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Beth-El Religious School Happenings

Sarah Beller next to her GaGa project she helped bring forward at Beth-El.

By Ramona L. Brand

Director of Youth Learning

 A Community of Meaning

 The last year-and-a-half has been more challenging for the educators than any time in recent history.

We have navigated (and are still navigating) the anxiety, the separation, and the serious health impacts caused by pandemic. Educational systems faced complete overhauls, and school directors, teachers, parents and students learned a “new normal” through virtual learning, or in-person learning with social distancing, masking and limited interaction.

We are approaching a new school year after eighteen months of being apart. Jewish tradition teaches that the number 18 symbolizes the world “chai” or life, and is associated with blessings, good luck and toasting. So we welcome this school year by breathing life back into our school. What joy it will be to have our community back together again to learn and live Jewishly in 5782! Shana Tova; may this be a Sweet and Healthy New Year for all.

Registration for the 2021-2022 Academic Year is Open

Religious School opens Sunday, Sept. 12

There are twice monthly Pre-School classes available for children, ages 3 and 4;

Kindergarten – Grade 10 meet every Sunday

To register or for more information https://www.bethelrichmond.org/school

If interested in Beth-El Religious School for the upcoming year, contact Ramona Brand at r.brand@bethelrichmond.org.

What’s New, What’s News:

 We begin our school year by immersing ourselves in the sweetness of the High Holidays. Religious School during the month of September will center on a number of outdoor services and celebrations. We will be a Community of Meaning as we learn by doing. In-classroom activities will begin on Sunday, Oct. 3.

September Calendar:

 PLEASE NOTE: Times and locations may be subject to change. Please check the Temple Beth-El website for updated information at  www.bethelrichmond.org.

 All services will be outdoors, under shelter. At THIS writing in mid-August,  outdoor mask wearing is optional.

 Tuesday, Sept. 7, 9-10 a.m.: Family Rosh Hashana Service

For families with children from infants to 10 years old. This will be a family friendly, musical service.  Let’s celebrate the World’s Birthday together.

The location will be determined. Bring a Shofar!

Sunday, Sept. 12; Opening Day of Religious School

Meet your teachers! Celebrate Tashlikh.  There will be student activities prior to the service

Noon at Brown’s Island; Bring your own bread (and a Shofar). Pack a dairy/parve picnic lunch

Thursday, Sept. 16, 9-10 a.m. Yom Kippur Family Services.

For families with children from infants through age 10. A family friendly, musical service. “Sorry seems to be the hardest word.”

Location: TBA

Sunday, Sept. 19: Pizza in the Hut!

Celebrate Sukkah with the community. Student activities with the teachers.

Location: The Sukkah at 3330 Grove Avenue location (Sukkah is located in the parking lot on Roseneath Ave.) 5-7 p.m.

Registration required:  https://www.bethelrichmond.org/event/pizzahut2021

Sunday, Sept. 26:  Geniza Service

Participate in this important life-cycle event that teaches about the Jewish value of respecting of our sacred texts.

Location: Forest Lawn Cemetery, 10 a.m.

We’re ALL Ga-ga for Gaga

When our students return to the school building this year, they are sure to be excited by a new addition of a Gaga Pit on our playground.

This gift to the school is the Girl Scout Gold Project of student Sarah Beller.  Sarah became a Confirmation in 2019 and will be a freshman at Virginia Tech this year.  Sarah’s generous project provides both physical and academic opportunities to our students, and is an especially welcome addition to our school in a year when we will be seeking as many outdoor activities as possible.

Sarah received sponsorship from the Temple Beth-El Sisterhood and Men’s Club as well as assistance from Lowe’s Short Pump to make this project successful. We are deeply appreciative of Sarah’s valuable contribution to our school, which will be enjoyed by students for many years to come.


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