A Jewish education is one of the most precious gifts you will give your child. From Judaism they will gain faith to sustain them in times of trouble and they will find a community in which to celebrate life’s successes. Judaism will add meaning and depth to their lives and root their actions in values.
The Religious School at Congregation Rodeph Sholom can help you give this great gift to your child. Students in our school build close relationships with gifted teachers, who act as mentors and role models. Our classroom time is filled with lively discussions, creative projects and engaging activities.
We continuously explore ways in which our students can be more engaged and active in finding their own path to learning. Through project based learning (PBL), we empower and allow our students to use a combination of 21st century skills:
..to explore, learn and experience their rich Jewish heritage.
If you ask me what the main goal is of our Religious School, you might expect to hear, so that children can learn about their heritage and develop a strong Jewish identity.
While this is certainly true, in days of late it would not be the first thing I would say.
First and foremost, we need to make sure that we are preparing our children to succeed in the world within which they are growing. They need to be healthy and happy and know how to navigate this world before they can form their personal identity and recognize their purpose.
They will learn that Judaism has much to help them with this.
These are challenging times. Our children and teens are growing up in a world where they feel more tension personally and globally than any of us have experienced in a long time. As a result of social media children are bombarded by constant input and the ability to respond instantly. While online connection has many positive aspects for young people, there are all too often tragic consequences.
In response, we offer a place where kids learn about kindness as a saver of lives. Jewish tradition has much to say about kindness. In fact, kindness, or chesed, is mentioned 245 times in the Bible and we even learn that when God went to create Adam and the angels argued as to whether or not God should create people, the angels answered, “Let him be created because he will dispense acts of lovingkindness.” (Genesis Rabbah 8:5) We learn from this midrash that we owe our very existence to the fact that we should be kind.
A new cornerstone to our curriculum is a Kindness & Wellness Campaign.
The goal to increase kindness in the Religious School, in the CRS community, and in the larger community. We model what kindness looks like. We’ve created a Brit Kehilah, a Community Covenant that students and parents will sign and uphold. Lessons about kindness, self-care, mental health, and wellness are be integrated into each grade’s curriculum, into Tefillah (prayer services) and classrooms through mindfulness moments, and through a number of other ways.
In a time when we might feel hopeless, we respond with kindness. Our tradition mandates this and we will heed the call to, “Do justice, love chesed (kindness), and walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)
In conclusion, we hope that you will feel free to contact us, come for a tour, and learn more.
Director, Rodeph Sholom Religious School and Youth Activities