link to: Temple Beth Elohim homepage Temple Beth Elohim, Brewster, NY - Education Programs
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Religious School Mission Statement
The mission of the Religious School is to work in partnership with families to enhance and strengthen the Jewish identity of each student. In order to do so, we provide a comprehensive Jewish education which emphasizes the history, culture, customs and contributions of the Jewish people. Our goal is to help the children identify positively and with pride as Jews in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic community.

A Message fro Judy Coco, Chairperson, Board of Education 

You spoke...We listened! Thank you for continuing to help the Board of Education build and reinforce our children's Jewish foundation. With a new school year comes opportunity for change and based on your feedback, we're making changes. TBE's Board of Directors interviewed members and heard that our Bar/Bat Mitzvah requirements were more stringent than those at other temples and presented a challenge. So with that information, your Board of Education benchmarked Bar/Bat Mitzvah requirements with local temples. As a result, we will make the following changes:

  • Grades 3 through 7, students must participate in 12 Shabbat services a year
  • During the year prior to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah, students must participate in 18 Shabbat services a year (down from 24)
  • Children who attend High Holiday services will receive credit towards the Shabbat services requirement (new opportunity)
  • Children who attend a Shabbat service at another Temple must send an e-mail to the TBE office with date, Temple name and location to receive credit towards the Shabbat service requirement (with limits)

Our children have the greatest honor - to lead the Shabbat service for their Bar or Bat Mitzvah. This is not typical at other Temples. Attending Shabbat services and Hebrew school prepares our children for this honor. Both the lessons in the classroom and services teach and reinforce the prayers to build confidence in our children so they can proudly lead the honor. Outlined above are the minimums. We strongly encourage parents to attend more services to help us prepare your children. Our Hebrew School attendance policy continues this year.

We continue to update and modify our program for our children. Under the guidance of Rabbi Acrish and our two Deans, Joe Greenfield and Larry Hepner, we offer an educational program for children from Preschool through Confirmation (9th grade) and many of our students are aides. We continue to use the Judaic Studies and Hebrew curricula developed by the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ). The Hebrew curriculum, Mitkadem, gives our children the opportunity to learn at their own pace under the guidance of their teachers. Our Judaic Studies integrates the contemporary with the Torah and tikkun olam (healing the world). Judaic and Hebrew studies are enhanced by Robin Sills who leads our children in a variety of songs and prayers.

For our youngest students, The PJ Library and Torah Tots will again be offered. The PJ Library provides free Jewish storybooks for families to enjoy at home. Torah Tots is open to Temple members' and non-Temple members' children who are two to four years old. Robin Sills and Rabbi Acrish lead a brief age-appropriate "service" followed by refreshments and crafts. We welcome you to join us.

We will continue the Passover Candy Fundraiser this year and plan to conduct the Chanukah Card fundraiser on alternate years. Together, the two fundraisers raised close to $1,000 and was used to assist The PJ Library program and support the Israeli Scouts program. We hope we can count on your support again when we conduct the candy fundraiser in February. As always, monies raised will go towards enrichment activities for our TBE children. We hope you can support us!

Our school calendar lists many special events during the school year. You may download a copy here, pick one up in the lobby, or call the office. We also have a schedule of class participation in Friday night services and are hoping there will be parent volunteers to organize a potluck or other simple family dinner for each grade on its Friday night. To keep track of other events and activities and for other highlights of the year ahead, please look at either the Temple-wide calendar or the school calendar.

Our school is flourishing with 150 students and supporting parents. Keep the feedback coming AND consider joining the Board of Education. We meet three to four times a year to review our progress and plan change. Be a part of helping TBE develop your children's Jewish education.

L'Shana Tova from the Board of Education. The members of the Board of Education are Judy Coco (Chairperson), Betsy Heymann, Lauren Krzyzewski, Lois Schaub, Rabbi Acrish, Joe Greenfield (Dean), Larry Hepner (Dean), and Nan Coulter.

Download a School Forms packet here.

Download our School Manual (pdf)

If you would like more information about our Religious School,
please contact us via e-mail and put Religious School in the subject line
or via phone: (845) 279-4585

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Most recent update:7/3/13 Copyright © 1998-2014, Temple Beth Elohim, Brewster, NY.