Religious School/Hebrew School

There is no more important obligation of a Jewish community than the education of its children. While experiences at home and at a synagogue are create a foundation for Jewish learning, the formal religious school setting is significant in many ways. There is an understanding that what is gains in the classroom is reinforced through synagogue programming, at home and in the community at large.

Sinai Temple Religious School is open to members and non-members of Sinai Temple.

Our program serves children ages 2-18.

Hand-in-Hand: Ages 2-4
Sunday 10:00 am – 11:30 pm

Hand-in-Hand is a parent-child, interactive class. Activities are designed for preschool aged children to have success with some assistance from an adult. Projects and activities will be inspired by Jewish holidays, beginning Torah stories, mitzvoth and Jewish concepts. Additionally, certain lessons will be created to demonstrate that everyday happenings can be framed in a Jewish way. There will be a rotating theme as students may attend for two years. The class will consist of circle time, music, stories, art projects and interactive play. This program is open to all members of the Jewish Community of East Central Illinois. Temple membership is not required.

Primary Grades: Pre-Kindergarten through 2nd Grade
Sunday 10:00 am – 12:30 pm

Each year, the curriculum for the Primary Grades is focused on the following strands: Bible and History, Prayer and Understanding of God, Holidays and Symbols, Middot and Mitzvot (values and commandments) and Hebrew. Students meet weekly in their individual classrooms. Throughout these grades, students gain an understanding of the Torah and its stories, the significance of the synagogue and community, ritual objects and the Jewish calendar. Class meets weekly and the students have time scheduled with music and art specialists. Please see the Family Handbook for grade specific information.

Intermediate Grades: 3rd through 7th Grades
Sunday 9:00-12:30 and Wednesday 4:15-5:30

Starting in 3rd Grade, students attend Hebrew School in addition to Religious School. Our Hebrew School program is structured in a way that allows students to progress through the program at a pace that is comfortable for them. There are ramot, levels, which students are required to pass. Each ramah has a defined list of objectives that need to be achieved in order to pass to the next ramah. Students work in class levels, Alef, Bet, Gimmel and Dalet, rather than in grade levels. Students in Alef begin learning the Hebrew Alef-Bet. They master letter recognition, writing, vowels recognition and decoding. In subsequent class levels, in addition to reading fluency, students are expected to learn key words, complete work, explain the themes of different prayers and demonstrate an understanding of the placement of the prayer as well as any choreography. These class levels equip students with the skills and knowledge needed to participate in worship services.
Students are expected to attend Hebrew school on Sunday and Wednesday. Each class level participates in a Family Shabbat where families have dinner before a student led service.
Students in 3rd-7th grades attend Sinai Temple Religious School in addition to Hebrew School. On Sunday mornings, following Hebrew, they regroup with their grade level class. In this environment, they continue learning based on the strands from the Primary Grades. The four of the five strands are History and Bible, Prayer and Understanding God, Holidays and Symbols and Middot and Mitzvot (values and commandments). Please see the Family Handbook for grade specific information.

Hebrew High: Eighth & Ninth Grade
Sunday 10:00 am – 12:30 pm

This program is based on the B’nai Telem curriculum. Students in 8th and 9th grades complete an in depth study of different social justice issues. Topics covered included, but are not limited to, poverty, hunger, illiteracy, the generation gap and homelessness. Each unit will include a learning experience that is hands on and connects the students with the specific issue within our own community.

Confirmation: Tenth Grade
Sunday 12:30-2:30

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 take a weekend trip to a nearby city in order to visit Jewish sights.