Heather Schweizer, Educator
Experience the advantage of a Temple Beth Am religious education!
At Temple Beth Am, we make learning an educational playground – providing the balanced blend of formal and informal Jewish education, social and community involvement, positive role modeling and a creative approach to education that engages all children and their families in active and life-long Jewish learning.
A living laboratory for a Jewish education
Our clergy, teachers, students and parents work seamlessly together in an environment that is warm, inviting, and nurturing – specifically designed to provide our youth with a Jewish educational program based on interaction and participation. Group learning encourages our children to understand and embrace their roles as active members and future leaders in the Jewish community. While they learn the same prayers and are exposed to the same history lessons as other Jewish students across the state, our children have the added benefit of learning within a culture that is loving, accepting, family-oriented and “kid friendly.”
The curriculum is broad and deep
Our educators are encouraged to be creative, urged to employ fun learning methods, diverse resources, helpful materials and new technologies to stimulate all the children’s senses in the process of receiving a dynamic and multi-dimensional Jewish education. From the youngest children to our confirmation class, there are appropriate levels of formal and structured programming, including:
• Hebrew reading and chanting
• The legacy of Jewish holidays
• Synagogue symbols and people
• Tzedakah projects / volunteering in community
• Bible stories
• The structure of Shabbat services
• Fun children’s Tefillah (prayer) services
• Jewish music and song
• Israel’s History and current events
• Customs and Jewish life cycle events
• Lessons from the Prophets
• Study of Torah and Haftarah
• Holocaust education and awareness
A personalized approach
While much of the teaching is done in a group setting, at Temple Beth Am, we also are extraordinarily proud of our personalized approach and differential learning philosophy. This means that each child is continuously assessed and monitored for progress in a non-threatening manner to ensure they receive the personal attention they deserve. Our children can learn at their own speed based on their unique abilities and situation. Through the years, the lessons become more sophisticated and more complex so that students learn and then re-learn the essential characteristics of Jewish life, with plenty of time allowed for personal reflection on their responsibilities as maturing Jewish youth. Confirmation Academy for students in grades 8 through 10 covers a variety of relevant, thought-provoking, and sometimes controversial topics, encouraging the teenagers to consider some of life’s greatest challenges from a Jewish perspective.
What it means to be Jewish
The children who are educated at Temple Beth Am learn the basics, but as importantly, they also learn what it is to be a mensch, demonstrating compassion. They participate in regular acts of tzedakah, giving money, food and clothing and are rewarded for their kindness. When the class’ philanthropy reaches certain goals, they celebrate with a game, a special break or other treats. They volunteer for the community inside the walls of the Temple as well as outside, such as visiting a nursing home while learning the importance of gemilut chasadim, “giving of themselves.” They earn tickets that can be redeemed for prizes by performing a mitzvah, practicing Hebrew reading/chanting and participating in active class discussions. Teachers and parents are partners as well as role models, showing the children the value of being a good person.
Learning inside and outside the classroom
At Temple Beth Am, we understand that much of what our children absorb takes place beyond the formal processes, which is why we have built so many exciting nontraditional educational experiences into our program, from electives to trips to group visits to Taste of Camp at Camp Harlam, our regional URJ summer camp!
The Temple Beth Am Youth Group
All of our Religious School students are automatically members of our Temple’s Youth Group, adding a purely social element to help create lifelong relationships with other Jews.
Call or Email us to learn more
We hope you will want to know more about our passion for teaching our children about Judaism and our commitment to creating a distinctive religious school experience. Find out what it can mean for your children and your family. Please call us today for a tour or to arrange a private interview.