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Shalom! Below are some commonly asked questions about our Religious School program in 2024-2025. Have more questions? We welcome you to contact us!

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Inclusion and Community

 

Online "Sunday" School

ANSWERS:

Do I have to be a Temple Beth Shalom member to enroll my child(ren) in Religious School (Sunday and mid-week Hebrew)?
  • Yes. Membership at Temple Beth Shalom is part of the school enrollment process for our K-12 learning programs.
  • Taste of Religious School (potty trained 4–5-year-olds) is the only offering to non-members if space allows. 
  • We warmly welcome everyone to attend a worship service or special programs to experience what our congregation has to offer.
  • To learn more, please contact our office at 512-735-8900 or via this form.
It’s never too early! Our program is designed with a spiraled curriculum that formally begins in kindergarten and continues through 12th grade.
 

We understand that every family’s needs are different, and we will work with all our students to make sure they can participate in the learning whenever they are able to start. Families planning on B'nai Mitzvah must plan to start no later than fifth grade. 

Formal Hebrew studies begin in 3rd grade and goes through 6th grade. If you would like to discuss alternative Hebrew learning plans, such as private tutoring, please contact Jordan Magidson.

 

We offer classes at various times throughout the week. Members can find the calendar and schedule here.

 

How do I enroll in Religious School?

             

The first step in signing up for Religious School is to fill out our Religious School Registration form. Our registration form allows you to pick specific sessions for Sunday School and Hebrew School, share information about your child(ren), request class placement with friends, and sign up for additional programs, like our music opportunities. This step needs to be completed to ensure that your child(ren) is in your preferred session, and it allows the full-time education staff to prepare for the upcoming school year. You can find the Registration Form in your online member portal under the School Enrollments section.

To ensure that your child(ren)’s registration is approved and for them to be officially enrolled in our Religious School program, you will need to renew your Shared Member Commitment (SMC) beginning on July 1. At Temple Beth Shalom, we believe the most important thing is to be a part of our community. We reaffirm this commitment yearly by renewing our membership, and the link to renew can be found in your Member Portal. Once you renew, a member of the religious school staff will be able to process your enrollment. Religious School Tuition costs increase on August 1. Therefore, you must complete both steps, Religious School enrollment and SMC renewal, between July 1-July 31 before Religious School late fees apply on August 1.

I see there are two different Religious School sessions. What are the differences between Morning Session and Afternoon Session?

Morning Session

Afternoon Session

Classes offered: ToRS-5th grade

Classes offered: K-7th

(6th and 7th grade classes are only offered in Session 2)

Class Times:

All classes start at 8:45 a.m.

 

K-2nd grade classes end at 10:30 a.m. 3rd-5th grade classes end at 10:45 a.m.

Class Times:

All classes meet from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

K-2nd grade meets in a one-room schoolhouse model (with sufficient student enrollment).

Curriculum:

All students are in grade-specific classes and follow a modified spiral curriculum (meaning they cover the same subjects every several years at increasingly sophisticated levels). For more information about what your children will be learning specifically, you can visit our curriculum pages.

Unlike Session 2, no alternative tracks are offered for 3rd-5th grade.

Curriculum:
  • K-2nd grade curriculum is the same as the Session 1 curriculum.
  • 3rd-5th grade students choose either the Omanut (Art) or Teva (Nature) track, exploring various aspects of Judaism through the lens of the class they are in.

 

There are so many options! Which do I choose to make sure that my child is enrolled?

Kindergarten - 2nd Grade
  • Select one Sunday School option, either the AM Sunday Session (with students separated by grade level) or the PM Sunday Session (one-room schoolhouse model).
  • If Sunday doesn’t work with your child’s schedule, 1st & 2nd graders can choose an online option through our partner, Shalom Learning
  • 2nd graders have the option to add Kids’ Choir to their enrollment.
3rd- 5th Grade
  • Select one Sunday option (AM Sunday Session or PM Sunda Session) and one Hebrew option.
  • If Sunday doesn’t work with your child’s schedule, you can choose an online option through our partner, Shalom Learning.
  • If neither Hebrew option works with your child’s schedule, you can choose either an online option through our partner, Shalom Learning, or private tutoring.
  • 3rd-5th graders have the option to add Kids' Choir to their enrollment.
6th & 7th Grade
  • Select Sunday option (only PM Session offered) and one Hebrew option (6th Grade only).
  • If Sunday doesn’t work with your child’s schedule, 6th graders can choose an online option through our partner, Shalom Learning.
  • If neither Hebrew option works with your child’s schedule, you can choose either an online option through our partner, Shalom Learning, or private tutoring.
  • 6th graders have the option to add Kids' Choir to their enrollment.
8th – 12th Grade

I see that that Sunday School and Hebrew school have separate registration fees. Which enrollment is required for my child to have a b’nai mitzvah?

The requirement for b’nai mitzvah is to be enrolled in Sunday school. Sunday school provides students the opportunity to learn about all the things they need to know to be competent and confident Jewish adults—things like holidays, the Torah stories, and the land of Israel. It also allows more time for creating community and getting to know the other children in their class.
While students will need to learn Hebrew to have their b’nai mitzvah, there are different ways that can happen. One of those ways is to enroll in Hebrew school classes at Temple Beth Shalom. We think it’s great to send your children to both Sunday and Hebrew classes at the temple because it does continue the community building that is happening in Sunday classes, but we also know that Hebrew classes often don’t meet our students’ needs for various reasons:
  • Hebrew school classes can conflict with other activities;
  • It’s hard to get to the temple on a weekday afternoon;
  • Students are tired after a long day of school;
  • Or there may be learning exceptionalities that make it difficult to learn in a large classroom atmosphere.
With that in mind, families may choose to hire a Hebrew tutor instead of enrolling in Hebrew classes, which allows for a personalized experience.
 
EXCEPTION: Students enrolled at the Austin Jewish Academy do not need to enroll in our Sunday School program. We do highly encourage their participation in our various engagement programs.
 

How much does Religious School cost?

Sunday School, Hebrew School and B'nai Mitzvah fees are paid during Shared Membership Commitment Renewal /New Member signup. There are some additional fees that will be collected when you fill out the Religious School enrollment form.

Taste of Religious School (ToRS), 4 & 5 year old,  Sundays in-person

$180 member/$375 non-member                                 
Kindergarten-5th Grade & 7th Grade Judaic studies classes, Sundays in-person $385 standard fee/$595 late fee*
3rd-5th Grade Omanut (Art class),            Sundays in-person $385 standard fee/$595 late fee* + $180 supply fee paid during the registration process
3rd-5th Grade Teva (nature) $385 standard fee/$595 late fee*
6th Grade Judaic studies classes, Sundays in-person $385 standard fee/$595 late fee* + $700 B'nai Mitzvah fee
8th-12th Grade Judaic studies classes, Sundays in-person $285
3rd-6th Grade Hebrew, Sundays or Wednesdays in-person $315 standard fee/$450 late fee*
1st-5th Grade & 7th Grade Judaic studies classes, online  $385 standard fee/$595 late fee* + $240 fee paid during the registration process**
6th Grade Judaic studies classes, online $385 standard fee/$595 late fee* + $700 b'nai mitzvah fee + $240 fee paid during the registration process**
3rd-6th Grade Hebrew classes, online $315 standard fee/$450 late fee* + $335 fee paid during the registration process

*Late fees will be assessed beginning on August 1.

**The cost of the Shalom LinkED Judaic program is $625, and the cost of the Shalom LinkED Hebrew program is $650. You will be assessed an additional fee to address the difference between our tuition and the Shalom LinkED tuition.

Why is there a separate fee for Hebrew School?

Temple Beth Shalom believes it is the responsibility of the entire community to educate our youth. Your portion of the Religious School fees covers approximately 50% of the costs for running a program that meets our community goals and expectations. Because of inflation and rising costs, in order to continue to maintain the percentage of our budget that fees cover, it is necessary to add a Hebrew School fee.

Why am I charged the B'nai Mitzvah fee in 6th grade?

The B'nai Mitzvah fee is assessed in the 6th grade year because this is when the B’nai Mitzvah process begins in earnest. This includes students receiving their B'nai Mitzvah binder and meetings with staff and clergy and special B'nai Mitzvah Cohort meetings.

Is there an attendance requirement?

Yes! In order to stay on track, we require 70% attendance for those students who are in the B’nai Mitzvah process, beginning in 5th grade. The students who participate in our B’nai Mitzvah program are preparing to become active participants in Jewish life, and attending Religious School teaches them the skills necessary to make that happen.

We understand that many of our students have sports, enrichments, and other commitments. In partnership with you, we do our best to keep your child(ren) on track.

If my child cannot come to an in-person class, can they participate via Zoom?

No. We do not have the resources to offer multi-access classes. If your child(ren) cannot make it to an in-person class, they will be marked absent. Please reach out to your child(ren)'s teacher to see if there are any materials so your child’s learning can stay on track.

How will the temple communicate with me about Religious School and Hebrew School?

Please check your email for the latest information about Religious and Hebrew School. Communications will come from the Religious School Bulletin and from your child(ren)'s teachers. In case of emergencies and school closures, the Religious School will use the Remind texting service to share this information immediately.

What if my spouse isn't Jewish?

We welcome all interfaith families!

Are you able to accommodate students with learning differences, social emotional needs and/or physical limitations, etc.?

We are committed to the inclusivity of all our exceptional learners. When parents partner with us and share all relevant information, we increase the likelihood of successful outcomes. Our goals are to inspire a love of Judaism through celebration, tradition, customs, community, and fun. Our team will work with you and your child(ren) to meet the goals established. 

My child(ren) really wants to be in class with their friend. Is this possible?

We hope so! The sooner you complete your registration, the more likely we can help. If you fill out your enrollment form prior to August 1, we will ensure your child is with at least one of their friends. 

Some students feel more comfortable and look forward to coming to Religious School when there is a familiar face in the room, especially when the class meets much less frequently than their full-time school. We do our best to accommodate friend requests, and we also take other factors into consideration. 

My child(ren) don’t know the other kids in their class/I don’t know the other parents in my child(ren)’s class. What can I do?

Kehillah (community) is an important part of belonging to a temple, and we want to help everyone make a connection. Here are some ways we can partner in helping create a strong kehillah.
  • Send students to Sunday school regularly. It’s hard for students to remember who their classmates and teachers are when they don’t come regularly.
  • Sign your kids up for our Kids’ Night Out and our different Shabbatonim (overnights)! It’s a fantastic way for kids to spend more time together in a fun and social environment.
  • Join us for Shabbat services and Family Holiday Programs like our 2nd Day Rosh Hashanah program, Mitzvahpalooza, or Purim carnival.
  • Volunteer to be a Room Parent/Class Connector and organize a class meetup after Sunday school.
  • Host (or attend) a Shalom Gathers event and do what you love while meeting other temple members who also love doing that thing.

Do you have an online option for Sunday and Hebrew School?

Yes! We partner ShalomLearning to provide our families access to online Judaic studies classes and Hebrew classes. Their online program, Shalom LinkED provided distance learning options for students in 1st-7th grade who are not able to attend our in-person classes. Click here for more information about the ShalomLinkED Judaic classes. If you are interested in learning more about the online Hebrew option, please reach out to Jordan Magidson for more information.

Thu, June 13 2024 7 Sivan 5784