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Religious School

Meeting the Religious Education Needs of Our Youth

Etgar Experience:  Sundays at Beth Sholom (September through December) and AJ (January through May)

Kindergarten and First Grade: Students will learn stories from the Torah, acts of repairing the world (Tikkun Olam), Hebrew language, and participate in prayer (t'fillah) and music (shira) each Sunday morning.

Second Grade: Students will create their own prayer books (siddurim) and focus on the meaning of the prayers. They will also learn Hebrew, and participate in regular prayer (t'fillah) and music (shira) each Sunday morning.

Third through Fifth Grade: Etgar Yesodi is a third through fifth grade curriculum with an integrated approach to teaching Judaics. Its three-year scope and sequence invites students to find personal meaning in their Judaism through a variety of learning modalities, including text study, art, music, writing, projects, and other hands-on experiences.

JQuest B'Yachad
Students in grades 2 through 6 will meet for Hebrew study or T’fillah. They will then have a grade-level quest where students from AJ and Beth Sholom Congregation join with Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel students to learn together!

Jewish Teen Collaborative (JTC): Grades 7-10, including teens from Adath Jeshurun and Beth Sholom
JTC meets on Tuesday nights, from 6:30 – 8:30. Each student participates in two classes every week. One class is a grade-level course, and the other class is Hebrew. Our grade-level classes offer a variety of Jewish content, age appropriate and relevant to the theme of the course. Jewish history, Jewish text, Jewish culture, ethics, modern Israel, and so much more, are an integral part of the courses. Our teens study not just through informed lessons, but mostly through guided personal research, peers’ teaching, and experiential learning. Each course ends in a special night with families, clergy, and staff, where our teens present their courses’ related product.

Our Hebrew class is designed to strengthen our students’ reading skills, and to teach basic conversation ability. We want our teens to learn the Hebrew they need for practicing their Judaism, and the Hebrew they need in order to maintain some connections with modern Israel. JTC also meets one Sunday each month and one Shabbat or holiday each month. Sunday programs offer either trips, speakers, or films followed by discussions, social action projects, or community-building activities. Our Shabbat and holiday programming brings the teens to both synagogues in order to participate in observance, discussions, appropriate activities, and a meal.

JTC staff members have extensive experience working with teens through both formal and informal education. They are all passionate about Jewish teaching and are working hard to provide a great learning experience for our teens.

For any questions, please contact Ossi Nussbaum at JTCdirectors@gmail.com.
>>>Pictured: while on a field trip, two of our JTC students discover AJ at The National Liberty Museum.

Bernstein Torah Academy
Generations of young people have learned to read Torah from the Bernstein Torah Academy. This tradition continues today. Over 50 years ago, the Torah Club (later named the Bernstein Torah Academy) was started under the direction of Rabbi Yaakov Rosenberg and Cantor Charles Davidson. The idea was to teach children starting at age 10 to read Torah on Shabbat Mincha and Monday and Thursday mornings so that when they became bar/bat mitzvah they would already know the skill of chanting from the Torah. When these children were around 16 years old, they were able to teach the younger ones. Hundreds of children have been taught to read Torah at AJ and many of our graduates read at other shuls around the country. In fact, our program has been replicated at other shuls by some of our former students. To this day, AJ does not have a paid professional reading from the Torah, but rather children and adults who have been trained right here at AJ.

Today, the program has been incorporated into our Hebrew school, for 5th graders. It’s currently being taught by Hazzan Glantz. Adults are also encouraged to learn how to chant from the Torah and there are several members of our congregation who are experienced and willing to teach you. No one’s too old to learn! If you’re interested in learning, contact Hazzan Glantz at 215.635.6611, ext. 122 or hglantz@gmail.com.

Bar/Bat Mitzvah Program
At AJ, children start their individual training with the Hazzan approximately 8 months prior to their bar/bat mitzvah. This training includes chanting from the Torah, Haftorah, leading the Torah Service, and Musaf Service. Children also participate in the Friday evening service before the day of the bar/bat mitzvah. The program also includes meetings with the Rabbi for both the child and the parents.

Confirmation Program
Confirmation at Adath Jeshurun is a long-standing tradition. When students reach 10th grade, they participate in Confirmation classes and activities. While this is the culmination of formal Jewish learning at AJ, one of the messages of the Confirmation year is that Jewish learning never ends. Confirmation, in many ways, is a beginning for our students.

As part of Confirmation year, the students attend seminar style classes with the clergy. They may participate in social action activities. In addition, they take a special trip to New York that includes visits to Jewish educational institutions, kosher meals, and a Broadway show.

At the end of the year, the students lead a special Confirmation service during which they not only lead the prayers, but read essays they have written relating to the service, the Confirmation experience, and being a young Jewish adult. Students who participate in Confirmation appreciate being part of a rich tradition that encourages their engagement in the present and future Jewish educational and lifestyle experiences.

Mon, September 21 2020 3 Tishrei 5781