The Elementary Years

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The Elementary Years

The education program at Temple Sinai provides great Jewish learning in a warm and welcoming environment. While the kids complain about going (as is the wont of Jewish children since time immemorial), they leave Hebrew School excited about their progress and come home from Religious School with both art projects and stories to share. — Lonny Rosen

Temple Sinai Religious School begins in junior kindergarten and continues through grade twelve with numerous learning and engagement opportunities — all geared toward building Jewish identity, Jewish literacy and Jewish community. During these years, children learn about Jewish practice, Jewish history and the Jewish values that will allow them to make informed choices as adults on issues vital to the Jewish people. At Temple Sinai, bar/bat mitzvah is an important milestone along the way to Jewish adulthood and advanced Jewish learning. Rather than being an exit or a point of departure or from our school community, it is really the entry point to our young adult programs and pathways to confirmation.

Our Religious School at Temple Sinai includes the study of Biblical heroes and narratives, the Jewish historical experience, Israel, the Holocaust, Jewish practice and Hebrew language skills. Immersion in Jewish ritual at Temple Sinai includes understanding prayer, holidays, and life cycle events while the instruction of Hebrew language skills includes reading and basic comprehension of our central liturgy.

One of our overarching goals at Temple Sinai is to instill students with a sense of pride in their Jewish identity as well as building meaningful connections to their peers, their Temple Sinai community, the North American Jewish community and the Jewish communities living in Israel and abroad.

Making the Most of the Elementary Years!
Listening to the parents of our school-aged children has played a big part in creating a flexible and enriched religious school program. From kindergarten to Grade 6, we hope to inspire our student’s commitment to Reform Judaism through creative, critical thinking and interactive educational programming.

New Flexible Schedule for Hebrew Learning!
Our educational program has been created to help parents find time for Reform Jewish learning that is aligned with their busy lives.

  • New smaller learning groups (maximum five students) led by qualified Hebrew teachers
  • Pick your day! We now offer 1.5 hours/week of Hebrew learning at your families’ convenience
  • Available Sunday to Wednesday nights — or add it on to the end of Religious School and create a one-day program for your child

Sunday Religious School — Creating a Jewish Identity
On Sunday mornings our children are immersed in a variety of exciting activities, learning opportunities and field trips that enhances their Jewish journey.

  • Israel and Holocaust studies
  • Tzedakah and tikkun olam
  • Prayers, rituals, life cycles, festivals
  • Field trips! Including the Matzah Factory, Holocaust Museum, Jewish historical landmarks


Religious SchoolThe Primary Years (JK to Grade 2)
Formal Jewish education begins in the primary years. During this time, the children’s enthusiasm for learning is fostered and a strong commitment both to Judaism and to Temple is developed. The material studied includes Jewish holidays and our biblical stories. A wide range of classroom experiences, including arts and crafts activities, story-telling, music, dance and classroom celebrations, are used in order to make these years enjoyable and productive.

The Intermediate Years (Grades 3 to 6)
Jewish learning is further developed in the intermediate years. Children become more familiar with our biblical narratives, different Jewish lifestyles and learn about Israel. Throughout the year, there are many programs in which parents are invited to join the children to learn together.
Learning Hebrew at Temple Sinai

In addition to integrating Hebrew into our classes and our school with family education programs, Hebrew song, and Israeli dance, our formal Hebrew instruction begins in Grade 3. Students are organized into small dynamic learning groups that meet once a week, from Sunday to Wednesday, with the flexibility for families to choose the most convenient days and times. Many families, in fact, decide to have their meeting times at Temple on Sunday, right after religious school. All of the arrangements offered with our Hebrew group instruction provide for both an excellent student-teacher ratio and an atmosphere of peer support and group achievement.

Bar/Bat Mitzvah (Grade 7)
During the bar/bat mitzvah year, students and their parents are involved in a special program designed to make this important process meaningful and relevant. Students meet on Tuesday nights, go on a retreat, and attend a series of programs called “Bar/Bat Mitzvah Institute.” Our three-session Bar/Bat Mitzvah Institute helps prepare our students and their families for a simchah that is a meaningful start to adult Jewish life.