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 primarily meets on Sunday mornings, with monthly Shabbat experiences, holiday celebrations, social justice opportunities, and an intergenerational congregational
retreat adding to the experiential nature of our program. 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 learning. Additionally, students have the opportunity to participate in 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 toddler and 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 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 Youth and Education, Jennifer Lorch, 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. Our learning includes Torah, Jewish values and ethics, history and culture, God and spirituality, holidays, life cycle, and Israel.
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 Lorch.