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Beth-El School Happenings

Temple Beth-El Teachers and Madrichim are ready for an exciting school year!

By Ramona L. Brand, Director of Youth Learning

Shana Tovah Tikatevu! A Happy and Sweet New Year to All.

Both the year 5784 and the new school year are well underway. We had an unconventional start to the year, with the High Holidays preceding the start of our Sunday classes, so we wove together worship and learning with multisensory activities for our students from tots to teens during Rosh Hashana, Tashlikh, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot.

Our Family holiday programs were filled with singing, praying, playing, eating, decorating, puzzling and spiritual renewal of the High Holidays.

We have one final celebration for Simchat Torah remaining on Saturday, Oct. 7th as we finish reading the Torah and start anew, rolling into a new cycle of chanting, learning, and understanding.

A new school year beckons with anticipation, excitement, and possibility.

With just over 100 students, our school is both large enough to be lively and small enough for a personalized, warm 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 both inside our school building, our synagogue, and our greater community.

Traditional learning is balanced with experiential experiences, using music, art, nature, literature, and project-based learning to deepen students’ understanding of our Jewish traditions, values, and practices.

Our veteran teaching staff has been joined by several new young teachers this year, and I can’t wait to see the impact they make on our students and in our school. Our Madrichim team is the largest we’ve ever had with 12 teens assisting in classrooms on both Sundays and Wednesdays!  We have several exciting long-term projects upcoming, made possible by several generous grants.

Thanks to Richmond Jewish Foundation, we have received a grant to expand our Inclusion Program. Inclusion Specialist Hilary Hodes expands below on what we can look forward to this year.

5784 and School Year ’23-’24 Here we come!

October Religious School Calendar

Wednesdays: Oct. 4, 11, 18 25

Sundays: Oct. 15 (Opening Sunday), 22, 29

Virtual Hebrew: Mondays: Oct. 16, 23, 30 / Thursdays: 19, 26

Simchat Torah Celebration and Service: Saturday, October 7, 6- 7:30 p.m.

6 p.m. – Student activities concluding with a make-your-own sundae bar in the social hall at Temple Beth-El, 3330 Grove Ave.

7 p.m. – All-ages Simchat Torah Evening service (Sanctuary)

Temple Beth-El Religious School employs the best practices in Jewish Education! to raise the curiosity and literacy of our students, teachers, and families!

Contact Ramona L. 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 Brown Religious School – Temple Beth-El (bethelrichmond.org)  to find a registration form.

From Inquiry to Action

Hilary Hodes, Inclusion Specialist

Welcome back to the 2023-2024 school year!

I am excited to return as the Inclusion Specialist with a few exciting ways to support the students, families, and Temple Beth-El school community:

  • Child-Specific Collaboration: Does your learner benefit from specific supports in the classroom and you want to make sure they have a similar environment to support consistency at Religious School? Let’s connect to figure out what we can do to make sure your child is set up for success!
  • Collaborative Problem Solving: Are you or your learner feeling frustrated and not quite sure where to go? We can meet as a team and figure out what barriers we can work to break down together.
  • From Inquiry to Action: Creating Inclusive Communities: Each class will explore disability inclusion and barriers to access at an age-appropriate level. They will choose a problem to take action on in the community at home, school or within the Temple Beth-El congregation. Students will work together to develop a plan and make a change!

We will share and celebrate the students’ exciting Action Projects at the Inclusion Fair on May 5th, 2024!