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Religious School

 

GOALS AND PHILOSOPHY

The premise of Congregation Ohev Shalom religious school education is that people are created in the image of God and that we were created to be partners with God. This concept will be reflected in everything we do from discipline to the activities and lessons we plan. We want to allow students to be themselves and validate the uniqueness that each possesses within a Jewish framework.

It is our belief that through the learning process, our children will gain a sense of themselves within the Jewish Community.  We hope to teach children the foundations of Jewish life while instilling in them a sense of Jewish pride, ultimately resulting in an educated, committed and involved adult.  At the end of their Jewish education at Congregation Ohev Shalom, our children will know how to read Hebrew; be knowledgeable about Jewish life, history, Bible, and Israel; and be able to comfortably participate in synagogue life.

We also value Jewish behavior.  Respect, speaking kindly, being patient, not embarrassing others, helping others and being welcoming are all Jewish ways of behaving.  It is our responsibility to ensure that every child feels valued and safe while at Hebrew school.

COS is affiliated with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.  As such, we adhere to the 6 hours per week requirement of Jewish education for children in grades Gimel (3rd) thru Zayeen (7th) and a minimum of 3 hours per week for grades Gan (K) thru Bet (2nd).  The hours are split among two days: Sundays, 9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and Wednesdays, 4:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m.  Kitah Bet (2nd) has a Sunday-only option and a Sunday and Wednesday option.  Each day of school builds on the next and, therefore, children need to be present both days.
 

TEACHERS

A word about our staff... Our teachers come from a variety of backgrounds. Together, this creates a wide variety of resources and new ideas. All of the staff members have a strong Jewish background, knowledge and experiences with children.  These experiences may be in the classroom, Jewish youth group, or Jewish camping.  Each teacher brings to the classroom his or her unique style which enables them to motivate and excite the children.  ALL teachers are required to attend regular staff meetings and in-services.  ALL teachers are evaluated
regularly.

 

MADRICHIM

Each class will have at least one Madrich or Madricha, which is an 8th-12th grader who is being trained to work with children in the Hebrew school. They combine class work with their teacher, Rachel Slavkin, and classroom experience.


AFTER THE BAR/BAT MITZVAH...

A child's Bar or Bat Mitzvah is not the end of their Jewish education.  It is a milestone along the road.  Students who have a Bar/Bat Mitzvah during the school year are required to finish the 7th grade year.  In order to participate in graduation, the 75% attendance requirement must be fulfilled.


OTHER PROGRAMS

Throughout the school year, there are a variety of programs through the school and in the synagogue that are appropriate for families and children. These programs enhance and compliment what the children are learning. You will be notified by flyer, e-mail, Facebook, Constant Contact, and in the synagogue bulletin.  Some are required and part of the religious school program.


YOUTH GROUPS

A wonderful way to enhance your child's Jewish education is for him or her to participate in our youth groups.  Olim, for grades 3, 4 and 5, meets after Hebrew school on Sundays once a month.  Members participate in social, cultural, and Jewish-content activities that are designed to be fun.  Kadima, for grades 6-8, meets twice a month. Kadimaniks participate in social, cultural, educational, Mitzvah-oriented and Israel-oriented programs.  They also attend conventions and regional events with other Jewish middle schoolers in Florida.  Please refer to the Youth Groups section for more information.


PARENT PARTICIPATION AND PROGRAMS!

Parents are the true key to a successful program.  Without your support and encouragement, we can't do our jobs and your children will not get the most out of their short time with us.  Often, we hear parents say that they don't feel connected or no one knows who they are.  We understand that and encourage parents to participate in the many programs and volunteer opportunities we offer.  The more you are present, the more you will feel that connection.


THE EDUCATION COMMITTEE

The Education Committee is comprised of parents of children enrolled in the school as well as other congregants who have a concern for children and Jewish education. Each member brings to the committee a professional knowledge base or valuable life experience.  In addition, the Rabbi, Cantor, and Youth and Family Education Director serve on the committee. The committee is chaired by the education chairperson of the Board of Directors of the synagogue. The role of the Education Committee is to set policy and assist in planning and evaluating the school and its associated programs. Each committee member is assigned to a grade that they will be a liaison to and assist with special programs and activities for that grade.

Sat, September 21 2019 21 Elul 5779