The goal of Jewish education at Congregation Beth Israel is to deepen Jewish experiences and knowledge in order to strengthen faith in G-d, love of Torah and Jewish identity through participation in Jewish life. These goals are accomplished in an informal, relaxed setting where each child is encouraged and feels secure enough to express his or her own unique self. Each child is helped:
1. To develop a positive feeling about oneself and to relate to others within a Jewish framework.
2. To develop the eagerness to learn more about our Jewish heritage.
3. To develop a feeling of Jewish pride and identity.
4. To develop concepts of sharing and concern for others.
As the Jewish people are "The People of the Book", Jewish book reading is highly encouraged. Book lists for each grade are part of the curriculum as a parent/child activity.
As outlined by the URJ guidelines, each grade level strives to touch 10 areas of Jewish learning at a level applicable to the development of the students. The following are the 10 areas covered:
- Jewish identity- a binding of Jewish people by words & deeds.
- Brit/mitzvot- study of Torah, observance of mitzvot and the embracing of the covenant between God and the Jewish people.
- Eretz Yisrael- affirmation of the historic bond with the land of Israel.
- Hebrew -the language of the Jewish people.
- T’fillah prayer- self reflection.
- Tzedek (righteousness), mishpat (justice), chesed (loving deeds).
- Shabbat & festivals- the observation of Jewish ceremonies that mark significant occasions in the lives of Jews everywhere.
- Self, family & community- our own self, family, community and other people and their families and communities.
- K'lal Yisrael- the expression of kinship with k'lal Yisrael by actually seeking the welfare of Jews throughout the world.
- Synagogue- familiarity and comfort with the synagogue to help strengthen the fabric of Jewish life and ensure the future of Judaism and the Jewish people.
Though each area described is covered in each grade, certain areas are emphasized more. That is what will be detailed in the individual curricula