Welcome to Congregation B’nai Shalom’s Hebrew School!
We are a conservative congregation and follow a curriculum based on the tenets of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.
Hebrew School hours are scheduled Sundays from 9:30 until noon from September through May, with the exception of our beginning “Gimmel” class, which is dismissed at 11 AM. In addition, we encourage all students and their families to attend our three Hebrew School Friday evening Shabbat services, our school Saturday services and as many others as they are able. Please see this year’s Hebrew School Calendar.
Our beginning class is designed as an introduction to Jewish customs, values, traditions, holidays, and the Hebrew alef-bet. Most of the students are between the ages of three and seven. Students must be three by December 31 of the current Hebrew School year in order to enter our school. Any students not potty trained must have a parent in the building at all times.
Students must be able to read and write English by the time they enter our more advanced Bet Program. The students read and discuss Bible stories, learn basic prayers and blessings, understand the holidays and customs, and also learn to read Hebrew, beginning with basic words and phrases. Homework may be assigned.
The Tsadee Program is designed for students nearing Bar/Bat Mitzvah age. The students know how to sound out Hebrew words in order to more fluently read Hebrew. The class will work collectively and independently on readings and translations, and will discuss history and traditions. The students learn the Friday night service and Saturday morning prayers and rituals. Homework consists of weekly readings, practice, and projects assigned over the course of the year.
Bar/Bat Mitzvah Tutoring:
Bar/Bat Mitzvah candidates are expected to have been enrolled in our Hebrew School (or another approved school if new to the area) continuously since the fourth grade. Special circumstances may be discussed. The students learn to lead Shabbat services and follow an individual course of study, as determined by the instructor. An assessment is made one month prior to the chosen date by the instructor to determine if the student is making enough progress to proceed with the ceremony. Guidelines for managing the details of your child’s special days are available. In order to give all students the benefit of our full curriculum, we do expect all students to finish out their Hebrew school year, even following their Bar or Bat Mitzvah.
Please note: All potential pupils with a Jewish parent are welcome to join our Hebrew School. In accordance with standard Conservative guidelines, any child whose mother is not Jewish must follow an affirmation process, including immersion in a mikveh (ritual body of water), prior to their Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Please see our Ritual Chair for details. We encourage all of our Bar/Bat Mitzvah students to make the beautiful mikveh ceremony a part of their spiritual experience as they prepare to be called to the Torah.
Post Bar/Bat Mitzvah Opportunities:
Many of our graduates choose to volunteer in our Hebrew School. Please see the Hebrew School director. We also have various adult education programs.
*We hope to see Jewish values in action at our Hebrew School. Consider giving your child a coin for our lobby Tzedekah(charity) box on the way in to school in the morning.
Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) suggests that we help our environment by recycling and respecting our temple surroundings. We want all students to treat others with Chesed (kindness). The children will learn more about these values and others in their classes.
*Please see the current tuition schedule for Hebrew School fees. Tuition arrangements or adjustments may be confidentially discussed with our congregation president. Congregation members receive a tuition break, and all Hebrew School families are required to become members by their second year of enrollment in our school. Once again, a sliding scale for temple membership may be discussed with the congregation president.
*Parents are asked to sign up to purchase and bring in food items for our Hebrew School snacks and for other special occasions. All foods must be kosher and have a hechsher
(kosher marking), with the exception of uncut fruits or vegetables. Ask our kitchen volunteer or Hebrew School director for guidance if you are unsure if an item is properly hechshered. Our school kitchen is a dairy kitchen, so please do not bring in meats unless specifically requested to do so. Please refrain from bringing in either non-kosher or opened packages of food and drinks into the building. Do not bring in used food containers from home, so that our building remains kosher. Thank you!
*Should your child be ill or not attending school, please contact their teacher or our Hebrew School director. Any weather related school closings will be communicated by a phone call that morning. To ensure the safety of all of our students and that you are aware of any announcements, please do walk your children to their classroom in the morning. You are more than welcome to stay in the building during classes! Please enjoy the coffee and bagels that are provided, and some pleasant conversation. There are often volunteer opportunities. See our director about these, or about any comments or concerns you may have throughout the year.
We look forward to a wonderful year together!