Temple Beth El

April 2016

“Learning is great, because learning leads to action.” – Talmud Kiddushim 40b

Providing our students with opportunities to do something with the knowledge that they are acquiring is an important element of our Religious School.   It helps students feel that their learning has purpose, it gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment, and it provides them with a number of memories that they will draw upon as they solidify their Jewish identity.  I’d like to share with you just a few highlights of ways that our Religious School is providing our students with opportunities to use what they are learning.

Learning to read Hebrew and to chant many of the prayers is a key component of our curriculum.  Our students regularly get the opportunity to lead prayers that they are learning in our school T’fillah (prayer services) and our Shabbat family and youth services.  The older students also prepare to lead these for the congregation in the main sanctuary.

Our Kitah Zayin (7th grade) students have a detailed unit on the Tallit and Tefilin.  On Sunday mornings, they have the opportunity to wear these ritual items each week.  As a demonstration of their learning, they created an instructional video teaching about Tefilin.  This video was premiered at the World Wide Wrap on February 7 and is now hosted on the Beth El website as a resource.

Our Kitot Bet and Gimmel (2nd and 3rd grades) learn the values of helping others, feeding the hungry and translating our values into action.  They joined together with students from Temples B’rith Kodesh and Sinai for a Mitzvah Day program at Foodlink.  While there, they again studied the Jewish value of feeding the hungry and then participated in a food sort.

Our Kitot Dalet and Hay (4th and 5th grades) were tasked with preparing a Tu B’shevat program for the whole school.  After studying the customs of the holiday, they created several activities for the other students.  Not only did they create great activities, they had the opportunity to think about how they needed to adjust their activities to be appropriate for students younger and older.  These are just a few of the many examples of our students translating their learning into action.  With these experiences as a part of their Jewish religious education, our students are learning how to apply their knowledge as they integrate themselves into their Jewish community.  These experiences will stay with the students and will continue to be a source of pride.