Religious School

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.”

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. Students in our Hebrew program have two hours of Hebrew instruction each week, Sundays and Wednesdays. 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.

Sunday Morning Services
T’Filah services in the sanctuary are short 25 minute services with Rabbi Schaller and Cantor Barash. These services are set up, per class grouping, to allow parents and all adults to join their child at beginning or end of Sunday School.

  • Kindergarten through 2nd grade is 11-11:25 am
  • 3rd through 7th is from 9:30-10:10

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 see our “Student Information Page” to help us best reach all of our students, and contact Rabbi Schaller if you would like to provide additional information.

Madrichim Program
Our madrichim (aides) provide assistance to our classroom teachers.  We invite students in 9th 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 – 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 – 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.

Our Philosophy

“Who is wise?  One who learns from every person, as it is written:
‘From all those who taught me, I have gained understanding'” (Psalm 119:99).
Pirke Avot 4:1

In our religious school, we focus on holistic education, combining the formal and informal, academic and social, cognitive and affective, through integrated experiences.  These experiences include text study, hands-on interactive learning, experiential activities, field trips, family education, youth groups, and camp and Israel programs.  The result is young adults who see Judaism as an integral part of their lives, not something that is reserved for the synagogue.

We follow the Chai Curriculum for Jewish Learning, published by the Union for Reform Judaism, focusing primarily on Torah (sacred texts), avodah (God, synagogue, and worship), and gemilut chasadim (mitzvot, values, and ethics). Additional curricular components for all grades include holidays and customs, history, Israel, Tanach, life cycle events, comparative religion, and Hebrew. Weekly parasha study, art, library, music, assemblies, current events, social action projects, and field trips round out our program.

Our religious studies and Hebrew programs are integrated for Grades 3 (Aleph) through 5 (Gimel). Students in these grades have one teacher on both Sunday mornings and Wednesday afternoons for all subject areas, allowing us to provide two Hebrew lessons each week instead of just one. In most cases, the class time will be evenly divided between Hebrew and other curricular subjects.

Students in Grade 6 (Dalet) study Hebrew on Wednesdays with Cantor Barash, focusing on the Shabbat morning service as well as Torah and Haftarah trope (cantillation), and Judaic studies on Sunday.

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)