TEMPLE EMANUEL OF TEMPE RELIGIOUS SCHOOL VISION
Our mission at Temple Emanuel’s Religious School is to teach our students and families core Jewish values through the experiences of living a Jewish life. As Reform Jews that honor tradition, we introduce children to the Hebrew language and Jewish liturgy to foster a deep connection with God, Torah, and Israel.
Students will have a meaningful understanding of our stories, history, ethics, and traditions so that they can develop and take pride in their unique Jewish identities. We will teach our students to be lifelong learners who will contribute to our society in meaningful ways.
Family Education Sessions
Every grade level has at least one Family Education session 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 two-day per 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.
Students attend once per week during these years.
Grade 10 (Confirmation)
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 although 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 & 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, and 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 session. The next time, it will be turned over to the Religious School Director 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 t-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 Pre-K – 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.