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General Information

Attendance records are kept in the Religious School office.
In the event your child will be absent from school please notify the school office by phone on the day of the absence or by sending an e-mail to
Please notify the school office in the event of an extended absence by letter or e-mail.

When students arrive late or leave class early instructional time is shortened and the classroom dynamics are disrupted for both teachers and students. Parents are required to come to the Religious School office to sign their child out before the student may leave the class.

There are times when religious school may be cancelled due to inclement weather. You will NOT be receiving a phone call. You can find out about school closings in one of the following ways:

  • Please check the temple website – we will post any closing information on the front page.
  • Call the religious school office at 201-489-2463 and listen to the message.
  • A message will be posted on our Facebook page.
  • Depending on timing, you MAY receive an e-mail.

Students will receive new books at the beginning of the school term.  Book fees are covered by the Activity Fee that appears on your June bill.  Occasionally, school owned books will be used.  In the event of a lost book the replacement book must be purchased separately.

Students should come to school prepared with a book bag, notebook or loose-leaf binder and pencils/pens.

The Temple school calendar generally follows the River Edge school calendar.  There are approximately 30 Sunday sessions and 30 weekday sessions.  This may vary from year to year.

Students are expected to be courteous and respectful at all times, to cooperate with teachers and not to disrupt the class.  The first infraction of these rules will result in the student being sent to the Educational Director’s office and the parent being notified.  The second infraction requires a parent/guardian-student-director conference.  A third infraction requires the parent to pick up the student immediately with further consequences to be determined by the Educational Director, Rabbi and the School Committee

Each year, activities are planned for students and parents/guardians.  These programs are designed to enhance and are part of our curriculum.  Our parents are an integral part of our programs and are encouraged to attend.  All events and trips are listed on the calendar so that you can plan accordingly.
Family Services are scheduled one Friday a month at 7:30 pm.  Grades 4 through 7 are assigned a date in which they assist in leading the congregation in worship.  Students are required to participate in their class Shabbat service. We encourage families to attend the monthly family services on a regular basis, so that both you and your children feel comfortable worshipping as a community. Please dress appropriately for worship as befitting religious services.

These can be requested by a parent/guardian at any time by contacting the Educational Director. 

Teachers give homework as they feel it is necessary.  Hebrew reading practice is imperative in order for students to master the language. Oral recitation of Hebrew prayers will ensure your child’s success. 

Music is a part of our weekly program. Students in Pre-K through Grade 3 have Library (and may borrow books) once a month.

Students are asked to contribute each week for various charitable causes.  Each class will study a different aspect of tzedakah and donate their money to a specific charity.

The school has a policy about parents/guardians visiting our classes.  The Educational Director must be notified.  Unexpected visitors will be asked to verify their presence with the School Office.  Any child leaving early must have an adult sign him/her out in the School Office.

Please note that children may not be dropped off before 3:30 pm on Wednesday afternoons.

In order to qualify, students must be attending 5th year Hebrew and have attended Religious and Hebrew School since grade 3 and be enrolled in our Religious School.

Temple Avodat Shalom B’nai Mitzvah students must successfully complete a minimum of four years of Hebrew and Religious School in the years immediately preceding B’nai Mitzvah.  In addition, a child must be enrolled in Religious School at the time of their B’nai Mitzvah.  B’nai Mitzvah are expected to complete 7th grade.  We encourage all of our B’nai Mitzvah to continue their Jewish education through Confirmation at the end of 10th grade, or graduation at the end of 12th grade.

During the period of formal B’nai Mitzvah training, we expect parents/guardians to attend services regularly with their children.  During the course of their B’nai Mitzvah training, you and your child are required to attend a minimum of:

a)    Eight Sabbath Evening Services
b)    Eight Sabbath Morning Services
c)    Two Sabbath Afternoon Services – for those whose B’nai Mitzvah will take place on a Shabbat afternoon

On non B’nai Mitzvah dates, your child will be expected to participate in leading the service. In order to keep track of service attendance, your child will be provided with a set of index cards with their name and B’nai Mitzvah date.  It will be your child’s responsibility to hand in a card to the Rabbi, Cantor (or one of the ushers), at the end of every service they attend.

The B’nai Mitzvah candidates meet weekly with our tutors.  Lessons usually begin six months prior to your child’s B’nai Mitzvah date.  The Rabbis also meet with the students, both at the beginning of the training period and then during the last 6-8 weeks.

Each child participates in conducting the B’nai Mitzvah service.  The B’nai Mitzvah candidates prepare a short “Dvar Torah” based upon the Torah reading, their feelings concerning becoming a B’nai Mitzvah, and their Tzedakah project.  The Rabbi then offers his charge and blessing.  It is customary, but not required, for the parents to say a few words to their child.

In recognition of Temple Avodat Shalom’s dual concerns that members honor their dues obligations and that it is very disruptive to the training of B’nai Mitzvot when the Temple insists on being paid outstanding dues 30 days prior to the event, the Religious Activities Committee and the Finance Committee have jointly adopted the following policy regarding dues and B’nai Mitzvot effective Spring 2005.  Temple Avodat Shalom will require members to be current in their obligations at three specific times prior to a B’nai Mitzvah: at the time the date is set, prior to beginning Torah and Haftorah training and 30 days prior to the date itself.

We strongly encourage that all of our students continue their Jewish education by attending TASTE (Temple Avodat Shalom Teen Experience).

TASTE is a weekly program held on Wednesday evenings for students in 8th through 12th grade.   Students have the opportunity to continue their post B’nai Mitzvah Jewish studies in a social and meaningful atmosphere.  Programs are designed around the interests and needs of today’s teens.  Students have the opportunity to choose from a variety of classes, tzedakah programs, and social activities. For more information regarding the program, contact Barbara Haber at 

Students who have continued their Jewish education through the 10th grade will be considered a member of the Confirmation class.  Students will begin after Passover to prepare for their Confirmation. At Shavuot, the class participates and leads the congregation in a specially prepared service. 

All Religious School and TASTE events are "nut free".

Temple Avodat Shalom has a “soft” kosher policy regarding food served at the Temple.  This is a policy that has been ratified by the Religious Activities Committee and the Rabbi and that follows the prevailing practices at most Reform congregations.  It is intended to respect our members’ personal beliefs and practices.
Please observe the following guidelines when preparing food in or bringing food to the Temple:
Do not bring or serve pork products, including bacon bits, prosciutto, or packaged products whose ingredients include pork or lard.
Do not bring or serve shellfish, including shrimp, crab, lobster, oyster sauce, mussels or their broths or derivatives.
Do not bring or serve fish without scales such as catfish or shark.
Do not mix milk and meat products.  Therefore, at meat meals please do not use milk or cream for coffee, do not use grated cheese on salads or pasta, and do not serve dairy ice cream and/or milk chocolate. 

Temple-Sponsored Events:
These include all school, sisterhood, brotherhood and fundraising events.
Onegs are dairy. 
Other social events may include either dairy or meat meals.
If a class dinner or other event involves a meat meal, the food must come from a kosher source.  Dairy products may not be served in the body of the meal.  However, dairy products may be served at the Oneg following services or the program.
Helpful Hints:
It is not necessary to look for packaged products that are specifically labeled as kosher.  However please avoid using packaged products, such as butter and cheese, that include milk ingredients when preparing a meat meal or vice versa.
Products that are parve are neither milk nor meat and may be served with either type of meal.  Fish and eggs are parve.
Please note – poultry and poultry products such as chicken broth (as an ingredient) are considered meat.
If you have any questions when preparing for a food event, please call the Rabbi for clarification.

Please notify the temple office of any change of address, phone number or e-mail address.

Sun, April 18 2021 6 Iyyar 5781