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Frequently Asked Questions | Jan-May 2021

We know that you have many questions about Religious School this year. We hope this answer some of your questions. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to be in touch! 

  1. What is the plan for Religious School this year? 

    We are planning for one semester at a time. This gives us the opportunity for great flexibility in programming. 

    K-3: Students will begin the semester virtually throughout January, February and March before returning to outdoor in person sessions.

    K-3 will meet—

    January 10 online from 9:30-10:30am

    January 24 online from 9:30-10:30am

    February 7 online from 9:30-10:30am

    February 28 online from 9:30-10:30am

    March 14 online from 9:30-10:30am

    April 18 outdoors from 9:30-10:30am

    April 25 outdoors from 9:30-10:30am

    May 2 outdoors from 9:30-10:30am

    4-6: Judaica classes will meet online throughout January, February and March before returning to outdoors, in person sessions.

    4-6 Judaica will meet—

    January 10 online from 11-12pm

    January 24 online from 11-12pm

    February 7 online from 11-12pm

    February 28 online from 11-12pm

    March 14 online from 11-12pm

    April 18 outdoors from 11-12pm

    April 25 outdoors from 11-12pm

    May 2 outdoors from 11-12pm

    Hebrew in the House for Grades 4, 5, 6: This individualized Hebrew learning program will allow students to work one-on-one with a teacher from the convenience of their homes at a time that fits into their schedule! For 25-30 minutes a week, each 4th-6th grade student will have the undivided attention of a Hebrew teacher, allowing them to move at a pace that is appropriate for their Hebrew level.

    7th grade: We will begin the semester online, maintaining a sense of community and interactive learning. Beginning in April, we will return to outdoor, in person classes. November and December, we will transition to virtual learning for our upper grades, maintaining a sense of community and interactive learning.

    7th grade will meet—

    January 11 online from 5-6pm

    January 25 online from 5-6pm

    February 1 online from 5-6pm

    February 22 online from 5-6pm

    March 15 online from 5-6pm

    March 22 online from 5-6pm

    April 19 outside from 5-6pm

    May 3 outside from 5-6pm

    8th-12th grades: 8th-12th grades will participate in the Silver Linings Speaker series, as well as small group meetings. Watch your email from more information!

    8th-12th grade will meet—

    January 4

    January 18

    February 8

    March 1

    March 8

    April dates TBD

  2. Will there be scholarship funds available? 

    We want to make Jewish education accessible to everyone. If you need assistance, please fill out the Scholarship Application at , and contact Christine Karow at to discuss additional financial support.

  3. My kids are already doing so much online. I want to give them a break! 

    We know how challenging online learning can be. We also wish we could give students a break from screen time. Given what’s going on in the world today, it becomes even more important that your child(ren) have the opportunity for Jewish community, consideration of big ideas, and a boost to their Jewish identities. This is the time to make sure your children have the support of their teachers and Temple Israel community.

  4. How will you keep my kids engaged? 

    As is our goal when we are in the building, we will include different modalities to present content, ranging from videos to games to Hebrew through movement, and music to using our breakout room capability for small group discussion.

  5. How can I supplement their Jewish learning?

    We are partnering with Camp In a Box to create “Tyner to Go” –boxes that students will receive several times during the year to enhance Jewish learning experiences. We also encourage you to sign up for PJ Library and PJ Our Way ( so that you can grow your Jewish library. And we have a wide array of virtual services and programming through our Temple website and Facebook page, so please take advantage of these experiences! As always, if you have any questions, or need any support in assisting with Jewish learning at home, please do not hesitate to be in touch with Rabbi Gordon at

  6. I want my kids to have Jewish friends. How will you continue to build community online?

    We know this is a harder when we cannot be together in person. But we are committed to creating community through our outdoor sessions and online. We start and end every session with “how are you?” and each child has a chance to share. In addition, at every level we are including a short “getting to know you” exercise of some kind because community is VERY important to us.

  7. Is my child going to be prepared for his/her Bar/Bat Mitzvah?

    Yes! Individualized Hebrew learning allows each child to progress at a pace that is appropriate for his/her. We will be continuously evaluating each student’s progress to make sure that he/she stays on track.

  8. What are you going to teach them about Judaism this year?

    We are using an interactive, values-based curriculum to help children develop a positive Jewish identity. The curriculum is based on values we all share, like “Using your inner strength to do what’s right” and “Taking responsibility for your actions.” This curriculum is designed to use online resources to bring the most engaging and innovative Jewish educational content, including videos, text studies, blessings, and stories.

  9. What if this plan doesn’t work for me?

    We want your family to be engaged in Jewish learning at Temple Israel. We know that this year is challenging in terms of health and safety as well as in terms of learning needs. If our plan does not meet your family’s needs, please contact Rabbi Arianna Gordon at to discuss alternative learning arrangements.

  10. What kind of materials do I need to have for Religious School?

    We will provide Hebrew books and Tyner to Go to all enrolled students. Teachers will communicate any other supplies needs in the week before an online session, but they will be limited to supplies you likely have around the house.

  11. Students used to have t’filah (services) and music. Will that still be a part of the curriculum?

    As you may know, singing is particularly difficult to teach/lead remotely. BUT, we are planning to offer a t’filah (prayer service) as a part of class time, that will include music with Spike and the cantors so that the students will be able to pray and sing along. (All the words they need will be on the screen.) You can look forward to hearing your child(ren) praying and singing with their screen. 

Tue, May 11 2021 29 Iyar 5781