What Is Happening At Adath Shalom Religious School?
We are very busy learning and growing at Adath Shalom’s Religious School. We are in the midst of working with our friends at the Jewish Services for Developmentally Disabled’s WAE Center on their grant from the Healthcare Foundation. We were asked to create four units on the arts that would be replicable in other synagogues. We chose to do Music, Dance, Spoken Word (hip hop, rap) and Theater. Each month we have a program and we create using that art a prayer that helps us learn and be more inclusive. We won the Solomon Schechter award for Inclusion at the 2015 USCJ Convention. Our project was called Beyond the Chairs of Inclusion.
We have an arts and crafts project in each grade and they are special. Lour kindergarteners make beautiful Challah trays for their Shabbats. Our second graders make special pillows for use at their families’ seders. Our third graders make Chanukkiot/menorahs and afikomen bags. Our fourth graders make mezzuzot. Our fifth graders make Torah yads that they are encouraged to use at their B’nai Mitzvah. Our sixth graders make Elijah’s cups.
All of our classes actively support our tzedakah donations and our seventh grade creates a Mitzvah Mall each year that showcases 4-6 charities and they raise awareness and money for the organization through the sale of Season’s Greetings and Chanukah cards.
Sunday mornings would not be complete without music. We begin our day with Hatkivah and The Star Spangled banner and during the morning each class has time with our music teacher.
Jewish education and learning are an integral part of Adath Shalom. Our Religious School works with Rabbi Rudin and our families to round out the Jewish experience for our school age children and their families. We help our students discover the joys of Jewish life and their own Jewish journey while providing them with a deeper understanding and appreciation of Judaism and its teachings.
Focusing on Kehillah/community building, Avodah/worship and Tikkun Olam/repairing the world; we provide opportunities to participate in services and Junior Congregation, for children and adults to work on synagogue projects, along with social action activities that develop well-rounded Jewish individuals.
Our curriculum centers on living a Jewish life in a modern world. We want all of our families to understand that we are a stepping stone to their Jewish journey.
In order to succeed, the experience of attending a Relgious School needs to be a positive one. Our teachers and our para-professional assistants are committed to interactive learning and differentiated instruction. Our staff is encouraged to take classes and increase their Jewish knowledge and effectiveness as teachers. This is a “perk” for all of us. Adath Shalom is truly a learning community, in whifch we don’t just “teach” children, we “learn and grow” with children.
This learning can be extremely interesting and even a lot of fun. We know some parents don’t have the fondest memories o f their Religious School experience. In contrast, we hope our children will fondly remember their teachers, the many activities, where each class level participates in special programs with familyu, friends and Rabbi in the life of the synagogue. We know that field trips to the Museum of Jewish Heritage, The Tenement Museum and Lower East Side of New York, a school wide Zimriyah/Sing Day, a Living Musseum, a Hall of Fame of Jewish Heroes, Purim Carnival, Succah visits to wave lulav and etrog and eat a snack all make a positive, lasting impression that former students fondly talk about when they return from college.
Maybe we are successful, because we provide a safe, supportive environment for our children. This is a school community that is on their side and wants the children to feel welcome and to succeed. Our building is fully handicap accessible and we are senstive to the needs of special learners, and have advanced classes for those who can handle it.
The Adath Shalom Religious School is a place where every child is welcome and every child is made to feel a part of our Jewish Community.
Religious School Hours are:
Our doors are open, please call 973-539-8549 ext 120 and come for a visit or send me an email.
For more information, contact our Education Director, Marisa Bergman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We believe as a synagogue community we have a moral responsibility to be as inclusive as we can be and to educate all of our Jewish future to the best of our ability. Adath Shalom strives to be an inclusive Kehillah Kadosha (holy community).” – Charlotte Frank
Adath Shalom has partnered with MATAN – matankids.org. Matan’s mission is to ensure that every Jewish student has access to a meaningful Jewish education and that one’s special needs never become a barrier to full participation in Jewish life. Matan advocates for Jewish students with special needs, empowers their families, and educates Jewish leaders, teachers and communities so that all Jewish children have access to a rich and meaningful Jewish education. We are proud to have been part of the first cohort of trained Education Directors and we have sent many of our teaching staff for training as well.