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Beth-El School Happenings


By Ramona L. Brand, Director of Youth Learning

More than Just a Name

Temple Beth-El 7th grade students spend the year learning about the Holocaust. The year-long curriculum covers many aspects of this period’s tragic history, beginning with the political conditions in 1920s through the rise of Nazism, through WWII and its aftermath.

It’s a big subject and a difficult one for our students.

Conceptualizing the enormity of loss is difficult for most adults, let along 7th grade students. Numbers are impersonal and can erase the humanity behind them. All those lost in the Holocaust were more than just a name. At the end of each year, our 7th grade students, under the guidance of teacher, Brandon Metheny, research the life and death of a child victim of the Holocaust and write a personal biography of that child.

They create beautiful steppingstones in memory and honor of that child. During a solemn and moving ceremony, the 7th graders give a presentation that includes the biographies, poetry reading, songs, and place their steppingstones in our Memorial Garden. This year, we dedicated a new space for our Children’s Memorial Garden in the walkway leading to the front entrance of our school, as we had run out of space in the previous location. Through this project our students restore the dignity, and humanity of these young victims of hatred and bigotry.

Global Jewish Festival Family Event: May 15

The Global Jewish Festival was tons of fun!

Families gathered for an amazing morning of immersive experience as they traveled the Jewish Globe. This family event included activities a speakers panel, food tasting, a henna station, drum circle, music, games, crafts, and educational stations that enhanced the understanding of Jewish culture and practice around the world. We are a rich and diverse Jewish peoplehood. This exciting program was made possible by a generous grant from the Rachel B. Banks fund of Jewish Richmond Foundation.

Summer Tot Shabbat and Sunday Young Family playgroups to come!

We’ve had so much fun this year with our Tot Shabbat services and Chaverim Katanim playgroups! Summer fun will continue with dates to be announced! Stay tuned for June, July, and August activities.

Contact Ramona at r.brand@bethelrichmond.org if you would like to assist in planning!

Religious School Registration is open for the 2022-2023 School year

To register visit https://www.bethelrichmond.org/school_enrollment.php.

New registration? Interested in a school tour? Contact r.brand@bethelrichmond.org.

Temple Beth-El Religious School is Hiring!

Seeking teachers for Sunday and Wednesday Religious School. Positions available for a variety of age groups, for Hebrew and Judaics. Candidates must be fully vaccinated and boosted for Covid. If you would like to be a part of our dynamic team for the 2022-2023 academic year email Ramona at r.brand@bethelrichmond.org.

More photos from 7th grade students during their stepping stone dedication ceremony and various photos during the Global Jewish Family Festival.