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Religious School

Religious School


The Religious School at Beth Shalom is a vibrant sacred community where students and families find friends, teachers and clergy as role models and mentors to explore Jewish values, traditions, teachings and spirituality as we seek a meaningful life of Jewish learning and living.

Vibrant — engaging classes, relevant curricula, compelling experiences
Sacred — teaching and living Reform Jewish theology and values through exploration of Judaic Studies, Hebrew decoding and prayer
Community — students, teachers, clergy and families learning, worshipping and performing acts of loving kindness together

Our first day of school for the 2017-2018 year will be Sunday, September 10, 2017. Below you will find important information regarding next year noting our big change to a single session on Sunday for all our students.

  • ALL students will meet on Sundays from 9:30 am – 12:00 pm
  • Our change from 2 to 2.5 hours on Sundays adds an additional 30-minute block which is being introduced as Peer Connections or PC. This will be time dedicated specifically for your children to socialize and get to know their Jewish peers.
  • Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten will be combined into one class with curriculum alternating every year. A child must be 4 years old on or before August 31, 2017 and toilet-trained to attend this class.
  • In addition to Sunday morning classes, all 3rd through 7th graders meet for one midweek session either on Monday or Tuesday from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • If your child is unable to attend midweek classes, the full tuition will still apply.
  • The Madrichim program for 8th-12th grade students meets on Sunday morning. The application process for Madrichim will be a separate registration.
  • All students entering our school are required to be up to date on their vaccines according to North Carolina State Law. Details can be found on our website. For returning families please email a copy of your child’s/children’s vaccines to [email protected] by August 10, 2017 (one month prior to the start of school.) New families have 30 calendar days from the date of registration to provide documentation. At the end of the 30 calendar day period any child without documentation shall be prohibited from attending school until he or she has obtained the required documentation.
  • In order for a student to be enrolled in our religious school, the family must be a current member family of Beth Shalom.
  • Parents/guardians of all new students must meet in person with the Director of Jewish Learning prior to attendance at school.
  • Tuition costs for 2017-2018 if paid on or before June 4, 2017:
    Pre-kindergarten – 2nd Grade: $325.00
    3rd Grade – 7th Grade: $640.00
    Students in 2nd through 6th grades will have an additional $24.00 book fee
  • Tuition costs for 2017-2018 if paid after June 5, 2017:
    Pre-kindergarten – 2nd Grade: $335.00
    3rd Grade – 7th Grade: $650.00
    Students in 2nd through 6th grades will have an additional $24.00 book fee

If you are interested in enrolling your child(ren), please call the office at 919-858-7777.

If you have any questions or want more information, you may contact Lynn Calnek, Director of Jewish Learning, at 919-858-7777 or [email protected], or you may contact Robin Zenick, School Committee Chair at [email protected]

Curriculum Overview

The Goldring/Woldenberg Institute for Southern Jewish Living in Jackson, Mississippi provides
Southern Jewish communities with innovative programs, engaging curricula and shared
resources. The spiraled curriculum engages students in Jewish learning in key content areas
that are revisited with increasing sophistication. Key content areas are: Community; Culture &
Symbols; Jewish Holidays; Mitzvot & Jewish Values; Tanakh (Hebrew Bible); God; Hebrew &
Prayer; Israel; Jewish Lifecycle Events; and Jewish History. The ISJL Judaic Studies Curriculum is
mindful of different learners, weaving activities throughout the curriculum that engage the
auditory, visual and kinesthetic learner.

Hebrew Studies

The Hebrew program at Beth Shalom strives to present three components of Hebrew learning:
Reading the Language, Connection to Prayer and Hebrew as a Living Language. With the goal of
making the prayers in our Siddur meaningful to our students, we create a positive first link
starting in kindergarten with Alef Bet Yoga and Hebrew Through Movement. These kinesthetic
approaches to language acquisition are supported by the latest brain research on learning and
provide an aural foundation for Hebrew that opens the door to more facile Hebrew decoding
and reading. In a fun and educational program based on Total Physical Response, these
students learn to follow basic commands in Hebrew, learning words and gaining a familiarity
with Hebrew language. On Sunday mornings, students attend a lively, musical T’filah (prayer
service) that exposes them and engages them with Jewish prayer.

In third grade, formal Hebrew decoding and reading are introduced to the students using a
multimedia Hebrew primer, teaching students to decode Hebrew fluently with access to an
online learning platform that facilitates home practice. Our fourth grade students continue to
gain fluency and accuracy in Hebrew reading as they learn to read and understand prayers for
Jewish rituals, Shabbat and holidays. These students continue to have access to an online
learning platform facilitating home practice. In fifth grade, students are introduced to the
foundational prayers of our worship service including Bar’chu, Shema and the Amidah. There is
an online component for these students as well. In sixth and seventh grades, students focus on
the prayers they will recite when they lead services as they become a Bar or Bat Mitzvah.

All students in third through seventh grades engage in a program that encourages them to find
personal meaning through prayer. During midweek Religious School, third through seventh
graders attend a lively service with the goals of learning prayers and finding personal meaning
and connection. Rabbi Edery and Lynn Calnek take an active role in utilizing this ideal time to
teach and engage our students.

Family Engagement

There are two primary components to Beth Shalom’s Family Engagement
approach. One component occurs during Sunday morning sessions (each grade will have this
experience once during the year), and the other component occurs during Friday evening
holiday/ Shabbat programs.

Shabbat Service

The first Friday night each month is our Family Shabbat Service, geared
toward school-aged children and open to the entire congregation. The Young Family Shabbat
programs meet from 6:00-7:00 PM on most third Fridays and are a joyous celebration, targeted
especially toward families with young children from birth through second grade.


Beth Shalom has an active Madrichim program, which provides vital assistance in the school, as
well as two BeShTY Youth Groups, Senior BeShTy for high school students and Junior BeShTy for
middle schoolers.


The Madrichim program offers a variety of opportunities for all students, grades 8 – 12,
to support the school and stay engaged on a weekly basis. Recent research has shown
that involvement in a Jewish peer program during teen years is crucial to a strong Jewish
identity. Teens assist with classroom learning, special events, and Hebrew teaching and serve
as teen buddies working one-on-one with students of different abilities.

BeShTY (Beth Shalom Temple Youth)

Here at Beth Shalom, we offer Junior and Senior youth group programs. These begin in
sixth grade and continue through senior year of high school. Youth group meets at least
once a month during the year and participates in social events, Mitzvah projects, peer
leadership, Shabbat services and much more. Our teens also participate in NFTY regional
and national events.