Through our Religious School and Hebrew Connection programs, TBS Families can choose between community and more individualized Jewish Studies instruction. Families with students in Grades 3-6 can choose between classroom Hebrew instruction and private Hebrew tutoring through our Traditional Religious School and Hebrew Connection programs.
Our Traditional Religious School program offers a thoughtfully crafted and engaging curriculum for each of our grades. Our grade-level curricula are enhanced by all-school family holiday celebrations, mitzvah projects. All of our students participate in music and regular Hebrew and T’fillah enrichment.
The Torah teaches us, “Teach them diligently to your children” (Deuteronomy 6:7). At Temple Beth Sholom, we believe that Jewish learning should be accented by laughter and filled with sweetness. We work with learners of all ages to help them build strong relationships with Jewish tradition, with Jewish community, and with God.
Students with Special Needs: Jewish heritage teaches that each of us is created B’tzelem Elohim, in the image of God, and that each of us is to be valued. Guided by this tradition, the Temple Beth Sholom Religious School will act with sensitivity and work to the best of its ability to provide a positive experience for every child. Accommodations and support, in collaboration with parents, will be implemented within our means and within the structure of our program on a case by case basis. Please call Jodi Kaufman at 714-628-4620 to discuss these options.
Kindergarten – Grade 2
Our youngest students (Kindergarten – Grade 2) meet Sundays 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and have opportunities to experience Judaism in a warm and engaging communal atmosphere.
In our hands-on, music filled, drama enriched, and art focused K-1 class, our youngest learners are sure to find Jewish life exciting and engaging. In class, students are invited to not only learn about, but also to experience Jewish holidays, Bible stories, and Shabbat. Our K-1 students will participate in lively prayer experiences and be introduced to the Hebrew letters and important Hebrew words each week.
Our 2nd Grade students are invited to explore all aspects of their synagogue. Highlights of the year include an experiential learning tour of the sanctuary, a temple-wide scavenger hunt, and chances to get to know TBS community leaders. Second graders participate in fun-filled holiday celebrations, continue their study of Bible stories, and serve as buddies to our kindergartners. Students will be introduced to the Hebrew letters and important Hebrew words each week.
Students in Grades 3-6 can either attend Traditional Religious School which meets twice weekly (Sundays 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m and Tuesdays 4:15 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.) or the innovative Hebrew Connection Program which has students attend the traditional Sunday program (9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.) along with private Hebrew tutoring once a week at a time and place of their convenience.
Students in Grade 7 participate in specialized B’nei Mitzvah classes with the Rabbi Cohen. All 7th Grade students meet on Tuesday afternoons (4:15 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.) and select Sundays (see schedule)
Our 3rd Grade students begin the year by exploring the first book in the Torah, Genesis. We make our foundational text come alive through drama, art, and kinesthetic activities. In small learning communities, students are encouraged to ask questions and uncover new answers. Their conversations will continue into the second semester as the students engage in “God Talk.” Each session is based on a different fundamental question, beginning with “Why don’t we see or hear God today like they did in the Bible?”
Our 4th Grade students jump back into their Torah exploration in “Exodus and Homeland.” In this wildly creative curriculum, students feel themselves a part of the Exodus story and experience the joys and disappointments of life in the Land of Milk and Honey. In the second semester, students will fast forward in history to modern life in Israel. Together, they will explore Eretz Yisrael, the land of Israel, through our deeply experiential Israel curriculum.
5th Grade students will jump into Mitzvot and Jewish Living as they explore the values and rituals we hold dear to our lives. Students will explore ritual mitzvot such as lifecycle traditions, wrapping tefilin, kissing the mezuzah, and more. The class will also get into the shoes of the biblical prophets, who provided us with a tradition to seek out justice and pursue ethical Mitzvot with passion.
In our 6th Grade class, Jewish History: Space and Time, students will be invited into our “TBS Time Machine,” as they travel through Jewish space and time, visiting Jewish communities from antiquity to the present, in diverse places around the globe. Through this course, our students will gain an understanding of, and appreciation for our rich history as a people.
Seventh Grade – B’nei Mitzvah
Students take part in our Tuesday afternoon program where they meet with the Rabbi Cohen. Together, they explore what it means to be a Jewish adult, challenging what it means for them to be Jewish and do Jewish. The B’nei Mitzvah Class meets on select Sunday mornings throughout their seventh grade year (see schedule). The B’nei Mitzvah class is enhanced by a series of family programs and a special TBS seventh grade retreat.
Teen Kehillah – Grades 8-12
Today’s teenagers are busier than we can imagine and more intellectually driven. With that in mind TBS provides opportunities for them to be able to participate in a more meaningful and accessible way in their Judaism. With a new flexible schedule and more intense learning opportunities students will be engaged and challenged while helping them continue with their Jewish learning.
“On three things does the world stand, on Torah, and on worship and on acts of loving kindness.” Pirke Avot.
TBS Teen Kehillah participants will have an opportunity to explore experiences in Torah (study), Avodah (worship), and Gemilut Chasadim (Community Service).
This credit based program gives TBS teens a variety of learning opportunities and formats. Mini-courses will be run on Sundays throughout the year as well as our adult education classes being a part of our curriculum. (click here for more information)
Confirmation, 10th grade, is a component of our Teen Kehillah program and has a special schedule on Sunday afternoons with Rabbi Heidi Cohen and the TBS teaching team. Confirmation will have its own credit system which will include worship and community service opportunities along with our annual Confirmation trip to Joshua Tree, February 22-24.
Mini-courses will be scheduled during the year to meet varied intellectual interests in a more traditional structure of a regularly scheduled class. Students must attend 1 mini-course during the year. In order to receive credit for that mini-course, students attendance is required, a minimum of 3 out of the 4 sessions. Credits can also be earned for attendance at Adult Education classes including Torah study and through independent study projects. Credits are based on the number of hours for each class, (i.e. Sunday sessions are 2 hours and Torah study is 1 hour per session). Independent study projects must be approved by Jodi Kaufman. Up to 5 credits can be earned through independent study. Some examples of independent study projects are, create your own family Haggadah; research a Jewish Artist; write a biography and create a piece of art; interview and videotape a Holocaust survivor.
Students can acquire Avodah credits by attending Shabbat or holiday (excluding Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur) worship services at any synagogue or organized youth group function. Each student is required to attend at least two Shabbat services or one TBS holiday service/program (Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur will not be counted unless they are chanting Torah or Haftarah). Two credits will be given for each service attended, provided students complete a worship service report form within one week of service attendance. Students also may acquire 2 additional JECs by reading Torah during the year.
Community Service Credits
Students are required to accumulate community service credits. Students may accumulate one credit per hour of volunteer service when they complete a community service report at the completion of their volunteer work. Students must earn half of their community service hours in a Jewish setting (i.e. Mitzvah Meals, Religious School Madrichim program, Mandel House volunteer, visit at Bubbe and Zayde’s Place).
Attendance at NFTY Weekend Kallot (Fall Kallah, Winter Kallah, Spring Kallah, Social Justice Kallah, Leadership Kallah) will earn 2 credits in each category.