TBI’s Religious School
TBI’s Religious School
*Register for the 2022-23 school year is open!*
All classes for the 2022-23 school year, on both Sundays and Wednesdays, will be held in person at TBI. The first day of classes will be Sunday, September 18, 2022. You can see the new class schedule and the calendar for the school year by clicking HERE or by going to the Schedule tab.
Registration is now done through ShulCloud. Please log in to your ShulCloud account, click on the “Start School Enrollment” tile, and select Talmud Torah 2022-23. Check the “Registration” tab on this page for more info.
JEWL class selection for Fall Term is now live! Go HERE for class descriptions. If your child is enrolled in the full program OR individual JEWL classes for 2022-23, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and request the link to the JEWL class sign-up.
*Adult Boker Tov lounge available on Sundays!*
After drop-off on Sunday mornings, adults may come around to the south/main entrance and enter the TBI building. The main entryway will be sectioned off and available for parents and guardians to hang out and visit in the “Boker Tov Lounge” while their children are in Talmud Torah. Parents and guardians may bring their own food and drink as to the lounge area.
COVID-19 Safety Protocol
PLEASE NOTE: For all services and events at TBI, proof of vaccination or proof of medical exemption from a licensed medical doctor required at the door. Unvaccinated adults and children over 5 must show proof of a negative rapid COVID test taken within 24 hours prior to attending the service or a negative PCR test taken no more than 48 hours prior to attending. Children 5 and under do not require a vaccine or test. Masks are required indoors when not eating/drinking. Masks are NOT required outdoors.
If you have further questions or concerns regarding these guidelines please reach out to the Reopening Task Force or the TBI Board.
We are always on the lookout for inspired and motivated new staff members at Talmud Torah. Take a look at our curriculum tab for a better understanding of the different kind of classes (Sunday cohort, Hebrew, and JEWL) we offer. If you are interested in teaching for Talmud Torah, please contact us at email@example.com.
To register for Talmud Torah 2022-23, follow these steps:
(1) Review the Talmud Torah policies below, including tuition rates for the 2022-23 school year.
(2) Look at the “Learning and Curriculum” tab to learn about the different parts of our program: Cohort, Hebrew, and JEWL.
(3) Log into your ShulCloud account, click on the “Start School Enrollment” tile, and select Talmud Torah 2022-23.
(4) Make sure to select a volunteer role for your family for the school year HERE. Your enrollment in Talmud Torah will not be confirmed until you have done so (if you have questions about this, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org).
(5) You will be informed of the options for JEWL class selection available closer to the start of each term.
(6) If you are not a member of TBI and would like to enroll your child(ren) in stand-alone Hebrew or JEWL classes, please contact us at email@example.com.
(7) If you are not yet a TBI member and would like to enroll your child(ren) in Cohort classes and/or the full Talmud Torah program, you must first join TBI. Go HERE to complete a membership inquiry form or call the main office at 541-485-7218.
If you have any questions about registration, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can view the complete Talmud Torah policies updated here.
Here are some key excerpts that may be helpful to you.
|Tuition for 2022-2023||Member||With sibling discount||Non-Member|
|Sunday Cohort Class Only (all grades)||$520/year||$468/year||NA|
|Full Program (grades 2-7):
· Sunday morning cohort class
· Hebrew classes
· JEWL classes (as many as you choose)
|Individual JEWL or Hebrew class (grades 2-7)
(Hebrew classes meet twice a week, students who are only able to come once a week pay the same as students who come twice a week)
Enrollment in Sunday Cohort Class only (preschool-grade 7): $520/year ($468 with sibling discount)
Enrollment in Full Program (grades 2-7) (Sunday cohort, Hebrew, and JEWL classes): $865/year ($778.50 w/ sibling discount)
Individual Hebrew or JEWL classes: $136/term for members; $150/term for non-members (no sibling discounts available)
TBI offers a 10% discount after the first child to families who enroll two or more siblings. The discount applies to the lesser tuition, with the more expensive tuition considered as the first child. If your family is able to waive this discount, it is a generous gift to Talmud Torah.
There is a non-refundable $100 registration and materials fee included in your tuition.
Starting partway through the year: Families who start at any time during the first semester will pay full tuition. Those who start at the beginning or during the second semester will pay 1/2 tuition.
Tuition refunds are as follows:
– Prior to the first day of the 1st term, full tuition is refunded, less the $100 non-refundable registration and materials fee. At that time, we’ve hired teachers, bought supplies, and established class sizes based on the numbers we expected.
– Prior to the first day of the 2nd time, 50% of the tuition is refunded, less the $100 non-refundable registration and materials fee.
– There is no refund after the first day of the 2nd term. If you are being billed monthly, you will continue to be billed for the remainder of the year.
– Families with students who have special needs or other special circumstances may discuss exceptions to this policy with the Rabbi Educator or the Executive Director.
Rabbi Alyson Solomon
Talmud Torah Administrator
The Talmud Torah Advisory Committee works collaboratively with the Rabbi Educator to support the mission of the Talmud Torah educational experience at TBI. During the school year, we meet monthly to think and act in areas of need for the Talmud Torah school and community building ranging from supporting our teachers, holiday planning, family days of learning and Camp Chaverim. We also serve as ambassadors of the Talmud Torah community to the larger TBI and Eugene community, reporting annually to the congregation on the status and needs of the school.
The committee is interested in hearing from parents and other members of the community. If you have questions, concerns, or ideas for the Talmud Torah program, feel free to contact either co-chair or any committee member (listed below). You can reach the committee at email@example.com.
Talmud Torah Advisory Committee Members:
Naamith Heiblum (co-chair)
Asher Tubman (co-chair)
(All classes are in person at TBI)
9:30 am-11:15 am – Cohort (includes 30 min music/shira sessions by age group)
11:30 am-12:15pm – Hebrew classes
12:30 pm-1:15pm – JEWL classes
4:15pm -5:00 pm – Hebrew classes
5:10 pm-5:55 pm – JEWL classes
*note that this calendar is always subject to change; please check it regularly*
Teen Sundays for 2022-23 (all 12:30-1:15pm):
October 2, 2022
October 16, 2022
November 6, 2022
November 20, 2022
December 4, 2022
January 15, 2023
January 29, 2023
February 12, 2023
March 5, 2023
March 19, 2023
April 16, 2023
May 7, 2023
May 21, 2023
June 4, 2023
Talmud Torah (TT) is the religious school of Temple Beth Israel of Eugene. At TT students from preschool through 7th grade come to learn about Jewish life, practice, prayer, ritual and history.
Our vision and mission is to plant seeds of Jewish joy, literacy and practice that will continue to grow over a lifetime in the lives of our students and their families.
We meet Sundays and Wednesday afternoons depending on the grade and students interests. Our overall curriculum and school philosophy and vision is rooted in Our Four Pillars: relevance, depth, experiential and relational learning.
The focus for each of our Sunday cohort classes* is as follows:
Zra’im – 3 to 5 year old – Torah Stories & Me
Gan – Kindergarten: Having Fun Being Jewish
Alef – 1st grade: Colors
Bet – 2nd grade: Animals
Gimmel – 3rd grade: Our Physical Bodies
Dalet – 4th grade: The World of Nature
Hey – 5th grade: Courage
Vav – 6th grade: Life Passages
Zayin – 7th grade: Hineni: Showing Up for Our Lives
*Note that some years we may combine cohort classes due to class size.
Students in 2nd through 7th grade can also take multi-age Hebrew and JEWL (Jewish Experience, Wisdom, and Lifestyle). JEWL classes are elective classes and include such subjects as culture, history, art, Israel and more.
Talmud Torah is made possible by our dedicated and enthusiastic staff of teachers, morim, with a love of teaching, children and a passion for Jewish identity and life-long learning. Most Talmud Torah classes also have a teen madrich/ah (TA) who is a Talmud Torah graduate. Our programs act as a supplement to Jewish home life, which, along with Jewish summer camp and a connection to Israel, all combine to deepen individual Jewish identity and family practice.
Talmud Torah is the religious school of Temple Beth Israel, led by Rabbi Solomon, TBI’s Rabbi Educator, Rachel Burstein, Talmud Torah’s Administrator, our Talmud Torah Advisory Committee co-chaired by Naamith Heiblum and Asher Tubman.
These cohort curriculum resources are the result of a multi-year process lovingly curated, intricately detailed and thoughtfully facilitated by Rabbi Steve Cohen, Rabbi Solomon’s mentor. The process included direct consultation with Dr. Isa Aron, leading expert in Jewish supplementary education, visits to successful programs around the country in Boston, San Francisco/Oakland and Los Angeles and the engagement of expert curriculum writers and master educators resulting in the curriculum resources we are going to make available to our staff to explore and experiment with this year.
The full description of the Four Pillars, access to Dr. Aron’s article and other resources can be explored here.
Talmud Torah is the religious school of Temple Beth Israel, led by Rabbi Solomon, TBI’s Rabbi Educator, Rachel Burstein, Talmud Torah’s Administrator, our Talmud Torah Advisory Committee co-chaired by Zehra Greenleaf and Naamith Heiblum.
Talmud Torah offers three different types of classes: Sunday cohort classes, Hebrew classes, and JEWL classes. See below to understand the different types of offerings and how they create a unified program of Jewish education. If one of your goals for your child is to become b’nei mitzvah, make sure you see that page for information about requirements.
Students meet with the other children in their grade levels (K-7) to build community with their peers, develop a basic foundation of Jewish literacy, and celebrate Judaism together. In these classes, students focus on the Jewish holidays and associated rituals, Torah stories, and tefillah (prayer) and music.
Hebrew is part of the oral and aural experience of the class as they learn about holidays and basic elements of Judaism. This provides the essential foundation for learning reading skills in our focused Hebrew classes.
Classes are from 9:30-11:15 most Sundays (barring holidays and vacations) from the middle of September through the beginning of June.
For students working towards b’nai mitzvah credits, each trimester of the Sunday morning cohort class counts as one credit. Students must have attended class at least 75% of the time to earn the credit for the term.
Hebrew reading classes are available for student in grades 2-7. Children need to have a solid aural foundation of familiar Hebrew words and be comfortable with reading and writing in their own language before aleph-bet and decoding skills are introduced. Our Sunday morning cohort classes provide excellent support for establishing an introductory Hebrew foundation with spoken words like Shabbat, shalom, Torah, boker tov, hag sameah, and the phrases commonly used in blessings.
Hebrew reading classes have a clear goal of enabling students to decode Hebrew prayers, blessings, and songs in the siddur (prayer book) and passages from Torah. As students work their way up the Hebrew levels, they should also master a small but powerful set of Hebrew vocabulary words that are used most regularly in synagogue life. This skill set is markedly different from learning to read and write in either their first language or a normal foreign language class.
Classes meet twice a week on Sundays from 11:30-12:15 and on Wednesday afternoons from 4:15-5:00 for a semester, with two semesters per school year. Students are strongly encouraged to come twice a week to best facilitate learning, but can master the material with additional independent work if there is a personal schedule conflict. Students are not required to take Hebrew reading classes, but families should be aware that siddur/Biblical Hebrew is an important component of most students’ b’nai mitzvah preparation. If students haven’t learned enough Hebrew, they aren’t able to “read” from the Torah or assist in leading a Shabbat service.
Here are the Hebrew Level class descriptions (including benchmarks for demonstrating proficiency and earning credit).The percentages to the right indicate the score needed on the assessment tool to show students have met the benchmarks and may progress to the next level.
Hebrew 1: Aleph-Bet
Hebrew 2: Vowels & Syllables
Hebrew 3: Decoding Words
Hebrew 4: Foundations of Roots & Grammar through Prayer In level 4, students focus on the basic everyday and holiday blessings, complete mastery of 100 vocabulary words (started in Hebrew level 1) and learn to identify:
Hebrew 5: Intermediate Prayers We have four different classes at this level that can be taken in any order. We generally offer two of the four classes each term. Students ideally take them all (and can repeat a class) before moving on to Amidah.
5a: Shema v’ahavta
5b: Kiddush and Aleynu
5c: Yotzer Or and Ahava Rabah
5d: The Torah service and Havdallah
Hebrew 6: Amidah and other Advanced Liturgy In this class students will use the skills acquired in levels 1-4 to continue tackling pronunciation and meaning for the Amidah prayer and other advanced liturgy in preparation for b’nei mitzvah.
Talmud Torah staff and parents work together to determine which Hebrew level is right for each student. Regardless of attendance (or even enrollment), students will receive one credit for the class (and move to the next level) when they can demonstrate mastery of the benchmarks for that level. Some students may master a level in a trimester; others may take two or three terms to move to the next class. Both approaches are respectable.
See more about our Hebrew Levels, Resources, and Benchmarks.
A solid Jewish education includes much more than just Hebrew, holidays, and Torah stories. Traditionally, religious school has also been concerned with ethics and values, social action work, life cycle rituals, learning about the rest of the Jewish Bible, Jewish history, Jewish culture, and Israel. There’s a lot to cover! Our JEWL classes address this rich assortment of topics. We agree that these topics are an essential part of Jewish education, but families may prioritize the topics differently. We will offer several JEWL classes each semester for students in grades 2-7 to satisfy a wide variety of Jewish interests and needs. Some classes will have specific pre-requisites or age requirements. Most classes will meet weekly on Wednesday afternoons for 45 minutes; some classes meet on Sunday afternoons.
We recommend that students in the full program take a minimum of two JEWL classes a year. You may take as many as you like. Some students’ schedules will make it possible to take two JEWL classes in the same semester.
Previously offered JEWL classes have included: Life Cycle Rituals, Modern Conversational Hebrew, Hebrew through Pop Music, Art, Purim Shpiel, Jewish Cooking, Judaism and Nature, Biblical History, PJ Our Way Book Club, Shtetl Stories, People Worth Menschioning, Understanding Tzedaka, Choir, Torah Caretakers, Holy Friendships, Kosher Living, Hebrew Calligraphy, Introduction to Yiddish Language and Culture, Introduction to Israel: People and Culture, Jewish Collage and Printmaking, and Judaism and the American Comic Book Tradition.
Students can also design their own independent learning JEWL class by working with the Talmud Torah director. Here is the Independent Learning Agreement.
Talmud Torah’s Curriculum is Rooted in Four Pillars
Our Talmud Torah Community will stand on and strive to embody the following Four Pillars – Four Kavannot, Guiding Intentions – inspired by the Netivot Curriculum developed by Rabbi Steve Cohen:
Children are naturally curious and hungry to learn when the content matters to them. Our year-long themes are universal subjects chosen based upon what we know matters to children: Having Fun Being Jewish (K) Colors (1st grade) Animals (2nd grade), Our Physical Bodies (3rd grade), The World of Nature (4th grade), Courage (5th grade), Life Passages (6th grade), Hineni: Showing Up for Our Lives (7th grade). The Jewish Tradition offers deep and ancient pathways within these universal human themes.
One deep encounter with Jewish wisdom and tradition leaves a more lasting impression than a series of superficial encounters. Learning one single story well, with time to explore and discover the hidden depths of the story and the characters, will bring students into an intimate relationship with that story and those characters. Similarly with a single mitzvah, or a single Jewish tradition. We want our students to take a few strong first steps, laying a foundation for an entire life of Jewish learning and living.
A human being is an entire world, comprised of bones and muscle and blood, skin and eyes, nerves and brain, thoughts and feelings, memories, desires, fears and hopes. In Judaism, children and adults express every aspect of themselves. And effective Jewish learning engages the entire person: mind and heart and body. Therefore in Talmud Torah students will be learning with their entire self: bodies moving, voices singing, hands working, noses smelling, minds thinking, hearts wakening to remember, to love, to long, and to hope.
The word Torah means “Teaching” and it refers to the mysterious process through which one human being passes their own wisdom on to another….a child, a student, or a friend. Torah only happens in relationship. That is why at Talmud Torah, in every interaction, we work to create an environment of love and relationship, in which students and teachers and parents care about each other, and are constantly teaching and learning from each other.
Background and Process Involved in Building this Cohort Curriculum
The process of building this curriculum relied heavily on Dr. Aron’s article “Upending the Grammar of the Conventional Religious School” in the Journal of Jewish Education (14 August 2014). This article lays out four questions which became key in guiding the process:
Rational and Implementation of Netivot and it’s Translation for Talmud Torah – A Video Conversation with Director Jen Lewis & Rabbi Solomon
This year is very much a soft launch / process of integrating this curriculum with our own Talmud Torah cohort resources. We welcome your thoughts and ideas along the way!
Do you have some Hebrew skills? Are you comfortable with liturgy? Do you have a particular Jewish subject you might be interested in teaching to children or teenagers? Do you consider teaching the next generation of Jewish adults to be a mitzvah? Do you have 1-2 hours a week in your schedule available to teach on a Sunday morning and/or Wednesday afternoon (plus some lesson prep time)? If so, Talmud Torah needs you! Did you know that most of our teaching staff are not professional educators, and weren’t aware how much they’d LOVE teaching Talmud Torah until they gave it a try? Please contact Rabbi Solomon at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s talk! What do you have to lose?