Religious School

Religious school offers the study of substantive curricular areas including holidays, Bible, prayer, God, history, synagogue, ethics, Israel, life-cycle events, Rabbinic literature, American Jewry, comparative religion, philosophy, and Hebrew. In addition, all children participate in a school-wide worship service each time we meet, so their classroom studies can “come to life.”

Religious School: September through May

  Kindergarten through 2nd grade:
Sunday mornings 9:30am to 11:30am
– T’Filah service is 11-11:25am; parents are welcome to join the service.
Optional: Children’s Choir, most Sundays, 11:30am to 11:50am.

In addition to classroom learning, students have the opportunity to visit the children’s Rabbi Dudley Weinberg Library every week and check out books, and listen to stories.

3rd through 6th grade:
Sunday mornings 9:30am to 11:30am
– T’filah service is 9:30am to 10:10am; parents are welcome to join the service.
Wednesday afternoons 4:20pm to 6:20pm

Hebrew instruction begins for all students in the third grade.  Students beyond third grade who are new to CEEBJ should make an appointment with the Director of Lifelong Learning to determine appropriate Hebrew class placement.

Our Hebrew program places primary emphasis on the study of the prayers with a secondary emphasis on basic Hebrew grammar and conversational Hebrew skills. Thus, not only will students be able to sight-read in the siddur (prayer book), they will also understand each prayer. Students are strongly encouraged to attend Shabbat and Holiday Services with their families in order to practice their developing skills.

In addition, students in Grade 6 (Dalet) focus on the Shabbat morning service as well as Torah and Haftarah trope (cantillation) with Cantor Barash, along Judaic studies on Sunday.

7th grade:
Sundays mornings 9:30am to 11:30am
– T’Filah service is 9:30am to 10:10am.

The process of preparing for B’nei (bar/bat) Mitzvah truly begins when students begin formal religious education. The intensity for study and preparation begins a year to a year and a half before the service.

This is kicked off by a B’nei Mitzvah Family Shabbaton, a year to year and half out, where we learn as families and community about the values and process of becoming B’nei Mitzvah.  This is followed up by three meetings with Rabbi Schaller to prepare a mitzvah project, individual weekly tutoring with Cantor Barash to prepare for the service, and a meeting with Rabbi Berkson to prepare a blessing and details of the day of service.

In order to become B’nei Mitzvah, we require students to attend formal Jewish Education, either by attending Milwaukee Jewish Day School, or Religious School.

8th through 12th grade (Kulanu)
For our 8th, 9th, 11th and 12th graders, we join with Congregation Beth Israel Ner Tamid and Congregation Sinai for a community learning program each Tuesday evening from 6pm-8pm.  Students join together for dinner, special field trips and events, and have the opportunity to choose from one of three tracks: Arts, Leadership, or Social Justice.  Tracks follow a project based learning model with allows students to drive the learning process and achieve deep learning on a subject that interests them.

Kabbalat Torah: 10th grade:
Kabbalat Torah means “receiving Torah.” Our tenth graders meet weekly with Rabbi Berkson to discuss philosophy, current events and prepare to lead our annual Kabbalat Torah service in which they take responsibility and ownership over their own religious practice in a more mature way. Each year students also have the opportunity to travel together (most recently to New York) to explore the American Jewish experience.

Special needs? We’d love to help!
At Congregation Emanu-El B’ne Jeshurun, we are committed to accommodating the learning needs of every child in our program. Our teachers receive training and assistance in adapting lessons for all learning styles. Please contact Rabbi Schaller to discuss your child’s special needs.

Interfaith Families
We welcome all who wish to draw closer to Judaism and recognize the child of interfaith parents as fully Jewish provided that the parents have agreed to raise their child as a Jew.  Our school is open to all children being raised and educated as Jews.

Madrichim Program
Our madrichim (aides) provide assistance to our classroom teachers.  We invite students in 8th to 12th grade to become madrichim. They may work on Sundays and/or on Wednesdays in classrooms, the office, or in specialties.  All madrichim must be enrolled and attending an approved program of formal Jewish education and therefore serve as role models for ongoing Jewish education.

Additional Fees
Bar/Bat Mitzvah Fee – A Bar/Bat Mitzvah fee, which offsets the costs of the individual Bar/Bat Mitzvah training and related materials, will be posted to your CEEBJ account one year prior to your child’s scheduled date. This fee must be paid in full prior to the date of the Bar or Bat Mitzvah.

Grade 10 Kabbalat Torah Fee – There will be a separate fee to cover the costs of the Kabbalat Torah service, reception, flowers, photographs, etc. In addition, a class trip may be planned, at an additional fee. The cost of the trip can be offset by fundraising, should the class decide to do so.

Passport To Israel
Attention parents: Consider this amazing program that matches your savings with contributions from CEEBJ and Milwaukee Jewish Federation to enable kids to go on a peer-group Israel trip as teens or young adults.

Need more information?

Contact Rabbi Toba Schaller, Director of Lifelong Learning, for more information, at 414-228-7545.

Download our Religious School Application form (in MS Word format)