Religious School

Exciting School News!

Beginning with the fall of 2018, we are piloting the following program: our Kindergarten, First, and Second Grade classes will be FREE of charge to all Beth Haverim Shir Shalom member families. This is a great opportunity to have your younger child become acquainted with our building, clergy, Jewish holidays and customs in a warm, welcoming environment. There is crafting, singing, gaining familiarity with Hebrew, learning about Israel, holidays, “tours” around the building, meeting and “interviewing” our staff, practicing to be a “mensch” and many other experiences – all packed into an hour and a half on Mondays from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

There’s no attendance requirement, since we understand that every youngster has an off day or another obligation from time to time! In addition, if you want to carpool with a family who has a 3rd grader attending from 4 to 6 (or even if you just want to have more than an hour and a half to run errands or grab coffee), there is a half hour of enrichment available at a very reasonable fee that allows for dismissal at 6 p.m.

Also new this coming year – non-members will be able to enroll their children in these three grades as well – $750 covers everything for the school year.  So if you have friends who are just beginning to think about synagogue membership but not ready quite yet because their children are young, this offer is for them – the more the merrier! Our early years programming are some of the most fun years; why wait for your child to begin their Jewish learning experience?

Of course, for your friends who are not yet members, our Young Family membership plan is always an option for families whose oldest child will be below Fourth Grade in the fall of 2018. Come and see what we’re all about!

Call Educator Rebecca McVeigh in the school office for more information, or write her at [email protected].

Pilot Program Summary

  • Grades K, 1, 2 FREE for members of BHSS
  • Non-members’ children can NOW attend – $750 for 26 sessions
  • No attendance requirement – come when you can!
  • Enrichment available to give you 2 hours of free time and/or allows carpools with 3rd grade Monday students
  • Have fun with early learning about Hebrew, our synagogue, holidays, music, Israel, “mensch-hood”, tikun olam

And don’t forget – you can join as a Young Family membership for HALF the cost of a regular family membership if your oldest child is entering third grade or below in the fall of 2018.

Click here to view the 2018-2019 school year calendar.

Click here to open up our school FAQ (frequently asked questions) sheet.

Click here to view the school’s home handbook. It contains policies, procedures, and resources.

2018 – 2019 School Forms

If your child previously attended, you should receive all of the forms you need via email. However, the forms are also available by clicking the appropriate link below:

If your child is entering PreK (4 or 5 year-old not yet in Kindergarten) through 6th grade (including Family School):
  • Click here for a Word document you can fill out and email back (after saving) to [email protected]
  • Click here for a pdf that you can print and fill out, mail, hand deliver, or fax to 201-512-1586.
  • Click here for a pdf form that you can fill out on your computer, save the file with your child’s name, and email to [email protected].
If your child is entering 7th  through 12th grade (7th grade is a REQUIRED year of religious school.):
  • Click here for a Word document you can fill out and email back (after saving) to [email protected]
  • Click here for a pdf that you can print and fill out, mail, hand deliver, or fax to 201-512-1586.
  • Click here for a pdf form that you can fill out on your computer, save the file with your child’s name, and email to [email protected].

Sessions of Religious School by Grade

Kindergarten, Grades 1 and 2: Mondays 4 – 5:30 p.m. (Enrichment – 5:30 to 6 p.m.)
Traditional School Grade 3: Mondays 4 – 6:00 p.m.
Traditional School Grades 4 and 5: Tuesdays 4 – 6:30 p.m.
Traditional School Grade 6: Sundays 9 – 11:30 a.m.
Family School (Grades 3,4,5,6): Sundays 9 – 11:30 a.m.
Kadimah (Grades 7 through 12): Mondays 6:45 – 8:30 p.m.

The mission of our school is to graduate young adults who have the tools they need to form their own Jewish identity.  Our aim is to enable families to pass their own traditions “from generation to generation” and help them build strong bonds within their community and with the world, both Jewish and secular.  We hope our students will  feel comfortable in their Judaism wherever they go in their lives –  and above all, to be “mensches,” good people.

RAC (Religious Action Center) trip NEWS

As its first disbursement of the endowment income, the Endowment Committee decided to subsidize every tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grade student in the congregation to participate in the L’Taken Seminar.  The cost for a student to attend a L’Taken Seminar is approximately $600, plus spending money for incidentals.  Thanks to the support of the Endowment, since then over 100 students were able to take part in this truly powerful experience for just $250 to cover program, lodging, and transportation fees. Click here to see what the “RAC” trip is all about.   AND… the Endowment Committee is again subsidizing our trip for February 21 – 24, 2019.


Beth Haverim Shir Shalom (BHSS) offers a one-day-a-week religious school program for children in Kindergarten through twelfth grade. We take pride in working with families to strengthen each child’s sense of Jewish identity. In the Monthly Preschool our four year-old students explore the holidays with fingerplay, cooking, stories, and crafts. Beginning with Kindergarten and continuing through Grade Twelve, students learn not only the Hebrew reading that they will need to become Bar or Bat Mitzvah, but also the rich tradition, history, and culture that help them to become informed Reform Jewish adults living in today’s world. They participate in Tikkun Olam (healing the world) through our congregation’s social action programming, as well as learning about it in their classes, many of which are based on the Union for Reform Judaism’s (URJ) Chai Curriculum.

Our program includes the unique Family School alternative, as well as our Kadimah (“moving forward”) program for Grades Seven through Twelve. In Kadimah the teens discuss hot topics, argue moral issues, cook Jewish foods, dance, sing, meditate, and learn conversational Hebrew, to name a few of the Monday night options. During their tenth grade year, they have the opportunity to travel with their peers to Washington, D.C. to put their social action knowledge to use at the Religious Action Center.

Family School is ongoing and ongrowing!

Engraved in our mission statement is our congregational aim for lifelong learning; we are “…dedicated to the never-ending process of Jewish learning.” As a jewel in the crown of our educational programming, the Family School stands as a testament to what we believe in. From our original fifteen families of chalutzim, pioneers, the Family School now engages over forty families each week in this unique program where every participant benefits. Each one is a student, and each one is a teacher. When these families leave our building, they have had richer, deeper conversations about what their Judaism means to them. And these conversations continue – into the rest of Sunday, into the rest of the week, and into the rest of their lives.

Every single family should participate in Family School for just one year during their child’s religious education; it speaks to the moral imperative that we all have to be responsible to maintain the chain of our people. I hope you will consider this alternative to our regular religious school. Please call me with any questions you may have about this exciting and unique program!

Community Service Hours Available: Whether we are getting our classrooms ready for the new school year or doing special projects, extra help is always welcome. Please email to [email protected] or call 201-512-1983 to let us know if your child would like to volunteer.

Beth Haverim Shir Shalom’s Monthly Preschool Class For 4 year-olds and 5 year-olds not yet in Kindergarten: Our monthly preschool class will be offered with a minimum of five registered students. This program meets from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Mondays, on an average of once a month, without parents. Students must be 4 years old by October 1, 2018.  It is never to late to join in the fun! You can register your child during the year, not just in August.  (Fees will be adjusted accordingly.) Remaining scheduled sessions for 2017-2018 are as follows:

September 17 ~ October 16 ~ November 13 ~ December 11 ~ January 22

February 26 ~ March 19 ~ April 23 ~ May 7 ~ May 21

The preschool fee is $500 for members and $550 for non-members.

(Please note: If you have a 3 year-old and are interested in a program for him/her, we will develop one if there is sufficient interest. Call the synagogue office and leave your contact information.)

We’re PROUD of our 2016 Confirmands!


Need information on having a Bar or Bat Mitzvah at Beth Haverim Shir Shalom? Go to the Bar and Bat Mitzvah Info page

Email the Religious School at [email protected]