The education of Jewish children in their Jewish heritage is one of the highest priorities of The New Reform Temple. Our founders believed that our temple had an obligation to instill a love of Judaism in every child who was part of the community.
Today, we continue that commitment. Jewish education cannot happen without the commitment of the entire religious community. Thus, we seek to create a partnership which includes students, parents, teachers, and clergy in order to achieve a meaningful educational experience for all our families. Our curriculum encompasses many dimensions of the Jewish experience: the joy of being Jewish; the wisdom of our ancient tradition, the knowledge of Jewish practices that enrich a Jewish life; a commitment to Jewish ethical living, and a love of the Jewish people. As a Reform Jewish congregation, we seek to create an atmosphere where parents and children are able to explore Judaism on their own terms and are empowered to make choices based on knowledge of our tradition.
The Marion & Henry Bloch Religious School starts Sunday, September 16, 2018 and runs through Sunday, May 5, 2019. The daily schedule is different for each age group, but we always start the day with a bagel breakfast from 9:00 am to 9:30 am and end the day with a family service from 11:10 – 11:30 am. Our school includes students from kindergarten through confirmation in grade 10. We also have a pre-K program, Torah Tots, which meets eight times throughout the school year. A registration form can be found here: 2018-19 Registration Form. Our parent handbook can be found here: 2017-18 Parent Handbook and our school calendar can be found here: 2018-19 Religious School Calendar.
Students in kindergarten through 5th grade enjoy time each week doing a variety of activities. They start the day (after they’ve had their bagels, of course!) with music. They learn songs in Hebrew and English, prayers, traditional Jewish songs, and of course songs and dances about the holidays! After music, our students have “electives” in mixed age groups. Through the electives, students learn in a hands-on setting about many aspects of Judaism. They cook and eat Jewish foods, create and decorate everything needed for Shabbat (candlesticks, challah covers, etc.), put on plays to tell stories of Purim, Passover, and more. After electives, students spend time in their classrooms. Teachers use the CHAI curriculum developed by the Union for Reform Judaism to teach classroom lessons. Jewish sages taught us that the world stands on three things: Torah, Avodah, and G’milut Chasadim (study, worship, and acts of loving kindness). Each grade level contains lessons in those three stands that ensure that student learning will go beyond the specific classroom activities and will lead students to a deeper, enduring understanding of Judaism. Finally, we end the day with a school-wide family prayer service.
Middle School Students
Grades 6, 7 & 8 are grouped together in our middle school. In middle school, students have the opportunity to focus on the Jewish Journey and how to live a Jewish life. Some topics covered during these years include the three branches of Judaism, life cycle, comparative religions, and the Holocaust. They also assist the elementary students with special projects and during school-wide celebrations. Middle school students organize and coordinate fundraising activities and donate tzedekah to different organizations in the Kansas City area.
The confirmation class includes 9th and 10th graders. Students learn through reading about current events that all Jewish events in the world have a historical reason for happening. They learn why these have occurred and how they have come to have religious freedom. Students also learn to understand Judaism’s position on critical life issues and how they apply to themselves. The students cap off the year with a trip to New York and a wonderful Confirmation Service in May.
Torah Tots for Children Ages 2 – Preschool
Torah Tots in a creative and fun-filled atmosphere where the kids can learn about what it means to be Jewish through music, art, and exploration. Along with traditions and holidays, the curriculum will also incorporate mitzvot, Jewish literature, and a bit of Hebrew too! Torah Tots will have 8 sessions throughout the year. Parents are encouraged to stay with their kids during the program.