We have Hebrew and Religious Universities (H & R U) which take place on four Sunday mornings throughout the year. These provide Intergenerational Jewish Educational Programming for all Beth Shalom Synagogue members. One very successful university has been the Cordon Jew which has featured cooking classes for various dishes related to Jewish tradition and Israeli culture. These hands on demonstrations have proved to be enjoyable to all who have participated. We have dealt with other topics ranging from Jewish humor to Jewish death practices. This year brings a new slate of topics in addition to the Cordon Jew.
It has been established that children learn best and retain more when families learn together. At Beth Shalom we pray, learn, and celebrate as a “family”.
On Wednesday, students will study Introductory Hebrew ( grades 1-3), Prayer Book Hebrew ( grades 4 – bar/bat mitzvah), and Modern Conversational Hebrew (post bar/bat mitzvah). Students also participate in Jewish Studies based on the URJ’s Chai Learning Curriculum.
There are four Shabbatot per year, two Friday Night Services and two Saturday Morning Services led by our students accompanied by Shabbat Dinner and/or Shabbat Lunch.
On Sunday Evenings our 9th and 10th graders enjoy dinner and discussion with Rabbi Gardner for a weekly confirmation class.”
What is it that we want for our children?
What is it that we want their Judaism to mean to them?
We want them to be at home in their Judaism, We want them to be not spectators, but participants, whenever they walk into a synagogue, be it here or anywhere in the world.
We want their Judaism to be neither a burden nor a badge. We want their Judaism to be as natural to them as breathing.
We want our children to have a religious attitude toward life. We want them to have reverence for all that enhances life.
We want them to have a sense of awe and wonder towards the known as well as the unknown dimensions of life.
We want them to be open to new ideas. We want them to have a feeling for beauty. We want them to feel that life is a joy.
We want our children to appreciate the beauty and the wisdom of the Jewish way of life. We want them to live it, not out of fear or guilt, not out of a belief in its magical powers, not just to please us or our ancestors, but as an expression of their own values, as their way of saying thanks for the privilege of being alive.