The Jewish Center is proud of our innovative and award-winning Religious School program and curriculum. Our program is grounded in social and emotional learning, and features experiential learning opportunities,Tikkun Olam, social action initiatives, a professionalized teaching staff, and family education opportunities.
Our school begins with our Yad B’Yad parent/child playgroup and runs through high school. The curriculum is designed to expose the students to material appropriate for their developmental age. Our faculty strives to bring a sense of commitment and love of Judaism when working with our youth each week. We provide our staff with ongoing professional development opportunities. Our goal is to help parents raise Jewish children who will grow to be Jewish adults with a strong Jewish identity.
Parents are invited to take an active role in their children’s Jewish education. Through participating in family and parent learning opportunities, we empower all caregivers to create a Jewish home that aligns with their Jewish journeys. Parents are encouraged to join their children’s classes, whether they are on-line, in person, or on Shabbat.
Religious School Curriculum
Our Religious School program was created in response to listening to parents, as well as extensive research into cutting-edge programs across the country. It has resulted in a strong, sophisticated, meaningful and relevant curriculum for our students.
Our school follows a semester model, and allows for flexibility with both in-person and online learning. We follow a core curriculum of Jewish values, and allow students to choose Judaic based electives of their choice based on their grade.
Our commitment to Jewish living and values is reflected in our dynamic and relevant programming, and expands our students’ Jewish horizons and enriches their Jewish souls.
Grade Level Information
Our religious school program is divided into core age groups, with curricula and hours of instruction appropriate to each:
Descriptions by Level
- Age: Pre-K, 4-5 years old
- Days: Sunday
- Hours: 9:00 a.m. to Noon
Gan Katan is an introductory course designed to introduce students to Torah, holidays and Jewish living. The class is an engaging mix of music, art, games, and a snack.
Our Ganon class is for 3-4 year olds. Calendar
- Age: Grades K-2
- Days: Sunday
- Hours: 9:00 a.m. to Noon
- Optional Mechina:Wednesdays from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.
The Gan, Alef, and Bet program is organized around “The Vocabulary of the Jewish People” and emphasizes Jewish holidays, Bible stories, and Hebrew language, including reading readiness. Our goal is not only to introduce rich content, but also to provide opportunities for community building, experiential learning, and family education. Gan, Alef, and Bet teachers each specialize in one topic (Holidays, Bible, or Hebrew) and they teach this subject to each grade, thereby becoming an expert in their field. This also creates a true spiral curriculum in which each subject is treated in increasingly sophisticated and differentiated ways as the student moves through the years. Special activities like music and art are integrated directly into the students’ learning of each subject area in the classroom.
Students are expected to attend 2 days a week that can change each trimester
- Age: Grades 3-6
- Hours: Sunday 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
- Tuesday 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
- Wednesday 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
- Shabbat 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
For the Gimmel through Vav students, the year is divided into three trimesters (Fall, Winter, and Spring). The student is expected to attend religious school two days a week. Students can select any two days, and those days can change each trimester in order to accommodate their schedule. The third hour on Sunday mornings is optional, though highly encouraged, and is used for informal education in the form of chug (club) activities, such as newspaper, drama, book club, Krav Maga, Jewish comics, and cooking.
The Gimmel – Vav curriculum focuses on The Language of the Jewish People (Hebrew), The Sacred Texts of the Jewish People (Bible and Rabbinic Literature), The Story of the Jewish People (History/Israel), The Practices and Values of the Jewish People (Jewish Living), and The Spirit of the Jewish People (Prayer, God, Theology). Gimmel and Daled students take grade-level foundational Hebrew courses. Heh and Vav students expand their understanding of prayer as they prepare for their B’nai Mitzvah.
The Shabbat component of the Gimmel – Vav curriculum is designed to build community throughout the class as learners gather for Junior Congregation. During their time together, students explore both the meaning of prayer and the meaning of the weekly Parsha (Torah reading.) Sixth graders join the service in the sanctuary during their class so they can familiarize themselves with the service structure.
- Grade 7 (Pre-B’nai Mitzvah)
- Sunday 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
- Wednesday 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
- Shabbat 9:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Our Zayin program involves not only study, but it primes ours students for participation in the high-school program and, along with Tichon, creates a strong youth community at TJC on Wednesday nights. Students study Israeli Current Events and the Holocaust on Wednesdays. On Sundays, they study American Jewish History and take Tropes/T’fillah courses in preparation for their b’nai mitzvah. The Sunday class also includes a social action component and provides time for students to work on meaningful service projects. Shabbat morning, students must attend a Torah class and the Main Service, a minimum of 12 times per year.
- Age: Grades 8-12
- Days: Sunday/Wednesday
- Hours: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
#Sulam is our new, revamped high school program, that brings our teens together for three Wednesday evenings and one Sunday evening per month. We begin with a kosher dinner where students have a chance to catch up with friends they don’t get to see during the week. Our Sunday programs are school-wide, community building programs that bring in guest speakers and full group experiences. Our Wednesday evening programs are split by grade, with each grade focusing on a different area of their Jewish journeys. Students in #Sulam explore Holidays and Heroes in eighth grade, Comparative Religion in ninth, Social Righteousness in tenth, Israel in eleventh, and Senior Seminar in twelfth grade, where we prepare our soon to be graduates for college life.
Students enrolled in #Sulam are eligible to work in the Religious School Madrichim program. This program empowers students to work as a teacher’s assistant, help manage the religious school website and office, create programs and mentor younger students. Madrichim gain valuable experience working with children in a school setting. This is a great opportunity for our teens to serve as role models to the younger children in our congregation and to make a positive difference in our Jewish community.
Youth culture and family programming are important priorities for us here at The Jewish Center. We provide a broad range of age-appropriate programs and family events to build Jewish identity and communal connection for our teens, youngsters, and families with young children.
You can find more information about our new youth program here.