K-8 Education

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At Congregation Beth El, we recognize that our students can begin learning at any age! Our doors are open to anyone who is curious to learn more about Judaism and its rich heritage. We urge all parents to participate in the life of our school, both at the synagogue and by engaging with your student at home. No previous experience is required to become your child’s partner in Jewish education; all you need is a dedication to the Jewish tradition and a sense of the value it can bring to your family. Our Kadima curriculum is based on seven big questions about Jewish history, Jewish practice and Jewish life. Our developmental curriculum asks students the same questions as they advance through the curriculum each year. At the end of their studies students have a deep understanding of these areas of Jewish studies. 

As we explore Judaic studies together, we hope to impart to our students the important value of treating others with respect. One of our goals is to make sure that everyone feels at home at Beth El, and that this is a place where they are respected by their teachers and peers. Our education programs are aimed at creating a positive Jewish identity for our students and building a strong Jewish community In addition to core competencies of Jewish education, Jewish history, Jewish texts and Jewish liturgy, we encourage an environment of critical thinking and asking meaningful questions. We also are deeply committed to creating a Jewish learning environment that is fun and engaging.
 
For all of our students, Hebrew is also a large part of the learning at Beth El. In the younger grades, we introduce the Hebrew ‘alef-bet’ (alphabet) and continue to teach reading throughout the years. By the end of 6th grade, our students should be familiar with the themes in a large range of prayers, for both the morning and evening services. We will continue to integrate Hebrew for grades 3-6.

We invite you to join us on this journey of life-long Jewish learning. Beth El’s Youth and Family Education offers something for everyone!
 

Our Programs

At Beth El, we offer two options for educational programs, our midweek programs Kadima (Kindergarten-5th grade) and Makom (6th-8th grades).

Kadima

On Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, students in grades K-5 are engaged in hands-on learning activities which nurture their curiosity about Judaism at our Kadima program. ”Kadima” can be translated as ‘moving forward.’ The Hebrew word implies excitement and energy, and that is what we hope our students enjoy about the afternoon classes at Beth El. These after-school programs are fun and engaging ways to connect to the Jewish tradition. Students have the opportunity to learn as a community and to build lasting friendships.
 

Makom

Makom means “place” in Hebrew.  As our students emerge from elementary school, we are encouraging them to find their unique place in Judaism, and in the broader community.  We hope that Beth El can be a place where they belong and a place where they can find themselves. Makom creates an integrated learning arc from 6th to 7th grade, which includes B’nei mitzvah preparation and celebration. Makom enables stronger community building across our entire Middle School cohort. 6th-grade Makom includes an additional day of Hebrew study. 


8th Grade Program

The 8th grade focuses on Jewish history and Jewish values and the relationship between Judaism and interpersonal relationships! 8th graders that are working as Madrichim, will have the opportunity to participate in a leadership lab where they will get support and skill-building lessons on how to excel as a Madrich.


When they Meet

Kindergarten-2nd Grade (Kadima): Our weekday program is on Thursday afternoon, from 4:00-6:00 pm. Students can arrive anytime after 2:45 pm and many of our students arrive through BUSD and carpools.

3rd-5th Grade (Kadima): Our weekday program is on Tuesday AND Thursday, from 4:00-6:00 pm. Students can arrive anytime after 2:45 pm and many of our students arrive through BUSD and carpools.

6th-7th Grade (Makom): Our program meets Wednesday. Students can get here at 3:00 pm and programs run from 4:00-6:30 pm. 6th graders will meet on Monday, Tuesday or Thursday for an additional hour of Hebrew. 

8th Grade: This program meets Thursday. Students can get here at 3:00 pm and the program runs from 4:00-7:00, dinner is included.