Kindergarten through 2nd Grade


There is no tuition for Kindergarten at Temple Beth Am. We value the opportunity to invite our youngest students and their families to experience everything Religious School has to offer.

In kindergarten, your child will become familiar with the synagogue and the people who work there; what it means to be Jewish.  They will also explore different rituals and symbolic objects. In this year, students will be introduced to Bible stories and characters, as well as the values associated with them. Kindergarteners will study the basics of Jewish holidays and their customs, including Shabbat.

Your child will be introduced to the Hebrew letters, their names and sounds. By the end of their first year of Religious School, they will be familiar with the blessings over snack and the Shabbat table, as well as Shehecheyanu and Sh’ma; they will understand what a prayer is and the basics of how and why we pray.

Special Programming

Kindergarten will host family learning programs in conjunction with PJ Library books on Sunday’s throughout the year during the Religious School day. We will bring Jewish stories alive through special projects. Kindergarteners will experience a Consecration ceremony to mark the beginning of their Jewish education.

First Grade

In the first grade, children will continue to build their knowledge and familiarity with Torah and holidays, with an emphasis on how holidays are celebrated in the home. They will focus on middot (Jewish values) relating to tzedakah and how we treat one another. First graders will also explore the nature of God in Jewish tradition.

Students will review Hebrew letters and strengthen their reading skills by learning vowels and decoding one syllable words. They will also continue to add to their prayer repertoire with fluency in Barchu, the blessing after meals (first line), Modeh Ani, and Mi Chamocha.

Second Grade

In the second grade, students will add to their knowledge by exploring how holidays are observed and celebrated in the synagogue, laying the groundwork for their understanding the importance of Jewish community- kehillah.  This will tie into their studies on the nature of communal worship and the Jewish value of collective studying and learning. Second graders will also learn about the different purposes of prayer and the history of prayer.  They will learn about mitzvot in the home and be introduced to the concept of Tikkun Olam, an extension of humans being created in the image of God.

Second graders will begin learning some of the inner workings of the Hebrew language, including word families and basic roots. Such understanding will allow them to decode more easily and to add cultural vocabulary to their lexicon as they conquer two syllable words. They will continue learning new prayers including V’ahavta, Mah Tovu, and the Four Questions.

Special Programming

Our First & Second grade students will enjoy a “Mock-In” on a Friday evening following Family Shabbat Experience. This will give our younger students a taste of what it’s like to be in youth group and bond as friends.