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RS_Parent_Handbook2005

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									Kehillat Israel Family
   Religious School
    Parent Handbook
                     2005–2006
                       5766




              Mark S. Casso     Director of Religious Education
   Steven Carr Reuben, Ph.D.    Rabbi
              Sheryl Lewart     Rabbi
            Chayim Frenkel      Cantor
                Lorie Kraus     Chair, Religious Education Committee
                Rachel Jeffer   President




  16019 Sunset Boulevard, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
     (310) 459-1569, Ext 232   (310) 230-3463, Fax
Table of Contents___________________________
Message from the Director of Religious Education ....................................... 1
Reconstructionist Goals of Jewish Education ............................................... 2
Religious School Statement of Purpose ………………………………………… 3
Guiding Philosophy and Goals of the Religious School ............................... 3
School Programs
  Cultural Arts/Enrichment …………………………………………………………… 4
  Judaic Studies ................................................................................................... 4
  Hebrew Studies ................................................................................................. 4
Curriculum Highlights of Judaic Studies
 Kindergarten to Grade 7 ............................................................................... 5–8
 Grades 8 to 10 .................................................................................................. 8
 Grade 11 and Grade 12 .................................................................................... 8
Curriculum Highlights of Hebrew Studies
 Kindergarten to Grade 7 .................................................................................... 9
 Madrihim Program, Grades 8–12.. .............................................................. …10
 Bar and Bat Mitzvah...……..………………………………………………………..10
Youth Opportunities
 Youth Groups and Activities………………………………………………………..11
Family Education Opportunities
 Family Involvement, Kindergarten–Grade 7 .................................................... 12
 Parallel Education Programs ……………………………………………………... 12
 Retreats/Shabbatonim ……………………………………………………………. 13
 Shabbat Family Services ................................................................................. 13
 Consecration Ceremony for New Students ..................................................... 13
 Holiday and Shabbat Family Dinners .............................................................. 13
Parents as Partners: Important Considerations That Make Our Home/School
Partnership Work
 Standards and Expectations ............................................................................ 14
 Student Achievement ...................................................................................... 14
 Conduct and Discipline .................................................................................... 14
 Appropriate Attire ………………………………………………………………….. 14
 Attendance, Arrival and Dismissal Policies and Procedures …………………. 15
 Communications with Parents………………………………………………….15-16
 Homework Policy ………………………………………………………………….. 16
 Room Parents and Volunteers......................................................................... 16
Traffic Safety ….………………………………………………………………... …...17
Religious Education Committee .................................................................... 18
Religious School Fund ................................................................................... 18
Meet Our Staff ..............................................................................…………19–21
Religious School Schedule ………………………………………………………. 22
Calendar…………………………………………………………beginning on page 23
Message from the Director

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the Kehillat Israel Family Religious
School. In a few short weeks, we will be embarking upon a special journey involving
parent, child, school and community. This journey will lead us on a great educational
adventure that will open new horizons for all involved.

The founders of Kehillat Israel dreamed of a vibrant Jewish community and established
a religious, social, ethical and educational foundation upon which future generations
might build. Today our Family Religious School proudly reflects their dedication and
vision through the following goals:

      To develop a strong moral and ethical character based on Jewish teachings.
       Tikun olam values for repairing the world will be integrated into every grade level.
       Our values/ethics program provides the blueprint of how to live our lives
       Jewishly. One of our highlights each year is our participation in the synagogue-
       wide Mitzvah Day Program.

      To engage, involve and empower the family through the fabric of our school and
       educational programs. The home, synagogue and religious school are equal
       partners and share equal responsibility in ensuring that the next generation of
       Jews will continue to evolve with knowledge, understanding and pride in their
       Jewishness.

      To provide a wide range of opportunities for parents to spend quality “Jewish
       Time” making Jewish memories with their children through our family education
       focus. Regular parent participation will also create Jewish bonds with other
       families, which will in turn build lasting adult connections within our synagogue
       and our community.

      To instill a love and appreciation for Torah, prayer, holiday celebrations and the
       strength and beauty of Jewish tradition.

      To make the synagogue a warm and welcoming “second home” for celebration,
       friendship, study, prayer and a place for support and reflection. To develop a
       comfort level within our surroundings in addition to a deeper sense of self.

If you have any questions, concerns or just want to chat, please don’t hesitate to either
call or come see me. The Religious School staff and clergy join me in extending to you
a challenge to help us forge the critical partnerships that will create a school experience
that is positive, productive and enjoyable. Together, we can all make a difference in the
lives of our children.

Mark S. Casso
Director of Religious Education
Foundation Goals for Jewish Education in the
Reconstructionist Movement
G To stress those ethical, ritual and spiritual values of the Jewish heritage that bond
   Jews in unity and peoplehood

G To cherish the 4,000 year history of the Jewish People

G To encourage both spiritual and physical connectedness with the land and people of
   Israel

G To appreciate Torah and the vast literature recording Jewish spiritual life and traditions through the
   ages.

G To value Hebrew as the constant language uniting the Jewish People

G To learn and work together to bring about the messianic goal of a world inspired by
   the will to perform acts of social justice and ethical living as individuals and
   communities

G To develop faith in the spiritual meaning of human life

G To joyously celebrate Jewish life cycle events and Jewish calendar festivals, holidays
   and Shabbat in order to implement all the above goals and values


   By Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan
   Founder of the Reconstructionist Movement




                                                    1
KI Religious School Statement of Purpose
To develop motivated, engaged students who are involved in active learning, love being
Jewish and feel a strong sense of community and are enrolled regardless of ability to
pay.


Guiding Philosophy and Goals of the
Family Religious School
The goal of our school is to teach our children to become Jews who:

 Experience Jewish learning as positive, stimulating and enjoyable, laying a foundation
  and instilling a desire for lifelong Jewish learning;

 Have a strong and positive Jewish identity and pride in being Jewish;

 Want to make the world a better place by practicing the principles of Tikkun Olam;

 Make ethical choices and engage in ethical behavior based on Jewish values;

 Perceive Judaism and Torah as a source of meaning, purpose, spirituality and
  holiness in life;

 Have developed a personal concept of God;

 Feel part of the Kehillat Israel community, knowing Kehillat Israel can always be their
  Jewish home;

 Feel connected to and comfortable in the greater Jewish community;

 Have a committed and knowledgeable relationship with the land and people of Israel;

 Possess competence and familiarity with Jewish Prayer, ritual and holiday practice.




                                            1
School Programs
Cultural Arts and Enrichment

Music and art play an integral role in our Religious School program. In music, cultural
and liturgical songs are taught through our music/tefillah program. In art, students
participate in “hands on” projects connected to the curriculum of their respective grade
levels. Students also take part in regular worship services, library time, ethical and
social action tzedakah projects, holiday celebrations, family activities, field trips, retreats
and much more.


Judaic Studies

Our Judaic Studies program provides our students with opportunities for lifelong Jewish
learning. Each grade level has a curriculum, which incorporates Jewish values,
holidays, history, Bible and Torah study, Israel, life cycle events, tikun olam and
tzedakah. The students are challenged to think about God and godliness in their lives
and to reaffirm their personal and family connection to the synagogue and the Jewish
community through their actions.


Hebrew Studies

Students begin their exposure to the Hebrew alphabet and language as early as
Kindergarten. While our primary grades (K-2) focus on sight and sound recognition,
grade 3 focuses on reading decoding skills and our intermediate grades (4-7) focus on
synagogue participation skills. Hebrew learning becomes more intensive as we emphasize fluent
and accurate reading ability in addition to concepts and vocabulary recognition relating to
prayer, Bible, holidays, ethics and values. Students will build upon knowledge of basic
vocabulary and simple conversational skills that will be further developed during the
seventh grade year.




                                               1
Curriculum Highlights of Judaic Studies
On the following pages, you will find brief descriptions of each grade’s curricular goals.
If you have specific questions or comments, please call the Director of Religious
Education for more information.

Kindergarten
The central theme of “Beginnings” is interwoven throughout all areas of the Kindergarten
curriculum. Students will experience many “firsts” during the year; learning Hebrew letters,
making new friends, first time in Religious School etc. Students will also learn about the
Jewish symbols and experience holidays and Bible through stories, crafts, music and
games. Students will learn about Creation, Adam and Eve, Noah and Abraham. They will
simulate a trip to Israel and will visit the Western Wall (Kotel). Students will begin learning
about some of our basic value concepts including Tzedakah/Doing the Right Thing, Kibud
Av V’Em/Honoring Your Parents and Being a Mensh/Being a Good Person.

Grade 1
“Shabbat” is the central focus of the first grade curriculum. Students will learn about the
major themes of the Sabbath through many “hands on” activities. They will also learn
about the symbols of the synagogue, participate in a special Shabbat program and
make their own miniature Torah.

In addition to reviewing the value concepts learned in Kindergarten, the following new
value concepts will be covered in first grade: Gemilut Hasadim/Acts of Loving-kindness,
Talmud Torah/The study of Torah and Kibud Shabbat/Honor the Shabbat.

Grade 2
The theme of “Renewal” emerges at different stages of the second grade year. Students
will continue to build upon their previous years’ foundation. They will further develop
and discuss basic concepts about God. They will continue to explore the richness of the
holidays with a special focus on Sukkot and Tu B’Shevat. The beautiful service of
Havdallah, by which we separate Shabbat from the rest of the week, will also be
highlighted as part of a unique family workshop program that will culminate with a
special Havdallah service.




                                                1
Second graders also expand their knowledge of Bible personalities with emphasis on
Biblical events, what part they play in the history of the Jewish people, and what we can
learn from them that enables us to live better lives today. Children will also be
introduced to Jewish personalities after Moses such as Joshua, Esther, Ruth and Naomi
and their significance in terms of Jewish life and survival.

Tikun olam values that will be emphasized include Mazon/Feeding the Hungry, Tza’ar
Ba’AleiHayim/Caring for Animals and Hahnasat Orhim/Hospitality.

Grade 3
“Jewish Identity/Discovery” is at the center of the third grade curriculum. Students will
learn about their family history and research the origins of their Hebrew names. Families
will participate in a special naming ceremony/program, which will culminate with the
making of individualized Hebrew name plaques. Students will see Israel through the
eyes of Israeli youth as they learn more about the Jewish Homeland.

Celebration of holidays is an important part of the curriculum with an emphasis on Yom
Ha’Atzmaut, Israel Independence Day. The Bible will be brought to life through the
study of the weekly Torah Portions.

Third Grade tikun olam values include Kol Yisrael Aravim Zeh L’ Zeh/We are each of us
responsible for one another and Ahavat Yisrael/Love of Israel.

Grade 4

The central theme of “Covenants with God” occurs throughout the fourth grade year.
Through use of age-appropriate textbooks, a variety of creative and thought-provoking
projects, lively classroom discussions and debates, students are given opportunities for
a more in-depth exploration of Jewish history, Bible, holidays, and religious concepts.

“Living as Partners with God” is a theme, which invites children to discuss Jewish
concepts about God, their personal beliefs and how they can create qualities of
godliness in their own lives.

Through the study of Torah/Bible, our students will gain greater insights into the lives
and times of our ancestors and the values they embraced. Children will create a “Torah
Hall of Fame” as part of their studies during the year.

Fourth Grade values include Kibud Z’kaynim/Honoring the Elderly, Ba’al Tashhit/Caring
for our Resources and Dereh Eretz/Good Manners.




                                            1
Grade 5

The central theme of “Lifecycle” is interwoven throughout all areas of the fifth grade
curriculum. An exploration of major Jewish life cycle events enables students to
appreciate the meaning of each life stage and how the Jewish people mark its
significance. A highlight of the year will involve participation in a mock wedding
ceremony, complete with reception.

Through their study of prophets, students will be able to further explore their relationship
with God. Torah and holidays are also an ongoing area of study.

Tikun olam values for fifth grade include Ad Sheyker/Refrain from Lying, Bikur
Holim/Visiting the Sick and V’ahavta L’Reyaha Kamoha/Love Your Neighbor as You
Would Love Yourself.

Grade 6

Israel is a major focus of the sixth grade year. Using a variety of resources, students
discover the complexities and the many facets of the land, people and history of Israel.
As a culmination of their year’s studies, students plan and present a creative “Israel
Fair” experience for our younger students and parents.

Students explore the contributions of the great prophets in ancient Israel and the ethical
values and teachings that are at the heart of Jewish civilization.

The B’nai Mitzvah Family Havurah Retreat, held in the spring, provides special
opportunities for parents and children to come together and explore the personal
relevance of this significant life cycle event. The study of rituals, history, and tzedakah
values are included.

Sixth Grade values include Lashon HaRah/Refraining from Gossip, Kavod Rather than
Busha/Honor Rather than Embarrass and Nedarim/Keeping One’s Word.

Grade 7

Seventh graders will be engaged in Torah discussion including the commentaries.
Discussions will revolve around individual belief, historical view and perception.
Students will also be engaged in discussions regarding value concepts and the
integration of acknowledged universal values of character with specific Jewish values.




                                              2
As they begin work with our Hazzan Sheni, students will choose a special B’nai Mitzvah
tzedakah project that will be completed prior to B’nai Mitzvah. Seventh graders also
help to plan and participate in a special Shabbat evening service towards the end of the
school year.

Grades 8 and 9

Our eighth and ninth grades meet one evening a week for 3 ten-week trimesters.
Students choose from an assortment of core and elective courses, selecting two
different courses each trimester. In addition, a once a month speaker series will engage
our students in thought provoking discussions. A special pizza dinner/social time
precedes the start of class. Some of courses being offered include: Jews in the News,
Conversational Hebrew, Sex in the Text, Jewish Cooking, Planet Hollywood, Art as
Midrash, Jewish Mysticism, The Holocaust, Jewish Science Fiction, Comparative
Religion, Pirkei Avot, Israeli Dancing, Jews in Sports, Jewish Trivial Pursuit, Cults; A
Jewish Response, Tough Choices and many others.

Grade 10 (Confirmation)

Our 10th Grade Confirmation Class is taught by Rabbi Reuben. Students will spend the
year examining their role within the larger Jewish community and grappling with key
questions about who they are such as “What it is to be a Reconstructionist Jew in the
21st Century?” Along the way, they will also learn to find God in the things that we do.
Additionally, a special unit called “Guilt 101: Assertive Training” will be led by Rebbetzin
Didi. A highlight of the year will be the participation in the Panim el Panim Program, a
trip to Washington D.C. along with several hundred other Jewish youth from around the
country, to learn about Jewish issues and lobby on Capital Hill. A special Confirmation
Ceremony will round out the year.

Grades 11 and 12

Eleventh and twelfth grade students will focus on major issues affecting their lives such
as relationships with each other and getting ready for the real world. Rebbetzin Didi
Carr Reuben will lead the twice a month confidential discussions in an informal setting.




                                             3
Curriculum Highlights of Hebrew Studies
Kindergarten, Grade 1 and Grade 2

In these early years, children are introduced to the vocabulary of Jewish life through
holidays, prayers, songs, synagogue symbols, and the values of tikun olam. Starting in
Kindergarten, students will begin to get a sense of Hebrew as a living language through
the creation of a Hebrew Pictionary. Students in Grade 1 will focus on sight and sound
recognition of the Hebrew Alphabet while Grade 2 students will work towards reading
readiness. In addition, students will increase their cultural and linguistical vocabulary.

Grade 3

Grade 3 students will learn the decoding skills necessary in developing a basic Hebrew
reading ability. Students will reacquaint themselves with the full Hebrew alphabet and
will learn the vowels and how to put the sounds together. They will learn by using
flashcards, games, and other activities to support their studies in a fun and exciting way.
Each successive year will build upon the reading foundation established at this grade
level. A special Hebrew Naming Ceremony will take place during the year.

Grades 4, 5 and 6

Students will work on strengthening their reading skills in addition to increasing their
language acquisition. Children will become more fluent in Hebrew reading as they learn
the various Shabbat and holiday prayers, concepts and values. Students learn prayer
themes/concepts and key vocabulary necessary to recognize prayers. Reading
accuracy is also reinforced. Students will also become familiar with the prayer services
through participation in weekly Tefilah sessions.

Grade 7

Students begin their evening with a weekly Tefilah session. During that time, they will
continue to build upon their prayer mastery skills with more specific studies relating to
the Torah service and Shabbat morning rituals. As part of Tefilah, students will learn
how to put on tefillin. During class, an exciting and expanded conversational Hebrew
component has been designed to make the study of Hebrew come alive.




                                             9
Madrikhim Program, Grades 8–12

Our Madrikhim (Student Aide) program is open to all 8th through 12th graders in the Religious
School. Students will have the opportunity to work as assistants in the younger classes and as
tutors/aides in the older classes. Madrikhim must demonstrate a continuing commitment to the
Religious School. Special training sessions will be held on a regular basis to teach basic
instructional skills, to share experiences, to provide any needed guidance and to foster a sense of
group identity. Madrikhim will receive an hourly salary based on their respective grade levels.
Interested students must be enrolled in our High School Program. Community service credit may
be given for volunteer work within our program.

Bar and Bat Mitzvah

The ceremony of Bar and Bat Mitzvah represents the child’s religious rite of passage
into the adult Jewish community. The experience affirms that a student has reached an
important plateau of Jewish learning. Bar and Bat Mitzvah dates are chosen by families
on a first-come, first-served basis at the end of the fourth grade year according to dates
of availability on the synagogue’s calendar. In the spring of the sixth grade year, families
will participate in a unique overnight B’nai Mitzvah Family Retreat Program. Students
and their parents have the opportunity to study, pray and have fun together as they
learn about the meaning and the process of what this important life cycle experience is
all about.

Regular attendance and participation in Religious School, beginning no later than the
fourth grade get the students ready for specific Bar and Bat Mitzvah training with our
clergy. As the child’s date approaches, studies begin with the Cantor and Hazzan Sheni
to learn the Torah and Haftarah portions. Meetings with the Rabbis to prepare the
child’s speech are scheduled. During the year, the child and parents discuss the
selection of a personalized B’nai Mitzvah tzedakah project with the Hazzan Sheni. The
clergy also meets with parents to lovingly guide each family through this momentous
event.




                                                11
Kehillat Israel Youth Programs
Kehillat Israel offers three youth groups with a diverse array of social, religious,
educational and community service programming for children in 3rd through 12th grades
that meet on an ongoing basis throughout the school year.

Our Seniors group is for 9th - 12th graders. Our Kohavim group is for 6th - 8th grade
children. Our Kadima group is for 3rd – 5th graders. All three groups meet monthly for
programming that is onsite at Kehillat Israel as well as offsite throughout the entire city.
Besides these preset programs, the youth lounge is open Monday – Thursday
afternoons from 3:00 – 6:00 PM and is the perfect place to hang out with friends, do
homework and relax. We have a big screen TV, Arcade games, comfortable seating
and much more.

Youth activities are key components to helping our children have a positive Jewish
experience. They are about fun, building community and connecting to our Jewish
values, and are important aspects of every child’s life. They are the perfect way for your
children to connect with one another, with their Judaism and to Kehillat Israel. Youth
group members will help plan activities by becoming members of our Youth Leadership
councils for Kadima, Kochavim and Seniors. This is a great opportunity for your child to
take on a leadership role within the KI youth world.

In addition to the youth activities that are structured within the Kadima, Kohavim and
Seniors groups, we have a number of special programs that we will have for the
children of Kehillat Israel. This year, we hope to offer specific Community Service
opportunities for our middle school and high school students, a Rosh Hodesh program
for girls in 8th & 9th grade, a SAT class based here at KI and a Scouts program for some
of our younger children. All of these specialized programs will offer a way for the youth
of KI to foster a stronger sense of belonging within our internal community.

For additional information about any of the above programming, please contact the
Youth Director, in the Youth Office at (310) 459-1569, ext. 247 or Mark Casso, Director
of Education at (310) 459-1569, ext 226.




                                             11
Family Education Opportunities
Creating Jewish Family Memories
Kindergarten through Grade 7

Through a combination of Family Workshops, Retreats, Holiday Programming, Grade
Level Happenings, Class Sabbaths, Parallel Educational Programming and a variety of
other programs held throughout the year, our families will have an opportunity to
celebrate, congregate and study together. These special programs usually revolve
around curricular or holiday based themes. A highlight of our student/parent based
programs are the lively discussions that our Rabbis have with parents on relevant topics
relating to the subject area being studied in the classroom.

In the primary grades, there are a number of interactive activities. Some of these
include a Kindergarten “trip” to the Western Wall (Kotel), First Grade Shabbat Program,
Second Grade Havdallah workshop and service and a Third Grade Hebrew Naming
Ceremony. Grade 3 parents can also join our Parent Connection Program where they
will learn how to read Hebrew in a style similar to their children. Families also come
together to socialize and worship at our grade level class Shabbat dinners and services.
Other activities and workshops will be holiday based where parents will join together
with their children for unique art projects, holiday cooking, singing and other fun learning
experiences.

In the intermediate grades, a sample of interactive activities include a Fourth Grade
Torah Hall of Fame, Fifth Grade Mock Wedding Ceremony and a Sixth Grade Israeli
Fair. Grade 4 and 5 parents also have the opportunity to join our Family Connection
Program where they will learn parallel to and alongside their children. Like our primary
grades, families will also gather for grade level class Shabbat services and dinners.

One of our most important goals for these programs is to keep parents involved and
informed about what their children are learning and to create a sense of community in
the Religious School.

Parent/Family Connection

Parent/Family Connection is a parallel education program currently involving parents
and students in Grades 3 - 5. Connection provides an opportunity for students and
parents to work and study either together or separately in smaller group forums as well
as meeting and getting to know other families within their respective grade levels. Work
covered will parallel the curriculum in the various grade levels. Classes meet on a
monthly basis from October – May.


                                             1
Retreats/Shabbatonim

Our unique Sixth Grade Bar/Bat Mitzvah Family Havurah Retreat helps set the stage for
the preparations that will be taking place in the upcoming year. Students and their
families bond and learn together and with one another. The retreat will begin on Friday
evening and will conclude with Havdallah on Saturday evening. In addition, our Tenth
Grade students will be participating in a special program called Panim el Panim. They
will be traveling to Washington D.C. along with several hundred Jewish youth from
around the country to learn about Jewish issues and the political process.

Shabbat Family Services

During the school year, each Religious School grade will prepare and participate in a
special Shabbat service. (All families are encouraged to attend services together on a
regular basis.)

Consecration Ceremony for New Students

Early in the school year, it is customary to “consecrate” all our Kindergarten and other
new students to the Religious School. Students receive a special gift and a blessing
from the clergy. (See Religious School calendar for date.)

Holiday and Shabbat Family Dinners

On Sukkot, Religious School families are invited to celebrate together with a special
holiday dinner at the synagogue. Friday evening Shabbat dinners, prepared by our
Kosher caterer, are also held for each grade level as part of their class Shabbat
experience. (See Religious School calendar for dates.)




                                            1
Parents as Partners
Important Considerations That Make Our Home/School
Partnership Work

Standards and Expectations

In order to maintain the excellence of our Religious School program, these standards for
achievement, attendance and conduct have been established:


Student Achievement

Throughout their years at Religious School, our children are encouraged to:

      Act ethically in daily life based on Jewish values

      Gain basic knowledge in Hebrew reading and prayer skills

      Grow spiritually

      Perform Jewish rituals and celebrate holidays and life-cycle events with their
       families at home and in the synagogue

      Develop an appreciation of Torah, Jewish History and Jewish Culture


Conduct and Discipline

We seek to establish a comfortable and safe environment to support Jewish learning.
Students are expected to participate in an atmosphere of mutual respect and
menshlehkeit with teachers and peers.

Appropriate Attire

Appropriate clothing should always be worn as our school is an extension of the
synagogue. Students enter the sanctuary on a weekly basis. Bare midriff shirts are not
considered appropriate wear for the sanctuary. Neither are pants that are worn below
waist level. Rollerblades are also not allowed in school for safety reasons. Parents play
a critical role in helping to assist their children in maintaining these standards.




                                              1
Attendance, Arrival and Dismissal Policies

Parental cooperation is essential to make Religious School a positive experience for our
children. In order to achieve curricular goals, students are required to attend at least
80-85% of their class sessions. Students whose absences exceed 15-20% may fall
behind the class and will be assigned make-up work in Hebrew and/or Judaic studies as
determined by the teachers. In some cases, private tutoring may be required to help the
student progress to the appropriate mastery level in Hebrew and/or Judaic studies.

If your child must be late due to public/private school dismissal times or distance, please
inform the teachers and Director of Religious Education at the beginning of the school
year. We request that parents try not to schedule activities for their children that conflict
with the Religious School schedule. Tardiness and early dismissal interrupt the
teachers, distract other students and cause the student to miss significant class time.

At the end of the session, promptness in picking up your children is essential. Parents
and car pool drivers are urged to be on time for pick-up.

Communications with Parents

Ongoing written and verbal communications between parents and the school are a key
element to a productive and positive educational experience for the child. To that end,
parents are encouraged to meet their children’s teachers at the beginning of the year
and to continue to interact on a regular basis.

Opening Day Procedures. Parents are encouraged to escort their children to their
respective classrooms. This will provide an opportunity to meet the child’s teacher as
well as making sure the child is familiar with where he/she needs to be. Afterwards,
parents are invited to stay, socialize and have a cup of coffee upstairs on the main floor.
(See Religious School calendar for opening dates).

Folders will be sent home on a weekly basis for all K-3 students. Monthly curricular
informational sheets as well as review material, notices and other items of interest will
be placed in these folders. Parents are expected to look through these folders, review
the contents and have your children return these folders each class day.

Monthly Newsletter. KI Religious School will be publishing a monthly newsletter.
Watch for news of grade level, school-wide happenings and events of special interest
including signups, monthly calendar and other school/temple related events




                                             18
Open Houses. Parents are urged to attend the scheduled open house opportunities in
October. Attendance allows you to view a snapshot of our school and gives parents an
insight of what is going on in class and to meet each other. (See Religious School
calendar for these dates)

Student Progress Reports are sent home twice a year (mid-year and end-of-year) to
inform parents of their children’s academic progress and conduct.

Parent-Teacher Conferences are held at the end of the first semester for parents of
students in Grades 4, 5 and 6 to discuss the mid-year progress report and each
student’s individual achievement, needs and areas fro improvement.

Meeting Children’s Individual Needs. If your child has special needs, problems with
reading, or takes medications affecting his/her attention span and behavior, please
inform the Director of Religious Education as early as possible before the school year
begins. When notified in advance, the Director and teachers will be better able to
accommodate the individual needs of each child.

Homework Policy

It is our belief that a child’s reading ability can only improve with continuous practice. As
part of their schooling, we will be asking all students in Grades 3 – 6 to spend a
minimum of 10 minutes, 3 times weekly, reading orally at home. Parents can listen to
their child read even if they don’t know how to read Hebrew themselves. In addition, this
can also be an opportunity for older students to work with their younger siblings.

Our goal is for students to become more fluent in their oral reading skills and less fearful
of trying to read out loud. Parents will be asked to sign off on their child’s monthly
reading sheets indicating the amount of time actually spent on reading during any given
week. This will enable parents to effectively track reading time throughout the month.

Teachers will send home appropriate materials for your child(ren) to practice. If you
have additional materials, please feel free to use them as well. Remember, it is not what
is read that matters, it is making the time to read.

Room Parents and Volunteers
Parents in our school generously volunteer their time to help the teachers and school
administration provide for the needs of each classroom. Establishing phone trees for
emergencies, organizing class holiday celebrations, Shabbat dinners, special programs
and field trips require all parents to help out on occasion. Please cooperate fully when
called upon to assist your child’s class.




                                             18
Traffic Safety
For the children's safety, everyone must follow these guidelines:
 No parking, child pick-up or drop-off are allowed on Muskingum as required by
   Kehillat Israel's conditions of operation and in consideration of our neighbors on
   Muskingum.

   Children must be dropped off at the school lobby door inside the parking
    structure

   All cars must pull up next to the curb and children must exit or enter the car
    on the driver’s side (closest to the curb)

   Check for people/cars on all sides before pulling away

   As children must be picked up at the designated school lobby door. Your
    carpool identification sign must be visible on the windshield of your car.

   All cars must form a double line for pickup in the lower level of our parking
    structure

   No children will be allowed to wait on Sunset or Muskingum—this is a safety
    policy! There is no car parking or waiting allowed on Muskingum

   Younger children must be accompanied by an adult when walking through the
    garage and should never be unattended

   Carpooling is encouraged to help facilitate the efficient and safe
    implementation of our traffic plan. Please make sure your child knows who is
    responsible for picking him/her up on any given day. It is imperative for children's
    safety that parents cooperate with staff and fulfill this responsibility.

A complete traffic instruction guideline will be mailed to all our families under
separate cover. Please take the time to read it over carefully and to follow all
procedures as listed.




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Religious Education Committee
The Kehillat Israel Religious Education Committee meets monthly to support and
review the programs and set the policies of the Religious School. Members of the
committee act as liaison for the school and congregation and assist whenever
needed. The Chairperson of the Religious Education Committee is a member of
the Synagogue’s Board of Directors. Meetings are held monthly and are open to
everyone. If you would like further information, or wish to serve on the Religious
Education Committee, call chairperson Lorie Kraus at (310) 451-8584.

For the 2005/2006 school year, the members of the Committee are: Celia
Bernstein, Wendy Broudy, Jessica Dishell, Lorie Kraus, Angela Milstein, Rose
Pelikan, Maria Rheingold, Elisa Varela, Linda Vogel, Angela Wilder, Carole White
and Lois Yaffee.


Religious School Fund
Donations to the Religious School Fund support our children’s educational
needs, fund special projects, upgrade our materials and equipment, help
maintain and expand our quality programming, and provides for professional
development opportunities for our dedicated teachers.




                                        21
Meet our Staff
Mark S. Casso is enthusiastically beginning his fifth year as Director of Religious
Education. This begins Marks 37th year in the field of Jewish education and his
31st year as an administrator. He attended the Prozdor division of Hebrew
College in Boston and earned a BA Degree from Emerson College. As a member
of both the National Association of Temple Educators and the Jewish Educator’s
Assembly, Mark is in touch with the latest developments in Jewish Education and
uses his dedication and vision to translate them into continuing excellence in
Jewish education for the entire Kehillat Israel family. He currently serves as a
member of the Jewish Education Committee of the Jewish Reconstructionist
Federation and is founder of RENA, The Reconstructionist Educators of North
America.

Yardena Barzilay returns for her third year at KI. With close to 25 years of
teaching experience, Yardena brings great passion to her work. She will be
teaching Grades 4, 6 and 7.

Aviv Druckman will be teaching Grade 6 as well as in our Eighth and Ninth
Grade Program. A native of Israel, Aviv served in the Israeli Army and is currently
pursuing his university studies in Los Angeles.

Josh Feldman begins his first year on the staff of KI Religious School. He holds
a BS Degree in Cinema and Photography from Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY. Josh
will be teaching in our Eighth and Ninth Grade Program.

Robin Foster returns for her second year at KI. She is a graduate of the
University of Judaism and holds a BA Degree in Psychology. She is currently a
MAED candidate at the school. Robin will be teaching Grade 2.

Debra Frankel is our hard-working Assistant to the Director of Religious
Education. Her smile and willingness to help, make the office a warm and
comforting place. Debra is an accomplished writer and has an MFA from
Columbia University School of the Arts, where she was a Warner Brothers
Fellow.

Cantor Chayim Frenkel plays an active role in our Religious School as Tefilah
Coordinator and Musical Director. He is always available and eager to help with
special projects.

Aaron Gershbock begins his second year at KI. He is a triple major at UCLA.
He has taught at Sinai Temple as well as volunteering as a law clerk for the
Assistant City Attorney. Aaron will be teaching Grades 6 and 7.




                                        21
Kimberly Goldstein is our hard working Schools Assistant. She most recently
has held several different office positions within the Shelhevet Middle School. In
her position at KI, Kimberly works closely with the Religious School, Early
Childhood Center, Youth Program and the JLI Adult Learning Center

Franci Goldberg is an accomplished teacher with over 25 years of teaching and
administrative experience. She has a BA from UCLA in Cultural Anthropology
and possesses a wealth of Jewish knowledge. Franci will be teaching Grade 4.

Ilana Green is an accomplished and devoted Hebrew teacher and tutor for
children and adults. She will be teaching Grades 3, 5 and 7 Hebrew as well as
teaching in our Hebrew Marathon Program

Adam Greenwald begins his first year at KI. He is a senior at UCLA and is a
History major with a Hebrew and Judaic studies minor. Adam has been a camp
counselor and Religious School teacher in the Orange County area. He will be
teaching Grade 5 as well as in our Eighth and Ninth Grade Program.

Michelle Kaz begins her second year at KI. Michelle is a graduate of UC Santa
Barbara and is currently enrolled in a Masters Program which will lead to
elementary school teaching certification. She will be teaching Grade 2.

Rabbi Sheryl Lewart is a master teacher who shares her love of Judaism with
her students. She holds a Master’s Degree in Education from Lehigh University
and a Master’s Degree in Hebrew Letters from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical
College where she received her rabbinic ordination. Rabbi Lewart joins Rabbi
Reuben in enriching the knowledge of our children and parents throughout our
school and family programs.

Sara Leib begins her second year as our Music Specialist. She is a graduate of
the Berklee College of Music and the New England Conservatory of Music. Sara
loves interacting with children.

Didi Carr Reuben, our “Rebbitzin Didi”, will teach “Guilt 101” as part of the tenth
grade program. She will also be leading discussions in our eleventh and twelfth
Grade Program. When she is not at the temple, Didi loves to sing and works with
various groups to benefit our local community.

Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben, Ph.D., makes the Tenth Grade Confirmation
Program a unique and memorable experience. His discussions with our students
in all grades reinforce spiritual and ethical values. He shares his love of Judaism
and his special talents with children and parents alike. He is also a prolific and
talented author. His works include Raising Ethical Children.




                                        21
Karen Robbins begins her first year as a Kindergarten teacher at KI Religious
School. She has been a teacher in our ECC program for the past eight years and
a lead teacher for the past several years.

Hazzan Sheni Beth Wasserman Rosenfeld will continue to lead our afternoon
Tefilah sessions for Grades 4 – 7, teach our B’nai Mitzvah students and help
them coordinate and implement their Mitzvah Projects. Beth holds a BA in Voice
Performance and an MA in Music Production from American University.

Ira Rosenfeld returns as a Grade 1 and 7 teacher at KI. Ira has just begun his
Rabbinical studies at AJR. His strong performance skills as well as his extensive
Jewish Education make Ira’s classes enjoyable and informative.

Cindy Roth begins her first year on the staff of KI Religious School. She holds a
BA in communications from the University of New York at Buffalo. Cindy has
extensive experience teaching within a synagogue setting. She will be teaching
Grade 1.

Elaine Seltzer returns to KI as our Art Coordinator. Elaine has served in that
same capacity at Sinai Temple and has taught art for many years. She received
her BS degree in art education from Wayne State University. She is an award-
winning artist who enjoys working with children. Elaine will also be teaching
Grade 1

Annie Vardi returns for her fourth year at KI. Annie spent several years on Maui
teaching Religious School on the island. She will be teaching Grade 3.

Cheryl Weiner begins her third year of affiliation with KI. She is currently serving
as one of our Rabbinic Interns and is helping to coordinate the activities of the
JLI Adult Educational program. She will be teaching Grade 7.

Cheryl Winiarz begins her first full year as a Kindergarten teacher at KI
Religious School. Cheryl has been a KI staff member for the past ten years and
has been a well-regarded lead teacher in the KI ECC program for several years.

Mark Wittcoff begins his first year at KI. He will be teaching in the Eighth and
Ninth Grade Program.

T’mira Yaoz continues to teach Grade 6 Hebrew in addition to Grade 2 this year.
A creative and experienced teacher, T’mira’s knowledge and interest in Bible,
history, and art contribute to her students’ special learning experience.




                                         21
Religious School Schedule
2005-2006/5766

Grade               Day and Time               Begins

Kindergarten and    Sundays 8:15–10:15 AM      September 18
Grades 1, 2 and 3


Kindergarten and    Mondays 3:45–5:45 PM       September 19
Grades 1, 2 and 3


Grades 4, 5 and 6   Wednesdays 3:45–6:00 PM    September 18
                    Sundays 10:45 AM–1:00 PM


Grades 4, 5 and 6   Tuesdays/Thursdays         September 20
                    3:45-6:00 PM

Grade 7             Tuesdays 6:30–8:30 PM      September 20


Grade 8             Tuesdays 6::30-8:30 PM      September 20
                    weekly


Grades 9            Tuesdays 6:30-8:30 PM      September 20
                    weekly


Grade 10            Tuesdays 6:30-8:30 PM      September 20
                    weekly


Grades 11 and 12    Tuesdays 6:30-8:30PM       September 20
                    twice a month




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