The education of Jewish children in their Jewish heritage is one of the highest priorities of The New Reform Temple. Our founders believed that our temple had an obligation to instill a love of Judaism in every child who was part of the community.
Today, we continue that commitment. Jewish education cannot happen without the commitment of the entire religious community. Thus, we seek to create a partnership which includes students, parents, teachers, and clergy in order to achieve a meaningful educational experience for all our families. Our curriculum encompasses many dimensions of the Jewish experience: the joy of being Jewish; the wisdom of our ancient tradition, the knowledge of Jewish practices that enrich a Jewish life; a commitment to Jewish ethical living, and a love of the Jewish people. As a Reform Jewish congregation, we seek to create an atmosphere where parents and children are able to explore Judaism on their own terms and are empowered to make choices based on knowledge of our tradition.
The Marion & Henry Bloch Religious School starts Sunday, September 11 and runs through Sunday, May 21. Classes run from 9:00 am to 11:30 am with a 30-minute morning prayer service included. We include students from kindergarten through confirmation in grade 10. A registration form can be found here: 2017-18 Registration Form. Our parent handbook can be found here: 2017-18 Parent Handbook and our school calendar can be found here: 2017-18 Religious School Calendar.
Grades 2 through 7 use the CHAI curriculum developed by the Union for Reform Judaism. Jewish sages taught us that the world stands on three things: Torah, Avodah, and G’milut Chasadim (study, worship, and acts of loving kindness). Each grade level contains lessons in those three stands that ensure that student learning will go beyond the specific classroom activities and will lead students to a deeper, enduring understanding of Judaism. Teachers also supplement these lessons with research on the computer, music, art, videos, cooking, and field trips to community activities.
Upper School Students
Grades 8 & 9 focus on the Jewish Journey and how to live a Jewish life. Some topics covered during these years include the three branches of Judaism, life cycle, comparative religions, and the Holocaust. Students also take advantage of community resources for field trips: a mikvah and exhibits at the Midwest Center for Holocaust Studies. Eighth and ninth graders also attend a one day retreat for building friendships within their classes.
Confirmation class is an exciting year. Students learn through reading about current events that all Jewish events in the world have a historical reason for happening. They learn why these have occurred and how they have come to have religious freedom. Students also learn to understand Judaism’s position on critical life issues and how they apply to themselves. The students cap off the year with a trip to New York and a wonderful Confirmation Service in May.
Religious School Committee
Goals: Work with the Religious School Director to help plan the curriculum, special events, and hire teachers. Help set the direction and tone of the school.