Education

Policies & Procedures (out of date)

Programs, Policies & Procedures The ABCs of attendance, arrival and dismissal, books, homework, safety & security, etc...

Attendance: Excessive absenteeism will definitely limit your child’s level of comfort, learning and sense of satisfaction in religious school. Continuity and participation is key in our time-limited, experience-packed program. Attendance is recorded daily for every student (present/absent/tardy/early dismissal.) Make every effort to have your child in class on time and to stay to the completion of the session. Call the school to contact the teacher when your child is unable to attend a session. The school will send home (via email or postcard) a memo with class assignment and homework. Please help your child to complete missed assignments. Good attendance counts, and will be rewarded in our program.

Assessment Report Cards: Your child’s academic performance, effort and achievement will be valued and assessed by the teacher in January and May. We encourage and assess your child’s level of involvement with the learning process, including commitment to peers by cooperating on classroom and community projects. We promote the student’s ability to empathize with others and to participate with others in kindness and peace. Contact your child’s teachers with any questions concerning your child’s assessment report.

Books: We recommend you set aside an accessible area to house your child’s growing library of Judaic texts and workbooks. Take the time to look through your child’s books. Discuss what is of mutual interest to you. Enhance the home Judaic library with copies of traditional and contemporary Jewish texts. Let your child help you to select new texts for the Jewish Home Library. New textbooks should be covered and labeled with your child’s name. Contact the school office if your child loses a book. We will order a new book at your request, with payment.

Book Bags: Temple Sinai Sisterhood has designed and produced an attractive, useful book bag, appropriate for every age group. Please come to the office to purchase a Temple Sinai Religious School book bag as soon as possible. What a perfect way to keep all religious school books, supplies and notices conveniently in one place! Book bags are sold for $10, and benefit our religious school program. For more information or to place an order, contact Heidi Marks via email: heidi@templesinainj.org.

Building Community Connections: Play dates and get-togethers between classmates and families are strongly encouraged, not only for our youngest students, but for upper elementary and middle school as well. Please use the grade level student lists that have been provided in your August packet for this invitation purpose. Why not invite the families of your child’s classmates to a Shabbat or holiday gathering?

Calendar: Temple Sinai’s Religious School calendar follows the calendar of the Summit Public School System. We align our school vacations with their vacation calendar. We understand there will be conflicting vacation schedules from students of other school districts that cannot be avoided. However, we hope families will make every effort to attend classes and special programs during a non-Summit vacation when the family is not away. The school will make every effort to not schedule a special program during the various district’s vacations.

Car Pooling: We encourage parents to form car pools to reduce the automobile traffic at our school. The class list distributed in August may be useful for arranging car pools. Each family receives a car pool number to be memorized by student and parent. The number system enables an orderly and swift dismissal system. If you need assistance with car pools, please call the office.

Cell Phones, Game Boys & MP3 Players: If your child brings a cell phone, Game Boy or MP3 player to religious school, these must be TURNED OFF and stored in a book bag during school hours. We prefer that our students leave these items at home or in their carpool car, as they are distracting to the student and to others. Students are always welcome to call a parent from the school office. If a student does not cooperate and uses these items during class, the item will be confiscated to the school office.

Closings: When there is inclement weather, please check the Temple Sinai website, www.templesinainj.org, your email or call the Temple Sinai main phone line, 908-273-4921, for notification of school closings.

Communicating with teachers, the director and administrative assistant: You can help us to help your child by letting us know what is on your mind immediately, without delay. Please send a note to your child’s teacher and call the office (908-273-3617) to ask Heidi Marks to contact the teacher so that the teacher can call you. Parent-teacher conferences are available upon request. Conferences with Patti Kahn can be scheduled directly with Patti or through Heidi Marks. Patti and Heidi will also correspond with parents and students via email: patti@templesinainj.org; heidi@templesinainj.org. Our door is open, we care about your concerns and we want to get to know you!

Early Dismissal Procedure: We discourage early dismissal. However, when it is absolutely necessary parents must park the car and come into the school building, directly to the office (never to the classroom) for early sign out. Our staff will bring the child from the classroom to the office for you. Teachers are not allowed to release a child to a parent or substitute adult or sibling at the classroom door. No exceptions will be made. In addition, we ask that you pick up your child no later than fifteen minutes prior to regular dismissal so as not to disrupt scheduled dismissal procedure.

Emergency Contacts: In case of a medical emergency during religious school hours, parents will be notified immediately and children will be given whatever medical attention is necessary. If a parent cannot be located the school will use the signed Medical Emergency Form to treat a child. Please make certain your contact names and numbers on file in our office are current.

Family Connections: Families in grades 4-7 have the opportunity to learn in parallel adult/student tracks, the child’s religious school curricular subjects. Our outstanding program for lifelong learners is available to every family who wishes to participate. Rabbi Gershon, Cantor Friedman and several outstanding instructors teach the adult learning sessions and lead the family sessions. For more information about this uniquely satisfying adult and family Jewish learning program, contact Patti Kahn.

Food Allergies: We do not serve peanuts in our school. If your child has a food allergy, we want to partner safety with you. Please contact the religious school office so alternative food provisions can be made for snacks, holiday and special program menus.

Homework: Homework is an integral part of our learning year. We provide a Homework Book for each student to record Judaic and Hebrew homework. All students in grades 3-6 will receive Hebrew homework each week. Oral (out loud) recitation of Hebrew syllables, words and prayers is the only method that will assist your child’s level of fluency in Hebrew reading. Language acquisition cannot be accomplished without oral recitation and basic vocabulary development. In addition, your child will be required to complete written exercises in the book, and to demonstrate understanding of prayer concepts. You should be seeing/hearing your grade 4-6 child complete Hebrew homework weekly. Our Judaic program is enriched with project work. Periodically students will have special Judaic projects and/or assignments to complete at home.

Programs for Each Grade: Parents are warmly invited to accompany their children to community celebrations, experiential workshops and special student presentations throughout the year. Please refer to the Special Programs side of the calendar pages to note the dates of your child’s grade level Program: Opening Day Orientation; Parent-Teacher Night, Shabbat Dinners, Special Social Events, Family Programs, Teacher Appreciation Shabbat; Consecration; B’Mitzvotav Orientation; B’nei Mitzvah Meeting; Confirmation; Graduation and special Temple Sinai programs.

Registration: Registration packets will be issued in the spring for the following school year. Registration is accompanied by a registration fee, tuition and book fee. A late fee is required in the event of late K-7 registration. All tuition and fees must be paid in full prior to the start of the school year. All Temple dues must be paid in full prior to the start of school for a child to be admitted to class. We appreciate your cooperation. Should you have questions or require assistance, please call the Temple bookkeeper, Cindy Broderick, 908-273-4921 X17, who is happy to work with you.

Religious School Committee: Religious school committee parents meet monthly to discuss and to implement school policies and procedures. They work on the long-range school mission and vision and assist the Director of Education. We appreciate their great efforts on behalf of the congregation’s students. You are invited to contact the religious school chairperson and/or the V.P. of Education from the Temple Executive Board.

Chairperson: Joanne Rosenberg religiousschoolcommittee@templesinainj.org

V.P. of Education: Ken Gelman VP_Education@templesinainj.org

Safety and Security: Please follow all procedures for a safe, calm and considerate car line up at arrival and dismissal; for early dismissal from the office only and for notifying the office if an individual, other than the parents, will be picking up your child. The school will provide periodic fire drills for students. Be certain your child does not bring to school any sharp objects or potentially harmful implements. Always notify the school if your child is having social difficulties in our classrooms or programs. We will respond. If there should ever be a security situation where school administration should deem a school session not safe, parents will be notified and children will be removed from the school premises.

For general building safety and security, it is Temple policy that everyone enters our Temple Home through a doorway monitored by a Temple or School representative. Please emphasize to your children that neither you nor they should open an unmonitored door for anyone. Nor should you or your children ask anyone to open an unmonitored door for them. Thank you for your help in observing this basic (and prudent) security policy.

Social Action: Along with the mitzvah of bringing tzedakah money to school (see below), our students and families will have an opportunity to take action by participating in each month’s special charity drive. In addition to our planned social action projects, we may request special attention and allocations for special needs that may arise during the year (i.e. Katrina; Darfur; Assisting Israel). We appreciate your family’s participation.

Tzedakah Program: Tzedakah means “justice.” Students are encouraged to contribute money every time they come to Sunday, Monday and Wednesday class sessions, to help to create justice for all people. Please arrange for ways in which your child can earn money at home, to develop the value of responsibility for one another--each person can make a difference in the world.

Visitors: We are delighted when children want to bring a guest to share in a class session. We ask that the parent notifies the school of the visit ahead of time. Bring the guest to the school office to sign them in, so we can track who is here and where they are.

Hebrew High School


Our grades 8-12 teen program is the "gem" in our system, providing formal learning and community service projects in an informal discussion based environment, with great relevance to the lives of our teens.

Temple Sinai High School is an outstanding program for students in grades 8-12, with formal and informal educational/experiential components. The high school includes the Grade 10 Confirmation, along the way to Grade 12 Graduation. We are so proud of our unique high school program and encourage every student to enter grade 8 and to continue through grade 12. This program is a “gem” in our educational system.

Our students enjoy a core curriculum at each grade level, as well as two semesters of elective courses. In addition, students participate in the Temple Sinai High School Community Service Program. They enjoy a weekly “Snack & Social” period, a time to hang out and enjoy refreshments together between courses.

Merging Formal and Non-Formal Jewish Education, Trips:

Rabbi Gershon’s College trip; the grade 10 Confirmation trip to NYC; the grade 10, 11 & 12 trip to the Reform Action Center in Washington D.C. and the Grade 10 Social Action Day with Habitat for Humanity.

The TSHS Contemporary Issues Forum

We have planned two special “High School Forums.” Conducted during regular school time, these programs highlight contemporary issues and utilize combinations of multi-media, Jewish arts, group discussion and social action.

Forum I - November 4, 10:00AM
Forum II - January 27, 10:00AM

Temple Sinai High School Youth Group

All students in the High School are automatically members of the Youth Group. The Youth Group, under the direction of Claudia Greenman, facilitates Tikkun Olam opportunities for the high school community, reaching out to the less fortunate in our community and in the world community. We train Jewish leaders!

Our Core Curriculum:

Grade Eight Contemporary Teen Issues Through the Lens of Torah
Judy Rosen, Instructor

Grade Nine Highlights of Jewish History and Current Events
Jack Lorber, Instructor

Grade Ten Confirmation Topics: Jewish Spirituality and the application of Jewish ethics to contemporary issues.
Rabbi Gershon and Cantor Merel, Instructors

Grade Eleven Jewish Texts & their application in our lives today; Jewish & College Bound
Tzivia Wachsman, Instructor

Grade Twelve Comparative Religion; Comparative Judaism; Leadership in the Jewish Community
Karen Rosen, Instructor

Sample High School Elective Courses:
Women in the Bible
Israel through Contemporary Lyrics
Great Jewish Historical Moments
Anti-Semitism
Jewish Music, Dance, Crafts
Jewish Ethical Dilemmas for Teens
Message of the Prophets
What is Revelation?
Comparative Religion

College Transcript Program
We are pleased to provide a transcript of successfully completed courses, for our students to submit along with college applications. We are proud of the coursework our students enjoy.

URJ Youth News


We encourage our teens to participate with the broader Jewish community, through special youth programs planned by the Union for Reform Judaism.

URJ Youth and College Programs
Our family of programs for ages 8 to 26 include NFTY teen programming, URJ Camps, Israel travel experiences and social justice programming at the Religious Action Center.
It's never too early to start thinking about next summer at Camp or in Israel!
Ready to start planning the best Jewish summer experience for your child? The URJ Camps and Israel Programs are already planning for the summer of 2013! With high-caliber facilities, engaging programming, and a thoughtful and caring staff, we've been a vital part of the lives of tens of thousands of children for nearly six decades. Learn about session dates, program offerings, and request more information at our website.
Youth Groups Are Worth the Fight
Yes, your child has been playing on the same soccer team since the second grade. Yes, school, homework and grades are important. Yes, sports, drama and clubs look good on college applications. So where does youth group or camp fit into this equation?

Tzedakah Program


We integrate the act of giving tzedakah (money collected every class session to create justice in the world) with a social action that supports organizations promoting the Jewish values students learn to embrace in their K-12 religious school experience.repair of the world.

Tzedakah and Social Action are Linked at Temple Sinai Religious School

We integrate the act of giving tzedakah (money collected every class session to create justice in the world) with a social action that supports organizations promoting the Jewish values students learn to embrace in their K-12 religious school experience.

Temple Sinai’s Social Action Committee and the Religious School are partners in bringing a meaningful Tikkun Olam(repair of the world) experience to our students and families.

MONTHLY THEMES FOR GIVING:

September / October: Support Israel and Eliminate Hunger

November: Help the Homeless

December: Provide Chanukah toys for community children

January: Assist the Elderly

February: Help Jews of Ethiopia

March: Provide for Children in Need

April: Love of Israel

May: Kindness to Animals

Update: 09/22/2006-PGJ

The B’nei Mitzvah Curriculum

The B'nei Mitzvah Program is enriched by the Grade 6 B'Mitzvotav Program; by attendance at worship services; and by a caring six-month process of preparation for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah, which is laden with Jewish values.

The B’nei Mitzvah Program is coordinated through the offices of the Rabbi and Cantor. Approximately six months prior to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah, students are trained in leadership of Shabbat prayers; Torah and Haftarah reading and cantillation; analysis and study of the Torah portion; personal mitzvah practice and the mitzvah project; and preparation of the bar/bat mitzvah speech.

Worship Service Attendance Requirements (Grade 3 - 6)

Communal worship is the foundation of our Hebrew prayer literacy program. We teach our children the Jewish value, “Do not separate yourself from the community.” We find many ways to help our students and families explore their personal relationship with God and to experience Jewish ritual and celebration throughout the cycle of the Jewish year.

Provided at each worship service is a Service Attendance Sign-In Sheet on the table near the second floor portico entrance doors. It is each child's responsibility to enter their name on this sheet. This enables us to record their attendance at the service. Service attendance will be tracked and recorded for each student in grades 3-6.

SERVICE ATTENDANCE REQUREMENT

The Temple Sinai Ritual Committee, at its meeting in September, 2005, implemented the following service attendance requirements for Religious School students. Attendance at this number of worship services each year is a requirement for Bar/Bat Mitzvah.

GRADES 3-6
Grade 3 7 services
Grade 4 7 services
Grade 5 7 services
Grade 6 7 services

All services attended by students in Grades 3-6 must take place at Temple Sinai and may include any of the following services:

· Friday evening Shabbat services (7:30pm)
· Sharing Shabbat services (8:30am Saturday)
· Festival services (including Sukkot, Simchat Torah, Shavuot, Purim)
· One Saturday 10:30am Bar/Bat Mitzvah service
· One service on each of Erev Rosh Hashanah, Rosh Hashanah morning, Kol Nidre, Yom Kippur morning, and Yom Kippur afternoon (but not including the children’s service at 2:30pm)
· Friday evening summer services

Please Note:
1. Grade 3-6 parents will receive periodic service attendance updates during the school year.
2. Required services are expected to be completed by the close of the school year.

B'Nei Mitzvah Recordings

Recordings of the B'Nei Mitzvah prayers can be found here.

K-7 Curriculum at a Glance

Kindergarten & Grade One                

Jewish Values; Bible Stories; Jewish symbols; God and Creation; Shabbat; the Sanctuary; Holidays; Hebrew Reading Readiness; Select Hebrew Language Units; Blessings for food, Shabbat & holidays; Select prayers; Jewish music, arts & crafts; Israeli dance. Family Programs: Family Chanukkah Festival; Family Passover Program

Grade Two                 

CHAI Torah Curriculum: Relevance of Torah and God in my life; text study from the Book of Exodus; Jewish Values; Bible Stories; Shabbat and Holidays; Pre-Primer Hebrew Reading; Select Hebrew Language Units; Blessings for food, Shabbat and Holidays; the Torah Scroll; Select prayers; Jewish music, arts & crafts; Israeli dance.

Family Programs: Family Chanukkah Festival; Family Shabbat Program. Grade 2 & 3 Family Pizza Social with Social Action.

Grade Three               

My Hebrew Name and its Significance: Hebrew Reading for fluency; Select blessings and prayers; Jewish Values; Bible Stories in Genesis & Exodus; Holidays; Jewish crafts;  Jewish music, Israeli dance.

Family Programs: Chanukkah Family Festival; “Oneg Chayim,” The Jewish Life Cycle Program; Grade 3 Hebrew Name Family Service; .Grade 2 & 3 Family Pizza Social with Social Action.

Grade Four

Bible Stories in Genesis & Exodus via chapter/verse in Tanakh, asking: How is Torah relevant in my life? Modern Israel; Jewish Values; Hebrew: Friday evening Shabbat Prayers & blessings I, concepts and skills; Holidays; Jewish music; Israeli dance. Family Programs: Family Chanukkah Festival; “Our Israel” with Israeli Rishon.;

Grade 4 & 5 Coffee Cake Family Social with Social Action.

Grade Five

The Jewish values’ messages of our biblical Prophets & Kings, with puppet plays and puppet theater; Philosophical Inquiry with Biblical Text: Parashat Hashavua (Torah portion of the week). Using the unique inquiry method, students will ask philosophical questions of the text to make personal meaning for their own lives.; Friday evening  Shabbat Prayers II, concepts and skills; Holidays; Jewish music; Field Trip to Ellis Island or the Tenement Museum with guided tour of the Lower East Side.

Family Programs: Family Chanukkah Festival; “My Own Torah Portion;” Grade 4 & 5 Family Coffee Cake Social with Social Action.

Grade Six

Pirke Avot: Ethics of the Fathers (Values to Live By); Reform Judaism; Values-dilemmas; Jewish History: What has enabled the Jews to survive?  18th-20th Century Judaism, with a special unit on our family ancestors and their immigration experience;  B’mitzvotav Pre-Bar/Bat Mitzvah Program of Torah, Worship and Acts of Kindness; Hebrew skills and concepts for the Shabbat Morning Prayer Service; Haftarah Cantillation;  Holidays; Jewish music; Field Trip to Ellis Island or the Tenement Museum with guided tour of the Lower East Side. Family Program: “Reforming Judaism,” a Jewish History Program; NFTY “6,7,8” social events; NFTY 6 & 7 Kallah (retreat).

Grade Seven

Seventh graders continue their study of Jewish history with a Holocaust Studies program in the fall semester. We use the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) curriculum that highlights a great deal of Holocaust survivor testimony.  There is an accompanying field trip is to The Jewish Heritage Museum, NYC. Grade 7 students will also wrestle with the Jewish values that relate to challenging pre-teen and teen issues.

January will provide a Grade 7 “Mini-mester,” that includes opportunities for interaction in the outstanding Temple Sinai High School Program. Students will have a high school “buddy” and will select a high school elective class in which to participate for 2 January sessions, 12:15-1:00pm. They will enjoy participating in two 8th grade core-class experiences and several opportunities to “schmooze” with friends during the high school “snack & social” period. This “taste of high school” will help our pre-teens to feel comfortable with continuing beyond Bar/Bat Mitzvah into our wonderful teen high school program.

On Wednesdays, Grade 7 students will enjoy a Judaic course, The Life Cycle of a Jew.  In addition, Hebrew prayers for Bar/Bat Mitzvah fluency will be practiced September through December and Conversational Hebrew for Teens will be enjoyed January-May. 

Students  attend the NFTY “6,7,8” youth group social events and the NFTY 6 & 7 Kallah (retreat).