TBEMC Religious School Curriculum Highlights

Thank you for your interest in Temple Beth-El Mekor Chayim’s Religious School. Our school

serves students ages 3-4 (in our twice monthly Sunday morning Gan Katan class), students in grades K-2 (in Sunday morning school) and grades 3-7 (Sunday morning classes plus Tuesday afternoons).

Our mission is to instill a sense of identity, pride, and joy in being Jewish while cultivating a desire for life-long learning and involvement in the Jewish community.

Gan Katan class for ages 3-4

At this stage, our goal is for your child to begin their Jewish journey with Hebrew and English songs, storytelling, dancing, and arts and crafts. The schedule for Gan Katan will include “making” Shabbat with Challah and grape juice, learning new songs, dancing and singing
, Jewish arts and crafts and storytime. Every week, one child will leave with the “Shabbat Box” that will include Challah that was baked by your child, grape juice, and instructions on how to celebrate Shabbat at your home. Parents will be provided a schedule at the beginning of the year and invited to visit during special days.


Your child will learn half of the Hebrew Aleph-Bet (from Aleph to Lamed) this year and learn 2 new Hebrew words each week that begin with the introduced Hebrew letter.

Students will learn about the major Jewish holidays and Torah stories through storytelling, discussion, singing, cooking, and arts and crafts.

Your child will learn about how to be a good person through Gemilut Hasadim (Acts of lovingkindness) and Derech Eretz (treating people with respect).

1st Grade (Aleph)

Your child will review the Hebrew letters learned in Kindergarten and then learn the rest of the Hebrew letters (Mem to Tav) by the end of the year. Each week, when a new Hebrew letter is introduced, they will also learn 2 new Hebrew words that begin with that letter. (Create that list of Hebrew words)

Students will learn about the major Jewish holidays and Torah stories through storytelling, discussion, singing, cooking, and arts and crafts.

Your child will learn about the importance of community and friendship through the Jewish ideal of K’lal Yisrael (community).

2nd Grade (Bet)

At the beginning of the year, your child will review all of the Hebrew letters. The teacher will then introduce Hebrew vowels and your child will begin to learn how to read Hebrew.

Your child will be introduced to ways of saying thanks- to G-d, to their parents, to their teachers, and to their classmates. Prayers of gratitude including Modeh Ani, Shema, Ma Tovu, and other blessings will be learned throughout the year.

Students will begin to learn about the most important places in Israel including the Kotel, Jerusalem, and the Dead Sea.

3rd Grade (Gimmel)

Hebrew: Students will review the Hebrew letters, vowels, and Hebrew vocabulary. By the end of the year, your child will be able to read and sing the “Ashrei” prayer which is a huge accomplishment. Your child will master 25 new Hebrew words this year. Students will learn about the Jewish practices of Haknasat Or’chim (welcoming guests), K’vod Habriyot (having respect for all creatures) and Tikkun Midot (repairing our values). Love for the land of Israel will be cultivated through Israeli dance, cooking, and a virtual tour of Israel.

4th Grade (Dalet)

Your child will begin to master some important prayers including the first paragraph of the Shema, Shabbat Kiddush, and the first three blessings of the Amidah. In their study of the Jewish holidays, they will learn about the importance of Tefillah (prayer), Teshuvah (repentance), and Tzedakah (charity) in their lives. By the end of the year, they will be able to translate 25 new Hebrew words. The Jewish values of Bal Tashchit (do not destroy), Ometz Lev (courage), and Tzedek, Tzedek Tirdof (Justice, Justice, you will persue) will be discussed and applied to their lives.

5th Grade (Hei)

In addition to learning 25 new Hebrew words, students will learn songs from the Hallel service and from the Passover Seder. Students will become familiar with the history of Jews in America during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Students will be introduced to the commentary on the Torah, the 6 books of the Mishnah.

In our study of the Jewish holidays, your child will also learn about the traditions of Rosh Chodesh (the first day of each Hebrew month) and the 15 steps of the Passover Seder.

6th Grade (Vav)

Students will learn how to chant one stanza from the special service (Hoshanot) from the holiday of Sukkot, how to lead the Blessings after the Meal, and how to read the third paragraph of the Amidah. Students will be introduced to 25 new Hebrew vocabulary words. Our discussions of Jewish history lead us through the Babylonia exile to the year 1492. Our conversations about Jewish values will include Pikuach Nefesh (Saving a life), the Jewish response when we’re in danger (Sakanah), issues concerning “Keeping” Shabbat and finally, our beliefs about Nefesh Mipnei Nefesh (self-defense).

7th Grade (Zayin)

Your child will be able to read Hebrew fluently from the prayerbook (Siddur) and know how to lead many of the religious services. By the completion of the 7th grade, students will be able to translate 100 Hebrew words. The class will choose a Mitzvah project to complete of their own choosing and then educate the entire school about the charity. Students will engage in serious discussions about Jewish ethics, what it means to be a Bar/Bat Mitvah, and Jewish history from the Renaissance to the 21st century. Your child will begin to lead various Religious School events as a dugma (good example) for the younger students. At the beginning of the year, they will make their own Shofar and learn how to blow Shofar during the High Holidays.

School-wide Zimriyah

Each class will learn two songs to perform for the yearly Zimriyah (Song Festival) held in February.

Million Mitzvah March

Students and their families will discuss the various mitzvot (commandments) that they have fulfilled during the week. MMM worksheets will be sent home every Sunday morning and returned the following Sunday morning. Students and their families will learn the importance of the mitzvot in our lives.

Shul-Goers Club

Students who attend more than 25 services every school year will receive various TBEMC swag to commemorate their achievements.  Every year, there will be an escalation of prizes for students who help us build K’lal Yisrael (community)

Weekday Sunday Tefillah

Every Sunday morning from 9-9:30 a.m. the 3rd-7th grade students attend weekday services in the Sanctuary. Parents are invited to participate and ask questions. Your child will learn how to chant the most important weekday prayers, learn the choreography of the service, and learn the major sections of the service.

Services are

eventually by the students only!

Junior Congregation (3rd-7th)

Every Shabbat morning at 10:15am, students learn how to lead Shabbat morning services and learn about the Torah reading while building community and creating friendships. The Rabbis

will stop by to say hello and answer questions.

Shalom Chaverim Tot Shabbat (K-2nd)

Once each month at 10:15am, you and your child will celebrate Shabbat with dancing, singing, learning, followed by challah and grape juice. The Rabbis and Cantor will stop by to say hello, sing, dance, and share a story or two.

Youth Choir

The Youth Choir will meet most Sundays and sometimes Tuesdays after Religious School for 1 hour. The Youth Choir performs throughout the year during various concerts and special events.

Flyin’ Zayin Yadayim (FiZY)

Your 7th grade student will choose two mitzvot projects to do as a class. Students decide whether they want the mitzvah project to benefit children, senior citizens, animals or any other group in need.


Please contact the school office at 908-276-7351

for information about the school!