As you enter through the doors of the Shomrei Torah Synagogue Religious School, you will be immersed in a high energy learning environment, rich with the spirit of Judaism and community. Our Religious School is a place where students learn to appreciate the fullness of Judaism and gain a sense of their Jewish self. These connections are made through song and prayer, art and dance, laughter and joy, field trips and family education friendships and the building of special memories.
Kindergarten: My Jewish Self – Torah Tales and Me, Jewish Symbols, My Jewish 5 Senses
1st Grade: My Jewish Family – Biblical Families, Shabbat and Havdalah Symbols, 100 Blessings
2nd Grade: My Jewish Community – Our Synagogue, The Jewish calendar and Holidays
3rd Grade: Israel – Heroes, Geography and Mitzvot, God, Friday Night at home prayers and blessings
4th Grade: Torah Trek – Book of Beresheet and beginning of Shemot (Genesis and Exodus), Kabbalat Shabbat Prayers
5th Grade: Jewish Life Cycles – Tzedakah, Shabbat morning prayers and blessings
6th Grade: The Jewish Journey – Avraham through Zionism, Torah Service prayers and blessings
7th Grade: My Jewish Identity – Text study with our Rabbis, B'nai Mitzvah Preparation, A survey of Jewish community and leadership
8th -12th Grade: Team Madrichim –Teens take a leadership role in our Religious School classrooms, Shabbatonimand STAR programming, while continuing their own Jewish education and leadership training
Our goal is to teach the practical skills of the Siddur (prayer book) and prayers that will enable the students to be active participants in Tefillah (prayer service) and have an understanding of Hebrew as a living language. We pride ourselves in teaching lifelong language skills.
All students will participate in Tefillah (prayer service), which is held in the Sanctuary on Tuesdays and Sundays. Not only is "Keva" (the recitation of the prayers) taught, but "Kavanah" (the intent) as well. It is important for each student to gain personal meaning from each prayer.
Kindergarten and 1st Grade students with a strong background in Hebrew or those who participated in our Pre-School Ma'alah program, are encouraged to enroll in our Religious School Ma'alah program.
Our holiday curriculum is designed to ensure that students will learn something new and age-appropriate for each holiday every year. A concept is assigned to each grade for each holiday. Every year our students are able to expand on the information they have already learned and apply their knowledge in a more advanced way. Storytelling, the making of holiday objects, music and school-wide programming are an integral part of every holiday celebration.
We understand that all students learn in different ways. In response to this educational challenge, we employ a variety of different pedagogical tools in order to reach the variety of learning styles each individual possesses. In the classroom, we utilize text books, but more importantly, our teachers serve as "text people." They act as facilitators, nurturing their student's academic, social and spiritual development inside the classroom and out.
Four times a year, students participate in our Color War program. Color War challenges are written specifically to provide academic challenge in an experiential manner. They are planned knowing that students of all age groups will be working together, and that we all have something to learn from one another. On Color War days, students come to Religious School dressed in their team color and spend the day immersed in hands-on learning opportunities.
On various Shabbatot over the course of the school year, our students participate in STAR Programming. Each STAR (for students ages 3rd – 6th grade) and STAR Mishpacha (for all Religious School families) session features a combination of Shabbat tefillah (prayer) skills and concepts and Parashat HaShavuah, (Torah portion of the week) study. Overseen by our Team Madrichim Coordinator, STS teenagers implement the STAR sessions. Each week these Madrichim (teen guides) attend a training meeting to prepare for the upcoming session.
An integral component of our 3rd – 6th grade students' Religious School experience is a Camp Ramah Retreat. Ramah educators and counselors provide an exciting Shabbat camp experience in which an educational theme is conveyed to our students through engaging activities such as stories, adventures, and social action projects. The weekend also includes sports, Shabbat services, ruach, and social time.
We strive to provide experiences that our students will remember forever. To this end, we offer a variety of Shabbatonim for our students. Planned and facilitated by our Teen Madrichim, at each Shabbaton students sleep overnight at the synagogue and enjoy creative programs, prayer services, and games focused around the Torah portion. Our 3rd-6th graders participate in a Shabbat "Shul In" and our 7th graders build and sleep in our STS RS Sukkah!
Each grade level has its own hands-on Family Education programming during the course of the year. These Family Education programs provide an opportunity for you and your children to learn and experience Judaism together.
Parent Open Houses, parent-teacher conferences, student evaluations, emails, flyers and Religious School newsletters will keep parents informed throughout the year. Our Religious School Director, Rabbinical Intern and Rabbi are always happy to greet parents with an open door.
Parents are encouraged to volunteer in their children's classroom. Room parents and parent volunteers are greatly needed and appreciated!
Our 8th – 12th grade students are encouraged to participate as Madrichim (teen guides) in our STAR and Shabbatonim programs or in the classrooms as teacher's assistants. This is a wonderful way for our teens to act as a positive Jewish role model for our younger students and remain immersed in Jewish Education.
It is our desire to make Jewish education accessible to all children. We make every effort to provide support systems for the highly gifted student, and the physically, mentally, and emotionally challenged student. Integration within the regular Religious School classrooms is the goal for all of our students. When this is not possible, however, special learners will be accommodated in our Gesher L'Torah program.