The Religious School at Congregation Etz Hayim uses a values-based curriculum to inform and fortify the Jewish identity of our young members. Our students are immersed in a curriculum that educates them in the way of not just being Jewish, but doing Jewish.

In our classes, students learn the foundations of Jewish living, including holiday observance and traditions, life cycle events, prayer-based Hebrew and Torah study, history, and ethics. Israeli culture also is an important element of the curriculum. These foundations are further developed through hands-on opportunities to fulfill mitzvot by performing community service, leading services for our students and congregation, and participating in national and international social action efforts.

Classes meet on Sundays mornings during the school year for all students, Kindergarten through 9th Grade. Grades 3-7 also meet on Wednesdays during the school year. See our FAQs below for information about the 2020-21 School Year.

The effectiveness of the Religious School begins with the skilled and creative teachers on our staff and the active contributions of our clergy. Our program limits the class sizes to ensure a low student-teacher ratio and facilitate active student participation. Tutoring is available for students who need extra assistance.

In addition to the classroom, our active learning includes art, music, and special programs throughout the year. We also explore current events and cultural developments through the prism of Jewish ethics and morality.

For more information, please contact Laura Naide, Director of Religious Education, at school@etzhayim.net.

FAQS
Will Religious School be held in-person or online this year?

o  Based on health and safety considerations, CEH will hold Religious School online through December 2020. At that time, we will reevaluate whether or not we can safely resume in-person classes.
o  CEH will continue to provide online minyan (prayer) experiences for students, engaging Judaic lessons, and will add one-on-one Hebrew instruction for students in Grades 3-5. Students in Grade 6 and 7 will receive Hebrew/trope instruction from either the Rabbi or B’nai Mitzvah tutors.
o  CEH will use a curriculum that is designed to take advantage of online resources but can easily translate into the classroom. This will minimize disruption when we return to the building. We also offer online Youth Group activities for Grades 1-8.

What curriculum will CEHRS use?

o CEHRS will use the Judaic Studies curriculum from ShalomLearning for Grades 2-6. This curriculum is designed to be used both online and in-person, which will allow us flexibility throughout the year. The curriculum is values-based and each month all students will learn about a Jewish value as we have done for several years.
o Grades K-1 will use ShalomLearning materials as well as existing teacher materials.
o Grade 7 will use the Our Whole Lives (OWL) curriculum that emphasizes Jewish values and body positivity.
o Grades 8-9 will provide an opportunity for post-B’nai Mitzvah students to engage in high-level Jewish learning, contribute to the community though social action and advocacy projects and develop a “Jewish tool kit” to strengthen Jewish identity and prepare for high school and college.

What’s new at CEHRS this year?

CEHRS will welcome both member and nonmember students to our Religious School. The purpose of this new policy is to extend Jewish learning to our community and to introduce families to our congregation. Nonmembers may enroll students in any grade (K-9) for one year at an increased tuition rate. Please see the Tuition Sheet on the Forms page for more information and spread the word to your friends and neighbors!

What does tuition cover?

Your tuition covers most of the expenses of running an excellent Religious School, including teacher salaries, books, online resources (e.g., Zoom, Hebrew materials), supplies, administrative support, field trips (virtual or in-person), and guest speakers. Our congregation is strongly committed to Jewish education and subsidizes the remaining school costs.

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