Below are our school’s policies and procedures.
MISSION The Religious School of Temple Beth Jacob is committed to teaching the essential skills of Jewish living and imparting the knowledge of our rich tradition. Our goal is to instill in our children a positive Jewish identity, as well as strong moral and ethical values. Through an active learning approach, we seek to engage and excite our students and their families so together they can become more knowledgeable and committed Jews and responsible community leaders.
ATTENDANCE AND PUNCTUALITY – With only 30 Sunday (and fewer mid-week) sessions in the school year and so much to accomplish, consistent attendance is essential for progress in studies. Students are expected to attend all sessions of school, except for unavoidable absences. Absences may result in additional assignments to cover material missed. If a student in grades 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 will miss or has missed four Sunday classes or four Monday classes in a given semester, the student must supplement his/her Hebrew and Judaica classes (for Sunday absences) or Hebrew classes (for Monday absences) with a Religious School-approved tutor or tutors. Any parent aware of a scheduling conflict that will result in a student missing four or more classes in a given semester should contact the Principal as soon as possible to discuss tutoring. Students should arrive promptly at 9:00 am on Sundays out of respect for teachers, classmates, and our school program.
BEHAVIOR AND DISCIPLINE – Students are expected to follow these guidelines at Religious School:
- Be Respectful
- Be Caring
- Be Responsible
- Be Here
- Be Ready
- Be Safe
Students and madrichim may not use electronic devices (e.g., cellphones, iPods) in school. Parents should impress upon their children the importance of respecting synagogue property; any damage by students will be responsibility of students and parents. The Religious Education Committee has adopted the following guidelines for disciplinary action:
When a behavioral problem first arises, student and teacher will confer and seek to resolve the matter.
- If the problem continues, the teacher will notify the principal and contact the parent(s) to discuss further.
- Thereafter, if necessary, the principal will preside at a meeting of the parent(s), the student, the teacher, and a Religious School Committee
- Further disciplinary action may result in suspension or, if necessary,
Our goal is to support and nurture all children and meet them at their developmental level and individual needs.
B’NEI MITZVAH REQUIREMENTS – Our students are well prepared to be called to the Torah as B’nei Mitzvah and have admirably demonstrated their knowledge and achievement on that joyous occasion. The goal of Religious School, however, is not only to prepare our students for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah day. We believe it is important to give our students a well-rounded Jewish education that will enable them to appreciate our heritage and live their lives as participating adult members of the Jewish community.
With these goals in mind, the Religious Education Committee requires the following for students (and their families) becoming B’nei Mitzvah:
- Attend Jewish religious school for three years immediately prior to Bar/Bat Mitzvah.
- Enroll in and fully participate in Temple Beth Jacob Religious School.
- Fully meet the financial obligations to the Temple.
- Complete at least 15 hours of a mitzvah project. The student and family should discuss with Rabbi Robin how the student will fulfill this requirement.
- During the 12 months prior to becoming a bar/bat mitzvah, the student is required to attend one Friday evening and one Saturday morning service per
The $450 fee for each Bar/Bat Mitzvah covers the expenses associated with individual tutoring and preparation.
COMMUNICATION – Most general communication about school events and schedules will be conveyed via email (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org) and/or on TBJ’s website, www.tbjconcord.org.
DUAL RELIGIOUS EDUCATION – Temple Beth Jacob Religious Education Committee recognizes and appreciates the desire on the part of parents, especially those of interfaith families, to impart knowledge and appreciation of the heritage of all family members. However, participation in a religious education program of another faith conflicts with the Mission Statement of the Temple Beth Jacob Religious School to actively teach our students to become knowledgeable and committed Jews. We believe that only parents should make the important decision regarding in which faith to educate their children. Therefore, it is the policy of Temple Beth Jacob that children who are enrolled or participating in religious education programs of other faiths may not enroll in Temple Beth Jacob Religious School upon enrollment beginning in 2nd grade.
ELECTRONICS – Students, madrichim, and classroom visitors are not permitted to use cellphones, personal music devices, etc., during class or T’filah. If brought to school by students or madrichim, they must be powered off and kept in a pocket or book bag. Parents who need to contact a student during class should instruct the child to give the phone to the teacher to hold during class.
ENROLLMENT – Enrollment is limited to children of Temple members. Under very limited circumstances, and at the discretion of the Religious Education Committee, children of non-members may be permitted to audit some classes.
FAMILY EDUCATION PROGRAM – Jewish education is a lifelong pursuit, and we encourage parents to learn alongside their children. Each year, students in Grades K-6* will participate with their parents in a multi-generational learning session with Rabbi Robin. (Sixth graders and their parents will have monthly sessions scheduled through the year.) Jewish and non-Jewish parents are expected to attend. Siblings who are not in their own classes at the time are, of course, welcome.
FOOD and DRINK – Many students get hungry and thirsty during our 3-hour Sunday schedule. Each student is encouraged to bring a water bottle to drink from during class. A 20-minute break is generally scheduled between classes at 10:40 am, and students are encouraged to bring a healthy snack from home to eat during the break. Parents are requested to send snacks in reusable containers to minimize waste and mess, and to reinforce the Jewish ideal of stewardship of our environment. Snacks must adhere to TBJ’s policy on Kashrut (pertaining to Kosher eating), stipulating no pork or shellfish products and no mixing of meat and dairy. During Passover, any snacks brought to school must be Kosher for Passover.
GRADE PLACEMENT – Students who become five years old by September 30 of the school year are eligible to be placed in Kindergarten.
HOMEWORK AND PREPAREDNESS – Homework reinforces classroom learning and experiences, and supplements the school program. All assignments must be completed in order to ensure continuity of learning. Parents are asked to discuss daily happenings and school activities with their children. Homework assignments should be completed prior to class. Students should arrive for class with the necessary materials and books, including a pencil and notebook. A book bag or backpack is recommended.
Drop-off: Safety outside the Temple and on the roadway is of critical concern to the synagogue. Most importantly, children should never cross Broadway alone; parents should accompany their children if they park or drop them off across the street. When dropping off children, parents may pull into the drop-off/pick-up area (designated “No Parking” zone at the curb in front of the building) to discharge passengers and/or walk them into the building. Cars should leave the “No Parking” zone as quickly as possible to allow other cars to pull in. Parents should be considerate of our neighbors, and not block driveways, sidewalks, or sight lines.
Dismissal and Pick-Up: Parents are expected to enter the building to pick up their children at the end of school, and may briefly leave their cars in the “No Parking” zone to go into the building for their children. Students should not exit until accompanied by their parents. Parents must notify the principal in writing or by a phone call if another adult is to pick up the child.
Early Dismissal: No student will be dismissed before the end of class unless accompanied by a parent or designated adult. Parents wishing to pick up a child before the end of the session must go to their child’s classrooms. Only when the parent or designated adult arrives at the classroom will the child be permitted to leave early. Students who leave early must be “signed out” by the Door Monitor.
Door Monitor: The Door Monitor helps ensure the safety of our students by monitoring the arrivals and departures of students and visitors who enter the building while school is in session. At least one parent in every family will serve as a door monitor at least twice a year.
SCHOOL SCHEDULE – Except when noted in the Bulletin, Calendar, or email, the regular schedule is:
|Kindergarten through Grade 7 – Sunday||9:00-10:10am 1st Period
10:10-10:40 T’filah/Mishkan Middot
11:00-12:00 2nd Period
|Grades 5, 6, 7 – Monday||5:30-6:30pm|
|Gesher (grades 8, 9, 10, 11, 12) – Sunday||10:10-11:00am|
Additional events and special observances are scheduled throughout the year and are publicized in the Religious School calendar and TBJ Bulletin. Daily schedule changes are announced on the Bulletin Board in the lobby. School cancellations due to weather are sent by email, posted on our website, www.tbjconcord.org, noted on our answering machine beginning 90 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the classes, and listed on WMUR (www.wmur.com and TV Channel 9).
SPECIAL EVENTS – Scheduled throughout the year are holiday-related and other school-wide special programs to which parents and siblings are invited (most of the time). They are publicized in the Religious School calendar, the TBJ Bulletin, the TBJ website, and by email, and include:
Sukkot (including decoration of the Sukkah)
Simchat Torah service and celebration, including Consecration of new students
Class-led Shabbat services and potluck dinners on Friday evenings
Lilmod Shabbat Saturday morning services and potluck luncheons
Tu Bish’vat seders
Purim service and Purim carnival
Passover learning seders/learning sessions
Lag B’omer bonfire for teens
Confirmation (on Shavuot) Year-end school celebration
TRIPS – The TBJ Religious School creates several opportunities for youth to go on trips together. These include:
- Annual 7th grade trip to Boston (usually at the end of the school year)
- 8th and 9th grade trip to out-of-town city (recent trips have included Montreal and New York)
- The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism’s L’Taken weekend (an annual trip for 10th, 11th, and 12th graders)
TUITION – Annual tuition, covering all applicable classes on Sundays and Mondays, is $310 for each child in grades K – 7. The tuition bill comes directly from the Temple leadership, not the Religious School, and is separate from the one-time Bar/Bat Mitzvah fee. Tuition payment is due by the first day of school. Students in Pre-K or Gesher are not charged tuition.
VALUES – The foundation of our curriculum and our actions is a set of values, entitled Living a Jewish Life: The Values We Live by Each Day. Posters enumerating these values are visible in every classroom and are available to every family. Parents are encouraged to discuss and practice them with their children.
VISITORS – We welcome guests of our students (e.g., grandparents; friends who have had a sleepover the night before), and parents who “sit in” on classes or Mishkan Middot/T’filah sessions, at the discretion of the teacher. Visitors are expected to respect the classroom routines and process, and to respect the policy on electronics (see above). Parents who sit in to assist their child are expected to attend only to their child, unless otherwise requested by the teacher.
VOLUNTEERS – Our Religious School is almost entirely run by volunteers, most of whom are parents of our students. In addition to helping the school run smoothly and enriching all aspects of its services, parent volunteers set an important example for their children about service to, and connection with, community. Parents serve as door monitors, substitute teachers, as Special Event volunteers, on the Religious Education Committee, and in other ways, and are appreciatively encouraged to volunteer in any capacity in which they are able.