A Message From Our Principal


There is an old Jewish legend about an audacious young man who visits two renowned rabbis, asking each of them “Teach me the Torah while I stand on one foot.” The first rabbi sends him away with a scolding, “Impudent youth, it takes a lifetime of study to learn the Torah!” But the second rabbi, Hillel, takes the challenge. While the young man stands precariously on one foot, Hillel explains, “Love your neighbor as yourself – that is the Torah, and everything else is commentary.” Thunderstruck by this exceptional answer, the young man becomes his student.

In our Religious School we build on the same understanding of the essence of the Torah. We believe Jewish education is valuable because it teaches us a way of living with sensitive concern for the welfare and happiness of our neighbors, concern that finds expression in empathy for others, courage to stand up for those who are bullied or oppressed and in acts of justice, generosity and peacemaking. We believe religious education helps us grow to our full stature as individuals and to create more caring families and communities.

Our curriculum for grades Kindergarten through 10 includes Hebrew language, Jewish texts ranging from stories of the Torah to contemporary literature, History, Israel, Holidays and Culture, B’nai Mitzvah preparation and Confirmation Class. Throughout their studies, we seek to impart the religious values of Jewish tradition and develop skills to cultivate humanity in our society.

Our core program for grades K-7 takes place from 4:30-6:30 on Friday afternoons, and the final 20-30 minutes is given to a Shabbat Service with our Rabbi in which students actively participate in music, readings and interpreting the lessons of the Torah. Parents and siblings are welcome to join us. Students preparing to become B’nai Mitzvah also have a weekday Hebrew class once a week; they work with a tutor on reading the Torah, and have the freedom to select a portion and mitzvah project that matters to them. Our teens meet in homes twice monthly, sharing Sunday brunch and conversation with the Rabbi; this year we plan to feature several visitors whose lives model Jewish values. Monthly Shabbat dinners and holiday celebrations which draw congregants of all ages together, a summer youth service camp and several cultural, recreational and service activities round out our students’ experience of Jewish life in community.

Our small classes provide an intimate and focused learning experience. Students who may be shy in larger groups or who need special support for learning thrive in our classes, as do students who can concentrate better in a quieter setting. We value welcoming Shabbat together, and we make the transition from the school week to Shabbat an experience of relaxation, reflection and celebration in the company of friends.

We welcome visitors. Please contact me.


Mary Oler