Julia M. and Samuel L. Flom Religious School
The basic premise of our curriculum is to think of Jewish education not simply as a matter of communicating facts, but rather as an effort to help young people become proud participating Jews who are confident in their identity.
From early childhood, a youngster learns by experiencing, doing, touching, hearing, seeing, tasting, and smelling the richness of our heritage. Our school is based on the fact that, as our sages put it, “it is not the learning that is the essence, but the doing.” In reality, whether children or adults, we learn what we do. Our students are given a foundation from which they are encouraged to explore and question their relationship to Judaism. At Congregation Schaarai Zedek, we are building a warm, comfortable, and positive climate of Jewish experience and Jewish learning for our children. We do not expect to fill the place of the home, however. The success of our program depends in large part on whether the children receive positive reinforcement of their Jewish education at home.
Through our curriculum, we strive to provide a program of Jewish education which will enable children, youth, and adults to become:
- Jews who affirm their Jewish identity and bind themselves to our people by word and deed
- Jews who bear witness to the brit (the covenant between God and the Jewish people) by embracing Torah through the study and observance of mitzvot (commandments) as interpreted in light of historic development and contemporary liberal thought. Jews who affirm their historic bond to Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel. Jews who cherish and study Hebrew, the language of the Jewish people. Jews who value and practice t’fillah (prayer).
- Jews who further the causes of justice, freedom, and peace by pursuing tzedek (righteousness), mishpat (justice), and chesed (loving deeds).
- Jews who celebrate Shabbat and the festivals and observe the Jewish ceremonies, marking the significant occasions in their lives.
- Jews who esteem their own person and the person of others; their own family and the family of others; their own community and the community of others.
- Jews who express their kinship with Am Yisrael (the people of Israel) by actively seeking to better the welfare of Jews throughout the world.
- Jews who support and participate in the life of the synagogue. Such Jews will strengthen the fabric of Jewish life, ensure the future of Judaism and the Jewish people, and approach the realization of their divine potential.