The Importance of Jewish Identity
We want each of our students to establish a positive attitude and relationship with Judaism and the synagogue. This connection becomes the catalyst for building a strong Jewish identity and cultivating a lifetime commitment to the Jewish people.
Temple Menorah Religious School strives to provide each of its students, in partnership with the home, a quality Reform Jewish education. This includes, but is not limited to, developing a strong appreciation for and understanding of:
GOD, TORAH, ISRAELHebrew Language and PrayerJewish Values and TraditionSocial ResponsibilityCommunity!
Calendar & Information
Expected Student Learning Outcomes
Students completing Temple Menorah Religious School should be able to:
Read Hebrew comfortably.Know basic Hebrew vocabulary.Understand the structure and choreography of prayer services.Be able to navigate the siddur.Know the basic prayers of the worship services.Be able to chant Torah and Haftorah utilizing and understanding trope systems.Be familiar with the Jewish holidays and their observance.Know the basic prayers of home observances.Have an understanding of the Jewish calendar.Have an understanding of Jewish life cycle events and their observance.Be able to identify Jewish ritual objects and their purpose.Have a basic knowledge of Bible stories.Have a relationship with the State of Israel.Be familiar with events and individuals in the Jewish narrative.Be familiar with basic Jewish cultural expressions- music, Israeli dance, art and cooking.Feel part of the Temple Menorah Jewish community.Feel part of the greater Jewish community- K'lal Yisrael.Be able to identify and see Jewish values in their lives.Know the importance of the 613 Mitzvot in their lives.Be able to incorporate Judaism in life choices.Comfortably and proudly identify as a Jew.
Our learning community provides a values-based curriculum that is innovative and interactive, encouraging students to draw from across Jewish texts, tradition, history, and philosophy, using their discoveries to figure out how they want to approach the world. For example, when studying the value of gevurah (strength), students consider all the different ways strength can manifest in a person – strength of body, strength of convictions, strength of spirit, and more. Then, they explore Jewish heroes, both ancient and modern, that exemplify these different kinds of strength.
Using a multi-sensory approach that integrates the study of ancient and modern texts and encourages students to add their own voices to the tradition, learning focuses on Jewish ethics. Students learn to approach their lives with their tradition as a guide so that the learning that happens at the synagogue can have a direct impact on their daily lives. Weekly prayer and music remain a key component of the program.During these formative years, students complement their Judaica learning with the learning of Hebrew. While decoding Hebrew letters is a skill that students learn, the goal of our Hebrew education is that students connect to the words, the melodies and the themes of our prayers, while continuing to find connections in spoken Hebrew through basic vocabulary that is utilized conversationally around the synagogue.
Family education programs, field days and service days as well as Shir Shabbat (Religious School Shabbat) celebrations are integral components of our program that engage the entire family!
Temple Menorah Religious School wants your child to be successful! Individualized, in-class services to assist and support your child with special needs are the keystone of this program. This is not a “pull-out” program; each child remains in their classroom and their participation in EZRA is strictly confidential.
Children with an IEP or 504 plan in school, or with learning problems that have not been assessed, are eligible for EZRA. Our Religious School is ready and waiting to ensure that each student reaches their full potential from Bar/Bat Mitzvah to Confirmation and beyond.
Seventh grade attends class on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings. The change to Shabbat morning allows for a blending of the academics with participation in and learning of the synagogue service. Social action and involvement in the greater Jewish community are additional expectations of our B'nai Mitzvah year.
Bar/Bat Mitzvah is not the end of Jewish education. Tichon, the program designed to provide an avenue for continued learning after the Bar/Bat Mitzvah experience, provides teens an opportunity to deepen their connections to their tradition through meaningful conversation about how Judaism can guide them in the teen years and beyond. In addition, Tichon provides participants with an opportunity to socialize and celebrate a vibrant Jewish youth community at Temple Menorah.
Eighth, ninth and tenth grades divide their sessions between grade-level learning, mixed-grade electives and dinner/social time, as well as occasional meetings of the Jewish-Muslim Youth Association (JMYA).
We also partner with Moving Traditions, a program which emboldens teens by fostering self-discovery, challenging sexism, and inspiring a commitment to Jewish life and learning. In separate groups, boys and girls will learn to navigate social pressure, respect, gender expectations, and more in safe spaces with trained facilitators. The Rosh Hodesh (girls) and Shevet (boys) groups meet monthly.
In tenth grade, participants are eligible for Confirmation. The Confirmation year is a highlight of the teen experience at Temple Menorah!
Divided into three parts, the year focuses on:
- 'Hot Topics' - participants explore what Judaism has to say about the things they deal with as teens
- Creating a personal theology - students take a personal and mature examination of what their own relationships with God.
- Bringing the best of themselves – the class works as individuals and as a group to create a one-of-a-kind Shavuot evening/Confirmation service during which students affirm their commitment to living a Jewish life.
A highlight of the Confirmation year is the participation in the 4-day L'Taken Seminar of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington, DC.
Following confirmation we continue to offer our students opportunities to grow Jewishly and remain involved with their synagogue community. There are many classes to choose from as well as a variety of activities.
Contact Religious School Coordinator, Rabbi Rebeccah Yussman (310) 316-8444 ext. 101 or use the form below.