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Religious School
Mission, Goals, and Objectives

Temple Beth David’s Religious School School is a caring community where students develop a love of Judaism in its many forms. Guided by the values of Hesed (kindness), K’dushah (holiness), Limmud (learning), Tsedakah (justice/charity), L’dor Vador (Jewish continuity), respect for religious diversity, creativity, self-expression, leadership, and Tikkun Olam (repairing of the world), our purpose is to nourish the hearts, souls, and minds of each student. Our educational programs and staff aspire to provide a foundation for students to comfortably participate in all aspects of Jewish life.

The following are among the ever-evolving goals and objectives that our Rabbi, Educational Director, and Religious School Education Committee have set forth:

  1. To provide all of our students with happy, interesting and inspiring experiences in the practice of Jewish ceremonies and observances in the home, community, and synagogue with an appreciation of the varied customs and folkways within the Jewish tradition.

  2. To instill in our students the knowledge that Torah allows us to live vibrantly in the present as we plan for tomorrow with an eye on the past.

  3. To provide our students with meaningful Jewish communal and personal prayer experiences.

  4. To foster an environment where our youth feel free to explore and ask questions about their faith and their relationships with community, family, and God.

  5. To cultivate an appreciation of Jewish history, art, and culture.

  6. To imbue our students with the religious insights and ethical guidelines of Judaism so they may evolve as responsible, caring and committed members of society.

  7. To foster the growth of Jews who actively respond to our prophets’ call for justice, peace and freedom.

  8. To teach our students the Hebrew language in a way that allows them to comfortably participate in worship, appreciate its link to the past, and perceive its relevance for today.

  9. To instill a love of the peoples and land of the State of Israel, including gaining a knowledge and sensitivity to the challenges its existence presents.

  10. To educate our students about Reform Judaism’s legacy and continuing influence on the evolution of liberal Judaism.

  11. To cultivate and nurture kindness, creativity, open-mindedness, cooperation, leadership, and self-expression.

  12. To support the development of life-long friendships.

  13. To allow students to experience the joy of being connected to a congregational family.

  14. To develop our students’ connection to the wider local and global Jewish community.

Program Description

Temple Beth David Religious School serves the needs of students from Pre-Kindergarten to 10th grade. Sessions for Pre-K-9th grade are held on Sunday mornings, September-May, from 9:30am-12:30pm. Students enrolled in our B’nai Mitzvah program (generally corresponding to the 5th and 6th grade) attend an additional one hour class following religious school on Sundays. Confirmation (10th grade) meets on alternate Sunday evenings during the school year.

In addition to classroom time, sessions on Sunday’s often include: Tfillah (communal worship); song sessions with Cantor Schwartz; visits to our award-winning library; visits of guest specialists (e.g. Israeli dancing, storytelling); field trips; visits with Rabbi Lachtman; family learning days; a Model Seder; and a Hanukah Boutique.

Most Sundays students elect to attend an extra-curricular class (Hoog) taught by talented congregants, e.g. Jewish cooking, crafts, dance. A pizza lunch is served.

Multiple Friday evening community dinners and Shabbat and Holiday family-friendly services occur during the year, often with religious school students participating. On select Friday nights Rabbi and Cantor lead a Young Family Shabbat Service, generally held at 5:45pm on Friday evenings. Purim/Family Fun Night is our school’s main fund-raising event and a great community event. Other programs have included: a Saturday afternoon family program followed by a student sleepover and “Parents Night Out!”

Our students are further encouraged to participate and make a difference in our wider community through some of the following activities: seasonal “Mitzvah” outings to a local Senior center; preparing meals for the homeless at Union Station; Shabbaton- the Jewish Federation of the San Gabriel and Pomona Valley’s winter weekend youth camp; L’takein- a three-day educational and social action teen expedition to Washington, D.C.; participation in Jewish World Watch’s “March to End Genocide”; organizing food drives; volunteering at animal shelters.

Temple Beth David’s youth group (Tov Chai) provides yet another opportunity for our students to deepen friendships, develop leadership skills, and participate in activities that strengthen their commitment to Judaism. Students in the 7th-12th grade meet on the first Wednesday of the month from 6:30pm-9:00pm and, together with their advisors, organize an exciting event approximately once a month.

Our school affirms the value of friendship and life-long learning by offering a robust array of classes and events for parents of our religious school students and congregants, normally held on Sunday mornings. These have included: Jewish holiday workshops; Bringing Judaism into the Home classes; “Lox and Bagel Breakfasts” which engage guest speakers from the Jewish, inter-faith, and secular community; an “Un-orthodox” Torah class; an adult Hebrew class; film presentations; Jewish cooking classes; and a Jewish book club.