Religious School

Religious School


Religious School Calendars| 2021-2022

Elementary Calendar and Schedule 3rd-5th Grade Sunday Only Calendar and Schedule IHP_Calendar and Schedule
Hybrid Class Calendar and Schedule Middle School Calendar and Schedule High School Calendar and Schedule

Sunday Morning Drop-Off and Pick Up Details

Pre-K and Kindergarten students should be dropped off at 9:45 AM and picked up at 12:15 PM at the Flanders Street entrance to the Sherman Education Building. Click here for our pick up and drop off map. First through Fifth Graders should be dropped off at 9:45 AM and picked up at 12:15 PM on the CBI Plaza at the tents we will have set up for each grade. Click here for our pick up and drop off map.
Middle Schoolers should be dropped off at 9:45 AM and picked up at 12:15 PM on the CBI Plaza at the tents we will have set up for each grade. Click here for our pick up and drop off map. High Schoolers should be dropped off at 12:30 PM and picked up at 2:00 PM at the Schnitzer Center. 

Religious School Registration | 2021-2022

Religious School registration is open on a rolling basis; click here to sign up.

Our Religious School is only open to our members. If you are interested in joining our community and enrolling in our Religious School, please reach out to our Program Director, Chelsea Ferguson, to begin the conversation.

General Religious School Class Schedule | 2021-2022

Pre-k – 7th Grade Students: 9:15 AM -12:15 PM on Sundays

In addition to Sundays, IHP students meet Thursdays from 4:30-6:00 PM; our new hybrid program allows for weekday meetings via Zoom.

8th – 12th Grade Students: 12:30-2:00 PM on Sundays

The Purpose of a Religious School Education

It is the challenge of the Religious School to touch the heart and soul of every student through the study of Judaism.  The school creates an environment where students learn to be comfortable being Jewish.  Younger students experience Judaism through their senses; music, art, cooking and stories expose them to the richness of Jewish culture.  Intermediate students search for answers to life’s questions through an exploration of Jewish values and feelings.  Older students develop awareness for our rich history and modern Jewish community.  They are encouraged to apply Jewish concepts to social action and personal decision making.  A successful Religious School program incorporates Jewish learning into a child’s developmental stages leading to a foundation of ethical Jewish values and a deep pride in our People’s way of life.


Elementary School (Pre-K – Grade 5)

Sundays, 9:45am to 12:15pm

Beth Israel Religious School is for students in Pre-Kindergarten through grade 5. The school calendar closely matches with the Portland Public School calendar, beginning in September and ending in May.

Specialty Classes and Activities 

Our Religious School is an arts integrated program. Each week, students attend specialty sessions for music, dance, drama and visual arts.

Integrated Hebrew Program (IHP) and Hybrid Program

Grades 3, 4, & 5 IHP classes meet on Thursday afternoons from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. in addition to regular Religious School on Sunday mornings. Students in this program receive all the regular Hebrew School curriculum as well as learning reading fluency, vocabulary, t’filot (prayers) and root word forms. IHP students grow to understand the beauty of the Hebrew language through our “Hineni: Hebrew Through Prayer” curriculum.  A hybrid version of this program, for those interested, allows students to meet once weekly in person and once via Zoom.

Our Religious School Classes – Grade by Grade

Gan – Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten

Our Jewish world is brought to the classroom through a hands-on approach to synagogue life.

  • Family traditions and holiday celebrations
  • Arts and crafts, cooking, dance, music, drama and play
  • Family Programs – K: Shabbat & Chanukkah; Pre-K: Monthly Family Holiday Programs

Kitah Alef – Grade 1

Extends the study of who the people are in the Temple, how and what we celebrate.

  • Explore the meaning of the holidays and the ritual items used in our Jewish world.
  • Children are blessed by the clergy during a Consecration Ceremony/Simchat Torah which includes a live Klezmer band and dancing.
  • Family Program: Wimpel Making. Parents and students create a beautiful wimpel that is displayed on the bimah and then kept as a treasured ritual item to be used for future life cycle events.

Did you know? The Union for Reform Judaism CHAI Curriculum is designed to facilitate lifelong Jewish learning. It focuses classroom learning on 3 strands: Torah, Avodah (love) and G’milut Chasadim (acts of loving kindness). All of our CBI 2nd through 5th graders learn from this curriculum which brings the home and school together.

Kitah Bet – Grade 2

Students begin developing personal connections and learn about the power of the 3 strands.

  • Alef-Bet recognition
  • Class Mitzvah Project
  • Family Program: Celebrating Passover!

Kitah Gimel – Grade 3

Students refine their own understanding and definition of k’dushah (holiness).

  • Begin to understand how ritual objects, symbols, prayer, and behaviors can make moments and places special.
  • In grade 3, families may enroll their children in the 2-day Integrated Hebrew Program.
  • Family Program: Becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah! Picking A Date.

Kitah Dalet – Grade 4

Students start to see a direct relationship between being a member of a community and our behaviors.

  • The study of the relationship between the People and the Land in the Torah
  • Significance and structure of communal prayer
  • Family Program: Discovering Prayer

Kitah Hay – Grade 5

Throughout this year, the theme of Reform Judaism and the power of community will connect the 3 strands.

  • The role of the individual in a community, increased sophistication in prayer and connection to Israel
  • Learning the wisdom of the prophets
  • Family Program: Yom HaShoa/Yom Hazikaron Learning and Family Hike

Middle School: Midrasha & B’nai Mitzvah Program (Grades 6-7)

Sundays, 9:45am to 12:15pm

In grades 6&7, learning becomes more sophisticated/

  • Deeper understanding of Holocaust studies and exploring Israel and the Middle East
  • Jewish values and relevancy of Torah and Mitzvot in modern life
  • Ethics and social justice

High School: Midrasha (Grades 8-12)

Sundays, 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM

8th grade and High School students are ready for the next step on their Jewish Journey, and to begin establishing their leadership within our community. They start their day with lunch and socializing with friends and then break off by grade to explore subjects such as Jewish identity, comparative religions, Jewish history and social justice.

In grades 8-12, there is advanced study of what it means to be on a Jewish Journey and the emergence of becoming a Jewish leader in the community.

  • Topics include dealing with social and religious ethics, open discussions with clergy and teachers on political issues and other items of concern to Jewish teenagers today.
  • Beginning in 9th grade, students may choose to work as Madrichim (classroom aides) in lower grades to gain valuable background and experience that can be applied to future roles in education.
  • Religious Action Center’s L’Taken Seminar to Washington D.C. is offered to students 10th grade as well culminating the end of the year with the Confirmation ceremony during the festival of Shavout.
  • 11th and 12th grade students are eligible to participate in a trip to the South where they get a taste of southern Jewish life, learn about the Civil Rights Movement and solidify their lasting relationships as well as becoming eligible for scholarships to travel to Israel on teen NFTY trips.
  • A beautiful Graduation service created and led by seniors takes place at the end of the grade 12 year.