MISSION

The Bridge Family Religion School at Temple De Hirsch Sinai provides a high-quality Reform Jewish educational experience for students and families, Kindergarten through 12th grade, seeking to inspire a lifelong dedication to Jewish learning and community.

Click here for our program overview!

Welcome to the Bridge Family Religion School

We are committed to providing the highest quality Religion School experience. Our program is growing with new families and new curriculum, including the following:

For the Preschool Set

  • Mini Mensches – A new monthly program for parents and preschool-age children

Elementary School (K – 5th Grades)

  • New experiential elementary programs for K – 5th Grades
  • A new interest-based track program for 3rd & 4th Graders utilizing project based learning
  • Onsite and Offsite Hebrew School programs for 3rd – 6th Grades

Middle & High School (6th – 12th Grades)

  • Strong Middle School program and post-B'nai Mitzvah offerings
  • Debuting a brand new high school program
  • Hadracha, our classroom assistant program for 9th – 12th Grades

Youth programs for elementary – high school

  • Parent’s Night Out – K – 3rd Grades
  • Club TDSY – 4th & 5th Grades
  • TDSY Jr. & NW 678 – 6th – 8th Grades
  • TDSY and NFTY – 9th – 12th Grades

Expanded use of technology across our programs.

Greater emphasis on parental involvement via family social action programs for K – 12th Grades, Grade Level Family Education days, and Sundays in Seattle (learning sessions for adults)

We invite you to explore the Bridge Family Religion School for your family.

REGISTRATION INFORMATION

Temple is committed to providing a Jewish education to all children of the congregation.

For registration instructions in PDF format, please click here.

***This year's tuition fees include a non-refundable $100 deposit.***

For those who are unable to pay full tuition, scholarship money is available. We invite you to visit our scholarships tab for further information.

To register students:

  • Current Members please visit our online member portal to register your child(ren). Please note: Only Temple members whose accounts are in good standing are permitted to register for and attend Religion School.
  • New members must first complete and have temple membership paperwork processed before completing your child(ren)’s religion school registration documents.

To begin the process of joining our community, please contact Janet Rasmus, Director of Programming and Membership, at jrasmus@tdhs-nw.org or (206) 693-3365.

Students will not be fully registered until:

  1. Registration forms and/or data has been received and processed by the Religion School Office.
  2. For new members, all membership paperwork has been completed and accepted.
  3. Arrangements have been made for payment. Religion School fees must be paid in full by September 8, 2017, or must be on an automatic payment plan which includes your annual membership commitment and other Temple fees.

The Bridge Family Religion School is committed to providing the highest quality Religion School education and experience to all children of the congregation. For those who are unable to pay full tuition, scholarship money is available.

To apply for a scholarship first complete your child(ren)’s religion school registration.

  • For current members, please complete registration via our online member portal
  • For new members, please complete our registration via our WUFOO form

You must also complete the online scholarship form: CLICK HERE for SCHOLARSHIP FORM.

The deadline for the online scholarship application is July 10, 2017.

Please note: Applications received after deadline will be reviewed by the committee on a rolling basis, but there is no guarantee that late submissions will be funded.

A portion of both Religion School and JRM Preschool scholarship funds are set aside for new member families and for those families whose circumstances change during the course of the year.

Becoming B'nai Mitzvah is an important milestone in the life of your family. We are here to help you create a meaningful and memorable celebration.

Click here for the B’Nai Mitzvah prayers and blessings.

Approximately two years prior to a child’s thirteenth birthday, parents are invited to an informational meeting at which a Bar/Bat Mitzvah date may be requested. Dates are assigned only to those students whose families are members in good standing and who are enrolled in the Bridge Family Religion School.

Students must be enrolled in the Religion School and must meet attendance expectations to participate, including attending seventh grade. If the student is in the eighth grade or high school, (s)he will enroll in our High School program.

There is a possibility of two B’nai Mitzvah on any given date: one in the morning (10:30 a.m.) and one in the evening (5:00 p.m. Havdallah). Dates are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Due to the vagaries of rabbinic scheduling, it is not possible to request a specific rabbi for your service.

During the year preceding the Bar/Bat Mitzvah, students and their parents are invited to an orientation session where they receive their Bar/Bat Mitzvah materials and important information about the B’nai Mitzvah process.

Temple believes strongly that Bar/Bat Mitzvah is not the culmination of a child’s Jewish education, but a milestone in an ongoing Jewish journey. Students are asked to sign a pledge to continue their Jewish education beyond the B’nai Mitzvah experience.

B’nai Mitzvah training begins approximately 26 weeks prior to the B’nai Mitzvah date. For the first three months students participate in a B’nai Mitzvah prayer class. Following this class, students continue to work one-on-one with a Rabbi or tutor on their Torah & Haftorah preparation. Students are expected to augment this time with self-study at home.

At times, students find that they require additional assistance in learning the material. Should this be the case, we are happy to recommend outside tutors from our approved list. The tutors that we have selected are familiar with the requirements of our program, and have worked effectively with our students in the past. Engaging one of these tutors is done at the family’s expense.

Our policies are embodied in our Parent Handbook.

At the Bridge Family Religion School, we are committed to helping our students gain confidence in learning the Hebrew language as well as to create positive connections to the language of the Jewish people through exposure to prayerbook Hebrew and modern Hebrew.

We seek to enable proficiency in decoding Hebrew words and prayers as well as provide multiple outlets for our students to explore and create their own answers to the questions of :

  • "What is prayer?"
  • "Why pray?"
  • "What do these prayers mean to me?"

Our Hebrew program is for all students ages 3rd-6th grade. In order to become Bar/Bat Mitzvah at TDHS you must attend all 4 years of our Hebrew program (or equivalent program).

Throughout our Hebrew program, our students explore a variety of ways to engage with Hebrew. The exploration comes through tefillah (prayer) experiences on a weekly basis, teacher-led activities, community building activities, and 1 on 1 tutoring. We aim to provide students learning opportunities through multiple modalities such as listening, movement, visualization, and using technology to enhance and solidify classroom lessons.

Starting in the fall of 2017 we will utilize the Hebrew in Harmony curriculum from Behrman House as well as Hebrew Through Movement curriculum from the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland.

The following options are available to families in the coming year:

On-Site Hebrew
For grades 3–6, our On-Site Hebrew students will be placed into Hebrew classes by grade level. 3rd grade focuses on mastering the Aleph-Bet and all vowels. 4th-6th graders are assigned different prayers to accomplish by the end of the year. Our On-Site Hebrew program also provides our students an opportunity to engage in regular t’filah with our school community.

On-Site Hebrew takes place at our Bellevue campus on Wednesday evenings and on our Seattle campus on Thursday evenings.

Off-Site Hebrew
As an alternative to our On-site Hebrew program, Off-Site Hebrew provides families with flexibility in scheduling while fulfilling our goal of developing lifelong Jewish learners proficient in Hebrew decoding and t’filah.

Temple offers an off-site Hebrew program at the Mercer Island JCC on Tuesday evenings. Families can also request an off-site cohort in a different location. Those interested in Off-Site Hebrew for small cohorts will need to complete an additional form when registering for Religion School. Families will have the opportunity to indicate preferred times and locations for an off-site cohort and we will do our best to accommodate the preferences of each of our families. Cohort placements will be determined by the number of students registered and by teacher availability. Registration for Off-Site Hebrew is incomplete until this form has been submitted. Off-site Hebrew meetings will not take place during Hebrew school hours.

There is an additional fee for off-site Hebrew.

Hebrew Curriculum Overview:
3rd Grade: Aleph-Bet Mastery and beginning blending

4th Grade: La'asok B'divrei Torah, Brachot, Barchu, Shema and Havdalah blessings

5th Grade: V'ahavta, Ma'ariv Aravim*, Yotzer Or*, Torah Blessings (if time: Mi Chamocha)

6th Grade: Avot/Emahot*, G'vurot*, Haftorah Blessings, Kiddush, Aleinu

*As we transition our Hebrew curriculum to the new structure, the prayers marked with an asterisk will be adjusted in each classroom based on student fluency.

Religion School takes place on both our campuses Sunday mornings from 9:30 am-12 pm. K-5th Graders have the option of attending either campus. 6th-8th Graders must attend the Seattle campus only.

 

If you are interested in Pre-K programming (formerly called Rishonim) please visit the JRM page and search for Mini Mensches.

We begin every Sunday morning with a T’filah service led by our Rabbis and songleading madrichim. Parents are welcome to attend.

EXCITING CHANGES are coming!

A Project Based Learning approach will infuse our entire curriculum.

K-2nd Grade

students will be welcomed into our religion school program with warm, welcoming arms. Each classroom will be built on the foundation of connecting the students to each other and creating a respectful and fun dynamic.

Our curriculum will focus on 4 cycles throughout the course of the year and build from one year to another:

  1. Beginnings and Blessings
  2. Jewish Literacy
  3. Shabbat
  4. Israel

We will learn about and celebrate all Jewish holidays as they arrive during the course of the year. Students will learn basic Torah stories, Jewish values, basic blessings, and about their Jewish community.

Hebrew: During Sunday classes, students will be introduced to the Hebrew aleph-bet (alphabet) by learning a new letter every week. Every other week they will be visited by our Hebrew Through Movement Specialist who will introduce our students to the sounds of Hebrew by speaking Hebrew and teaching our students basic modern Hebrew vocabulary.

In late winter, families will gather together on a Saturday evening to share a meal, celebrate Havdalah (the ceremony to end Shabbat), and participate in a social justice program called "Gathering Sparks." Please refer to your grade-level calendar for the date.

3rd and 4th Grade:

NEW THIS YEAR! Project Based Learning choices and interest-based tracks for 3rd and 4th graders. Each student will have the opportunity to choose an approach to their learning based on their interests in the areas of art (omanut), drama/art (drama/omanut), and structures/building (bonim). Students will explore one subject area in-depth for one semester and move on to a different subject area each semester. Students will be able to switch tracks mid-year.

Project Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge.

Year 1 PBL Subjects: Shabbat (1st semester)/ Jewish Texts & Values (2nd semester)

Year 2 PBL Subjects: Holidays (1st semester)/ Israel (2nd semester)

During the fall, all 3rd and 4th graders will attend a weekend retreat (shabbaton) to deepen their connections to the students in their grade level and celebrate Shabbat together in a fun environment. Shabbatonim are typically held at Camp Kalsman and all fees are included in registration.

5th Grade:

5th graders will explore their place in the Jewish world through a variety of cooking projects throughout the year. The progression during the course of the year will focus on "My Judaism and My Family" to "My Jewish Community of Seattle" to "My Jewish Country" to "My Jewish World" to "My Israel." 5th graders will learn about Jewish history and how traditions are passed down from generation to generation.

6th-8th Grade:

Our middle school meets together at the Seattle campus on Sunday mornings. Students will gather with the whole community for morning tefillah, and once a month as a middle school group for tefillah.

6th Grade: Classes will be split into semesters and there will be two rotations/semester. Each student will have a chance to attend both classes with a break in the middle for socializing. 6th graders will be pulled out individually with a Hebrew tutor throughout the course of the year to be able to receive individual attention for continued Hebrew practice in 5-7 min increments.

1st Semester (Fall): Why Should I Care about Prayer?/ TBD

2nd Semester (Spring): Passover Exploration/Holocaust & Humanity

During the spring, parents and students will join together for a field trip to the Holocaust Center in Seattle. 6th Graders will also be responsible for planning and running the Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) service in April for the Seattle school.

6th Grade will also have the opportunity to meet with Sheri Gazitt of Teen Wise 3 times during the course of the year to have important conversations about challenges being Jewish in middle school.

7th Grade:

7th Grade has a new format this coming year. The year will be divided into 3 trimesters, each lasting 8-10 sessions. 7th graders will rotate between two classes each Sunday.

Tri-Mester 1: The Jewish Case for Social Justice & Modern Hebrew

Tri-Mester 2: The Jewish Case for Social Justice (cont.) & Electives taught by Madrichim (for example- Jewish games, Video production)

Tri-Mester 3: What's Appening (Developing Jewish apps) & Connecting to Israel

Registration and participation in the 7th grade program is a requirement of becoming Bar/Bat Mitzvah.

8th Grade:

8th grade is a highlight of religion school for all of our students. Important Jewish learning begins when you are post-Bar/Bat Mitzvah as our students begin to mature into their religious identity.

8th graders explore Comparative Judaism, God, Being Jewish in a Modern World, and Israel. They also have the option of traveling to Los Angeles in January to explore Jewish LA and have fun bonding and creating memories!

FAMILY EDUCATION FOR ELEMENTARY GRADES:

Successful Religion School education involves a strong partnership between the student families and the school. Through family education programs, we strengthen the Judaic knowledge of both students and their families, and empower families to further enrich their lives with Judaism. These programs will be designed to engage both our students and their families, each leaving the session with something new learned and shared. It is imperative for the success of these programs that at least one parent attend each session with their child. These will take place during Religion School on Sunday mornings. Dates are listed on the Religion School Calendar.

This coming year (2017-2018) the curricular focus will be on social justice programming.

Hadracha Program: Sunday (Bellevue/Seattle), Wednesday (Bellevue), Thursday (Seattle).

Students in 9-12th grade have the opportunity to work as madrichim, “guides”, in the Bridge Family Religion School. Working as a Madrich(a) is a paid work position at Temple. While madrichim do aid teachers in simple tasks, their responsibilities go beyond the administrative duties suggested by the term “teachers’ aides.” As madrichim, they guide younger students toward a positive Religion School experience by demonstrating their involvement, their skills at collaboration, and their initiative.

8th graders can apply to be a madrich/a on Wednesday and Thursday for volunteer hours.

Within the program we offer different tracks that allow teens to specialize in various aspects of the school: Music/Songleading, Art, Library, Technology, and Classroom. The program structure creates a unique and meaningful way for teens to have a spiritual connection, education component, and work experience. Students interested in participating in the Hadracha Program should contact Leah Levy at llevy@tdhs-nw.org or (206) 315-7422. Space for the program may be limited.

We have exciting new programs in store for you for the 2017-2018 school year!

TDSY Tuesdays

This fall we are kicking off a new high school program called TDSY Tuesdays, a weekly education experience designed to be a place for high schoolers to learn, schmooze, connect, and engage with their Jewish friends and leaders at Temple. It meets on Tuesday evenings from 6:00 PM - 8:15 PM at TDHS Bellevue.

After a catered dinner, classes split into 9th/10th grade and 11th/12th grade cohorts for learning with Rabbi Daniel Weiner, Rabbi Callie Schulman, Rabbi Aaron Meyer, and Jacob Glickman. Classes are followed by a dessert break and small group learning about the intersection of Jewish values and everyday life. Sample classes include:

When Sports Become Political with Rabbi Aaron
Kenny Stills boycotting the State of Israel? Colin Kaepernick on one knee during the National Anthem? Let’s talk more about the political positions taken by basketball, football, and baseball players and their impact on the Jewish community.

Happiness as a Spiritual Practice with Rabbi Callie
Want to bring more happiness and satisfaction to your life? In five (easy) steps? Join in an exploration of how our spiritual wellness can have overarching beneficial effects on our lives, relationships, and indeed - our overall happiness. There will be craftivities.

Movies and Midrash with Rabbi Danny
Today’s movies offer more than entertainment: they convey timeless values that are often rooted in our tradition. Together we will explore how modern film teaches universal lessons.

Jewish Heroes with Jacob Glickman
Learn about Jewish men and women in our tradition who have shaped our experiences of Judaism and the world. Discover their stories, explore their relationship to Judaism, and learn how you, too, can be a hero of the Jewish People.

REGISTRATION IS OPEN! Log in to our website to sign up. For more information, please contact Leah Levy, Director of High School Programs, at llevy@tdhs-nw.org or 425.559.2570.