Dear TBS Religious School Parents:
As you know, Rabbi Rachel Brown has accepted the position of Rabbi at The West Temple in Cleveland, replacing their long-term Rabbi who has retired. We wish Rabbi Rachel the very best in her new opportunity and we thank her for 5 years of leadership. We have taken this as an opportunity to reimagine our religious school program.
We formed a search committee to find a new education director for TBS. Co-Presidents Laurie Frankino, James Field and Rabbi Michael Ross met with Rabbi Stacy Schlein, Director of Educational Capacity Building, at the JEC (Jewish Education Center) to assist us in our search. We took this opportunity to take a fresh look at our religious school program. Our dear teacher, Jean Beasley and Laurie with the help of Rabbi Rachel met to brainstorm our religious school program’s future. That meeting produced the goals for our program, including providing our students with a strong sense of positive Jewish identity and our roadmap to achieve these goals (below).
We are thrilled to announce our roster of educators for this school year:
- Rabbi Michael Ross has accepted the role of Interim Education Director at TBS. In addition to his current position as Rabbi at TBS and Senior Educator at Hillel at Kent State University, Rabbi Michael will lead our religious school on Sundays, implementing our curriculum.
- Jean Beasley, master educator, is the winner of the National Grinspoon Award for Excellence in Jewish Education and past winner of the Libbie L. Braverman Award. Jean will join Rabbi Ross in the newly created position of Assistant Education Director, and she will run our Thursday Hebrew program for our older students. She will also teach grades K-2 on Sundays.
- We have hired an exciting new teacher, Kate Palleschi for grades 3-5 on Sundays.
- Rabbi Michael will continue to teach students on Sundays grades 6-8 as they prepare for B’nai Mitzvah.
- Thursday religious school will be led by Jean Beasley for grades 5-8 (a change from grades 3-8) and will have a major emphasis on reading Hebrew and practicing the Torah service.
- Cantorial Soloist Robin Selinger is taking a sabbatical year from teaching beginning in October so we’ll have a new song leader, Jacob Rathkopf, who will lead our Sunday morning prayer service with Rabbi Michael and will also lead a monthly music class.
- Laurie Frankino will take on many of the administrative duties for the school this year.
Our first day of religious school for all students is Sunday, August 27, 9:00-12:00 pm. Please plan to bring your students in and stay for bagel breakfast and a short group discussion with Rabbi Ross.
If you can’t stay on August 27, please contact Laurie Frankino email@example.com who will schedule an individual meeting appointment with Rabbi Michael prior to August 27.
Please feel free to reach out to Rabbi Michael at his email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by text/phone at 310-569-6329 with questions, concerns, or ideas.
Additionally, we have a private Facebook group for all TBS members. We will update our communications to you through this group as well as through email and texts. Let us know if you need an invitation to this group.
We are excited to present our new leadership as we begin a new school year and a new Jewish Year on Friday, September 15, Erev Rosh Hashanah.
Rabbi Michael Ross
TEMPLE BETH SHALOM EDUCATION PROGRAM GOALS & OBJECTIVES
Our goals: By the end of religious school
- Graduates will be comfortable walking into any Reform service in the world and being able to participate fully by knowing:
- The prayers
- The choreography (when to sit, stand, bow)
- The way to behave in a sanctuary
- Graduates will have a strong sense of positive Jewish identity.
We achieve these goals by:
- Focusing our curriculum on Jewish prayer
- Actual recitation and chanting of the prayers
- Rituals that are part of our prayer services (lighting Shabbat candles, taking the Torah out and reading from it, when to stand, when to bow, etc.)
- Hebrew language acquisition specifically for reading/chanting Hebrew prayers and Tanakh
- Celebrating Jewish holidays as they come up on our Jewish calendar.
- Learning the stories of the Torah and other books of the Tanakh.
- Demonstrating that activities and subjects that our students enjoy have inherent Jewish values and teachings
Religious School Fees 2023-2024
Religious School Sundays
Sundays 9:00-12:00 noon
Religious School Sundays & Thursdays
Sundays 9:00-12:00 noon, Thursdays 4:30-6:00 pm