2020-21 TBE Religious School Plans

Temple Beth-El and Director of Congregational Learning Ari Moffic are excited to share plans for the upcoming school year. Because of the current situation, we can have no more than 50 people in the Temple at any one time who are able to be 6 feet apart and with masks. Given these restrictions, we are offering both small group, in-person options as well as zoom options. When weather permits it, we will be outside with our classes. Our plans include creative ways to teach our children in the most engaging, accessible, doable, and safe ways. We are also hard at work writing lesson guides for each session so that we make the absolute most out of our time together and the children stay interested and learning!

Please read through the options available for Religious & Hebrew School this year. Once members have registered their child for school, a form to register each child for their choice of virtual or in-person learning will be provided. The visual to the right shows a breakdown of all learning by grade.

A few things to note:

  • All sessions below are offered in-person or virtually. If choosing the virtual option, your child will zoom to their class at the same time as in-person learning. We will have a helper managing the cameras for the class so that your children will be able to be active participants even from home.
  • If you sign up for in-person learning or the zoom option, switching to the other option at a later date is acceptable upon request.
  • If the timing offered doesn’t work for any of these options or you need a more personalized option, please indicate on the form and we will be in touch.
  • In between sessions on Sundays & Tuesdays, parts of the building will be disinfected including bathrooms and doorknobs.

Sunday Religious School: Judaic Learning, Holidays, Values, Traditions, Mitzvot, History & Community

Session 1 – 9:00-10:00 am – In-person or Virtual
For children who do not have siblings over 4th grade
  • K/1st Grade – Taught by Sharon Gross
  • 2nd Grade – Taught by Deborah Cohen
  • 3rd Grade – Taught by Rabbi Ari
  • 4th Grade – Taught by Raquel Devience
Session 2 – 10:45-11:45 am – In-person or Virtual
  • 1st-3rd grade – A multi-age class of 10 children maximum taught by Sharon Gross. There will be at least one high schooler who will be able to help with differentiation of activities for the older children. All activities will be able to be completed on a depth based on age and development and children thrive in this kind of multi-age classroom community.*
  • 5th Grade – Deborah Cohen
  • 6th Grade – Rabbi Ari

*Please note: The multi-age classroom on Sundays in Session 2 was created so that parents with children in grades 1-3 with a sibling in 5th, or 6th Grade do not have to drive back and forth to Temple several times. If you do not mind driving back and forth and want to be in both sessions, that is fine.

7th Grade – 4:00-5:00 pm – In-person or Virtual
  • 7th Grade – Taught by Jane Heyman and Rabbi Ari
The Spirit Room – 3:00-3:45 pm – In-person twice a month
  • We have the opportunity to work with an amazing, Jewish OT named Jessica Siegman Joseph to hold a first of its kind classroom for children with ADHD. Many children are dreading e-learning and also find Sunday school hard after a whole week of school. Jessica has ideas about how to run a joyful, sensory rich, strong in Jewish content classroom where our children who may feel they are always in trouble or who fight you on coming to Sunday school will look forward to each session. This will be a pilot program called The Spirit Room. This class with run twice a month for 45 minutes on Sundays from 3:00-3:45 pm and be limited to 5-7 children in 2nd-5th grade. If you are interested in this, please indicate on the form.

Tuesday or Thursday Hebrew School: 3rd-6th Grade

You can select either first or second session on Tuesdays for in-person, small group learning or first or second session on Thursdays for zoom-only learning. Choose only 1 of the 4 available options.

  • In-person Learning: Tuesdays 4:00-5:00 pm or 5:15 – 6:15 pm
    • We will divide all students into groups of about 4 or 5 with one teacher. This follows the best practices as laid out in a Chicago-wide Hebrew program that TBE is participating in.
  • Virtual Learning: Thursdays  4:00-5:00 pm or 5:15 – 6:15 pm

Art at TBE!

  • Our wonderful art teacher, John Gorman, will still be teaching art this year, but in a new way. Each Sunday, our students will go home with their art bag for the week filled with all kinds of treasures and tools needed for their weekly project. If your child is learning from home, you can pick up their art bag in a curbside pick-up manner. Supplies needed will be listed each week.
  • John will accompany each project with a video on the TBE YouTube channel each Sunday that students will watch. We will have options for our youngest students and older students. Students will have the week to complete their projects and email a picture of their project to John. He will write back and share comments and feedback. For every 5 projects the students submit, they will receive a prize!

Music at TBE!

Jewish music and prayer literacy are essential to our children’s Jewish experience. Because we can’t sing in person, Cantor will zoom with the school community each week during the Saturday Havdallah ceremony, along with Rabbi Helbraun & Rabbi Ari.

  • Kindergarten – 3rd grade: 4:00-4:30 pm
  • 4th-12th Grade: 4:45-5:15 pm
  • If you have siblings, you can choose either time to join.
  • On our weekly Zoom with Cantor, we will sing our havdallah ceremony with the special twisted candle, grape juice and spices and will focus on a prayer or two each time so that the students can continue their prayer practice.

We feel that this will be a robust year of Jewish learning and communal bonding! We look forward to hearing from you and partnering to make this a fantastic program. Please reach out to Ari Moffic, Director of Congregational Learning for more information.



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