Religious School

Picture of Rina Liebeskind
Photo credit Cathy Slatas

From the Desk of our
Director of Youth Engagement
2020-2021 School Year
–  תשפ”א5781

Shalom Students and Families,
ברוכים הבאיםBruchim Ha-ba’im, Welcome! Thank you for choosing us as your spiritual community! You are about to embark on an exciting journey in Arizona’s only accredited religious school. We are honored to be working with you and your family.

This year, the religious schools of Congregation Or Chadash and Temple Emanu-El are joining forces. Because we must prioritize the safety of our students and staff, Religious School will begin in an online format this Fall.

While we all crave to “go back to normal”, we must remain cognizant of the scientific evidence pointing to the serious health risks to both children and staff associated with meeting in person. We will continue to diligently assess these risks and establish protocols to handle them while providing a top-notch Jewish education. This summer our teachers and aids will be professionally trained on how to use online educational tools to better serve families in this format.

Living in the digital era, we as educators must learn to enrich our students’ learning experiences in a totally new way. We are using the Shalom Learning Hebrew@home program which allows each of our student’s individual access to practicing Hebrew for prayers. We will also be integrating the use of cell phones (when appropriate), tablets, and other electronic devices into our program to ensure different learners can engage in ways that they were not able to do in the past. The staff will be using tools such as virtual display boards, Flipgrid, Nearpod, Padlet, Quizlet, online quiz games, and more to enhance our programs. In addition to our existing portable computer lab, we have purchased several Kindle Fire devices which will allow us to enhance our teaching both in Hebrew and in the Religious School, and will ensure we can accommodate a larger number of students at any given time.

We plan to transition to a Hybrid Program combining In-Person and Virtual formats as soon as we can but not until the following conditions are met:
⦁ Two weeks of consistent decrease in numbers of new COVID-19 patients in Arizona
⦁ The benchmarks of CDC Guidelines are met
⦁ Safety protocols have been put in place for when school opens
⦁ The joint Executive Board has approved the plan

Until school meets in-person, Hebrew School will take place on Thursday afternoons (all students entering grades 3 through 7), between the hours of 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., and on Sundays between the hours of 10:00-noon (for students in grades Pre-K through 8). Students in grades 9 and 10, will be meeting on Sunday mornings from 9:00-10:00.

We can persevere if we are together. Now, more than ever, we need you to connect and be involved in providing a safe religious education for our children. I urge you to register your student(s) if you have not yet done so, and to reach out with any questions or concerns.
I look forward to working with you and your family.

B’virkat Shalom,
Rina Liebeskind
Executive Administrator & Director of Youth Engagement
(520) 900-7030 or rina@octucson.org

 

Congregation Or Chadash has a comprehensive, accredited religious school education program that is academically, culturally and socially rewarding for children as young as 2 1/2 years old all the way through Confirmation.