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When do Religious School, Hebrew School, and Hebrew High meet?
Religious School meets on Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Hebrew School meets either Monday or Tuesday from 4 to 6 p.m. Hebrew High meets on Tuesdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Confirmation and other high school programs are listed on the calendar.
How often does my child have to attend?
Regular attendance is the foundation of every educational program and is essential in building a spirit of community. It is the policy of the religious school that all students attend at least 2/3 of the class sessions. Special arrangements can be made with the Educator for independent study if there are special circumstances. It is the policy of the Hebrew School that a child who misses any session needs to contact the teacher or class peers to make up missed work. If there are three absences in a row, the family may be required to engage a tutor to assist with the missed material.
My child has special learning needs. Can I enroll him/her?
Yes. (1) Please be certain to complete the Special Needs section of the application; we will make every attempt to meet your child’s needs. If we are not able to accommodate your child, we will work with you to find alternative ways to strengthen your child’s Jewish identity. (2) In our Hebrew School program, we have a specially trained instructor who runs the “Learning Center.” She works with students who need individual or small group instruction. However, students spend most of their time in the regular classroom. (3) We are also assessing how we could improve our programs to better meet the broad range of needs of our families. Please offer us your input in this regard.
What if our family cannot afford to pay Religious School tuition, or we are behind in paying our dues or other congregational fees?
If you need financial assistance with the Religious School fees, please fill out a scholarship request form (PDF). No one will be turned away for lack of funds. At the same time, only members in good standing are eligible to register their children for Religious School. If you’re behind in your dues commitment, please contact our Executive Director, Eric Stone, to create a workable solution for your family. If you are behind and have not worked out an arrangement with us, your student’s registration will be put on hold.
Can I get a refund if my child doesn’t attend the whole year?
No. Unfortunately we cannot give refunds after the first three weeks of school. At that time, we’ve already hired teachers, bought supplies and established class sizes based on the numbers we expected.
When do students start attending Hebrew School during the week?
The first year of Hebrew studies is the Kitah Aleph class, which starts in the 3rd grade. Kitah Bet is 4th grade, Kitah Gimel is 5th grade and Kitah Dalet is 6th grade. If a child does not start at the appropriate time, they may be placed with younger students or tutored to catch up.
Does my child have to go to both Hebrew School and Sunday School? Can we get Hebrew tutoring instead of enrolling in Hebrew School?
Both Hebrew School and Religious School are required to progress toward Bar/Bat Mitzvah, unless the student is currently enrolled in a Jewish day school. This year, we are offering the Hebrew Tutoring Program as a new alternative to Hebrew School. No other private tutoring arrangements will be granted. If your student has special needs, please contact Rabbi Schwartz.
What if my child is older than the other students in the Hebrew class?
Some students don’t mind that their age doesn’t coincide with the rest of the class. In this case, we are happy to enroll them in their appropriate Hebrew level. If the age difference is a barrier to learning, parents can decide to enroll their student in the Hebrew Tutoring Program.
What other requirements does the Hebrew school have?
Hebrew School involves weekly homework and reading practice (15 minutes, 3 times a week). All students receiving Hebrew instruction attend at least five Shabbat services during the year. Students in Kitah Aleph or Bet normally pick five Friday night services and students in Kitah Gimel and Dalet are encouraged to pick five Saturday morning services. Additionally, each class participates in leading one Shabbat service during the year.
What’s next after Religious School and Hebrew School?
The Hebrew High School program for 7th-9th grades consists of 30 sessions on Tuesday evenings from 7-9 p.m. It also includes social and educational programs with other teens around the community. For students who are not able to attend on Tuesday nights, we are offering an alternative Hebrew High option on Sunday mornings. Confirmation is our 10th grade program. The year is spent investigating Judaism and growing as Jews. It includes a confirmation retreat/weekend and culminates in the Confirmation service itself on Shavuot. All students who become B’nai Mitzvah at Shir Hadash pledge to continue on to Confirmation.
Is Confirmation the end of formal Jewish instruction?
No, Confirmation isn’t the end! It is our hope that students will become life-long learners of Judaism. We offer two programs for our 11th & 12th graders on alternating years: Jews Around the World, a monthly seminar culminating in a service-learning trip to South or Central America; and L’Taken, a social justice and political activism program which includes a trip to Washington DC with one of our rabbis. Many juniors and seniors also participate in the March of the Living, a life-changing teen trip to Poland and Israel to commemorate the Holocaust and celebrate Jewish peoplehood.

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