Guiding Principles of the
Joseph & Belle Braun Religious School
Jewish education is a community-wide endeavor, and attending Religious School is only one component of Jewish Education. Family involvement in planning, programs, service attendance, adult education classes, and participation in community events are essential elements to an effective Jewish education. Judaism is a way of life that we want to help you instill in your children by strengthening it in yourselves. Each grade has a family program and a potluck meal. Additionally, we have scheduled family programs for the first Sunday of Religious School, for Sukkah Decorating, Hanukkah, Passover and Yom Ha’Atzmaut. Please check the calendar in the back of this book for the dates of these special programs.
Hebrew, as it is taught at Anshe Emet, serves as the language of prayer (Lashon Ha-Kodesh) and the language of the Torah. Our curriculum focuses on teaching our children prayers and rituals, exposing them to a variety of Torah texts, and familiarizing them with basic speech patterns. We begin teaching the Aleph Bet and reading readiness in the 2nd grade. An Ulpan-style oral Hebrew language program is available to our 2nd-7th graders as part of our Enrichment Track on Tuesday afternoons as well.
Although many people interpret “tzedakah” as charity, the actual translation implies doing justice through righteous acts. Students are asked to bring in Tzedakah money to Religious School each session and each individual class decides where to contribute the money it has collected.
We see ourselves as God’s partners in trying to make the world a better place. Learning about the Earth, pursuing social justice and caring for the disadvantaged are just a few of the principles gleaned from the moral laws in the Torah that we study.
The philosophy of our Prayer Curriculum is that all our students will have the chance to learn and lead Kabbalat Shabbat service as well as becoming familiar with the Shabbat morning service as they spend their years learning with us. We begin with rudimentary knowledge of the Hebrew text and the melodies of our most basic prayers and rituals. As students progress in school, they will know more and more of the Friday evening Kabbalat Shabbat service, the weekday Mincha (afternoon) and Shabbat morning Shacharit service, and many home rituals and b'rachot. Specific prayers will be taught to 3rd through 5th graders in class and reinforced during the Machar Youth Services that take place three times per month on Shabbat mornings. In Dalet/Heih they will be engrossed in their Bar/Bat Mitzvah studies and will reinforce their learning in the Kadima Shabbat services. These studies will tie in with our Machar, Kadima and USY groups which will periodically afford them the opportunity to use their prayer skills at Shabbatonim, Kinnusim, and other occasions.
Our generation has witnessed the miracle of Israel’s birth. Our curriculum strives to impart the meaning of this miracle through lessons in history, geography and current events.
In an effort to bring the joy of Jewish life and Jewish learning to our students, the Religious School curriculum includes Chuggim. We offer Israeli dance, Jewish photography, drama, art, and more! Students in all grades spend a part of their Sunday morning with specialists from a variety of fields, giving them the opportunity to learn and express themselves Jewishly in new contexts. We understand that different students learn in different ways, and we want to provide our students with as many doorways into Jewish learning as possible.