“Our child was able to make so many wonderful new friends while also loving the learning of our religion.”
Philosophy & Goals
Inspire Ideas :: Instill Values :: Create Community
Rodeph Sholom Religious School inspires a community of pre-kindergarten through 12th grade learners and thinkers to embrace Judaism with joy and to incorporate the teachings of Torah, prayer (avodah), and acts of loving kindness (gemilut chasadim) in everyday life.
We educate and shape the next generation of Jews in an inclusive, engaging environment in which students of all abilities develop a strong Jewish identity through an understanding of Biblical texts (the Tanakh), Hebrew language, and Jewish history and culture. Our students learn to do ethical and ritual mitzvot and repair the world (tikkun olam) through participation in age-appropriate experiences with the goal of developing a lifelong connection with our congregation and the broader Jewish community. We nurture faith through prayer, music and creative expression. We encourage our children to form their own relationship with God, Torah and the people of Israel.
“What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow: this is the whole Torah.”
-(Shab. 31a) Hillel-the Elder
Congregation Rodeph Sholom Religious School is a No-Bullying Zone
At Religious School we have no tolerance for bullying of any kind. We train our staff to identify bullying, and report such incidences immediately to the administration, who will address those on a case by case basis. We also talk to our students about bullying, what to do when they feel they are being bullied, what to do when they witness bullying, and how bullying has no place at the Religious School.
We also teach our students how to respond to unpleasant situations that may not be classified as “bullying”, and how to differentiate between the two.
What is bullying?
Bullying is when one person deliberately and repeatedly intimidates or harms another.
Bullying can appear in many different ways:
Physical: hitting, kicking, shoving, mean hand gestures
Verbal: teasing, taunting, name calling, threatening remarks, spreading rumors
Indirect: excluding or intentionally leaving a person out, getting someone else to bully another person, gossiping
Cyber: using technology to threaten, insult or harass
What is not bullying?
Sometimes students confuse other behaviors with bullying. No doubt, students will say things to one another which can be mean or hurtful, and whether these things are said intentionally or unintentionally, they still hurt. No doubt students will push one another in play or shove to be first in line. Here too, whether these behaviors are intentional or unintentional, they still hurt. However, sometimes children use poor judgment and say mean things, and sometimes they push one another, but these actions don’t make them bullies. Only when these behaviors are repeated again and again, and targeted at the same child, is it bullying.
B'nai Mitzvah @ CRS
In order for our families to have a meaningful B’nai Mitzvah experience it is important that they are part of our community for a number of years leading up to this milestone. We want to have time to get to know your family and for you to get to know us…our clergy, services, educators and programs. We also view the B’nai Mitzvah as a family experience, one during which families need the time to learn together, reflect, and communicate open and honestly with each other. Through our Family B’nai Mitzvah Program sessions (FBMP) families spanning the 4th – 7th grades are afforded this opportunity.
Bar/Bat Mitzvah Eligibility:
Students are required to complete a minimum of three consecutive years of Religious School beginning in 4th grade immediately prior to and including the entire Bar/Bat Mitzvah year. Families whose children enter the Religious School after the fourth grade must make special arrangements with the Director of Religious Education to meet grade-level requirements and the Bar/Bat Mitzvah date may be delayed. Students who have attended another accredited Religious School prior to arriving at Congregation Rodeph Sholom are eligible for Bar/Bat Mitzvah, provided all requirements have been satisfied. Students leaving the Rodeph Sholom School before the date of their Bar/Bat Mitzvah must join the Religious School program.
Any questions relating to B’nai Mitzvah should be directed to Melissa Forstein, our B’nai Mitzvah Experience Administrator. She can be reached at email@example.com or at 646-454-3197. Students must be enrolled in and attending a Congregation Rodeph Sholom School to keep their Bar/Bat Mitzvah date on the calendar.
Family B’nai Mitzvah Program (FBMP)
We are excited for our families to participate in this program spanning the 4th-7th grade years that represents an essential part of the B’nai Mitzvah process. The program is designed to help families deepen their understanding of the B’nai Mitzvah experience, forge relationships with other CRS families, and develop close connections with our clergy. In addition, students engage in mitzvah work within Rodeph Sholom and the larger community and families study their child’s Torah portion in depth with our clergy members. To become B’nai Mitzvah means to join the Jewish community with all the responsibility and commitment it entails. These Family B’nai Mitzvah sessions are a part of this commitment and are required for each family (student and at least one parent).
Student & Parent Responsibilities
“Make your study of Torah a fixed habit, say little and do much and greet all people with a cheerful smile”
Parent Visitation Parents are encouraged to visit our classrooms at any time. All you need to do is call the Religious School office in advance to let us know that you are coming.
Student Visitation For security reasons we cannot allow children who are not registered in Religious School to visit in our classrooms. Guests who do arrive at our school will be asked to be picked up immediately.
Your child’s regular attendance is the largest indicator of his or her success in Religious School. We understand the time constraints that busy families face, however we ask that you make school a priority. The time we are given to teach is so limited, that we must ask you to be certain that your child attends regularly. If a student is absent for more than 25% of all classes in a year, that year will not be able to count toward the requirement of completing three full years of school prior to B’nai Mitzvah.
Students are expected to dress appropriately for Religious School. Good taste, with the consideration that they are entering a religious institution – their synagogue – is vital for the promotion of respect and decorum.
The attitude that your child brings to Religious School is of consummate importance. Respect for fellow students, as well as teachers, is a central element in the educational process in our Religious School. Disruptive behavior and lack of respect will not be tolerated.
Respect for Property:
Respect for property should be an unspoken understanding of all of our students. Although we do not expect such occurrences to take place, parents will be responsible for any damage done to the synagogue by their children.
No Food or Drink:
No food or drink will be allowed into the classroom areas. Snacks are provided to students before school in Kif Kef and during school. Remember—we are a NUT-SENSITIVE SCHOOL!!! (No nuts or nut products are served or may be brought to school.)
The Safety of Your Children:
The safety of your children during Religious School dismissal is of utmost importance to us. If a student needs to leave before regular dismissal time, a parent or caregiver needs to sign them out in the Religious School office. No student will be permitted to leave the premises on their own before dismissal. Also, students arriving early to school are expected to enter the building and proceed straight to the supervised “Before School” Kif-Kef location.
The teachers and students write a class brit, covenant, with the behavioral expectations for their classroom community. If a student chooses to display unacceptable behavior, they will be sent to the Director for a conference. If unacceptable behavior occurs again, the parent(s) will be informed and asked for cooperation in solving the problem. Inappropriate behavior shall be defined as any behavior that disrupts either the teacher’s right to teach or any other student’s right to learn.
We encourage an open flow of communication between home and school. Toward the beginning of each school year you will receive a roster of the students in your child’s class. Also, feel free to contact the school Director or Associate Director, if you have any questions about your child’s education. You can expect to get a weekly e-mail update from your child’s Jewish Studies teacher detailing class projects, what children are learning and upcoming events.
Lewis Steinman Special Education Center
Educating Jewish Children with Special Needs
“Educate Every Child According to his Way”
All children are capable of receiving a Jewish education according to their capabilities and deserve to learn about their Jewish heritage and share our rich history and lifestyle.
The Rodeph Sholom Religious School is in the unique position to offer Jewish Education in a synagogue setting for students with special needs.
This is made possible through a generous grant from the Steinman family and the Rudin Foundation in memory of Lewis Steinman.
The Lewis Steinman Center:
The Steinman program provides a supportive environment for our learners with special needs. By providing multiple classroom scenarios with slightly different identities, we are able to accommodate children of diverse learning needs.
Our self-contained classes are taught by teachers with special education training and provide a smaller class size as well as a lower student to teacher ratio then our typical classes.
In addition, for children who need one on one attention, we are able to provide some or all of their class time in a one on one setting. One on one attention can be in the form of tutoring outside of the classroom, as well as “push in” support for a student to have an adult working one on one with them inside the classroom.
For more information please contact the Religious School Office at 646-454-3085.
Rodeph Sholom is committed to supporting families on their Jewish journey. Judaism enriches our lives with learning, ritual, values, community, connections with Israel, our heritage and so much more. At Rodeph Sholom, families have the opportunity to study, do mitzvah work, and celebrate Shabbat and holidays together. Children who see their parents attending classes and/ or participating in Jewish experiences recognize the value and importance of Judaism and Jewish living to the entire family.