Beit Sefer Shalom and Midrashah are CANCELLED on Sunday, January 7th. We will return to classes on Sunday, January 14th.
Beit Sefer Shalom 5778 Registration Form (for grades K-7)
Midweek Hebrew Date/Time Request (for grades 3-6)
Beit Sefer Shalom 5778 Calendar (for grades K - 7)
Midrashah 5778 Registration Form (for grades 8-12)
Midrashah 5778 Calendar (for grades 8 - 12)
Beit Sefer Shalom—UHS 2.0 serves the children of members at Congregation Beth El as well as KBH and Temple Israel. Our teaching staff is a "Dream Team of Jewish Educators" offering our young people the best possible learning experiences. Our clergy resources include Rabbis Arnowitz and Ruberg and Cantor Wendi Fried of Congregation Beth El, Rabbi Michael Panitz from Temple Israel, and Cantor David Proser of KBH.
The Sunday morning schedule is packed with positive learning experiences and includes Z'man Ivrit; Hebrew Time, with one of our two Hebrew teachers. Rita Yashaev meets with students in third through fifth grades for group instruction an hour each week. Children in kindergarten, first, and second grades have formal Hebrew instruction every other week and explore the Alef-Bet through a variety of mediums including yoga. Sixth graders, whose focus is on the Shabbat morning service, are active participants in the weekly Sunday morning congregational minyan. Older students who have successfully mastered the tefillot are able to take on additional challenges including Hallel or even delve into conversational Hebrew if they choose.
We use the Shalom Learning curriculum for our 2nd - 7th grade Judaica studies, which focus on seven core values: Teshuva (taking responsibility for your actions), B'Tzelem Elohim (honoring the image of God in ourselves), Gevurah (using one's inner and outer strength), Achrayut (doing what you can to leave the world a better place), HaKarat HaTov (seeking joy and being grateful), Koach HaDibbur (understanding the power of words), and Shalom (helping to create a calmer, more peaceful world). Each grade level approaches the value being explored in a particular way so there no repetition of focus from one year to the next. In addition to Jewish values, students learn about other aspects of being a Jewish person. Seventh graders, who as budding Jewish adults are able to participate in a shiva minyan, delve into the life-cycle rituals connected with death as well as Holocaust history. Sixth graders explore what is involved in becoming a Jewish adult. Fifth graders examine the Jewish life cycle rituals connected with marriage and birth. Fourth grade students investigate the history and geography of the State of Israel having begun these studies in third grade by learning about the people of Israel. Second graders figure out how God fits into their world. Kindergarten and first graders practice the daily rituals of Jewish living and holidays.
The methods of presentation are varied and reflective of the secular learning world in which our students now dwell. Thus, discussion may be triggered by a video clip or special reading. Does this mean the kids will be glued to their electronic devices an additional three hours on a Sunday morning? Absolutely not! A video can be a powerful initiator of learning through conversation and that is the plan.
I (Mrs. "W") welcome students as they arrive on Sunday mornings and wish them a good week as they depart at the end of each session. Additionally, I pop into each classroom every week not only to say Boker Tov (good morning) and talk about the parshat hashavuah (Torah portion of the week) but ready, willing, and almost always able to answer questions students have on their mind. When I am stumped, one of the rabbis or cantors will be called upon to help. There is monthly tefillah as well as art, music, and special activities during the course of the school year.
We are slightly adjusting the hours this year to begin at 9:00 and end at noon. The first day of class will be Sunday, the 10th of September (2017). The students will go directly to class and jump right into the process of learning. Parents will come to Myers Hall for a mandatory first-day-of-classes orientation meeting. We'll be providing parents with bagels and coffee to ease into the new school year. BTW, the Red Cross will also be onsite to accept your blood donation if you are able.
Our "higher education" program, the Community Midrashah, is for 8th through 12th grades. It meets at either Beth El or Temple Israel on Sunday evenings for a series of "mini-mesters", each about 3 weeks long. Students split into grade groups to talk about a number of relevant topics with a teacher, break for dinner, then recovene for the second part of the evening. Occasionally, our Midrashah students will attend community events in lieu of a formal session. Our Midrashah teachers include Rabbis Arnowitz and Panitz, Cantor Wendi Fried, Sheila Panitz, and myself, with the occassional guest teacher.
Should you have questions or concerns about anything to do with either of our education programs, please do not hesitate to contact me and arrange a time for us to sit and chat.
It's going to be an awesome year!
Sharon Wasserberg, MAED, CJE
Director of Education
Beit Sefer Shalom—UHS 2.0