Jewish education is a lifelong meaningful, dynamic, challenging, joyful, and inspiring journey. Through our formal and informal educational programs, we hope to inspire a love of Jewish learning, a commitment to tikkun olam, and a deep connection to Israel in all of our students.
Our strong youth programs are aimed at building Jewish identity with a foundation for a lifelong engagement with Jewish life throughout their lives. Our Living Judaism Religious School experience is complemented in the teen years by our Teen Center, as well as URJ summer camps and URJ programs such as the Religious Action Center’s L’taken Seminar. Our dedicated teaching staff and youth directors engage our children and help them to apply Jewish values to their everyday lives.
Our educational programs extend far beyond our youth. Adult learners have opportunities each week to study with our Rabbis and with leaders in the Jewish community. Ranging from weekly Torah study to Lunch and Learn classes to exploring Judaism and bringing in world-renowned scholars, our programs inspire congregants to keep growing and to stay engaged in Jewish study.
We believe that each individual has a divine spark הצתה (ha'tza'tah) that is special to them and we meet the needs of our learners where they are by creating a safe learning environment that is not a one-size-fits all. While each grade has its own discrete curriculum so that students gain new knowledge and have new experiences each year, there are several themes woven throughout the grades so they learn in age and stage appropriate ways. Students explore these themes in ways that engage and inspire their heads, hearts, and hands each year to build their Jewish identity, instill a sense of pride, and help make Judaism meaningful, relevant, and joyful.
While each grade has its own discrete curriculum so that students gain new knowledge and have new experiences each year, there are several themes woven throughout the grades. Students explore these themes in hands-on ways each year to build their Jewish identity, instill a sense of pride, and help make Judaism meaningful and relevant. See below for each grade’s specific curriculum.
Celebrating special times throughout the year enables our community to share in the joy of being Jewish. Each holiday gives our students an opportunity to learn the story or history of the holiday, along with the special symbols and traditions. From sharing apples and honey to the famous “chocolate seder” to grade-level Shabbat dinners, students are reminded of how special it is to live in Jewish time.
As the foundation of Jewish tradition and learning, we teach Torah in its broadest sense and make it relevant and meaningful in our modern lives. Students learn the stories of our ancestors along with discovering the moral and ethical lessons those stories teach. They explore the values and commandments that Torah teaches that can help us to make good decisions in our lives today.
From the very beginning, students are exposed to Hebrew in a variety of ways. Modern Hebrew phrases can be heard in classrooms throughout the school, and a short prayer service is part of the students’ weekly routine. Our youngest students learn Hebrew letters connected to holidays or Jewish values/ideas and this learning evolves into our prayer-based Hebrew curriculum. We want students to develop a comfort with different prayers in the service, and this comfort comes both from attaining reading fluency as well as understanding the themes and concepts of prayers.
As Jews in America, developing a connection to Israel is an important aspect of our Jewish identity. Our school encourages students to explore the different ways they can understand “Am Yisrael” (the people of Israel), “Eretz Yisrael” (the land of Israel), and “Medinat Yisrael” (the modern state of Israel). We understand that Israel can be complicated and work to instill a nuanced understanding of the Jewish homeland to enable students to develop a positive and healthy relationship with the State of Israel.
Everything that we do and teach is embedded in mitzvot (commandments/good deeds) and middot (values). Learning mitzvot and middot help our students to be good people who make decisions that positively impact the world. We don’t simply learn about Jewish values, we live them!
Audio Prayers, Torah Blessings & Haftorah Blessings can be found
Temple Shaaray Tefila offers an outstanding B’nai Mitzvah program designed to make the preparation process clear, helpful and hopefully, stress free. Our goal is for your child to become an active, well-educated and responsible member of the Jewish community.The B’nai Mitzvah program, an extension of our Religious School, teaches students to read and chant Torah, Haftorah and lead our congregation in worship during their B’nai Mitzvah ceremony. In order to create a truly memorable occasion, a vital part of the Temple Shaaray Tefila B’nai Mitzvah experience entails participation from parents and family members. Our dedicated rabbis, educators, and staff are involved during every step of the B’nai Mitzvah process. Below, please find a grade by grade overview of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah journey.
As questions arise, please feel free to contact our B’nai Mitzvah Coordinator at 914.666.3133.
Learn all about The Family Walkway. below
At Temple Shaaray Tefila we believe that Jewish learning is a lifelong journey. Here are some of the ways you and your family can grow and learn with us:
- B’nai Mitzvah and confirmation classes
- Frequent lectures on topics including current events, Israel, life cycle stages, and Jewish learning
- Rabbi-led Torah study every Saturday morning
- Leadership training program
You Can learn more at the TST learns page.
Adult B’nai Mitzvah
Not every Jewish adult was Bar or Bat Mitzvah at age 13, and it’s never too late to celebrate this incredible milestone! Led by Rabbi Greenberg, our Adult B’nai Mitzvah class is a two year experience which includes both Hebrew reading instruction and Jewish learning. The culmination of the class is a B’nai Mitzvah service, where students’ achievements are recognized by the congregation. We have had students participate ranging in age from 18 to 80, all of who are incredibly grateful for this opportunity. Classes start every other year. A class is beginning in the fall of 2013. Call the Temple office for more information.
Jewish learning doesn’t end when one becomes a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. We believe that adults should also have the opportunity for continued and meaningful learning. This year-long Adult Confirmation class, led by Rabbi Nevarez, explores our foundational Hebrew texts and rabbinic literature, while drawing upon current events, ritual, personal Jewish journeys, and other topics of interest. Classes start every other year. A new class is beginning in the fall of 2013. Contact the Temple office for more information.
Mondays at noon – Forum With the Rabbi
Stop by and enjoy a weekly discussion of Jewish teachings and ideas, and their application to contemporary life. Bring your lunch and we’ll supply the drinks.
Saturdays at 8:50 am – Minyan Service and Torah Study
Join us for Minyan service followed by a discussion of the weekly parsha.
Please join us on Saturday mornings in the school building for our lively and spirited Torah Study sessions. Each session will also feature a reading of the Prophets. No Hebrew knowledge or previous Torah study experience is necessary and first timers are warmly welcomed! For more information please call the office.