Jewish life at BYDS

Investing in Jewish life at Beth Yeshurun is investing
in the future of the Jewish people.

We know that Jewish Education is a lifelong process that starts from birth and continues growing as we do, and so provide an environment that will spark the love of learning and appreciation for the traditions of Judaism. Perhaps even more fundamental is the need to give our students the background and knowledge they will need to be “Jewish for life.”

Learning and Living Opportunities

We do this by providing Jewish learning opportunities and Jewish living opportunities for both our students and their families. Learning opportunities are not only provided through traditional classroom lessons, but through lunches with the rabbis, sing-a-longs with the cantor, and experiential learning activities. Living opportunities are created when families experience holidays and religious events together, creating stronger and more meaningful memories. We hope to create a second home for your children and for your whole family; a place to celebrate Jewish living and our community.

Integrated Jewish Values

We have a dedicated group of teachers working in our school, many of whom are alumni, parents of current students, and members of Congregation Beth Yeshurun. We work hard to provide enriching opportunities for Jewish learning and religious exploration, integrating Jewish values into everything we do because we have a vested interest in the future of our students.

Throughout the year, our students are inducted into the cycle of the Jewish year through stories and experiences, art and drama activities, and a variety of inquiries and explorations that involve all five senses. They learn to associate the smell and taste of apples and honey and the sounds of the shofar with Rosh Hashanah; feelings of remorse and forgiveness with Yom Kippur; the body language oflulav and etrog with Sukkot; unrolling the scrolls and dancing through hakafot with Simchat Torah; lighting candles, spinning the dreidel, and eating latkes and jelly doughnuts with Chanukah; planting trees and tasting dried fruit with Tu Bish’vat; reading the megilah, giving and receiving gift baskets of food, and costume parades with Purim; hunting for chametz, and celebrating the seder with Pesach; unfurling the Israeli flag, learning about Israel, and eating pita and other Israeli foods with Yom Ha’atzmaut; running relay races with Lag Ba’omer; and receiving the Torah with Shavuot.

Teaching strong values to our children can be a daunting task. It requires leading by example. Jewish values are neither static nor prescribed. They are the values of Jewish history and text, contextualized and made relevant by our own lives and the choices we make. And while the task is daunting, we have Jewish community and the benefits of experience, study and practice as our guides and support. We aim to not only strengthen passion for Jewish identity through experiential learning, we strive to help mold and create dedicated community leaders who will help us fulfill our mission of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world).

In preparation for a lifetime of active synagogue participation, our students study a variety of viewpoints and perspectives on important religious issues while always representing Conservative Judaism and its principles. Our curriculum includes age appropriate instruction in Hebrew Prayer, Tanach (Hebrew Bible), Israel, and various other Judaic topics. The Jewish calendar is taught experientially. Holidays are celebrated and integrated with the students’ general course of study. Students receive an in-depth lesson of the value concepts, blessings, prayers, laws, customs, symbols, and observances that are central to each holiday. Every class from Twos through 5th grade participates in Kabbalat Shabbat services so all of our students learn to respect, enjoy, and feel comfortable in a synagogue. Students also participate in Tzedakah projects each year and learn the value of giving back to their community and to communities around the world.

It is a given that student success in Judaic Studies cannot be achieved without a degree of mastery of the Hebrew language, including an ability to read fluently and to translate basic texts. Success in these areas will give students the tools necessary to continue their Judaic studies as they move past the elementary grades.

No matter what it is that you seek for your child, you will find it at Beth Yeshurun. Our school has been the source of precious moments, joyous memories and lifelong commitments for all who have spent time here.