Schools

OUR SCHOOL'S MISSION

It is a guiding principle of the Temple Beth Israel Schools to touch the heart and Jewish soul of every student through study, practice and living Judaism. The V’ahavta enjoins us to love God and to teach this love to our children. From our youngest students who explore Judaism through the senses to our oldest students who meet in a communal high school, our goal is to expose students and their families to the richness of Jewish ritutal, history and culture. We aim high, stretching young minds with the creative education programs we present. Most important, we are committed to sharing our love of Judaism with each generation.

NATE Accreditation.  Temple Beth Israel is one of only a handful of Chicago-area Reform congregations to have received accreditation for its religious and Hebrew school from the National Association of Temple Educators (NATE). The NATE accreditation process is designed to help an institution reflect upon its mission as it relates to its educational goals and processes, to foster a process-review and to help an institution validate its educational program, the central purpose of which is Jewish learning. An institution accredited by the National Association of Temple Educators places Jewish learning as the central goal of the entire community, sees itself in partnership with the home and the general community and, in its practices, reflects the spirit of Reform Judaism.

RELIGIOUS SCHOOL ON SUNDAY MORNINGS

The Temple Beth Israel RELIGIOUS SCHOOL meets on Sunday mornings from 9:00am to 11:00am.  We offer classes for tots through 7th grade on Sunday mornings. Additional enrichment is offered from 11:10am to 12:10pm for children in Kindergarten through 2nd grade while older students are in Hebrew class.  Contact the Temple office for details.

Pre-Kindergarten and Tots learn Judaism through the senses, exploring the holidays, bible stories, music, and basic Hebrew phrases. Our Kindergarteners and First Graders examine Judaism in the home and in the synagogue through Jewish folk tales, bible stories and more contemporary children’s literature. Students add new Hebrew words to their vocabulary and learn the blessings to welcome Shabbat.

Second though Seventh Graders use the innovative Chai curriculum developed by the Union for Reform Judaism focusing on Torah (the study of the Torah text), Avodah (examining worship) and G’milut Chasadim (acts of loving kindness).  Each unit is connected to the other two through text, context and thematic elements. Details of the Chai Curriculum can be found at www.urj.org/chai.

HEBREW SCHOOL ON SUNDAY & WEDNESDAY

The Hebrew Program at Temple Beth Israel is focused on building confidence and competence with the Reform Liturgy. Our program integrates reading readiness and prayer literacy, so that our students are comfortable in the synagogue and with the basic rituals of Jewish life. The curriculum also introduces modern Hebrew language and reinforces the notion of Hebrew as a living and evolving language. Our Hebrew School meets on Sundays after Religious School from 11:10am to 12:10pm and Wednesdays from 4:15pm to 6:00pm.   Hebrew instruction begins in 3rd grade and continues through graduation at the conclusion of 7th grade.

WHEN TO START YOUR CHILD AND RESOURCES FOR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

Making the decision to send your child to religious school should be a thoughtful and deliberate decision. Just as we, as parents, are charged with the health and safety of our children, we are also obligated to provide for their spiritual, ethical and religious growth. At Temple Beth Israel we believe that this education should begin as early as possible. Our Sunday morning Tot program allows our youngest students to explore the tastes, smells and feelings of being Jewish, to discover the spaces and the personalities of Temple Beth Israel, and to begin the journey of lifelong Jewish education.

Temple Beth Israel is committed to the education of all children. Our resource teacher works with children with diagnosed learning disabilities, prolonged absence due to illness or for general remediation as needed.