Temple Emanu-El seeks to nurture and involve our youth in synagogue life. We create a warm and welcoming environment where our young people can thrive socially, intellectually, and spiritually. We offer a variety of programs, for families with young children to families with teens in High School – the goal being to create a positive sense of Jewish identity and provide a foundation for religious learning experiences.
The Gail and Jeffrey Bayer Family Religious School has earned a reputation for innovation and excellence. Our well-trained faculty uses content and project-based curriculum which is designed to enrich the spiritual, and cultural lives of our students and their families for Kindergarten through 6th grades. We teach both Hebrew and Judaica on Sundays between 9:30 am and Noon. Each grade is also responsible to doing a mitzvah project in our community to continue the message of bringing kindness to others and making our world a better place. Students also participate in community Tefillah (worship) each Sunday to begin their day. Parents are also welcome.
Our Hebrew School meets on Sundays as part of our Religious School morning and Wednesdays from 4:00 to 5:30 PM. Our two-days a week Hebrew program is for our 4th, 5th & 6th graders. We have a content-based curriculum that includes both understanding the meaning, significance, and genesis of the prayers and blessings along with learning to read and chant them. We look at each learner individually recognizing their skills, so we can accommodate and celebrate every student. As part of our Hebrew program both Sunday morning and Wednesday afternoon, our students have time for Tefillah. This is led by our staff and as time goes by includes student leaders.
Our 7th graders study together with the Senior Rabbi every Wednesday evening from 5:30-7:00. We begin with dinner. Our curriculum focuses on the lessons of the Torah and how those lessons affect our everyday lives along with specific areas of study such as Holocaust, Israel and Race Relations. Special guests, who are trained in specific fields join us to add to the experience.
Combining elements of teen philanthropy, community service, and leadership development, this cutting-edge youth program was pioneered as a way to engage our 8th & 9th graders in doing important mitzvah work while having fun hanging out together. The Teen Foundation teaches about tzedakah (charity), gemilut chasadim (deeds of kindness) and tikkun olam (repairing the world) through site visits to local not-for-profit organizations doing great work in our community. The students learn about the needs of others in the community who may not have what they do. They learn what our local not-for-profit organizations (both Jewish and secular) do to help those in need. They gain experience volunteering at these organizations and decide to whom they would like to make grants from the money they raise both individually and as a group at the end of the year.
Students in 10th grade prepare for their Confirmation, which is held in the season of Shavuot in the Spring. Classes are taught by senior staff and focus on the student’s Jewish journey, their relationship with God, lessons of Jewish values along with the meaning of Confirmation in their lives.
We encourage our young people who are 8th-12th graders to return to our Sunday morning program, as Madrikhim, teacher assistants. They are a wonderful addition to our Youth and Education teaching team.