Proud to have our Religious School is accredited by the National Association of Temple Educators. We are one of only twenty-one congregations to meet these requirements and the only one in the greater-DC area (all of Maryland, D.C., and all of Virginia).
Religious School (Sunday)
Religious School for grades Pre-K/K-7 is held Sunday mornings from 9:30am-12:00pm. Our senior youth group, CORY, sells bagels and coffee starting at 9:00am.
Our Religious School uses the Chai curriculum, developed by the URJ. This curriculum is based on three tenets of Judaism: Torah (law), Avodah (worship), and G’milut Chasadim (acts of loving kindness). Below is a brief summary for each grade. Additional information is available on the URJ Chai Website. The Chai curriculum starts in first grade.
This class focuses on age-appropriate learning of how we celebrate holidays within Jewish tradition. Emphasis is on providing a safe Jewish environment, where students grow and develop while learning basic elements of Jewish life. This class participates in a Consecration ceremony formally celebrating the beginning of their Jewish Education.
The first year of Chai centers on “I.” How am I part of the Jewish people and how do my actions contribute to the Jewish world? Children learn how they are part of the Torah and our ongoing Jewish story.
Building on the first year and each year thereafter, the curriculum continues each theme of Torah, Avodah and G’milut Chasadim increasing the Jewish awareness of the individual child. Second grade adds how “we” make the world a better place.
What is holy and how does it apply to me? This year delves into how the laws, rules, and practices were followed many years ago and how we live by them now.
Covenants, how and why we worship, and what is our responsibility towards others. This year looks more closely, at why we practice the rituals, laws and acts of loving kindness learned in previous years.
Prophets, who they were and how did they shape Judaism. We explore our relationship as American Jews with Israel. What does Israel mean to me? How can knowledge of Israel enrich my Jewish belief and behavior? Prayer is personal. How does prayer help increase our personal connections to God?
Why do we study our Jewish texts and how do they help us in our relationship with God? We study acts of loving kindness as a way for us to experience God in ourselves and the world that surrounds us.
The lessons and prayers of Torah can positively impact our lives, enabling us to understand what it means to be a Jewish person and part of a Jewish Community. Continuing development as emerging Reform Jewish adults is linked with our ethical behavior (middot) and the performance of acts of loving kindness (g’milut chasadim). There is also a Jewish history component to the seventh grade.
Hebrew School (Tuesday)
Hebrew School begins in 4th grade and goes through 7th grade. Classes meet from 6:30-8:00pm. To help busy parents, we offer pizza for sale starting at 6:00pm.
Our Hebrew program is based on the materials from the Behrman House publishing company. Our Pre-K/K class uses “Let’s Discover the Alef-Bet.” These are individual pamphlets in alef-bet order that help introduce the Hebrew letters. Our 1st/2nd Grade uses “Ready, Set, Go Alef-Bet,” an engaging book of reading readiness that helps build early decoding skills and offers some basic conversational words. Our 3rd grade uses “Alef-Bet Quest,” a text designed to increase cultural Hebrew words, such as mezuzah and shofar, along with modern Hebrew. The focus is reading fluency. The 4th-6th grades use the Kol Yisrael series, a series designed for reading and prayer fluency. Beginning with the 3rd grade, our students also use a built-in computer component with engaging games and additional tools to further the students’ reading. The 7th grade focuses on a review of prayers and then moves into modern Hebrew with the text “Let’s Talk: Modern Hebrew for Teens.” For additional information on the Behrman House materials, please visit the following website: http://www.behrmanhouse.com