Religious School

/Religious School
Religious School 2017-06-30T16:56:17+00:00

The goal of Jewish education is not just acquiring knowledge but also developing a love of all things Jewish. For this to happen, students must find their experience in the school and synagogue irresistible. To accomplish this, we have outstanding teachers who stress the hands-on, active engagement of students in their study and practice of Torah, prayers and blessings, holidays, ritual and interpersonal mitzvot, Tikkun Olam/social action, Israel, and prayerbook Hebrew.

All our children are entitled to a Jewish education. Contact us to discuss your child’s special needs. The Temple Emanuel CHAI program is a beneficiary of a grant from the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey.*

The school and synagogue are integrated. Our clergy are highly involved in the Religious School. The Early Childhood Program, Sisterhood, and Men’s Club all work together with us on programs and projects.

We embrace educational technology and are leaders in Bergen County. We have online classes with Israel for grades 6 – 8, online home Hebrew reading practice for grades 3 – 5, and we use Smartboards, laptops tablets and phones in the classrooms.

Jewish Education is a family affair. Our outstanding family programs reinforce our children’s education and also create “Jewish Quality Time” for our families.

Click to view the religious school calendar.

We would be very pleased to meet with you or speak with you by telephone to discuss our curriculum and approach and answer any questions you may have. Please email us or call the synagogue office on Sundays between 9:00 am and 12:00 pm (during the school year) or throughout the year on Mondays – Thursdays between 9:00 am and 5 pm to arrange an appointment with:

Religious School Director Rabbi Shelley Kniaz: rabbikniaz@tepv.org, telephone: 201-391-0801, ext. 17 or

Religious School Administrator Marjorie Shore: margie@tepv.org, telephone: 201-391-0801, ext. 12

Please see our Early Childhood Program (ECP) for information about our daily Nursery School.

Schedule of Classes
Mitzvah Makers a drop off program for 3 year olds on select Sundays from 10:00 am – 11:00 am
“Club Katan” for 4 year olds meets once a month on Sundays, 10:00 am – 11:45 am
K – 2nd Grade: Sundays, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
3rd– 6th Grade: Sundays, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm and Wednesdays, 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
7th Grade: Wednesdays, 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm, Mondays Online, Time TBA
8th – 12th Grade: BBYO & BBYO Connect

Mini-Minyan for grades 3-5, offered 9 Saturdays a year, 10:00am-11:00am
Learners’ Minyan for grade 6, offered 15 Saturdays a year, 10:00am-11:00am

Mitzvah Makers
Temple Emanuel of the Pascack Valley is proud to offer group for 3 year olds (drop off) from 10 am to 11 a.m. on select Sundays. The program is designed to engage and instill in young children the joy of Judaism with emphasis on the Jewish holidays. Mitzvah Makers is open to the greater Jewish community. There is a minimal charge of $54 for the year which includes a snack and supplies. Parents are not required to remain with their children during the class, but are certainly invited to do so if they wish. Pre-registration is required so that we may have adequate supplies.

Club Katan
Club Katan is an innovative activity for children who will be starting kindergarten in September 2017. The program will focus on Jewish observances and family customs through story telling, crafts, songs, and games. A professional educator who specializes in early childhood, is teaching this monthly program. The club meets from 10 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. on the designated Sundays and includes a snack. Club Katan is open to the community regardless of your Temple affiliation. There is a minimal charge of $54 to cover supplies and snack! Parents are not required to remain with their children during the class, but are certainly invited to do so if they wish. Pre-registration is required so that we may have adequate supplies.

Curriculum focus:

  • Shabbat and festival observance
  • Torah study
  • Mitzvot: Interpersonal and Religious practice
  • Hebrew reading and key prayer vocabulary
  • Brachot and Tefillot (Blessings and prayers) meaning and mastery
  • Shabbat and Holidays
  • Kashrut (rules of keeping kosher)
  • T’fillah (prayer)
  • Israel contemporary and history
  • Hebrew readingand prayer, and “synagogue skills”
  • Family programs (open to all)
  • Provide for special needs of all kinds

Student Goals:

  • Ability to particiapate in religious services
  • Internalize Jewish values
  • Strong connection to Israel
  • Lifelong commitment to Jewish life at home as part of a congregation and in the world
Bar/Bat Mitzvah training and requirements are overseen by our Cantor and Rabbi.

At least five years of study at our Religious School or a comparable school is the minimal requirement to celebrate becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah at Temple Emanuel, subject to review by the Director of Congregational Education. The Cantor begins to teach Torah trope (cantillation) in the 5th and 6th grades using one of our three SmartBoards (provided through a grant from the Legacy Heritage Foundation.) Students begin to study one-on-one with the Cantor at least 6 months before becoming b’nai mitzvah. Students and parents meet as a group and individually with the Rabbi and students study their Torah portions and prepare divrei Torah with our Rabbis.

Bar/Bat Mitzvah candidates are encouraged to participate in our Junior Social Action program, “Kids Who Care.” This is a voluntary program that provides young people with an opportunity to perform community service. This experience can help students gain a sense of compassion and social responsibility that are part of being a Jewish adult.

Shabbat Services
Each class prepares and participates in at least one Shabbat family service and meal during the year.

K – 2nd students and their families are invited to “Minyan Katan” (“little minyan”) on Shabbat mornings, featuring singing, games, puppets, role plays and other enjoyable activities.

3rd-5th Mini-Minyan & 6th Grade Learners Service – Although the students do these prayers every day in their Religious School classes, we also strongly encourage your child to attend the Mini-Minyan or Learners Service as often as possible. Check calendar for dates.

Take advantage of all Temple Emanuel has to offer to enhance your child’s skills by attending these services schedule per the school calendar. Parents are encouraged to join their children in all of these programs.

BBYO & BBYO Connect 8th thought 12th Graders
BBYO connnects our 6th and 7th graders to BBYO through special programs during school throughout the year.

The Bergen County High School of Jewish Studies (BCHSJS) – a supplementary regional Hebrew high school for students in grade 8-12 – create a vibrant a and warm community of Jewish teens who are engaged in Jewish study and socially connected to one another. We strive to deepen the Jewish identify and Jewish commitment of our students and to instill the value of Klal Yisreal (Jewish pluralism), Tikkun Olam (Mending the world), Derech Eretz (Respect for others), and Ahavat Yisrael (Love of Israel).

The core of BCHSJS is a weekly three-hour elective program that is supplemented with a full calendar of social programs and community activities. Through their participation, our students explore a wide-range of Jewish topics that raise historical, contemporary, cultural and ethical questions. BCHSJS expands our students’ knowledge and love of Judaism in their journey toward becoming responsible Jewish adults.

Classes meet on Sunday morning from 9:15 am – 12:30pm. BCHSJS is sponsored by twenty-five congregations in the county and by the UJA Federal of UJA of Northern New Jersey.

Student Mentoring Initiative (SMI): 8 – 12th grade student aides “give back” to the community in our Religious School classrooms, during Religious School.

JETSIsrael Online Course for grades 8 – 9: Open to all 8 – 9th graders in Bergen County. Days and times TBA.

The Temple Emanuel CHAI program is a beneficiary of a grant from the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey