Thursday, 3 December 2015

Religion School

Every Saturday morning from 9:30 till 12:30 there is a Religion School for all children aged 5 to 16. 

The children learn Hebrew as well as understanding Judaism including the Jewish history and laws. The aim of the syllabus is for all the children to gain knowledge of what it means to be a Liberal Jew, the skills to follow a Liberal Jewish lifestyle and an appreciation of out Jewish values and heritage. The school's syllabus covers The Bible and Jewish literature, customs and traditions, festivals, Shabbat, life cycle, history and Hebrew. 
Throughout the school year there are times when the whole school comes together, typically on festivals where there are themed activities for the whole school. On Purim everyone dresses up and some of the activities include acting, singing and crafts. On Pesach a 'Cheder Seder' is held giving the children the opportunity to experience a Seder night as well as practicing for their own. Not only on festivals but also other occasions such as Mitzvah Day where the children help out those in the community.

From the youngest class the children begin to learn the Hebrew letters, prayers and about the festivals. We are introducing the opportunity to develop a basic knowledge of spoken, modern Hebrew that the students will be able to use when they visit Israel. 
After their Bar/Bat Mitzvah there is the Kabbalat Torah class where they go into more depth about Jewish traditions and ethics. This gives the children a deeper understanding of Judaism and a chance to express their own views. This class lasts two years and at the end the students have the opportunity to take the GCSE exam based on what they have learnt in the two years. 
Once the children have left Religion School they are given the opportunity to stay on as a helper and eventually become a teacher. This gives them a chance to continue helping within the community as well as developing their knowledge further.
Each week an assembly is conducted (Tefillah) where the whole school comes together with prayer and ethical discussions based on Jewish traditions. 

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