Consecration2015 92At Temple Israel, one of our greatest values is the education of our students.
For our students in Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade, it is our goal to work with families to enhance the learning that takes place at home. In order to effectively promote our vision and reach our learning goals each year for our children, it is important that students attend class regularly to benefit from the learning opportunities.

Temple Israel’s Educational Vision is to engage congregants of all ages in continuous Jewish learning and provide opportunities for Jewish growth by:

    • Instilling a feeling of belonging to our own Temple Israel community and the greater Jewish community as a whole (klal Yisrael)
    • Developing Reform Jewish identity through the exploration of the major streams of Judaism, here and around the world
    • Developing an individual level of competency in participating in and/or leading a Reform Shabbat service and reading and applying Torah to their everyday lives
    • Fostering the development of a personal understanding of God
    • Fostering a connection to the land and people of the State of Israel, including its culture, history and place in the world
    • Demonstrating compassion through mitzvot and respect for others

Behavior
All students are expected to read, sign and follow Temple Israel’s B’rit Kehilah (code of conduct, literally “Covenant of Community”) included in the registration information.

Attendance

    • All students must attend 80% of classes.
    • If we become concerned about your child’s attendance, you will receive a call from the Religious School office to make sure that your child and family are well.
    • We understand that in rare instances, there are students who are unable to attend Religious School regularly. If this is the case with your student, please notify the Religious School Director Sharon Comisar-Langdon to discuss alternatives to fulfill our attendance policy.
    • Please contact the Religious School office, 402-556-6536, if you know your child will be absent.

Cell phones
Recognizing the power of modern-day technology, there are times when students’ cell phones may be used as a resource in class, as directed by the teacher. Cell phones being used for personal use is prohibited during Religious School hours. If a student is using a cell phone inappropriately, Temple Israel staff may confiscate the phone and hold it until the end of that Religious School session. If a cell phone becomes a chronic distraction, at the staff member’s discretion, the phone will only be returned after a discussion with the student’s parent(s).

Confirmation
Confirmation will take place at the end of the 10th grade year. All students participating in confirmation must meet the 80% attendance requirement for that year or have established an alternative path with the Interim Religious School Prinicpal.

IMG 1681Class Trips
All students wishing to participate in a Temple Israel Religious School trip must be enrolled and participating in our Religious School or have previously established an alternative track with the Interim Religious School PrinicpalThis policy applies to all Religious School trips, including in-town field trips and trips outside the Omaha area.

Madrichim (Teachers’ Aides)
Our madrichim program is designed to benefit our Religious School students, teachers and the madrichim themselves. Madrichim gain skills, knowledge and experience to become future Religious School teachers. Eighth grade students are eligible to serve as Madrichim-in-training (MIT’s). Ninth through 12th grade students are eligible to serve as madrichim.

Madrichim may choose to receive community service hours or be paid for their service. If choosing to be paid, madrichim receive one-half (1/2) of their pay into a personal youth activities fund, that can be used toward any OTYG or NFTY event or toward any Temple Israel Religious School trip. In order to be a madrich/a in a classroom, you must be enrolled and participating in our Religious School.

Non-member Tuition
Religious School tuition for non-members with one or more children (who are not members of another Omaha-area congregation) shall be set equal to the maximum dues level under the “Fair Share” plan as of the beginning of each school term. Religious School tuition for non-member high school students whose family are members in good standing of another Omaha-area congregation shall be set at $180 per year.

Anything not specifically delineated in these policies is left to the discretion of the Director of Lifelong Learning and Temple Israel clergy.
In the event that a challenging situation is unresolvable with the professional leadership and clergy of Temple Israel, the Religious School Steering Committee (RSSC) and the Board of Trustees are authorized to and responsible for facilitating a resolution.

Congregation of Temple Israel B’nai Mitzvah Objectives and Philosophy
The Bar/Bat Mitzvah is a Jewish lifecycle event that every parent anticipates, almost from the moment of their child’s birth, and every child anticipates from their early years of Jewish education. It is a joyous event that celebrates an important time of transition for every child and every family, welcoming the child as an “adult” member of the Jewish community. Becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah requires commitment and preparation on the part of both the child and his/her family. We expect each of our young people and their families to participate to their fullest potential.

We want Bar/Bat Mitzvah preparation to be meaningful and as stress and anxiety free as possible for each child, his/her family and the Temple Israel staff. Our goal is for each child to work as part of a team during the years of preparation to better ensure that the entire experience is rewarding for the child and his/her family. Moreover, we know the Bar/Bat Mitzvah is a beginning and not an end to Jewish learning. For this reason, a meaningful and positive experience will lay the foundation for Jewish life and learning in our high school program and youth activities for teens.

B’nai Mitzvah Requirements
CarterEadesBarMitzvah 106Policy Statement: The Board of Trustees of Temple Israel has adopted the following requirements for Bar/Bat Mitzvah. In devising these requirements, the Board of Trustees is well aware that preparation for a Bar/Bat Mitzvah requires a significant commitment of time and energy.

If there are any circumstances a family might have that would prevent them from meeting these requirements, they should consult with a member of Temple Israel’s clergy as soon as possible to minimize potential challenges.

Requirements:

    • Bar/Bat Mitzvah students will participate in a formal Jewish education program for a minimum of four (4) years prior to Bar/Bat Mitzvah, or the equivalent, as determined by Temple Israel clergy.
    • The child will achieve the equivalent of 80% attendance in each year the child is enrolled in Temple Israel’s Religious School (please see the Religious School Attendance policy on page 3).
    • The child will be enrolled and in good standing in Temple Israel’s Religious School throughout the entirety of 7th grade.
    • The child and his/her family will attend the 5th grade meeting at which his/her Bar/Bat Mitzvah date will be provided.
    • The child will have Hebrew competency in the following prayers by the end of the 5th grade. For those who have yet to meet this competency, a meeting with a member of Temple Israel’s clergy is required to discuss the best path forward in scheduling an appropriate Bar/Bat Mitzvah date. All prayers can be found on the Cantor’s Classroom web page or you can request a CD.
        • Yotzer
        • Shabbat Evening Kiddush
        • Torah Blessings
        • Barchu
        • Ma'ariv Avarim
    • The child must meet the following Shabbat service attendance requirements. It is each child’s responsibility to sign in on the bima after services:

        • at least 20 total Shabbat services attended one year prior to the child’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah date (service counting begins from the first day of 5th Grade)

Communication
In addition to yearly Religious School Progress Reports, the Temple Israel clergy will send a letter regarding your child’s competency on these requirements at least one (1) year prior to the child’s scheduled Bar/Bat Mitzvah date, indicating whether or not the child is fulfilling the B’nai Mitzvah requirements. In a case where these requirements have not been met, a member of Temple Israel’s clergy will meet with the family to discuss how the child may continue towards becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah.

It is to be understood, however, that the failure to meet any or all of these requirements may result in a delay of the actual Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony beyond the scheduled date.