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Religious School

Our Goals and Objectives

Temple Avodat Shalom Religious School strives to provide a high quality, stimulating and engaging Jewish education that helps foster a strong Jewish identity, community participation and love of Judaism.  We strive to inspire our students to continue to absorb our history, traditions, values and the Hebrew language, now and throughout their lives.

Our overall goals include the following:

  • Our students will identify themselves as Jews deeply rooted in the shared values of family and community and the close partnership that exists between them.
  • Our students will value participating in a life-time of learning and living Judaism.
  • Our students will apply Torah as lived through the Reform Jewish experience to every aspect of their lives, leading to a commitment to the ethical teachings of our tradition.
  • Our students will learn about and observe the ritual mitzvot (commandments) related to Shabbat, holidays, life-cycle and prayer, knowing what is required in order to respond appropriately within a Reform context.
  • Our students will feel comfortable and will achieve a level of competence to the best of their ability regarding the reading, chanting, comprehension and interpretation of various t’fillot (prayers).
  • Our students will express a love of Israel (her land and her people) appreciating how the Jewish homeland is central for Jewish life today.
  • Our students will learn the historical experience of the Jewish people and how to apply it to their lives today.

Several objectives help us to meet this vision:

  • Provide a warm, welcoming and nurturing environment where students will feel safe being themselves
  • Provide a high quality curriculum and faculty
  • Create a partnership between home and school
  • Encourage gemilut chasadim (acts of loving kindness) and tikkun olam (repairing the world) in our community, country and the world
  • Foster an appreciation for, and understanding of, our shared responsibility for the future of the Jewish people
  • Instill strong Jewish identity and confidence in participating in religious services
  • Affirm the importance of Israel to the Jewish people

Family Education

Within a school wide forum, parents/guardians and younger siblings are encouraged to take part in community celebrations, including holiday programs such as monthly Shabbat family dinners and services, Simchat Torah festivities, Chanukah program, and Purim Carnival.

School Policies

We take great pride in our school and we offer a strong program designed with our students in mind.  Our school continues to be a trend setter and a leader in the field of religious education.  We have been able to continue this each year due to the cooperation of our parents, our Parents Association, Sisterhood and Brotherhood and the efforts of our carefully selected staff.  We earnestly solicit your help so we may continue this tradition. Please help us help you; The school is most effective when we support the good things that go on in your homes; when parents and teachers can work together, our children benefit.  Each success our students achieve helps build a brighter future for all of us.

Special Needs/Individualized learning Program

At Temple Avodat Shalom we believe that the RITE of B’nai Mitzvah is the RIGHT of all children, including children with special challenges. With this goal in mind, we offer different options for our special needs children. For most children, we offer an inclusion model. This means that students are not pulled out of Hebrew class, but rather, we have more teachers and student aides in the room to help them. There are many advantages to this approach. First, we have more adults in the room which means that we can break the students into smaller groups to work on their Hebrew. Second, any child who is struggling can get some extra help, whether they have special needs or not. Third, the special needs child does not have the stigma of being pulled out of class, the extra teachers and student aides move around the room quietly helping and keeping an eye out for the special needs students. Also, by not pulling a child out of the regular classroom they are better able to be a part of the class group socially.

There are, of course, children who need one-on-one help. Students receive this help during special sessions before or after religious school. This one-on-one time is spent strengthening their general Hebrew reading skills and also working on the prayers that will be taught in class so that they can participate more fully in class.

Every child has strengths and challenges. At Temple Avodat Shalom Religious School we are committed to providing the best Jewish educational experience possible for all children.

The Individualized Learning Program is supported by a grant from Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey and is open to Members and Nonmembers alike.

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Thu, January 21 2021 8 Shevat 5781