Congregation Beth Israel in Scotch Plains has announced a change in its Religious School schedule. Beginning in September 2013, students in grades 3-7 will meet two days per week rather than three days per week.
Congregation Beth Israel’s Education Committee, which consists of professional staff, teachers and parent volunteers, recommended changing its schedule to a two-day per week Religious School and the synagogue’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to support the change.
“Our research showed that a majority of Conservative synagogues have switched from three to two days of Religious School instruction per week and have done so successfully without compromising on quality,” said Elly Bauman, Education Director of Congregation Beth Israel.
“A two-day per week Religious School also helps families juggle all their commitments,” said Elly Bauman.
The new schedule, with classes on Sunday and Wednesday, will provide 5 ½ hours of instruction each week. Sunday classes will meet from 8:45 a.m. until12:00 noon and Wednesday classes will meet from 4:00 to 6:15 p.m. In previous years, Congregation Beth Israel’s Religious School met on Sunday, Monday and Wednesday for a total of 6 hours of instruction weekly.
The curriculum on both Sunday and Wednesday will continue to include the teaching of Hebrew language, Torah study, Holidays and Mitzvot (doing good deeds). Congregation Beth Israel’s Religious School will continue holding daily student-led prayer services, and grade-specific family education programs. In addition, the school will be adding on-line learning opportunities, a Jewish book of the month club, and a Mitzvah of the Month curriculum.
“We did not make this recommendation lightly,” said Jacqui Gross, Co-Chair of Congregation Beth Israel’s Education Committee and Associate Director of Camp Yachad’s Upper Camp. “Congregation Beth Israel’s Religious School has had a long-standing reputation for quality. The change to a two-day program will continue to meet the needs of our community while providing students with a high quality Jewish education.”
Congregation Beth Israel’s Religious School was one of the first three congregations in North America to be designated as a Framework for Excellence School by the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. The synagogue’s new schedule of instruction was designed to maintain the standards set forth by United Synagogue’s Framework of Excellence program.
Congregation Beth Israel’s Religious School offers classes from pre-school through 11th grade, as well as special needs instruction. Synagogue membership is not required for programs through second grade.
Classes for the 2013-2014 academic year will start on Sunday, September 8.
To register or for more information, contact Elly Bauman at (908) 889-1830.
Congregation Beth Israel is an egalitarian Conservative synagogue, serving the religious, cultural, educational and social needs of congregants from Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Westfield and surrounding towns. It has an active Sisterhood, Men’s Club and youth group, plus a wide array of programs, ranging from adult education courses to social action opportunities.
Congregation Beth Israel is located at 18 Shalom Way, Scotch Plains, NJ (corner of Martine Avenue).