Interview with Valerie Seldes, our Director of Jewish Youth Education – click here
Judaism teaches us that we, as a community, have the responsibility of educating the next generation of Jews. At Congregation Beth Yam, we provide opportunities for you and your family to be part of an educational community.
Our Religious School educational program is intended to bring forth a generation of Jews that participate knowledgeably and skillfully in Temple and home observances and who practice being a “mensch” as the highest articulation of Jewish values.
Our talented and committed teachers have designed a Religious Studies curriculum for our pre-school through high school students to explore several key areas with developmentally appropriate material, nurturing students’ Jewish identity, and equipping students to live rich and meaningful Jewish lives. These include:
- Home, Shabbat and Holiday observances, and symbols
- God, Synagogue rituals, and prayer skills
- Torah, Bible heroes, Prophets, and other writings
- Jewish Life-cycle events
- Jewish History, Israel and World Jewry
- Tzedukah and Mitzvot, Jewish values, ethics … and much, much more!
With this in mind, our students and their families are encouraged to participate in a broad range of co-curricular activities, including:
- Monthly Shabbat Family services
- Student-led Shabbat services
- Tikkun Olam – mitzvah and tzedakah projects
- Mitzvah Day
- Model Seder
- Community celebrations: Sukkot, Simchat Torah, Chanukah, Purim, and Pesach
Students are grouped in classes based on secular grade level: Kindergarten – 5th graders meet most Sundays following our local school calendar. Pre-school and middle school grades meet at least two Sundays each month. High School student seminars are at least 1 evening each month.
Our Hebrew curriculum is divided into 5 levels of capability. Students in preschool through 1st grade explore most of our 1st capability level together in their same Religious studies group. However, students in 2nd grade through their B’nai Mitzvah are regrouped on Sunday mornings for a 45 minute Hebrew lesson, based on their individual capability, to foster mastery at their own pace. As well, 3rd and 4th level, students are expected to attend additional Hebrew School classes. Students are expected to master the 3rd level before being given a date for B’nai Mitzvah. In the 4th level our “Gesher” students do their final preparation for B’nai Mitzvah, mastering their Torah and Haftarah portions and other parts of the Shabbat Services. Additional tutoring is available if needed for “Gesher” students during the year preceding a child’s B’Nai Mitzvah. Our 5th level is optional, enhancing their skills by exploring advanced Hebrew text, and conversational Hebrew.
For a more detailed description of our Religious Education curriculum, click here.
For a more detailed description of each class, explore the links at the left as well as click here.