Through our Religious School and Hebrew Connection-Family Learning Circle 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, and weekend retreats. All of our students participate in music and regular Hebrew and Tefillah enrichment. On Sundays and Tuesday afternoons, Religious School students in Grades 3-6 participate in core classes and Huggim (special interest activities), including drama, technology, and art.
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. During Tefillah and enrichment periods, our K-1 students will participate in lively prayer experiences and be introduced to the Hebrew letters and important Hebrew words each week. The year is also filled with a number of legacy projects. Students and parents will make keepsake Shabbat candlesticks, participate in a canned food drive & bake sale for Second Harvest, and create gift baskets for the Ronald McDonald House.
Our 2nd Grade students are invited to explore all aspects of their synagogue. Highlights of the year include a visit and “Chat with the Rabbi,” 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 and first graders. During T’fillah and enrichment periods, 2nd graders will also participate in lively prayer experiences and 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-Family Learning Circle 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 who take advantage of private tutoring also take advantage of a menu of Youth and Family Learning experiences to provide the community and social connections that the Tuesday afternoon program provides.
Students in Grade 7 participate in specialized B’nei Mitzvah classes with the Rabbi and Cantor. All 7th Grade students meet on Tuesday afternoons (4:15 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.) and 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 and Cantor for their core classes. Together, they explore what it means to be a Jewish adult, tackling issues from keeping kosher to observing Shabbat. The B’nei Mitzvah Class also meets on select Saturday and Sunday mornings throughout the first semester of 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.
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We are especially proud of our Temple Beth Sholom High School program, which has been thoughtfully designed to meet the needs and interests of this particular age group. The High School meets on select Sundays (usually twice per month from 12:15p.m. to 2:15p.m.). Our classes are taught by our Rabbi, Cantor, Education Director, Youth Director and other special guests, who have the opportunity to really get to know our teens on a personal level. One highlight of our High School program is a twenty five-minute pizza and socializing time, during which students eat, talk, and spend time re-connecting with one another. Another is our Huggim (electives) which include classes on Modern Israel, Music, Youth Programming 101, Conversational Hebrew, and more. In addition, the 10th Grade Confirmation Class has an annual retreat to Joshua Tree National Park and the 11th and 12th grades have an annual trip to either NY or Washington, D.C. for the URJ’s Religious Action Center L’Takein Seminar (in alternate years) (see TBS High School schedule). For select Sundays we also will be taking trips of campus for Community Service and other education related experiences in the greater Los Angeles and Orange County areas.
Our 8th Grade students meet as part of our TBS High School program on select Sundays from 12:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. (see schedule). Our 8th graders engage in a study Leadership and Jewish Values both for those 8th Graders who will be serving as Madrichim in our religious school and as a broader look at continuing their Jewish journey from B’nei Mitzvah to Confirmation to Siyum (TBS Graduation) in 12th Grade. 8th Graders will also participate in Huggim or electives where they will mix with the other grades in the High School. Classes will be on topics such as Modern Israel, Music, Youth Programming 101, Conversational Hebrew, and more. As part of the High School, the 8th Grade Program also includes select Sunday activities where we take our high school community off campus for special field trips and events.
Our 9th Grade students also meet as part of our TBS High School program on select Sundays from 12:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. (see schedule). 9th Graders will join our entire high school community for lunch and then continue learning within their own grade level on their own path to Confirmation and Siyum (TBS Graduation) in 12th Grade. The 9th Grade topic will be an aspect of the “Facing History and Facing Ourselves” curriculum which examines human behavior, ethical choices through the lens of Jewish Values. We will examine both the American experience with racism and bias and look at Genocidal experiences like the Holocaust, and the tragedies in Armenian, Rwandan, Bosnian, and Sudanese history. 9th Graders will also participate in Huggim or electives where they will mix with the other grades in the High School. Classes will be on topics such as Modern Israel, Music, Youth Programming 101, Conversational Hebrew, and more. As part of the High School, the 9th Grade Program also includes select Sunday activities where we take our high school community off campus for special field trips and events.
In 10th Grade Confirmation class, students also join our TBS High School program on select Sundays from 12:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. for lunch and continued learning. Confirmation students learn with our Rabbi and have an opportunity to reflect on their own Jewish identities and re-confirm their commitment to Jewish life on their way to 12th Grade Siyum (TBS Graduation). Throughout the year, students will wrestle with foundational questions, such as: Who or what is God? How can Judaism guide my understandings modern and often controversial topics? How can I live an ethical life? Why and how do we pray? How can I affect change in the world? Students in 10th Grade also participate in a TBS Confirmation retreat to Joshua Tree National Park and lead the congregation in a Confirmation ceremony. 10th Graders will also participate in Huggim or electives where they will mix with the other grades in the High School. Classes will be on topics such as Modern Israel, Music, Youth Programming 101, Conversational Hebrew, and more. As part of the High School, the 10th Grade Program also includes select Sunday activities where we take our high school community off campus for special field trips and events.
Eleventh and Twelfth Grades
11th and 12th Grade students also join the High School program on select Sundays from 12:15 p.m.-2:15 p.m. for lunch and learning. Our most senior students will meet in a joint class to study Activism and bringing a Jewish lens and Jewish values into their world – and onto the College Campus they will soon be joining. 12th Graders will also make a presentation to the congregation on this topic or one of their choosing – as their Siyum (TBS Graduation). 11th and 12th Graders will also participate in Huggim or electives where they will mix with the other grades in the High School. Classes will be on topics such as Modern Israel, Music, Youth Programming 101, Conversational Hebrew, and more. As part of the High School, the 11th and 12th Grade Program also includes select Sunday activities where we take our high school community off campus for special field trips and events. 11th and 12th Grade classes prepare our students to navigate the world as young Jewish adults in college and beyond. This lucky group also get the opportunity to take a trip each year alternating between to New York City and Washington D.C. for the L’Takein Seminar.