Connecting Our Children to Judaism Through Experiencing Education

Nurturing each student to develop his or her unique relationship to G!d and Judaism has been the strength of Temple Har Zion’s religious school for many years. Our mission is to educate the whole child in order to foster a balance in Jewish mind, Jewish body and Jewish spirit. To achieve this mission, our programming includes diverse offerings throughout the year.

One of our primary goals is for students to foster a love of being Jewish and be comfortable with being different from many of their public-school peers. In order to achieve this goal, we carefully consider our curriculum in order to teach core standards while continuing to make Hebrew School a fun place to be. The Hebrew School at Temple Har Zion is not only a place to learn the aleph-bet, or about why Jews celebrate Tu B’Shevat, but a place to learn and feel good about what it means to be Jewish in a very complicated contemporary world.

Students celebrate Chanukah

Students celebrate Chanukah by lighting the outdoor menorah.

Programming includes programs for all holidays as well as events such as World Wide Wrap and a Hebrew School Lag B’Omer picnic. At Temple Har Zion, we encourage every generation to become involved in Jewish life through programs such as our Yom Hashoah service and the Simchat Torah celebration, where all members and friends are invited to participate.

Temple Har Zion Hebrew School is for children from kindergarten through high school. Our small size allows teachers time to build strong relationships with each child. Our Rabbi is actively involved teaching, tutoring b’nai mitzvah students, serving as principal, and working with the Hebrew School committee. All students have an opportunity to study with the rabbi during weekly assembly. By the time of the b’nai mitzvah, the student has had the opportunity to participate in a number of Friday Shabbat services and receive one-on-one learning with the rabbi, creating a level of comfort and preparedness for this milestone event. Should a student need additional help, there is easy access to our tutoring program.

One of the highlights of Hebrew School at THZ is our monthly Friday Night Hebrew School Service where students conduct the whole service. The building fills with eager children, parents and other family members in tow. All students participate, and a b’nai mitzvah student is designated “rabbi” for the evening. Students consider this an exciting assignment and seem to truly relish standing in the rabbi’s position, telling the congregation to stand or be seated, and calling other students forward for their assigned tasks. Families come out in full support, and the Oneg Shabbat is looked forward to by everyone (nothing beats ice cream after services!). Most importantly, our children learn to feel at home on a bimah and take pride in sharing their love of Judaism with their THZ family. The children leave at the end of the evening with a feeling of accomplishment, knowing they are a vital part of our community, while parents see their children’s progress in Jewish learning demonstrated before the congregation

We hear from parents and students that children look forward to Hebrew School, and to the warm and welcoming atmosphere that is our hallmark. Our teachers strive to help students filter world events through a Jewish lens with the goal of facilitating students’ understanding of how they, and their religion, fit into the larger world. The result is a greater comfort with their Jewish identity in the secular world.