Shorashim, Hebrew for “roots”, is Temple Israel’s Religious School program for students in Kindergarten through 6th grade. Did you know that the Torah is often described as a Tree of Life? After all, the Torah, the first five books of the Jewish Bible, tells the story of the Jewish people. From it, we can learn about family relationships, ethical questions, meaningful rituals, and so much more. At Temple Israel, we grow Jewish roots together. Through study, joyful Shabbat and holiday celebrations, social action, and communal activities, we plant Jewish seeds for a lifetime of Jewish learning and living.
Be Part of our Tree of Life as we grow together!
Shorashim meets on Sunday mornings, with Shabbat experiences, holiday celebrations, and social justice opportunities, adding to the experiential nature of our program. All learning experiences are designed with the students in mind, and are geared to be age-appropriate and content and project based. Each week students actively engage in a tefillah prayer experience, meaningful and exciting learning based on our yearly educational theme, Hebrew studies, and communal time to introduce and conclude our mornings. Art, music, library, and cooking all enhance our morning. Additionally, students have the opportunity to participate in reading buddies and chavurot – multi-age break out groups that provide more opportunities for community building and strengthening connections across grade levels. Students are typically divided into groups of peers or elective choices. Our preschool age children participate in the communal aspects of our program and engage in multi-sensory learning with others in their age group. On Sunday mornings, there are often optional parallel learning sessions offered for parents, which include sessions with Co-Rabbis Karen and Micah Citrin, guest speakers, and visiting scholars. We encourage family involvement and participation. Parents and grandparents are an essential part of student learning as guides and role models.
Faculty and Curriculum:
Director of Education, Jennifer Selco, MAEd, MBA along with the rabbis and other teaching staff, work with your children and family. Each year we select an educational theme that helps to make connections between Jewish learning and living. Within the context of our yearly theme, our learning includes Torah, Jewish values and ethics, history and culture, God and spirituality, holidays, life cycle, and Israel. For more on this year’s theme, check out the “Middot and Mitzvot: Holy Values, Holy Deeds for You and Me” Highlights. Our education program is grounded in the principles, practices, and values of Reform Judaism. We look forward to welcoming your family to our learning community.
Students in 4th through 6th grades also participate in Hebrew Learning mainly on Wednesday afternoons. During this time, students become familiar with Prayer and Modern Hebrew. The learning is designed to enable our students to become literate, participatory members of our community who are familiar with and at ease participating in Jewish ritual. Our Hebrew program prepares students to become Bar or Bat Mitzvah, meaning son or daughter of the commandments. This special ceremony marks the time in a young person’s life when he or she leads our congregation in prayer and is called to the Torah for the first time.
Students in 7th through 12th grades are encouraged to become Madrichim (meaning, guides), Teachers’ Assistants. Our Madrichim play an integral role in our learning community by serving as role models and leaders in our education programs.
For more information, please contact Jenn Selco.