TEMPLE EMANUEL OF TEMPE RELIGIOUS SCHOOL VISION
The religious school program of Temple Emanuel will promote a positive environment for life-long Jewish learning, practice and Jewish experience by creating a solid curriculum of study in the areas of Hebrew, Judaica, ritual, prayer, Israel, culture and traditions.
To download a copy of Temple Emanuel of Tempe's Religious School policies, please click here.
At Temple Emanuel religious school we strive to create a kehilla kedosha (holy community) dedicated to learning and living with Jewish values. As Jews, we are obligated to treat each other with respect. This is our spiritual home, and everyone deserves to feel safe and valued. We hope that all of our students and parents will become our partners in supporting the religious school's Judaic and educational goals.
PRE-K, KINDERGARTEN, GRADE ONE, GRADE TWO
These are years of discovery and exploration for our youngest students. Our religious school focuses on lessons that teach and reinforce Jewish identity and home practices. The emphasis is on having fun in a Jewish environment, Hebrew letters and vocabulary, Torah stories, Jewish holidays, ethics and mitzvot are taught through art, music, stories, and creative classroom lessons.
Students attend Judaic Studies classes on Wednesdays and Hebrew on Sundays. Judaic studies includes Torah study, music, art, holidays, and ethics. The special focus of third grade is an introduc-tion to God. Fourth graders learn about Israel. Fifth graders study the Book of Prophets and the ethical lessons which they impart to us. Fifth graders also participate in the Sukkot sleepover, the intergenerational Pieces of Our Past program, and the 5th and 6th grade retreat to Prescott. Sixth graders focus on Jewish history, In addition, many students begin their formal bar/bat mitzvah study. It is a busy and very important year for our sixth graders as they complete their final year of formal Hebrew study, At the end of each school year all of our Hebrew students are tested to ensure that they are ready to proceed to the next Hebrew level. Children who don't master the material sufficiently at that time are encouraged to hire a tutor and retake the test before the beginning of the follow-ing school year. Those who don't master the material have the opportunity to repeat the class in order to guarantee success later on. Homework is assigned weekly in every Hebrew class.
See the Bar/Bat Mitzvah Handbook for Bar/Bat Mitzvah requirements and course of study.
Seventh graders prepare for their b'nei mitzvah, To be considered for Bar/Bat Mitzvah, a student must have attended Temple Emanuel or another congregational religious school for the three years prior to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah date. Two of the years must be immediately preceding the bar/bat mitzvah year. All Bar/Bat Mitzvah students must be enrolled in religious school at the time of their bat/bar mitzvah service, All Bar/Bat Mitzvah candidates must be able to read phonetic Hebrew with competence. A Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony takes place only if all educational and Temple Emanuel requirements are met, including compliance with the Temple's Financial Policies. Seventh graders also attend a full Judaic Studies program on Wednesday evenings with the highlight being the an-nual Tzedakah Collective. Our eighth graders study the history of anti-Semitism in Europe and Jewish values. Ninth graders study Talmud and Jewish social action. Tenth graders study the theology of Judaism, comparative Judaism, and modern Israel with Rabbi Dean. Tenth grade Confirmation is an important milestone in our students' Jewish education. It is our belief that Confirmation at the end of 10th grade should carry with it a sense of achievement, accomplishment, and responsibility. This includes regular attendance. Makeup assignments are required for excessive absences.
GRADES 11 AND 12
Our 11th and 12th graders attend monthly for topics focusing on Jewish teen ethics with a strong emphasis on social action and community service.
Every grade level has at least one family education program scheduled during the year. This is your opportunity to spend some quality Jewish learning time with your child.
SPECIAL NEEDS PROGRAM
Students with learning issues are accommodated in either our special needs class on Sunday mornings or with other interventions that will make the child's religious school experience successful.
Third grade parents are strongly encouraged to register for and attend Alef Hebrew with their child every Sunday.
Students in grades 8-12 are encouraged to apply to be madrichim (teaching assistants) in our Sunday morning religious school program.
In order to ensure that all students receive a quality Jewish education that prepares them to be "literate", and involved modern Jews, it is the policy of Temple Emanuel that all students enrolled in our school attend our full academic program. This includes both Hebrew and Judaic Studies from Kindergarten through Confirmation (Grade 10.)
Our Hebrew program is divided into the following classes:
- Alef - level 1
- Bet - level 2
- Gimel - level 3
- Dalet - level 4
At the end of each school year our students are tested to ensure that they are ready to proceed to the next level. Children who don't master the material sufficiently at that time are encouraged to hire a tutor to catch up and retake the test before the beginning of the following school year. Those who still haven't mastered the material have the opportunity to repeat the class in order to guarantee success later on. Please contact your child's teacher as often as you like during the year to ensure that your child is on target.
The literal meaning of bar/bat mitzvah is son/daughter of the commandment, but it is better understood as "subject to or responsible for the commandments." Celebrating a bar/bat mitzvah is an affirmation of commitment singularly to Judaism and participation in the Temple community as an adult Jew.
Temple Emanuel Board of Trustees
Bar/Bat Mitzvah represents the beginning of adult Jewish studies. Rather than signaling a conclusion of Jewish learning, the Bar/Bat Mitzvah indicates that the student has moved on to a new level of ability and responsibility. The basic elementary level Jewish education is only completed at the time of Confirmation.
To be considered for Bar/Bat Mitzvah, a student must have attended Temple Emanuel or another congregational religious school for the three years prior to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah date, in accordance with Temple policy. Two of the years must be immediately preceeding the bar/bat mitzvah year. All Bar/Bat Mitzvah students MUST be enrolled in religious school at the time of their bat/bar mitzvah service. The academic requirements of participation in the full Hebrew and Judaic Studies program must have been fulfilled. All Bar/Bat Mitzvah candidates must be able to read phonetic Hebrew with competence.
A Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony will take place only if all educational and Temple Emanuel requirements are met, including compliance with the Temple's Financial Policies.
BAR/BAT MITZVAH SCHEDULING
Children are eligible to sign up for a bar/bat mitzvah service on or after their 11th birthday. Parents may call the temple office during office hours to schedule a date. If the child's 11th birthday falls on a weekend or office holiday, parents may call on the next office workday to schedule. Families will be expected to schedule a Friday night oneg when they schedule the bar/bat mitzvah service.
A bar/bat mitzvah service may be held on or after the child's 13th birthday (either following the Hebrew calendar or Gregorian calendar as the parent chooses). No bar/bat mitzvah service will be held before the child's 13th birthday. This is in keeping with Reform custom and tradition as outlined by the URJ (Union for Reform Judaism) and the CCAR (Central Conference of American Rabbis).
Pre-K - Grade 2
There are only 30 weeks of classes in our academic year. With so few sessions, and so much to accomplish, excellent attendance is essential for progress in studies. Should an absence be necessary due to illness or other emergency, please call Sue Dermer at 838-1414 ext. 17.
Students attend a 2-day a week program during these years. We believe strongly that a responsible Jewish educational program must be at least 4 hours a week during the years when our students are learning to read Hebrew.
Confirmation Attendance Policy
It is our belief that Confirmation at the end of 10th grade should carry with it a sense of achievement, accomplishment, and responsibility. This includes regular attendance.
For those students who wish to be Confirmed at the end of 10th grade the policy is as follows:
Students will complete specific makeup assignments before January 15 of their 10th grade year if they wish to participate in Confirmation ceremonies the following May. Those students who have not completed their absence assignments will not be Confirmed. They will be encouraged to continue attending classes through the rest of the 10th grade year all though they will not participate in the special Confirmation class that meets from March - May.
When a student's behavior disrupts the learning environment, steps will be taken to ensure that learning can continue to occur. Consequences will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Consequences may include but are not limited to: meeting with the Director with or without parents present; temporary removal from the classroom; permanent removal from the classroom.
Inappropriate behavior includes, but is not limited to:
- Disruptive conduct anywhere in the building or Temple grounds
- Disrespect to other students, teachers, or staff
- Abusive behavior of any kind: physical, sexual, or verbal.This includes biting, spitting, kicking, emotional bullying, physical aggression, sexual aggression, and physical assault.
- Unsuitable language (swearing, sexual connotations, etc.)
- Damage or destruction of synagogue property or the property of other students
- Inability to remain in designated supervised areas on Temple grounds
- Touching or engaging with other students in a manner that could be considered offensive, disruptive, or sexual
- Failing to remain on school grounds after being dropped off or before being picked up
The religious school does not tolerate the use or possession of weapons, alcohol, or drugs, other than those drugs prescribed by a physician, which must be held in the religious school office. If a student is in possession of drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, or weapons, the result is an immediate suspension from the school program. Readmission will be determined case by case.
BOOKS AND MATERIALS
All book fees are included in the tuition paid at the time of registration. However, if a student loses a book, there will be a charge to replace it. All students are asked to bring the following items to class each day: textbooks (if they have one), notebook paper, pen or pencil, folder for flyers.
Any use of cell phones or other electronic devices (such as mp3 players) during religious school classes is prohibited. If a student uses such a device, the teacher will hold it until the end of the religious school session. The next time, it will be turned over to the Director of Education and must be retrieved by a parent or guardian. Please leave them at home.
Our school values respect for the Temple and its religious ideals. Students should dress neatly, modestly and appropriately. Clothing with inappropriate messages, shirts that display cleavage or midriff, and visible underwear are all unacceptable. Students will be given a tee shirt to wear over their clothes for the class period.
Homework is assigned weekly in every Hebrew class.
Do not distribute invitations to parties, b'nei mitzvah, etc. at religious school. Children's feelings get hurt very easily.
PICK UP AND PARKING POLICY
For your child's safety, please follow our traffic patterns. Enter through the south entrance, park, and exit through the north entrance. All parents with children in grades PreK-2 must come into the building and accompany their children to their cars. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL OUR STUDENTS BE ALLOWED IN THE PARKING LOT UNATTENDED.
Progress Reports will be sent home twice yearly. You are always encouraged, however, to contact teachers in person, by phone, or email to check on your child's progress.
We are unable to allow unregistered children in class with your children due to liability issues. Please don't bring your child's friends, visiting cousins, etc. to class. They will have to sit in the school office until you pick them up. There are no exceptions to this rule.