The vision of the Beth Samuel Jewish Center Religious School is a community which nurtures a positive Jewish identity in our children by cultivating the knowledge and skills to live a meaningful Jewish life.
Our mission is to enrich the lives of our students and families through educational experiences that promote a sense of community and a lifelong commitment to Judaism. We achieve this within a warm, welcoming atmosphere by teaching Jewish history and traditions, fostering development of Jewish values, establishing a foundation for home and synagogue participation, and exploring our relationship to the larger Jewish community.
Our religious school programming is all about experiencing Judaism. We believe that engaging in music, art, Jewish learning expeditions, and Tikkum Olam is just as important as classroom learning. Sunday School is from 9:00-12:00 each Sunday from September to May for grades K-7. We also have a monthly preschool program for ages 3-5, as well as a monthly Toddler Tuesday.
Because we serve a diverse community of Jews, we differentiate grouping for Judaic studies and Hebrew. Students are grouped by grade levels for Judaica so that they are receiving age-appropriate lessons ranging from the story of creation and Israeli geography, up through Holocaust studies and lessons from the Mishnah. But for Hebrew, students are grouped according to experience so that children who have been with us since preschool are challenged to grow more fluent at decoding, while children who come to study Hebrew with us for the first time as older students are able to learn letters or to focus on learning prayers for leading services.
Throughout the school year, Hebrew classes prepare for and lead services. The Level 1 classes study an English reading and sing prayers together on First Fridays, while the Level 4 students prepare to lead prayers in preparation for their B’nai Mitzvot. The more exposure students have to being on the bimah, the more confidence they build as they grow into true service leaders. After this milestone, our teens return to serve as Teaching Assistants. We want to engage all of our young people so that they understand Judaism is a life-long journey toward spiritual oneness with G-d and with our world.
On one Sunday each month, religious school students engage in Tikkun Olam – a social action program. Every year we make over 80 lasagnas to deliver to community members in need. For the holidays, students elected to donate their tzedakah money to Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Western PA. We believe that empowering children to become change agents and to serve their communities with love is the core of what it means to be Jewish.
And then we also have a monthly Jewish experiential learning. Recently, students learned about and practiced Krav Maga – the reality based self-defense methods used by the Israel Defense Forces. It was practical, informative – and fun!
We hope that you are as excited about the Beth Samuel Religious School as we are. Contact us today! (Financial aid is available.)
For information on enrolling in religious school, contact the Beth Samuel Office at firstname.lastname@example.org, at 724-266-5238, or by completing the form below.