Gail & Jeffrey Bayer Religious School: K-7

Our Gail and Jeffrey Bayer Family Religious School of Temple Emanu-El strives to provide students with meaningful and positive experiences that promote a passion for lifelong Jewish learning and living.  

Program Overview:
Our Religious School is centered on Building Community, Tefillah, Hebrew, and Judaic study.

Religious School Hours:
K – 3rd grade             Sundays 9:30 – 12:00
4th – 6th grade          Sundays 9:30 – 12:00 & Wednesdays 3:45 – 5:15
7th grade                     Sundays 9:30 – 12:00 & Cantor appointments for B/M training

Community Building:
Each class session includes community-building time through mini brain breaks for interaction, and movement, as well as snack, drink, and shmooze time (snacks provided by the school). These are intentional times for fostering friendships and building community in the classroom. This gives students an opportunity to catch up with their friends, make new connections, and develop as a cohort.

Tefillah (prayer participation) is a time for students to become familiar with our liturgy and to develop a personal and communal prayer practice, understanding that prayer connects us with God, with other Jews, and with ourselves.

  • Students in kindergarten through third grade pray together weekly in an interactive prayer service on Sunday mornings.
  • Fourth through sixth grade students pray together twice weekly. On Sunday mornings the students gain familiarity and comfort with the morning prayer service and engage in the exploration of the weekly Torah portion. On Wednesdays, the students become familiar with the afternoon and evening prayer service while learning the differences between the morning, afternoon, and evening prayers.
  • Seventh-grade students attend Sundays only and gain familiarity and comfort with the morning prayer service and engage in the exploration of the weekly Torah portion.

In kindergarten – third grade, we introduce Hebrew letters and vowels and work on our students’ decoding skills while learning basic blessings.

As students begin 4th grade, we teach Hebrew through prayer. We focus on strengthening their decoding skills (mainly in 4th grade), Hebrew vocabulary within the prayers, and the themes, concepts, and meaning of different prayers during Tefillah on Sundays and Wednesdays. Our goal is to help develop our students’ capability to participate in Jewish prayer services.

In 5th and 6th grade, students begin mastering the Erev Shabbat (Friday evening) and Shabbat morning prayers that they will chant for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah services.

Judaic study:
Judaic study develops and strengthens our students’ core Jewish knowledge. Students learn about holidays, mitzvot (commandments), Jewish history and values, Torah, and Israel.

Our kindergarten – 7th grade Religious School students look at different Jewish values through a lens specific to their grade:

Kindergarten 5 Senses
First Grade 5 Senses
Second Grade Arts & Literature
Third Grade Family
Fourth Grade Self
Fifth Grade Peers
Sixth Grade Community
Seventh Grade Tikkun Olam (Repairing the World)
  • Students in kindergarten – 2nd grade focus on the Jewish values of:
      • Hakarat HaTov – appreciation
      • Slicha – apology and forgiveness
      • Hachnasat Orchim – welcoming guests
      • Bikur Cholim – visiting the sick
      • Todah – appreciation
      • Tzedakah – justice and charity
      • Ometz Lev – bravery of the heart
      • Bal Tashchit – don’t waste
      • Shalom Bayit – peace in the family
      • Hashavat Aveida – returning lost items to rightful owners
      • B’tzelem Elohim – in God’s image


  • Students in 3rd – 7th grade focus on the Jewish values of:
      • Teshuva: recognition of wrongdoing
      • B’tzelem Elohim: honoring the image of God in ourselves
      • Gevurah: using one’s inner and outer strength
      • Achrayut: doing what you can to make the world a better place
      • HaKarat HaTov: seeking joy and being grateful
      • Koach HaDibbur: understanding the power of words
      • Shalom: helping to create a calmer, more peaceful world


  • Students in all grades also learn about Jewish holidays, the history and traditions behind them, and how they fit into the cycle of the Jewish year.

B’nai Mitzvah:
Temple Emanu-el takes great pride in having our students become Bar/Bat Mitzvah at the age of thirteen.  Students study individually with the Cantor after studying Hebrew for four years.  The study of Hebrew includes the actual learning to read Hebrew along with the study of the content and literacy of prayers and blessings.  We are proud of our students for their commitment to this process and congratulate them on their achievements and accomplishments.