We are happy and eager to introduce our twice-a-week Bet-Zayin Discovery Program for 5th-7th graders! As you’ve probably figured out by now, our Ruth L. Diamond Religious School is not exactly your run-of-the-mill institution. And to bolster that (we think) well-earned reputation, we are rolling out a new personalized, fully customizable curriculum aimed at figuring out the best ways to have our kids connect with Judaism.

created at: 2012-09-25

This is how it works: Rabbi David, our spiritual leader, along with Melissa, our Congregational Educator, meet with every single student, as well as their families, in order to create a meaningful, individualized educational goal. Then they help attain that goal by exploring topics that are motivating, inspirational, and relevant to each student and family. So instead of a by-the-books process, we’re letting our middle grades choose how they want to connect with our curriculum—whether it be through music, food, song, sports, or whatever they can come up with!

Our kids don’t merely read about the flood sitting at their desk; no, they make a human chain to measure out the real dimensions of Noah’s ark. And they certainly don’t sit through lectures on the geography of Israel; instead, they construct the state out of ice cream. As you can tell, this is not your ordinary classroom. Josh, one of our 12 year-olds, told us, “Hebrew school is more than sitting at a desk—we learn about being Jewish by studying what interests me. Plus, Tefillah with Rabbi David is AWESOME.”

This year in particular is an exciting one for Bet-Zayin. We’ve decided to incorporate more of the Shabbat experience into our program, which means ensuring that our children engage through prayer and spirituality, as well as the community that Shabbat brings.

We understand that students learn differently from one another. Understanding this has let us design programs that can cater to their interests and goals personally, giving them the attention they need. Each trimester there will be a new topic, and three different ways to learn about that subject. The child can then select which speaks most to them. So far, it’s been a huge success.

We’re excited to have you check us out. We are confident you’ll like what we’re doing! Ellen certainly does, mother of Emily and Abigail, two students in our program: “The curriculum takes into consideration that each child learns differently—my kids enjoy learning here, and want to share it with the rest of the family.

If you are interested in learning more, you can e-mail Melissa at famed@templebethabraham.org. Shana Tovah!

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