Religious School

Educational Philosophy

Temple Solel Religious School works vigorously to create a meaningful educational experience for our youth by providing them with a dynamic and modern approach to Jewish learning and living. By focusing on spiritual knowledge and cultural skills our students will grow into intentional and confident Jewish adults at home and in their community.

A Note from the Education Administrator,
Bruce Hislop

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus is credited with saying, “The only thing that is constant is change.” But maybe he didn’t. He did have, as a central tenet to his philosophies, the idea that everything changes. And this is true.  After Nina resigned over the summer (If you haven’t heard, she accepted a position closer to home, which allows her to spend more time with her family), I volunteered to act as the education administrator until such time that a new principal is hired. This might seem a bit out-of-the-blue, but it isn’t really. My entire career has been about education. I taught chemistry and physics for seven years (and still tutor both) and have been in administration for the past 19 years. My graduate work is in the field of education testing. I’m currently working to make sure the school year starts off smoothly.

I must publicly thank Rabbi Steve, Elizabeth Craig, the Temple Board and the Education Committee for all the generous assistance they are providing to help me with this. I am also calling on parents and Temple members to help me as well. If you have not yet registered your child or children for Hebrew School, please do so as soon as possible. The student count is the lynch pin for so many things: knowing how many teachers we need, knowing where to place them, assigning
the classes to rooms that will accommodate their size, purchasing books and materials, and more. You can (and should) register via the online Brit.

Perhaps the biggest change in the school this year is how we will support students with their Hebrew needs. We will have adult teachers who specialize in teaching Hebrew to students at their current level and who will teach all the students across grade levels. Struggling students will not be forced to rush to catch up to grade-level peers, but will have instruction that focuses on their specific needs – letters, vowels, sight reading, etc. from a qualified instructor. This
change really affects the entire teaching force as well. Not every teacher needs to be comfortable in Hebrew. If you feel comfortable teaching holidays, life cycle events, Israel, history, ethics or whatever, and would love to work with our
youth (but never volunteered because you consider your Hebrew too weak), we have a place for you. This model also frees up time for teachers of these “specialties.” These teachers do not need to commit to three hours each week; they may only need to come in for one or two hours a couple Sundays a month. Please consider teaching our Temple youth and
impacting their future (and ours).

So many changes! New school administrator, new teachers, new interns, new structures and most of all, new eager faces! One thing we do know Heraclitus said is that one can never step in the same stream twice. Understanding that change is inevitable, we can look at each situation and lament what has gone, the “water that has passed,” or we can embrace the newness and freshness of the water that has come. We will continue to prepare for and embrace these changes as we welcome our students for what will be an amazing year.

School Programs

For student’s ages 3 – 13 years old, we offer a curriculum that focuses on Hebrew letter recognition and comprehension, Jewish holidays, rituals, culture, Bible stories and how these topics are relevant and relate to us today.

TORAH FOR TOTS (for kids ages 3 & 4 years old- must be potty trained) meets twice monthly on Sunday from 9:00AM-10:30AM
GRADES K-3 meets weekly on Sundays from 9:00AM-NOON
GRADES 4-6 meets weekly on Sundays from 9:00AM-NOON and monthly on Saturday from 9:00AM-12:30PM
GRADE 7 meets weekly on Sundays from 9:00AM-NOON and By Appointment B’nai Mitzvah tutoring and Mitzvah project coordination

High School

For student’s post B’nai Mitzvah (ages 14-18 years old), we offer a curriculum that provides our teens with Jewish content and understanding that will help mold their Jewish identity and understanding of our heritage- including comparative Judaism, current events, what it means to be a Jewish leader and role model, and making healthy choices based on Jewish ethics and values in the hopes of creating a well-rounded Jewish young adult.  

GRADES 8-10 meets weekly on Sundays from NOON-2PM
GRADES 11-12 meets monthly on Sundays from NOON-2PM

Our Curriculum

Hebrew is taught and used at Temple Solel Religious School in contemporary literature and as preparation for becoming a B’nai Mitzvah, for confirmation and continued education.  

  • Pre-K – 2nd Grade will be introduced to the Hebrew alphabet emphasizing recognition of the characters and listening and oral skills.
  • 3rd – 7th Gradewill focus their language skills on letter and vowel combination and learn to read Hebrew accurately and with ease. They will develop competency with basic Hebrew prayer vocabulary and be able to recognize the important elements of content and structure of prayer.

Prayer supports personal growth to higher levels of ethical and spiritual living. Our curriculum will provide a basis for using and understanding in the context in which it was written, what is has come to mean in history and what it means to the individual student. Students in 3rd – 7th Grade will be able to:

  • Read and chant prayers (including decoding, correct accentuation and good phrasing)
  • Demonstrate the correct procedures that are followed in connection with prayer
  • Use and respond to major Hebrew terms and value-concepts that are a part of prayer
  • Create original prayers

Torah is studied through formal and informal methods that focus on the cornerstone of Jewish life, civilization, belief and traditions. Ideals and ethics of the Torah have been and continue to be a lasting influence upon the way we live our individual and communal lives as Jews. 

  • Pre-K – 3rd Grade will be able to identify stories, characters, events and concepts.
  • 4th – 7th Grade will be able to critically analyze stories; characters, events and concepts presented in the text and related literature.
  • 8th -12th Grade will be able to apply their understanding of the characters, events and concepts to modern dilemmas faced by heroes and role models.

Holidays, Customs, and Ceremonies are addressed in our curriculum through the role of the temple and the focus of the home.  All Temple Solel students will be able to recognize and participate in Jewish holidays and life-cycle events.  They will also have complete comprehension of when, how and why we celebrate these events.

Ethics and Values cannot be separated from Jewish life.  We strive toward tzedakah (righteousness), mishpat (justice) and shalom (peace).  Our curriculum integrates Jewish value-concepts in all areas of study.  In addition, each grade level will have key value-concepts identified for study and action.  Issues faced by today’s youth and current events will be touched on in the classroom through a Jewish lens.

Identity provides us with a sense of self and understanding of our beliefs and values.  We focus on building strong Jewish identities in our students through stories and activities that explore our laws, language, rituals and symbols.  By experiencing and learning about important Jewish moments, our students will create a lifelong emotional connection to our heritage, culture and values.

Current Events are discussed through age appropriate conversations of local, national and international news that affect and interest our Jewish youth and community.

Special Programs

Family Shabbat Services and Dinner
Every month, the temple and school hosts a Friday Shabbat experience that is family friendly and fun! Join us as we celebrate Shabbat with camp-style music, kid friendly s, and student lead services. Following services, we offer a catered dinner of rotating meal themes for all whom attend- as long as you RSVP beforehand!

Grades 4-6 Shabbaton Program
To ensure that our children are prepped and ready for their own B’nai Mitzvah’s we offer monthly Saturday programming that provides them with hands-on Shabbat experiences.  This student lead service allows our children to participate in Saturday morning Shabbat services on a regular basis. What better way to prepare our children for their BIG day than with a peer based Shabbat learning experience? 

Grade 7 B’nai Mitzvah Project
Social Action (Gimilut Chasadim) is an important tenet of our Jewish faith and tradition, and our goal is to create well-learned and well-rounded young Jews. Every seventh grader will be immersed in a yearlong mitzvah project of their choosing to enhance their commitment to their B’nai Mitzvah preparation and learning experience. Through regular meetings with a Mitzvah Project coordinator, they will be given the guidance and tools to give back to their community and find Jewish meaning behind their important work.

By Appointment Tutoring
As part of your tuition, we offer extra Hebrew help during the week. With our dedicated staff of tenured educators, you will have the opportunity to schedule one-on-one tutoring for your child as often or as little as you wish.

Teen Intern Program
All students enrolled in our High School program, grades 8-12 have the option to participate as student teachers during Religious School hours for our younger kids. This program gives our oldest children an opportunity to be active participants in our community while showing our little ones the importance of staying involved and remaining an active Jew. This is also a great opportunity for our youth to learn responsibility and work ethic in a fun and comfortable environment with their peers and friends. 

Extra Curricular Activities

Youth Group
Temple Solel offers a large assortment of youth programming and events for all age groups. These programs enhance our student community by providing them with informal and social programming to get to know each other outside of the classroom through Jewish, contemporary and social action themed events. 

  • Youth Activities provide bi-monthly programs for kids of all ages
  • Junior Youth Group provides monthly programs for kids ages 8-14
  • Senior Youth Group (SOSTY) provides monthly programs and leadership opportunities for high school students

Junior Choir
Students in 2nd – 7th grade are invited to join in on a bi-weekly Jewish music program following Religious School on Sundays.  Participants will learn Jewish contemporary and music and will have the opportunity to show off their singing skills several times during the year at temple services and events.

We Also Offer
At Home Family Experiences
Adult Education opportunities
Parallel High Holy Day Youth Services
All School t’filah services
Field Trips to Jewish Museums and CommunitiesSpecial Holiday Celebrations- for example: Purim Carnival, Model Passover Seder
Classroom Technology
At home online learning and help experiences

 

Calendar/Upcoming Events

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Wed 19

Yom Kippur

September 19
Wed 19

Knitzvah Corps

September 19 @ 7:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Thu 20

Board Meeting

September 20 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Fri 21

Shabbat Worship Service

September 21 @ 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Sat 22

Shabbaton

September 22

Words from a Weisman

Click here to read more sermons on Rabbi Weisman's blog
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