Building Community Together
Rabovsky Religious School
Meaningful connections start here.
We’ve seen some exciting changes taking place in the Bernice and Mannie Rabovsky Religious School and there’s more to come in the 2018-2019 school year.
At B’nai Tzedek, we honor the busy lives of our children and parents working hard to negotiate the competing schedules of synagogue, school, sports, dance, gymnastics, music, and other important activities.
We also are keenly aware that our children and parents seek meaningful connections with Jewish friends and mentors, Shabbat and holiday celebrations with their synagogue family, opportunities to learn about Judaism, and be a member of a synagogue that feels like home. The study of Judaism in religious school complements and enhances daily lives and, if anything, provide a respite from the fast pace of life.
In 2016, we brought in Ronni Ticker, our Director of Family and Youth Learning, a creative strategic thinker who is reimagining Jewish learning for the 21st century. After exploring new ideas and new programs, we are excited to rollout a new curriculum for the upcoming school year with the hallmarks of:
We are now offering more choices to fit within your busy school week schedule. For the 2018/19 school year, we are moving to a model with the vast majority of our students attending religious school for an hour and a half on Tuesday or Wednesday with a one-hour small group Hebrew class and a half hour of communal prayer. Private tutoring and small groups on other days will continue to be an option for next year if desired (additional fees may apply).
The choices for Hebrew School nights are terrific ... we can select our slots once we know our schedules. Thanks! Gordon K., RS parent
Hebrew Small Groups
Small group learning has many advantages for children and faculty. It fosters greater attention to learning, provides the opportunity to explore issues and topics on a more in-depth basis, and creates stronger bonds with fellow students, instructors and clergy. We tested it for the last several years with very positive results and in 2018-19 we will move fully to a more intimidate, child-centered study of Hebrew and Prayer, either in small group or private tutoring.
Each child gets more attention. It is more comfortable… they learn more…and more quickly. It’s a nice social environment for the children to get to know each other better and as a skill for life. Students become more comfortable with the teacher since it is not such a big group. Morah Yafa, RS Faculty
Experiential Project-Based Jewish Learning.
Project-based learning is an instructional methodology that is authentic and relevant, provides students with choices as they explore a topic, encourages students to discover their own voice through group and individual inquiry, and incorporates experiential learning through art, music, cooking, outdoor experiences, movement, drama, etc.
We piloted two Project-Based Jewish Learning explorations this year. Our first graders explored the why, what, and how we celebrate Shabbat; and our fifth graders explored family stories, including how our families immigrated to America, and what rituals, traditions, family heirlooms, and values were lovingly passed down from prior generations. Both programs culminated in a museum showcase enjoyed by parents and congregants as we shepped nachas (derived pride and joy) and learned from our children and grandchildren.
We continue to rollout exciting new explorations for our other grades as we build on the excitement and energy in the school.
Making Religious School fun and engaging are relatively new goals for Religious School. Our chugim program, electives that students choose in art, cooking, music, literature, school newspaper, conversational Hebrew, and more, have been a game changer at the Bernice & Mannie Rabovsky Religious School
Picture this: Our third graders are playing Gaga (Israeli Dodge Ball) in the Weinberg Auditorium. A student sees his him mom walk down the stairs and says, “Mom, I can’t leave yet. I haven’t had my chug.” “No worries,” assured his mom. “I am here to pick up your sister.” Sigh of relief.
If you are considering Religious School for your family and haven’t met Ronni and our faculty, please feel free to come in and chat. You will be amazed by their energy and enthusiasm for making this a truly exceptional learning experience for your child and easy for you to work into your daily routines. To reach Ronni, email her or call 301-299-0225 ext. 321.