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Religious Education News

Fall 2021

After a long and challenging time dealing with remote learning during Covid, we are planning in-person religious school sessions to begin on September 12.   We will be following strict CDC protocols with masks, distancing, and hand sanitizer; our teachers are all vaccinated.

Our faculty are a combination of adults, devoted to Judaism and teaching, and Muhlenberg students, with impressive backgrounds in Jewish organizational activity and formal study.  You can find their profiles on our website’s faculty page, and all will welcome your contact, your questions and ideas.

Being committed to Jewish literacy and skills, KI has an extensive and specific set of curriculum goals.  Each grade’s goals can be found on the curriculum page on this site.  If you have any questions or would like to learn more about the curriculum, please contact me.  The curriculum guide also exists in book form, and I’ll be happy to send you a copy upon request.

Students in all the grades learn how to navigate the chapters and verses of the TaNaKh (Hebrew Bible).  Through the year, the students will explore the thirty-nine Bible books.  In addition, they learn prayer skills, Jewish history, Hebrew reading and vocabulary, holidays, Israel, and the traditions and ceremonies of the Jewish life cycle.  Jewish ethics and responsibilities form a foundation of all our class activities.

Our long-awaited return to our building will brings visits to the Tent of Abraham and Sarah, a special room upstairs lined with rugs, sheepskins and saris. There, teachers tell stories of the ancient Jewish past, and the young people easily imagine being transported into our mythic origins.

Our students have several opportunities to express themselves Jewishly through the creative arts. We have a beautiful, light-filled art studio upstairs, supervised by our talented teachers.  They will introduce both Jewish art forms, like ritual artists, and Jewish themes, and let the students’ imaginations run free. In the studio art hug (club), from 11:15 till noon, they can pursue their visions even further.

Our other hugeem are music, books/gaming, teen social service, and even krav maga, or Israeli martial arts.

Also, song leader Sam Brown is in our music room (the teen lounge) to get the kids singing Hebrew songs from the liturgy, folk, and pop traditions. In the optional music hug (club) from 11:15 to noon, he will get students singing, and they even have the option to learn how to play those songs on guitar.

This year, our plans include a mitsva fair showcasing local volunteer opportunities, an Israel fair, the creation of family memory books, and a real model seder – which will be so welcome after two virtual model seders!

In the months to come, we’ll get to hear students in fifth and sixth grades reading verses from the Torah during Shabbat services. In February, the confirmation class will travel to Washington, D.C., for the incredible L’Taken seminar. This is a four-day experience staffed by the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. The teens will learn about current legislation that RAC considers important, and practice political advocacy techniques. At the seminar’s end, they will visit Capitol Hill as trained lobbyists, and speak their minds to congressional aides.

We have a lot to look forward to in 5782!

-- Rabbi Shoshana Hantman, Director of Education 

Sun, October 17 2021 11 Cheshvan 5782