Jewish community. Students read Jewish texts, participate in Tzedakah/mitzvah projects, and explore Judaism through music and the arts.
HEBREW: Formal Hebrew instruction begins in third grade. Our Hebrew program focuses on providing students with synagogue participation skills. We emphasize fluent and accurate reading and vocabulary recognition as they relate to prayer, Bible, holidays, and ethics. The Hebrew language is a thread linking our West End Temple family with the world Jewish community.
JEWISH-VALUE-A-MONTH: This year we add a new curricular overlay to the Religious School. Each month, in every class, students will learn an important Jewish value such as Kibud Av v’ em (honoring one’s parents), Bal Tashcheet (not wasting or destroying needlessly), Derech Eretz (showing courtesy), or Ma-achiel R’vayim (feeding the hungry). It is our hope that families will join in and “practice” these Jewish values each month.
B’NAI MITZVAH BOOT CAMP: Again this year, children in the 7th grade will come to the Temple at 5:30pm, where they will participate and lead Tefilah, then enjoy a pizza dinner, and from 6:30-8:00pm, they will work with Student Cantor Rueben. They will learn the rubrics, choreography, and liturgy of the Saturday morning Shabbat Service for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah as well as the weekly Torah portion and how to write a D’var Torah (sermonette about the weekly Torah portion.) They will also focus on learning the necessary prayers and their meanings, and this will help them to become familiar with the order of the service which they will lead at their Bar/Bat Mitzvah.
MITZVAH CORPS: This year, we introduce the Mitzvah Corps, a program to help our post B’nai Mitzvah children stay connected to Judaism and West End Temple. Once a month, students will meet on Wednesday evenings for pizza dinner, followed by learning about a specific issue from a Jewish perspective. The following meeting will take place on a date and time to be determined and students will go and perform the mitzvah (feeding the hungry, visiting the sick, helping the environment, etc.) Finally, students will meet again to debrief their mitzvah activity, and learn about another issue.
Sunday Religious School
- Sunday Religious school classes meet from 10 a.m. – 12 noon
- Sunday Religious School is available for all students in grades K – Bar/Bat Mitzvah
Shabbat B’Yachad Saturday Religious School
- 4 Shabbatot during the year from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
- Wednesday classes meet from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
(Wednesday Hebrew School is for students in grades 3 – 6.)
B’nai Mitzvah Boot Camp
• Meets Sunday mornings from 10 a.m.-12 noon and Wednesdays from 5:30-8:00pm (includes dinner).
Post Bar/Bat Mitzvah Mitzvah Corps
• Meets one Wednesday a month from 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. plus one additional day a month for mitzvah activity.
Because we believe that Jewish education is a partnership between school and home, we encourage the participation of our families so that, together, we can fulfill the sacred task of passing Torah to the next generation.
Religious School Information and Forms:
- Registration and Emergency Form – Click here to download (PDF)
- Religious School Handbook – Click here to download (PDF)(NOTE: updated version)
- Religious School Calendar – Click here to download (PDF) (NOTE: updated version)
Adult Jewish Learning
Life-long Jewish learning is a core value of West End Temple. Our hope is that our Adult Education offerings challenge you to grow both intellectually and spiritually and that they facilitate competency and comfort with the Jewish tradition. Feel free to choose from Torah Study, our Journeys Book Group, a Jewish movies series, a Chai Mitzvah class, or all of the above. We also offer Adult B’nai Mitzvah preparation and study, Shabbat guest speakers, and classes in Jewish liturgy, death and dying, and Jewish values and ethics. Please check our calendar for Adult Jewish Learning offerings and feel free to share any suggestions you may have for other/additional Adult Education offerings.
Click here for more information about our Nursery School.