Religious School Registration
Religious School Calendar
We hope to educate and mold intelligent and inquisitive young Jewish people. We feel that is it our responsibility to help to perpetuate Jewish living and Jewish families. We are completely staffed by congregants, which is a testament to the dedication of our families, and the level to which they care about Jewish education for our children. Our Cantorial Soloist provides a music session each week during school hours. Every Sunday, our school session ends with a brief family service which is considered part of our morning of class time. Parents are strongly encouraged to attend and to spend this time with their children.
We are proud to share that many of our students choose to enrich their Religious School experiences by attending URJ’s Camp Harlam, by taking part in Junior Youth Group activities, and by becoming active members in our regional youth organization, NFTY/PAR, as well as spending time in Israel through NFTY and camp opportunities.
Our chief goals at our School include:
- Educating and engaging the whole child.
- Providing Jewish experiences that enrich, including Torah study, music, Hebrew, and Tikkun Olam (social action).
- Building relationships with peers and mentors.
- Continuing Jewish studies after b’nai mitzvah for all teens.
- Encouraging children to become socially and environmentally conscious.
Students in Pre-K, Kindergarten, and Grades 1 & 2, and Grades 8, 9, & 10 attend once a week on Sundays. Students in Grades 3-7 attend school twice a week, on Sundays and Wednesdays. Our Early Childhood class meets twice a month, and our Parent & Me class meets several times throughout the year.
9:15 a.m. - Noon for children from ages 18 months to grade 12
4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. for grades 3-7
Rabbi Paskoff is the leader and teacher in our high school program. 9th and 10th graders meet each week, while 11th and 12th graders meet oncea month. Grades 11 and 12 meet the class requirements in many different ways, including supervised social activities, mitzvah projects, field trips, and classroom units of study. Confirmation is at the end of the 12th grade year.
Twice a Month: Early Childhood
This program serves children from the age of 18 months to three years. This is a program in which parents are invited to attend along with their children, if they so choose. This often depends on the age of the child, and their individual level of comfort. The children are Jewishly engaged while having fun. They can be found doing art projects, attending music with our Cantorial Soloist, digging in the rice table, looking at Jewish books, and doing cooking projects.
Once a Week: Pre-K, Kindergarten, Grades 1 & 2, and Post B’nai Mitzvah (Grades 8, 9, & 10)
On Sundays, all of the children are at school together. Our mornings include music sessions for all grade levels, and aim to foster Judaic knowledge, global connections, and Hebrew fluency through song, dance, and prayer. For the younger grades, Sunday mornings also include a visit to our congregational library. Our younger students are treated to stories in the library, and then encouraged to sign out books to take home to share with their families. We hope that this helps to foster and grow Jewish libraries in their homes. Our older students are encouraged to check out books for personal reading and learning, as well as to use the library for research and class work.
Post B’nai Mitzvah
Jewish learning and community are a lifelong activity, and at Shaarai Shomayim, many of our teens continue their studies through Confirmation at the end of the 12th grade year. Rabbi Paskoff is the leader and teacher in our high school program. 9th and 10th graders meet every Sunday morning, while 11th and 12th graders meet once a month. Grades 11 and 12 meet their class requirements in many different ways, including supervised social activities, mitzvah projects, field trips, and classroom units of study.
Twice a Week: Grades 3-7
One of our chief goals for children in Grades 3-7 is to build Hebrew and Judaic literacy. At every class session, they build Hebrew knowledge through regular practice. These students learn the alef-bet (the Hebrew alphabet), then continue their practice to gain fluency in reading Hebrew words and prayers. Children in these grades enjoy an interactive Torah study session once a week, which includes readings, reenactments, and in-depth discussions. Children at Shaarai Shomayim celebrate becoming a B’nai Mitzvah after turning 13. At a B’nai Mitzvah service, the student will chant from the Torah and Haftarah, and will also lead the Hebrew and English parts of the service. To accomplish this goal of becoming a B’nai Mitzvah, they attend individual tutoring sessions for about one year with our Cantorial Soloist.