Religious School Administrative Staff
Ava Kurnow, M.A.Ed.
Director of Religious School Education
Bethany Ratner, M.A.Ed.
Director of Youth Programs
Religious School Administrative Assistant
School Days and Times
Kindergarten - 2nd Grades
Sundays, 9:00 - 11:30 a.m.
3rd - 6th Grades
Sundays, 9:00 - 11:30 a.m. and Wednesdays 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. or Thursdays 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Tuesdays, 4:00 - 5:50 p.m.
B'nai Mitzvah peer tutoring 5:45 - 6:15 p.m.
8th - 12th Grades
Tuesdays, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m., Dinner and Social TIme 5:45 p.m.
Letter of Welcome from the Director of Religious School Education
Dear Religious School Parent,
It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the Lee and Frank Goldberg Family Religious School. I would appreciate it if you would read through the entire handbook so you will be familer with school policies, some of which have changed. We look forward to a wonderful year filled with creative Jewish learning, family involvement and community events. The past year was very exciting as Beth Israel celebrated its 150th Anniversary by writing a Torah that we will now use during the coming year. We also began a new, in depth process of creating a vision for Youth Engagement. The Education "Think Tank" was established to unite preschool through high school parents in this process. The group sponsored a "Towne Hall" meeting that brought a larger group of parents into the discussion of what the future of Beth Israel might look like for our youth. I will continue to provide updates and will hold opening day family meetings to enhance our communication. Below is a brief outline of the beginning of the process. As the year progresses, I hope you will stop by to introduce yourself and to give us any input you wise to share. My door is always open. I look forward to meeting and hearing from you!
What's New for Next Year?
- On-line registration for school and youth groups
- A Wednesday optoin for midweek 3rd - 6th grade religious school
- New Family Education format and topics
- First day of school parent meetings
- B'nai Mitzvah peer mentoring
- B'nai Mitzvah Boot Camp
- B'nai Mitzvah Clubs and Shabbatonim
- Addition of a 3rd Rosh Hodesh - It's a Girl's Thing group (6th Grade)
- Piloting of a Shevet Achim - It's a Boy's Thing group (6th Grade)
- Outdoor T'filah
- Third Grade Camp Curriculum
- Theme based family education for adults, students, camp weekends
- Return of Family Camp
- Third Grade Shabbat Sleepover and student led service
- 2nd grade Havdalah and Pajama Party
- Monthly young family Friday night Shabbat Service
- Introduction of the Award Winning Mitzvah Mall Project
- Return of the Environment Fair
- Grade level mitzah projects Holiday based or Mitzvah Mall based
- Expansion/continuation of Grade led Shabbat services
The Mission of Beth Israel Religious School
At Beth Israel the goal of Jewish education is the deepening of Jewish experience and knowledge in order to develop and strengthn faith in God, love of Torah, and identification with the Jewish people through participation in Jewish life. We beliee that Judaism contains answers to the challenges and questions confronting the human spirit and that a knowledgeable Jew with self-esteem and a positive attitude toward Jewish tradition can successfully discover thse answers.
Calendar (The 5773 Religious School 7th grade and High School Calendar can be found on the website.)
The Religious School Calendar for 5773 (2012-2013) notes special events and vacation days. It also includes a lis tof Jewish holidays, according to the Reform calendar. It is posted for your convenience on our website at www.cbisd.org/religiousschool/calendar
Please take note of the grade level events that eprtain to you and your child. There are also special programs in which the whole school will be involved. There are dates for camp weekends for 4th - 5th graders and for 6th -7th graders which have a profound effect on our children and are prepaid in your tuition (separate transportation fee required). There are also Family Education programs that require parent attendance.
Website: www.cbisd.org. Click on "Schools" and "Religious School". Check out Religious School section of our synagogue website regularly for activities and programs.
Please contact the School Office at 858-535-1144 ext. 3121 or
if you have any adminstrative questions or if your child will be asbsent. Most school communication is done via email. To ensure seamless communication make sure that we have your current email address. If you change it, please update the office. Teachers' email addresses are listed on our website, www.cbisd.org. Check the Beth Israel website and the weekly Temple newsletter, e-Tidings for any other changes or additions to the school calendar.
The parent association supports the Religious School by providing parent volunteers to help facilitate programs or events, and support teachers. The Parent Association helps build community within each grade by bringing together parents to help achieve the goals of the Religious School and Youth Programs. This year the co-chairs of the P.A. are Michelle Breier, Heather Keith and April Fink.
Attendance (75% Attendance is our school's expectation)
Attendance is very important. Since time is precious and there is so much to teach, it is imperative that students attend Religious School regularly. Frequen absences create difficulties in keeping up with the class and may be discouraging for the child. Excessive absences tend to lower the status of the Religious School in the eyes of the child and negate our efforts. They may also jeopardize the child's eligibility to become a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. It is therefore the child's responsibility to make up any missed class work.
Cell Phones and iPods
Cell phone and iPods must be turned off during class and services. No electronic devices are permitted in class or at services. If they are confiscated during this time they will be held in the office until after school.
Lost and Found
Check the Religious School office for items lost at school. Labeling books and clothes is alwasy helpful.
Adults should feel free to visit the Religious School classrooms and programs with permission from the Director of Religious School Education. Please contact he office in advance so we can confirm with the teachers and make them aware that you will be attending class. Children who are not enrolled in our Religious School may attend only in pressing circumstances with the advance consent of an administrative staff member, and with a parent's written permission. At no time is a teacher to leaver her students to have a conversation with a parent. Your children are their primary responsibility while they are at Beth Israel. If you wish to speak with a teacher, it must be outside of school hours. If you wish to discuss something of a serious nature, please do so with the Director of Religious School Education, Ava Kurnow. She can be pages from the school office.
Progress reports for grades K-12 will be mailed home twice a year. Please sign and return them after the first semester.
If your child has any special needs, including dietary restriction, learning difficulties, or emotional or psychological concerns, it is important that you tell our school administration so that the teacher may be informed and your child will get the proper care and attention. Only those who need to know about your child's special needs will be in the circle of information. If your child has an IEP, please provide a copy to the School Office if it can help the Religious School to better serve the needs of your child.
Our first priority is the safety of the children. Students may not leave the Temple grounds unless accompanied by an adult. For an early pickup, go the School Office to sign out your child. This is a safety [recaution so one other than a familier adult comes for your child.
Gemillut Chasadim/Tzedakah (Righteous acts of loving kindness; the giving of charity)
Standards of Conduct
Our tradition teaches that giving to others who are less fortunate is a mitzvah (a commandment). Please help your children to get into the tzedakah habit by reminding them to set aside some money each week. Students will have an opportunity to direct their class tzedakah (collected on Sundays) by discussing different options.
Our goal at Beth Israel is to provide a safe educational climate is which each child will discover and cultivate a meaningful Jewish identity and commitment. "Standards of Behavior" are required of each student in this school in order for each classroom to operate smoothly and without undue interruptions. In order to meet these goasl, we feel it is important for each student to be accountable and responsible for his/her own behavior.
Below you will find a list of behavioral policies and standards. It is expected that all students and parents will uphold these standards.
Teachers are Expected To:
Parents are Asked To:
- Be in classrooms or the sanctuary/chapen to greet students
- Communicate regularly with parents
- Set a good example for students by maintaining a positive, caring, Jewish classroom environment
- Be prepared for all teaching responsibilites
Students are Expected To:
- Make every effort to prepare children for school by assisting them in bringing required books and materials for each class session
- Get children to class on time and keep absences to a minimum and only for reasons of illness or extreme necessity
- Set good examples for their children by maintaining a positive attitude toward school and school attendance
- Strive, as a family unit, to attend services and all family education and grade levels events, encourage appropriate behavior by example and actively enforce this behavior throughout the programs and services.
- Be courteous and respectful to classmates and teachers
- Respect school property and the property of others
- Use appropriate language at all times
- Come prepared by bringing all necessary books, paper, pencils, etc., to each class session
- Conduct themselves quietly and respectfully in the classroom and sanctuary
- Participate in all classroom activities
- Refrain from rough playing during recess and before and after school and will be especially careful not to play in any way that might injure another child
- Play only in designated areas
- Dress appropriately. During T'fillah students often enter the sanctuary, we strongly encourage parents to assist their children in using good jugment when choosing clothing. If it is determined an outfit is anappropriate, parents will be notified and the student may be given alternative clothing.
In the event that these standards are not met the following steps will be taken by the school:
The student will be reminded of proper behavior in school by the teacher and positive reinforcement will be used in the classroom. Continued disruption will result in a visit to the Director of Religious School Education office. The second visit to the Director of Religious School Education will result in the phone contact by the teacher or the Director of Religious School Education with the parent. Appropriate action or a behavior contract may be used at this time as determined by the parent, teacher, and Director of Religious School Education. The student will bring the contract to each class for the teacher to indicate acceptable or unacceptable behavior. The parent can then be kept informed continually which will enable them to provide positive reinforcement. After the 3rd visit, parents will be asked to visit the Director of Religious School Education with the student to discuss the appropriate and inappropriate behavior, and whatever problem solving if needed will be done at this time. If all the preceding does not remedy the disruptive behavior, the parent will be required to attend classes. If re-entry is completed and the negative behavior continues the student will premanently withdrawn for that year. School fees are not refundable for students who are withdrawn from classes. In the case of property damage the child will be assessed the full cost of the damage. If that cannot be determined a mitzvah project will be assigned.
It is understood that this policy is based on recognition of individual differences among students. With a concerted effort on the part of parents, teachers, student and Director of Religious School, early attention should produce improbement in behavior at an early stage. It is also understood that severe infractions may result in some of the above steps being by-passed.
Meals should be eaten before or after class. Please do not send an entire meal with your child to class. It is difficult to participate and focus in class while eating. Small snacks will be sold by the Youth Group on Thursdays and Sundays or provided by parents on a rotating basis or may be brought home, but are to be consumed only during break. There are designated times during school for each grade to enjoy a snack. Beth Israel practicies biblical kashrut, i.e. the avoidance of all port and shellfish. We would also appreciate students not mixing dairy with meat products.
Please list medications your child is taking on the school registration form. We will not administer any medication (including aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen) unless we receive written permission from a parent. If a child needs to take a prescription drug during class, please send it with a note to the teacher.
We'd love to hear if you are particilarly pleased with how something is going as well as if you have a problem or suggestion for improvement. Please e-mail us, call, or stop by the school office.
T'filot/Hebrew music is a intregal part of our Hebrew school program. In addition to providing an opportunity for our students to put what they are learning into context, school worship services provide a forum for teaching "bimah etiquette" and public speaking. Emphasis will be placed on the Shabbat morning service and the Torah service. Participation is very important and expected.
Homework and Tests
Religious School Attendance Policy for Beth Israel Students Attending Day Schools
Hebrew homework is required. In order to make progress with reading skills, students are asked to read everyday for 10 minutes. Teachers will do their best to create homework that is meaningful and enriching. Our intention is that it will increase your child's Hebrew skills and not be just another form of busy work.
Due to the extensive Hebrew studies required by Jewish Day Schools, Beth Israel students are not required to attend supplemental religious school classes to become b'nai mitzvah. They are however, expected to participate fully in the following:
All requirements of the b'nai mitzvah program including:
- Service attendance, mitzvah projects, clergy meetings and tutoring sessions
- Full participation in the youth program events
- Attendance at their grade level camp weekends
- Attendance at all school-wide and grade level family education programs
The education of our children is an important goal in our congregation, whether it is Religious school or informal educational experiences such as summer camp. It is our aspiration to provide financial assistance, as possible, to deserving students who wish to participate in these opportunities. Please contact the membership coordinator if you need financial assistance. For students to be eligible to attend Congregation Beth Israel Religious School families must be in good members in standing.
Traffic and Safety
Drop-off and Pick-up
To ensure the safety of our children, please follow all standard parking regulations (i.e. No parking in red zone, no double parking, etc.) Note that the south side of Golden Haven Road is now a bike line and no parking is permitted.
Sundays, Grades K-2
All students need to be picked up in their classrooms. Parents may park in either the lower parking lot or the upper parking structure. Please inform us in writing if an older sibling will be picking up your K-2 child.
Sundays and Thursdays, Grades 3-6
Option 1: Pick up at the grand staircase (no child may enter the parking lot without parent or teacher escort). Use our lower lot to get in the pick up line.
Option 2: Enter the La Jolla Gateway office building parking structure from our lot, drive up to the top level and park. (On Sundays you may enter the parking structure from either 9171 Towne Centre Drive, or from our lot.) Meet your child at the North Entry gate to our property. Follow arrows to visitor exit located between the two office buildings.
Tuesdays, Grades 7-12
All drop-off and pickup is from our lower parking lot by the grand staircase.
There is a new validating machine in the school office that must be used to avoid parking fees in the parking structure.
Music and Curricular Guidelines
The detailed Religious School curriculum is available in the school office upon request and is posted on the Beth Israel website at www.cbisd.org.
Family Education for Kindergarten - 6th Grade
As parents and educators we know that education takes place in many venues and in many different ways. As partners with you in the endeavor of providing a quality Jewish education for our students, we provide exciting hands-on experiential opportunities for parents and students to learn together. Grade level activities related to the curriculum will allow parents to participate with their children and also to connect with the clergy and other parents both in class and in sessions outside the classroom. This year our theme will be "Relationships", a separate brochure will be available with more information.
Introduces the children to Jewish life and involves parents in the learning process as well. Emphasis is on holidays, including Shabbat. Students learn about their Jewish selves, their families and their community. The students start their study of Torah through selected stories from Genesis and Exodus. Selected prayers and blessings are also taught. These include the Sh'ma Ma Tovu and the blessings over the candles, wine and bread. Students participate in monthly t'filah (prayer), Israeli dance and weekly Jewish music.
The curriculum is aimed at building and strengthening the student's Jewish identity. Jewish functional skills will be further developed and creative thinking, experience and expression will be encouraged. The highlight of the year is the Consecration ceremony, which signifies the beginning of the students' formal education. The Reform movement's "Chai Curriculum" is introduced in three strands - Torah (Genesis), Avodah (prayer) and Gemilut Chasadim (deeds of loving kindness). Students participate in monthly t'filah (prayer), Israeli dance and weekly Jewish music.
The focus is on Jewish values and mitzvot, the holiday cycle and a special unit on tzedakah, including a grade mitzvah project is highlighted. The "Chai Curriculum" provides lessons that focus on the core topics of Torah (Exodus), Avodah (prayer) and Gemilut Chasadim (deeds of loving kindness). Students participate in monthly t'filah (prayer), Israeli dance and weekly Jewish music. Students will share what they've learned at a "Havdalah Pajama Party".
The formal study of Hebrew begins in the 3rd grade. It is an exciting year as 3rd graders start attending classes two days a week. They build a strong foundation of letter recognition, decoding and fluent reading. From this foundation they transition into prayer literacy and developing reading, writing and vocabulary skills. The Chai Curriculum is used for Judaica. The 3 strands - Torah (Leviticus), Avodah and Gemilut Chasadim introduce students to the concept of holiness, the synagogue and taking responsibility for ourselves and the world.
4th - 6th Grades
4th - 6th grades continue to meet twice a week. Their Hebrew study of t'filah (prayer) continues in more depth and their Judaic studies include Torah, Israel, Life Cycles and Prophets. The Chai Curriculum at appropriate levels is used for Judaica.
4th - 7th Grade Camp Weekends
A vital part of every 4th - 7th grader's Jewish education is a weekend away at camp in celebration of Shabbat, which strengthens their Jewish identity and their bond with teachers and peers. Out Madrichim (see Madrichim section) continue to attend retreats as counselors, team leaders, and role models for continuing Jewish learners. Each weekend is planned with an exciting theme and led by Helene "Eemah" Schlafman, Director of Education, Emeritus and a team of professional educators to ensure an amazing experience and wonderful religious school memories for our students.
This is an exciting year for our students. As they prepare to take their place as part of the adult community of Beth Israel by becoming a bar/bat mitzvah, they also move into more adult study sessions They continue their study of t'filah (prayer) and reinforce their connection to k'lal Yisrael (the Jewish Community). The core classes are divided into trimesters. Students move through American Jewish History, Early Zionism and Jewish Identity in chaverot (groups) and end each session with a life cycle day and presentation. Community building with teachers, clergy and other stduents is a primary goal for this age group as stive to engage our newest Jewish adults in a lifetime of Jewish connection. We encourage 7th graders to stay after class for dinner and social time with the 8th - 12th graders. We are also adding a peer tutoring program component for b'nai mitzvah students as they approach their B'nai Mitzvah date.
Our 8th graders move into a new arena as they become part of the high school program at Beth Israel. School begins with dinner and social time at 5:45 on Tuesday nights. Dinner is followed by two hours of class instruction, which includes the study of the Holocaust and core Jewish values. Students select an elective for their other hour or participate in the award-winning Madrichim Training Program.
9th - 12th Grades - High School Program
Beth Israel's high school program continues to be vibrant and a wonderful source of social connection for our teens. Students take a core class (first hour) and choose a general elective class such as: Relevant Jewish Law, Torah Art, The Keva of Prayer, Primary Texts, Reform Judaism Ideology and World Religions, Jewish Political Activism, Jews in Art and Music, Hot Topics, and other classes determined with input from the students.
Students become teenage leaders and role models, learning to be co-teachers, tutors, and camp junior couselors through the High School's Madrichim Program. In the process, teens learn valuable life skills which will help them to be more effective leaders or participants in any group. After completion of the Madrichim class, students are eligible to become assistant teachers in the classroom.