Temple Emanuel Religious School

Temple Emanuel Religious School

The Jewish People are known as “Am HaSefer” – People of the Book. We want our children to be familiar with and knowledgeable about the Torah, the Hebrew language, the culture of our people, and our over 5000 year old history. More importantly, we want our children to have a positive Jewish identity, to feel comfortable and proud to say “I am a Jew.” To this end, Temple Emanuel offers an educational program from preschool through Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Our post Bar/Bat Mitzvah students  learn leadership skills in our Hadrachah course, participate in Jewish Teen Education (JTE) Program, and complete the Confirmation course with the Rabbi.

If you would like to learn more about our school or arrange a visit please contact Olga Markus, our Religious School Director: school@tegnh.org or call 203-397-3000 ext 3.

About Our Curriculum

Mitkadem Hebrew Curriculum:

Mitkadem is an innovative Hebrew teaching program that generates enthusiasm and excitement from teachers, students and parents. Our students learn to read Hebrew and enjoy a sense of accomplishment as they progress through a series of well-organized, stimulating, and self-paced ramot (levels). Each level is built around individual prayers. Mitkadem’s self-paced and child-centered approach allows each student to achieve according to his/her own ability. Read more about Mitkadem here:

CHAI Judaic Studies Curriculum

CHAI Curriculum is a flexible educational system for Reform congregational schools based on the values of Torah, Avodah, G’milut Chasadim and Israel, the most important concepts and values of Jewish life, helping students grow into committed and thoughtful Jewish adults. CHAI curriculum is designed so that student learning will go beyond the specific classroom activities and will reach a deeper enduring understanding, establishing the basis for later Jewish learning and living. Read more about CHAI curriculum here:

Asephah: Asephah means a collection or gathering, and the TE asephah is a gathering of parents, students, teachers and the rabbi at the start of Sunday school, from 9:30 – 10 am. Students and their parents learn through stories and music with Rabbi Farbman. We collect tzedakkah every week, distributed at the end of the year to charities and causes of students’ choice.

T’filah: On Wednesday afternoons a short prayer service is led by the Rabbi and teachers, with increasing participation of the students as the year progresses. Once a month parents are invited to participate. This provides an excellent opportunity for students to implement the knowledge acquired in the classroom.


Our School Structure:

Preschool  “Story Hour”

Students and parents meet once a week on Sundays, 9:30 – 11 am. This less formal structure accommodates the varying degrees of maturity of preschoolers as well as allows the parents to form a “chevra” (camaraderie) with the families who will be moving through religious school together.

Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades

Students meet in a traditional classroom setting on Sundays, 9:30 am – 12:00 noon to enjoy learning the basics of Hebrew aleph-bet, Jewish festivals, Torah stories, mitzvot (commandments) and traditions. The weekly program includes music, arts and crafts, games, stories and hands-on activities.

3rd – 7th grades

Students begin attending the school twice a week starting in the 3rd grade, to allow more time to learn Hebrew. Each Sunday includes a Hebrew class, a Judaic studies class and a short break with a snack. Students also attend Wednesday afternoons, 4:30 – 6:00 pm. They begin the day with a short T’filah (prayer service) and have an hour of Hebrew language instruction.

Bnei Mitzvah Preparation

7th grade students continue to study twice a week within the overall religious school framework. On Wednesdays the program combines general bnei mitzvah preparation (service leading, d’var Torah – creative writing, chanting of blessings etc.) with individual sessions with the trope tutor. On Sunday mornings the students continue to improve their Hebrew reading skills, as well as have a Judaics class.

Post Bnei Mitzvah Programs for Teens

While the bnei mitzvah preparations may be over, there is an increasing number of ways for teens to stay connected with their community, to spend time with their friends, to learn and to socialize. Over the last few years our programs for teens have been growing and so today we are very proud to offer multiple programs to choose from:

Hadrachah (educational leadership) course will offer students an opportunity to learn leadership and teaching skills with our educator Olga Markus, allowing the students to become trained madrichim in our religious school and implement the acquired knowledge and skills in the classroom.

Jewish Teen Education (JTE)

Jewish Education for Teens, by Teens – this New Haven wide innovative program meets on Tuesday nights at the JCC. To learn more about the program and to register, please follow this link.


Rabbi Farbman teaches a confirmation class for 9-11th graders. This class meets on a monthly basis and explores many aspects of Judaism, from major texts and commentaries to important modern issues. The students are challenged to discuss and debate issues of importance to them. The Confirmation year culminates with a special service on the Eve of Shavuot, led by the graduates.

Special Programs

Educational enrichment programs for individual grades, as well as for the entire school are held throughout the year, often centered around the Jewish Festivals.  Many of these programs have an intergenerational component where adults and children celebrate and learn together.


Come, drop in and learn!