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Beth-El School Happenings


By Ramona L. Brand, Director of Youth Learning

Religious School Open House, Sunday Sept. 11

Are you looking for a great Jewish Education for your family?

You are invited to our Religious School Open House on Sunday, Sept. 11, from 9 a.m. – noon. Meet teachers and school parents, experience classes, and participate in fun High Holiday activities.

You will take part in a guided tour of our school and introduction to our hands-on, minds-on program. Potential students may attend as guests for two school sessions before being formally registered.

Temple Beth-El Religious School employs the best practices in Jewish Education! We raise the curiosity and literacy of our students, teachers, and families! Interested in visiting our Open House session? Kindly RSVP to r.brand@bethelrichmond.org

Date: Sunday, Sept. 11

Time: 9 a.m. – noon

Location: Brown Religious School 601 N. Parham Road, 23229

Welcome from the Director of Youth Learning

What is the goal of Religious School Education?

In short, we educate our young people in our texts and traditions to ensure a lively Jewish future for our people.

The V’ahavta commands us: “V’shinan’tam L’vanekha, You shall teach them diligently to your children.” It is not enough, however, to simply impart text and tradition without make meaning, context, and connection to the world in which we live. A successful Jewish education must inspire, excite, challenge, and delight the hearts and minds of our students. It must be relevant and authentic. We strive to make Judaism the lens through which each student can navigate through life and grow to be an engaged Jewish adult.

With approximately 100 students, our school is both large enough to be lively and small enough for a personal, and meaningful education!

Our innovative and child centered approach to Jewish learning provides a dynamic environment where Jewish education is joyous, fun, inspiring and spiritual.

Our learning takes place inside our school building, our synagogue, and our greater community. Traditional classroom learning is balanced with experiential learning, using music, art, nature, literature, and project-based learning to deepen students’ understanding of our Jewish traditions, values, and practices.

We invite you and your child to take a fulfilling Jewish journey and discover learning that begins in this building and expands outward into your homes, our community, and the world beyond. We will also journey within ourselves as we delve into the heart of what it means to center our lives around strong Jewish Values.

Our Religious Education Program consists of several components:

  • Sunday and Wednesday classes include a skill-level Hebrew program for students in grades 2-7 and grade-level Judaics for all students. Wednesday Hebrew classes include T’fillah, Trope for 5th and 6th graders, Hebrew reading, prayer fluency and meaning, and Parsha Shavua.
  • Creative electives are integrated into our Judaics program. Students participate in authentic and meaningful hands-on projects that support the understanding of our holidays, rituals and culture.
  • Field trips provide opportunities for students and parents to encounter Judaism in action around us.
  • Service participation encourages students to be comfortable on the bima, feel at home in the sanctuary and to prepare for their B’nai Mitzvah celebrations.
  • Family participation at life cycle events, such as Consecration, Confirmation, holiday events and learning with the Rabbi and Cantor.
  • Collecting tzedakah, performing Mitzvot and engaging in Tikkun Olam prepare our students to be good citizens of our world.
  • Our Teen program includes Elective classes, working as Madrichim in classrooms, social programs, Confirmation class and participation in services.
  • Tot Shabbat services and Chaverim Katanim Sunday playgroup, involve families with children from birth to 5 years old. Tot Shabbat Services meet on the first Saturday of the month and Chaverim Katanim meets on the third Sunday at the religious school.

What does it mean to be an inclusive community?

At Temple Beth-El religious school we believe that all types of learners and all types of Jews have a place with us! On our faculty staff is an Inclusion Specialist who provides support and guidance for parents, teachers and students dealing with educational, social, and emotional challenges. Our inclusion specialist assists teachers in designing assessable classrooms for all students and families in developing a successful Jewish education plan for their student. We also understand the importance of ‘expanding the tent’ and recognizing the rich tapestry that is the Jewish people. Our students come from a wide range of Jewish backgrounds and cultural diversity. Jewish education at the religious school cannot represent only one Jewish experience.

One of our sages once said that “Education without vision is like a present without future.” Our children are our future, and it is our goal to guide them with vision as they learn and grow. Our door is always open for you!

L’shalom v’Limmud,


September Religious School Calendar:

Sundays: Sept. 11, 18

Wednesdays: Sept. 14, 21, 28

Pre-K meets: Sept. 11, 18

Family High Holiday Services:

Due to the Renovations at the Temple Beth-El Sanctuary, All High Holiday services will be held off-site. For Family Services:

Rosh Hashana:  Monday, Sept. 26,

  • 1 Tishrei 5783 • 10-11 a.m.

Richmond First Baptist Church, 2709 Monument Ave.

Yom Kippur:  Wednesday, Oct. 5

  • 10 Tishrei 5783 • 10-11 a.m.

Richmond First Baptist Church, 2709 Monument Ave.

This service will be outdoors in the courtyard under tents. Please bring a blanket or lawn chairs.  Restrooms available.

In the case of rain, we will go into the chapel at First Baptist Church.

(This event will also be live-streamed on Zoom and YouTube. )

For all Services, visit https://www.bethelrichmond.org/hhd22

Contact Ramona Brand, Director of Youth Learning at 804-355-3564 ext. 111 or r.brand@bethelrichmond.org  to learn more about our vibrant Jewish education and our remarkable congregation or visit http://www.bethelrichmond.org/education/brown-religious-school/  to find a registration form.

See a few other photos from recent Shabbat Under the Stars Service and program that included kids taking part in a PJ Library Tu B’av Pop Up with fun activities led by Rachel Peters and sponsored by the JCFR.