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Religious / Hebrew School Welcome & Mission Statement

Rabbi with graduatesWelcome to The Mark L. Haberkorn Religious School

In early times when the Temple was the center of Jewish life, Jews did not go to synagogues, and there were no prayer books as we have today. Instead, people mainly walked three times a year to the Temple in Jerusalem and expressed their gratitude to G-d in the form of a sacrifice. This was the way to connect with the creator together with giving donations to the Temple, to the priests, and to those who were in need.

One of the most interesting requirements to those who arrived at the Temple to celebrate the Holiday was an interesting request: “You shall rejoice before the Lord your G-d” (VESAMACHTA LIFNEI ADONI ELOHECHA). Apparently, it was not so important, according to the Bible, to know what people brought to the Temple, or what kind of gift or sacrifice they made. However, it was really imperative for the Bible to state that everyone should have a joyful experience when they “see” G-d.

In essence, our holy experience of learning our tradition should be just that. Our students should come to their Modern Temple here at Temple Sinai, and enjoy the learning process. To enable this positive experience, we diligently worked to install an innovative curriculum that incorporates rich materials for each grade. Our Curriculum is based on the Chai Curriculum (Union for Reform Judaism) and on other modern workbooks, websites, and internet applications. We utilize hands-on activities, visuals, advanced learning strategies, enhanced skills, and the newest technology to turn learning into a joyful experience. The diverse curriculum includes holiday activities, grade level services, assemblies, Tikkun Olam (healing the world projects), Tzedakah, and many other valuable educational products that teach our young generation to grow with positive values and strong tradition. In order to continue and serve our diverse community in a highly professional manner, we emphasize differentiation and individual attention in the classrooms, as well as outside the classrooms, by our Hebrew Specialist and our enrichment and support team. Our learning journey is the core of our mission, and we ensure that our students experience high-quality education.

Maimonides (RAMBAM), one of the greatest Jewish philosophers of all time, explained that the shofar that we blow every day during the Month of Elul serves as a spiritual alarm clock, to “Wake up sleepers from their sleep”. If the summer was a time to nourish our physical needs and “charge our batteries”, Fall comes right after to remind us that our spiritual needs are equally important. And for the students, it is a wake-up call for growth, both spiritually and academically.

Mission Statement

The Mark L. Haberkorn Religious School is an integral part of our synagogue, where all students and families develop a positive Jewish identity based on Reform Jewish principles through relevant experiences within a supportive educational environment that creates a compelling reason to be Jewish.

Core Values

Our goal is for all students to:

  • Feel a sense of pride and understand what it means to be Jewish
  • Have a positive religious school experience
  • Understand the ethics, morality and Tikkun Olam (the Jewish imperative to repair the world) upon which we build a Jewish life
  • Have a personal and respectful relationship with peers, teachers and clergy
  • Begin to develop a lifelong love and appreciation for the knowledge of Jewish holidays, rituals and history
  • Have a love for and a commitment to Israel
  • Be motivated to continue Jewish studies beyond 7th (Bar/Bat Mitzvah)
  • Have familiarity and comfort with prayer and worship, and assume leadership roles during services
  • Have a meaningful Bar/Bat/B Mitzvah experience
  • Students and families make lifelong social connections

The Religious School provides:

  • Activities that promote informed Jewish decision-making for everyday life
  • A student-centered environment within which students understand Jewish values and develop Jewish identity and a connection with others
  • A balance of academic and experiential learning of Jewish tradition, rituals, holidays and history
  • Knowledge and experience of T’fillah (prayer) as it relates to each individual
  • Knowledge and exposure to the Hebrew language, primarily as it is used in prayer
  • Knowledge and exposure to the modern State of Israel as an affirmation of the historic bond to it
  • Concrete opportunities to further the cause of repairing the world (Tikkun Olam)
  • Occasions for all family members and students to work, study and play together as a team.
  • Opportunities for families to participate in the life of the synagogue, including celebrating Shabbat,
    annual holidays and festivals and ceremonies that mark significant occasions in our lives.