Dear Parents of Religious School Students:
I hope this message finds you and your family members safe and healthy.
This past week, guided by the Research and Values Teams of the Re-Opening Committee, it has been concluded that we are far from being able to open our Temple Emanuel building and return to in-person activities safely, including in-person class meetings for Religious School. Guided by Jewish values and informed by our embrace of science, a collective decision has been made to not put anyone at risk in a rush to come back together in person.
As such, the Temple Emanuel Religious School will begin its 5780-5781 (2020-2021) year on Sunday, August 16, remotely, in a virtual classroom setting. Following the recommendations of the Research Team, the Religious School will consult the guidelines set forth in a Three Phase plan for reopening, after the High Holy Days and Fall Break, with the earliest potential in-person classes beginning on Sunday, October 11. Please understand that this is tentative and completely dependent on the health circumstances in the community.
Currently, the teachers and I are focusing all our attention on planning meaningful virtual programming to engage all of our Religious School students, and there are some very exciting additions coming to the Religious School when we resume remote learning classes next month. Sunday classes will continue with weekly virtual conferencing classes and/or video instruction, as is most appropriate for each grade level. Themed Family Education for each grade level will continue throughout the year. A weekly recorded t’filah for students will continue to be available every Sunday. Additionally, a rotating set of monthly, age appropriate video/live Zoom classes will be available. We are very excited to be adding these elective options to our Religious School experience:
- Hebrew Through Movement (for our younger students) and guided yoga/meditation (for our older students)
- Jewish Music/Choir classes
- Arts & Crafts Workshops
- Art Therapy Sessions
Our 3rd through 6th Graders will continue with a second live Zoom class during the week with their Religious School teachers. There will also be a weekly live Zoom Torah study class with Sue Dermer or Rabbi Dean.
Our 7th through 9th grade students will continue their themed five-week rotating class sessions with our Religious School teachers, interactively through video conferencing, and will have a monthly check-in session with Rabbi Dean.
Confirmation (10th grade) classes will move to Sunday, and our Post Confirmation (11th-12th Graders) will continue meeting monthly. Creative virtual TETY events are also in the works! We can’t wait to get all these engaging extras going!
If you have not yet had the opportunity to register your children for classes, I have included the link to the Temple Emanuel Religious School online registration FormStack below.https://templeemanuel.formstack.com/forms/rsreg
We know that these are unfamiliar times and territories, but please know that we will do everything in our power to keep students and staff safe, as we create a robust online Religious School. Temple Emanuel Religious School’s top priority is and has always been to serve our Religious School families. We appreciate your support and flexibility, and we will keep you informed every step of the way as we reach new phases and steps towards reopening. Please, feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. Thank you so much.
Be well,Sharon Paley
Interim Religious School Director