When you visit JRC’s Religious School, you’ll notice that students and teachers are happy and learning. Classrooms are busy with discussions, group projects, art, music and a lot of laughter.
As Reconstructionist Jews, we consider Judaism to be ever-evolving, and we wrestle with what it means to live in two civilizations: as Jews and as Americans. And although we have a lot of fun, we take seriously our responsiblity to partner with parents in cultivating a generation of citizens with Jewish hearts and Jewish minds.
Our Reconstructionist Jewish education is grounded in Torah, Avodah (Prayer), and Gmilut Chassidim (Acts of Lovingkindness): renewing Torah in each generation, providing creative and diverse worship experiences, and participating in the sacred work of repairing our world. We think of Torah as the texts we have chosen as a means of understanding ourselves, as individuals, and as a people.
Throughout the year, we weave holidays, life cycle, and social action themes into the curriculum, providing our children with a learning environment that is dynamic, interactive, stimulating, and inspiring. We draw on our students’ creativity and imaginations to foster a love of Judaism, a bond with our synagogue community, and a connection to Jews everywhere, and our teaching methodologies reflect this progressive attitude.
Most of our teaching staff has been at JRC for five to fifteen years. We have two Special Educators who work with students directly or consult with teachers or parents as needed. In all grades, students (and often, parents) spend time weekly with our Rabbi and Cantor.
Our school offers programs for members age 3-18, beginning with Jewish enrichment classes and continuing through high school. In all grades, parents are encouraged to actively participate, either in classrooms alongside their children or during parallel adult education programs that meet during school hours.
Through second grade, students come for two hours each Sunday. Third grade through sixth, students attend class one additional weekday afternoon. 7th and 8th graders share in a community dinner before heading to class on Tuesday evenings. Our high school students spend one Saturday evening each month with Rabbi Rosen, grappling with “real-world” issues, such as poverty, war, and ecology using a Jewish lens.
Some highlights of our school year include: sixth graders curating a Family History Museum, fifth graders and their parents making maps of Israel out of ice cream and candy, the eighth grade Jewish Lens photo exhibit; seventh graders shopping for a week’s worth of groceries with $40, as part of a unit on urban poverty, first graders making an edible Noah’s Ark, second graders creating their own Torahs over the course of the entire year, fourth graders hosting a Hanukkah party at a local retirement home, third graders welcoming their parents into Abraham’s tent, kindergarteners collecting Passover food for local families. Everyone enjoys Pajama Day on the first day back after a long winter break, and Camp Day in February. You'll see photographs of these activities throughout these Religious School pages.
Judaism is a life-long endeavor, and JRC is a congregation of learners. We look forward to learning and growing together. To learn more about our school community or to arrange a visit, email Terri Bernsohn or call her at ext. 2225.