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Religious School

 

EARLY CHILDHOOD

ShabbaTots (birth to 2), PreK (ages 3 & 4) and K (enrolled in K during the day).

ShabbaTots, PreK – Mondays 4:30-5:30pm

Kindergarten – Mondays 4:30-5:45pm

LOWER SCHOOL

Grades 1-6 – Mondays 4:30-6:30pm

UPPER SCHOOL & CONFIRMATION

Grades 7-10 – Select Sundays in the fall and spring.

BAT/BAR MITZVAH TUTORING

Weekly group sessions at Temple Har Shalom and in Salt Lake City. For details please contact Michael Greenfield: michael@harshalomparkcity.org

 

 

School Philosophy and Curriculum Overview

Turn the Torah over and over for everything is in it. Reflect on it and grow old and gray with it. Don’t turn from it, for nothing is better than it."

This teaching from Pirkei Avot captures the philosophy of the THS Religious School and our twin values of tradition and modernity. The stories, traditions, and rituals of the People of Israel begin with the ancient words of Torah. The Reform Movement urges us to live in the modern, questioning world even as we maintain our hold on the precious gift of Torah. Our curriculum introduces students to both the ancient words and the modern world and offers tools for making lifelong choices guided by Judaism’s core values.

ShabbaTots is an opportunity for our toddlers and their parents to begin or enrich a connection to Judaism together. Participants encounter Shabbat, holidays, and Jewish values through songs, crafts, foods, storytelling, and more.

Our youngest students, in PreK, K, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades, are welcomed into Judaism’s Kehilah Kedoshah, our holy community. The key components are enjoyment and engagement, and our primary goal is to foster a positive Jewish identity through Jewish learning, songs, crafts, foods, and traditions. Students are introduced to Hebrew through song and spoken word as well as through our weekly song session with Rabbi Levinsky in the sanctuary. The Jewish life cycle and calendar provide regular benchmarks for students to visit and revisit each year. Additional topics include Torah stories and Israeli culture, and every grade helps to lead a Friday night Shabbat service.

In 4th, 5th, and 6th grades, students are welcomed into the Brit, or covenant, of the Jewish people. Bat and Bar Mitzvah (at age 13 for both girls and boys) is just around the corner and students study Hebrew reading intensively in both 5th and 6th grades with a goal of achieving prayer-book literacy. Torah stories that may already be familiar take on new meaning as students delve deeper into commentary and apply the lessons to their own lives. Holiday celebrations continue with an added layer of history and underlying meanings. Jewish ethics, prayer, Israel, and the Holocaust are all introduced at a more sophisticated level.

When students are 9 months from their Bar or Bat Mitzvah date, they begin weekly group study sessions that focus specifically on the prayers, blessings, Torah reading, and Shabbat service that they will lead from the bima. These sessions are in addition to our regular Religious School classes. The group sessions continue year-round with new students entering all the time and other students completing their studies and celebrating in front of the community. While the day of the celebration is a key milestone moment in Jewish life, it is the period of study and preparation that truly turn these youngsters into Jewish adults.

In 7th, 8th, and 9th grades, students meet on select Sundays in the fall and spring to delve deeply into questions of Jewish ethics and culture and the ways that we balance our Jewish and secular lives in the modern world. Students also begin the process of finding their place in the Jewish world by looking at the divide between commandments and choice and learning how to navigate the space between them. These classes offer teens the opportunity to examine, discuss, and argue with some element of Jewish culture, history, tradition, or text. The specific content changes regularly to include current artifacts of pop culture or local happenings. Examples of classes include the following:

  • An examination of Jewish mystical teachings and their influence on graphic novels, Marvel comics, and the Avengers movies. We pursue the connections between the prominent role of Jews in the creation of the superhero industry and the Torah’s focus on justice.
  • A teens-only project for Mitzvah Day each fall that connects us to those in need in our community or to an environmental issue.
  • A conversation about anti-Semitism as viewed through the lens of Jewish jokes and stand-up comedy along with the inherent biases of Google images and the Dewey Decimal System. How do we combat our own biases and become more sensitive to those who are marginalized?
  • A screening of Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas. Nearly all of the most famous popular Christmas songs were written by Jews. What lessons about assimilation and immigration can we learn from understanding that story?

Our 10th grade year is the final year of Religious School culminating in Confirmation. This class meets on select Sundays in the fall and spring for an intimate conversation with Rabbi Levinsky as well as opportunities for reflection about each student’s Jewish journey. The Service of Confirmation, led by the 10th grade, is one of the most beautiful of the year. In addition to leading the prayers and blessings, students share their thoughts at this transitional moment of looking backwards at the Jewish education they’ve been given and forward to the Jewish education they will begin to fashion for themselves.

All of our Religious School programs are lifted up thanks to the generosity of United Jewish Federation of Utah. Their continued support strengthens our community and the Jewish community of Utah.

 

 

To enroll In Temple Har Shalom's Religious School please use this link

Religious School Adjustment

Lower School Calendar

Upper School Calendar

Fri, November 15 2019 17 Cheshvan 5780