Temple Beth Sholom has a wonderfully warm and inviting Hebrew School. Throughout the years it has been chosen as a school to pilot different curriculum and has been given grants to create family education and arts programs. Our staff members are members of our congregation and are devoted to our children and their families. The children eagerly look forward to their weekly visits with Rabbi Scolnic. On Shabbat mornings during Junior Congregation children eagerly volunteer to lead various parts of the Shabbat service.
Please enjoy reading a brief description of each of our classes. If you have any questions or would like further information please contact the synagogue or write to HebrewSchool@tbshamden.com
This is a class for pre-school children. The goal of this program is to give young children an introduction to Jewish holidays. Hebrew music, arts and crafts, stories, games and fun are the important components of the program. This class meets twice a month on Sunday mornings from 9:00-10:30.
This class is designed for children in Kindergarten. The class offers an introduction to the Jewish Holiday cycle, beginning Bible stories, and Hebrew song and prayer. The class is taught in a developmentally appropriate manner with colorful materials and texts. Arts and crafts are an almost weekly component of this program. Music is interwoven throughout the curriculum. This class meets Sundays: 9:00-Noon.
PRIMARY 1—NITZANIM (BUDS)
This class is for children who are entering 1st grade. In this class, children will be introduced to basic blessings, songs and prayers for the Sabbath and Jewish holidays. The Bible curriculum continues to explore the lives of famous Biblical figures. The Jewish holidays, and how we observe them are taught using pamphlet texts and custom materials created by the teacher. Music and arts & crafts are vital components of the program. This class meets Sundays: 9:00-Noon
PRIMARY 2-PERACHIM (FLOWERS)
This class is designed for children who are entering 2nd grade. Children should be able to decode and read English with some comprehension. Children will be introduced to basic prayer skills as they open each class with prayer. Prayers are then added sequentially throughout the year so that the children develop a repertoire of prayers that are recited both at home and in the synagogue. This year the children are introduced formally to the Hebrew alphabet with letter recognition and sounds. In this class, holiday customs, ceremonies and Bible are part of the curriculum. This class meets Sundays: 9:00-Noon and Wednesdays 4:15-5:45.
ALEPH, BET & GIMEL
Aleph: for children entering the 3rd grade.
Bet: for children entering the 4th grade.
Gimel: for children entering the 5th grade.
The primary goal of these three years is to teach the children Hebrew reading and prayer skills in order that they become synagogue comfortable. We also provide them with an overall understanding of the meaning of the prayers they are continuing to learn. Children will continue to acquire the skills and understanding that help them to observe holidays and other Jewish ceremonies and customs at home and in the synagogue. These classes all participate in the Chai curriculum which explores “big” ideas of Torah, Prayer, and Mitzvot. Special programs, which also include parents have become traditional in our program and enhance the learning experience. These classes meet Sundays: 9:00-Noon & Wednesdays 4:15-5:45
This class is for children entering 6th grade; the beginning of Middle School. Prayer skills goals include the Shabbat morning Torah service and the Musaf Amidah. The class also uses the Chai curriculum which emphasis “big ideas” from Torah, Prayer and Gemilut Hasadim. In addition, the class explores the concept of heroes and learns about Jews who have made a difference in our world. Special programs include Mitzvah Hero, and a trip to Jewish New York. This class meets Sundays: 9:00-Noon and Wednesdays 4:15-5:45.
This class is for children entering the 7th grade. The class explores units about Jewish life cycle events, the Holocaust and Mitzvah. Students also continue to refine their prayer skills and their understanding of prayer.
This class meets on Saturdays 9:30-11:30 and certain Sundays 9-Noon and Wednesdays 4:15-5:45.
BAR/BAT MITZVAH INSTRUCTION
Special tutors are in charge of our instruction process. Children meet with their tutors in half-hour sessions outside their regular Hebrew School times. Children learn to chant a Haftorah and selected parts of the Friday evening and Saturday morning service. In addition, children spend time with Rabbi Scolnic discussing the meaning and modern significance of this special life cycle event.
The first Saturday of each month, beginning in October, is a time for the entire Hebrew School to gather for Shabbat services and extended programming. All children are given an opportunity to participate and lead. Sunday classes are not held on these weekends. This program meets from 9:30-11:30.
TEENS & RABBI SCOLNIC on SUNDAY MORNINGS
One Sunday morning a month, Rabbi Scolnic meets with our teenagers to discuss a variety of topics. Over hot chocolate and bagels, the ancient world and the modern world mix for a delightful hour. This program is for any post Bar or Bat Mitzvah through 12th grade.
Our teachers are caring, creative and knowledgeable. They are devoted to our community and our children.
They love teaching about Judaism to children and that positive feeling is transmitted to their students.
Our synagogue is committed to providing intergenerational programming for the entire family. Workshops, special holiday programs, and family Shabbat dinners and services enhance our school and synagogue programming.
SHABBAT EARLY FAMILY SERVICE
One Friday evening of each month, a service for families with children of all ages is conducted at 7:00 p.m. A short service, a special discussion, some Shabbat songs and a delicious Oneg are all part of this evening.
KESHET (TOT SHABBAT) & KIDDUSH KINDER
On one Shabbat of each month, we have parent/children Shabbat services for different age groups. Tot Shabbat is for children birth through 3. Kiddush Kinder is for children ages 4-7. Prayers, games, music and special snack make these programs a pleasurable experience for everyone.