Welcome to Westchester Reform Temple Religious School
Before making your class choice selection, please take a moment to read our 2016-2017 School Year Overview below for Kindergarten Through 12th Grade Religious School Models.
Temple/Synagogue Membership is required for all WRT Religious School programs. WRT Family accounts must be in Good Standing (all account items paid in full). New Religious School families, if registering your children before the new membership year begins, must provide $1,800 deposit towards Membership Dues (dated July 1, 2016), and Membership Forms (Building Fund, Commitment and Info Card), before being allowed to register for Religious School.
Kindergarten through 6th grade: Religious School students are engaged in a variety of learning experiences. Students explore our liturgy and holidays, and as they progress through the program they learn the ALEF-BET, to read Hebrew, and explore Judaic studies topics such as the Jewish life-cycle, Israel: Land, History and Society, What Does it Mean to become a Bar or Bat Mitzvah?, and Facing History: An Introduction to the Holocaust. We have various models to meet the needs of our students and their families.
ALEF (“A”) and BET (“B”): Kindergarten through 3rd grade students and their parents join together on Sundays at 10:30-11:00am for a musical service led by our clergy, while older students, 4th Grade ALEF/BET join 5th & 6th Grade students for our clergy led mid-week services. Students enjoy learning both traditional melodies and the latest in Jewish popular music with a music specialist, and share in a variety of special events and projects.
SHARING SHABBAT: Our Sharing Shabbat program is designed for parent participation. Students and parents attend a Saturday morning family service that is followed by an oneg: bagels, coffee, cookies and conversation for children, parents and teachers. Students then go to their classrooms and parents are invited to engage in discussion about Jewish life and literature with our clergy. During this time, childcare is offered for three- and four-year-old children. All Shabbat activities end at 12pm.
5TH AND 6TH GRADE 2/GATHER: Our 2/Gather program is designed for 5th and 6th Grade students with parent participation. 2/Gather features an individualized, flexible mid-week schedule for Hebrew learning. Students and parents gather on Sunday mornings from 10:30-11:30 AM for a musical family service and learning, followed by an oneg: bagels, coffee, cookies (sponsored and provided by 2/Gather families). Students then go to their classrooms for community study and Hebrew practice, until 12:30 PM. During the week, students meet in pairs with a Hebrew teacher for a 40 minute Hebrew lesson. (The lesson times are scheduled over the summer months.)
Very Important note: Space in the 6th Grade 2/Gather program is limited! 5th grade students who are currently participating in the 2/Gather program for 2015-16 have priority enrollment in 6th grade 2/Gather (provided they are enrolled by June 1, 2016). We have asked these families to complete a registration packet. If you are not currently a 5th grade 2/Gather family and would like to be placed on the wait list for 6th grade 2/Gather for 2016-17, please enroll in another schedule choice: 6th grade ALEF, BET or Sharing Shabbat to secure your waitlist placement and email: firstname.lastname@example.org. We will contact you if a space becomes available.
J-LECTIVES!: All 5th and 6th Grade students (regardless of the program they choose) are expected to participate in J-Lectives. These experiential activities take our students out of the classroom and into the world, helping them make new friends and find their own Jewish paths. We offer a wide-range of activities to meet every interest and schedule. 5th and 6th Grade ALEF, BET & Sharing Shabbat students choose two J-Lective activities per semester; 2/Gather students choose three J-Lectives per semester. We encourage students who participate in community service and other events at the Temple to apply for J-Lective “credit” for their participation.
7th Grade: The 7th Grade B2Mitzvah Program: Boneh (Building) B'nei Mitzvahmeets on Wednesday nights from 5:15pm - 7:00pm. Our kids are in formation: building character, building life skills, and building Jewish identity. This curriculum addresses a challenging and critical time in a child's life.The students are placed in color groups based on their B'nei Mitzvah date and rotate between five different workshops throughout the year. The B2Mitzvahprogram features five Workshops, with five important goals: (1) Building the necessary skills to lead the Bar/Bat Mitzvah service from the bimah. (2) Building a D'var Torah, the speech that each child delivers at Bar/Bat Mitzvah. (3) Building a mitzvah project and an abiding commitment to helping others. (4) Building one's character as a young Jewish man or woman. And (5) Building an awareness of the Holocaust and the Jewish directive to build a more just and compassionate world. Please click here to download our flyer for the program.
Teens @ WRT – 8th Through 12th Grade
8th and 9th Grade: The 8th & 9th grade meet as part of our Mercaz program on Wednesday nights from 6:30pm -8:30pm. The evening includes dinner, an hour of elective time where each teen chooses a class based on their interests and our course offerings, and a half hour of grade wide community time. The theme of the 8th grade year is Clal Yisrael, our connection to Jews throughout the world. We return to this theme and how it manifests itself in different ways as we learn together as a class and travel together to Alabama in the footsteps of the Civil Rights Movement. The theme of the 9th grade year is Tikkun Olam, trying to heal our fractured world. Throughout the year we will explore contemporary and historic social justice issues. The 9th grade class will have the opportunity to travel with Rabbi Blake to New Orleans to engage in Jewish history and social action.
10th Grade (Confirmation*): The Confirmation year at WRT is one of the most meaningful experiences we offer our youth. Through thought-provoking programming and conversations, we strive to help our teens crystallize their identity, both as Jews and as human beings, to cultivate a sense of responsibility for others, and to feel a sense of connection with one another and with the Jewish people.
Our 10th grade program is multifaceted and encompasses our five pillars: Avodah/Spirituality, Chavurah/Community, Talmud Torah/Lifelong Jewish Learning, Tikkun Olam/Repairing the World, and Clal Yisrael/Jewish Peoplehood. Wednesday nights, retreats, rehearsals, social action programs, religious and cultural programs, as well as the Consecration and Confirmation services, make up the essential parts of this year. *The Confirmation program meets on Wednesday evenings from 6:30pm - 8:30pm as part of our regular Mercaz program; social justice activities take place select Sundays throughout the year to participate in Social Justice opportunities.
11th and 12th Grade (POST CONFIRMATION**): The Post Confirmation program meets twice a month: once on a Wednesday from 6:30-8:30pm for a more traditional Mercaz class, and once a month on Sundays from 11:30am-1:00pm for a “brunch and learn” with one of our Rabbis and Cantors. In January, the 11th and 12th grade classes will learn separately on Wednesdays, as the 11th grade works on clarifying their own Jewish identity and the 12th grade class will join Rabbi Blake for a special class called Packing for College. The Packing for College class aims to provide our young adults with the tools and skills that they need to feel proud of who they are, and also to grapple with some of the tough issues that we all struggle with like anti-Semitism and Israel.
SCHEDULES FOR KINDERGARTEN THROUGH 12 GRADE
Quick Overview of our School Schedule here
Kindergarten through 2nd Grade: Sundays 9:00-11:00am
3rd and 4th Grades: Sundays 9:00-11:00am and Tuesdays 3:45-5:00pm
Kindergarten through 3rd Grade Family Service 10:30-11:00am
(4th Grade Students only join 5th and 6th grade students for Mid-Week Service at 4:30pm)
5th and 6th Grades: Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:45-5:45pm
Kindergarten through 2nd Grade: Sundays 10:30am-12:30pm
3rd and 4th Grades: Sundays 10:30am-12:30pm and Wednesdays 3:45-5:00pm
Kindergarten through 3rd Grade BET Family Service 10:30-11:00am
(4th Grade Students only join 5th and 6th grade students for Mid-Week Service at 4:30pm)
5th and 6th Grades: Mondays and Wednesdays 3:45-5:45pm
5th and 6th Grades: Sundays 10:30am-12:30pm and a mid-week, 40-minute Hebrew Session. (Join Sunday Family Services 10:30-11:15am)
Kindergarten through 2nd Grade: Saturdays 9:00am-12:00pm
3rd and 4th Grades: Saturdays 9:00am-12:00pm and Thursdays 3:45-5:00pm
5th and 6th Grades: Saturdays 9:00am-12:00pm and Thursdays 3:45-5:45pm
Wednesdays from 5:15-7:00pm
Teens @ WRT – 8th Through 12th Grade MERCAZ, CONFIRMATION* & POST-CONFIRMATION** (*/** see above schedule details for meeting times)
Wednesdays from 6:30-8:30pm