Welcome to our Youth Engagement Program, which includes what is traditionally known as Religious or Hebrew School!
We warmly welcome all students from grades Pre K through high school. Our school year starts in September and runs through May. We have many award-winning courses and a highly motivated and committed faculty, yet it is our constant quest to find ways to make our school programs more interesting, engaging, and challenging. If you are looking for information about Bar/Bat Mitzvah, please see the page under Lifecycles: Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah.
Read our Handbook of Information and Policies: YEP Handbook
Congregation Beth Israel’s Religious School creates a nurturing and creative environment, inspired by the ritual, spiritual life, and Jewish values of Reform Judaism. We believe that through teaching, students and their families will develop a positive Jewish identity and an understanding of Jewish heritage that leads to lifelong learning. The school strives to provide every family a spiritually rich, relevant, and engaging experience. We are committed to providing an environment driven by traditional and non-traditional learning and teaching styles, enabling Youth Education Program students and families to enhance their Jewish journeys.
Develop curriculum that supports our vision.
- Create an awareness of Jewish history, holidays, festivals, and lifecycle events.
- Create familiarity with Torah and Mishkan T’Filah, (the Reform Judaism prayer book), Hebrew, and Jewish music in order to provide a sense of familiarity and comfort in any Reform synagogue.
- Encourage thoughtful spiritual awareness in an open and safe environment.
- Create understanding of the concepts of Covenant, mitzvot, tzedakah, and tikkun olam in our community.
- Develop a spirit of Klal Yisrael (Peoplehood) and strengthen the connection to Israel, its history and its people.
- Provide the necessary tools for Jewish living that compliments the Jewish learning in the home.
- Maintain our commitment to the professional development of our staff to be current with educational teaching techniques, tools and technologies.
Our Youth Education Program classes provide Jewish learning for students in pre-Kindergarten through high school.
Sessions are held on Sundays, 9am to 11:30am, for grades Pre-K through 6th grade, and 10am to 11:30am for grades 7 through 9.
Grades 3 through 6 attend Hebrew language lessons on Wednesday afternoons, 4:30 to 6pm. Grade 7 meets with Rabbi Dena Shaffer during this time. There are satellite Hebrew language programs for grades 3 to 6 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Tuesday classes meet at the Farmington Public Library; Thursday classes meet at the Mandell Jewish Community Center in West Hartford.
Journey Onward is a program for social engagement and action-based learning for students in grades 7 through 9. Journey Onward’s schedule varies, as the class is often out and about in the community!
Students in 10th grade are invited to participate in Confirmation, a year long intensive program, leading to a communal ritual program. Confirmation classes are taught by Rabbi Pincus and Rabbi Shaffer.
We also offer Family Education programs throughout the year. These programs encourage children and parents to learn together, sometimes by parallel teaching and sometimes by learning together through music, art, drama, and text. In addition, there are opportunities for parents to learn and socialize on Sunday mornings while their children are in classes.
JewDo is a program that combines Jewish learning with the fun, excitement, and practical skills of martial arts. CBI kids in grades 2-5 are invited to join Rabbi Dena Shaffer each Sunday after Religious School. This is a great way to decompress on Sundays afternoon and blow off some of that weekend energy! Click here for more information and the registration form you can print and mail in (in pdf format).
Contact: Rabbi Shaffer, 860-233-8215 x226.