There is no more important obligation of a Jewish community than the education of its children. The Jewish education of a child often begins in a religious school, and is reinformed in the synagogue, at home, and in the community at large. The Religious School is open to both Temple members and non-members.
Sunday Religious School begins at age 2; Hebrew School begins in the third grade year.
Hand-in-Hand: Ages 2-3
Sunday 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
This class meets weekly. It is a joint parent/student program where students participate in crafts, story time, songs, and other activities associated with the Jewish holidays, traditions, and Biblical stories.
This program is open to all members of the Jewish Community of East Central Illinois. Temple membership is not required.
Grade School: Pre-Kindergarten through Seventh Grade
Sunday 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
Students meet weekly in their individual classrooms.
Students have classes with an art, music and library specialist regularly.
Individual curriculum is designed on the following curriculum strands: Bible & History, Prayer & God, Israel, and Holidays. Themes by grade level are included at the end of the handbook.
Students are expected to participate in grade level Family Shabbats, where they learn and lead different parts of a Friday night service.
Hebrew High: Eighth & Ninth Grade
Sunday 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
The first hour students will participate in elective courses. Multiple electives are offered during the year on a trimester schedule. Students will prioritize their choices at the beginning of the year and will be assigned as space allows. Electives are open to all students in grades eight to twelve.
Students will meet with a grade level teacher from 11:00 am – 12:30 pm. The curriculum includes Jewish history, theology, and Jewish identity.
Students may participate in Tikkun Olam (Repairing the World) projects as every adult Jew is encouraged to do. Opportunities will be made available to participate in community service projects.
Confirmation: Tenth Grade
Sunday 10:30 pm – 12:00 pm
The goal of Confirmation is for 10th grade students to realize their personal connection to their Judaism, consider and understand the need for a commitment to Israel, explore their personal understanding of the Holocaust and how it has impacted their identity, and to examine current events in the light of Jewish thought so as to have a life-long connection to Judaism.
Confirmation is the “final” year of Religious School, and concludes with a “graduation” ceremony.
Every year the confirmation students spend a weekend with the Rabbi experiencing Jewish Chicago. The trip includes a visit to the Spertus and Holocaust museum, a tour of a mikvah, and a variety of services at synagogues of different movements.