Batya Podos has over thirty years experience as an educator, storyteller, writer and performer. These are the wonderful skills she brings to her work with children, youth and families. She is an ordained Maggid, a teacher and storyteller in the Jewish tradition, and has worked as teacher and administrator, for many Jewish organizations including: Shaarie Torah, Pnai Or, the Jewish Spiritual Education Program, and Abraham’s Tent, an interfaith summer day camp for Jewish, Christian and Muslim children. As a writer she has a published novel for young people, and is contributing writer to various Jewish publications. We are proud to have Batya leading our religious school this coming year.
The goals of our education program for grades K-7 are the same as those for the entire congregation. We seek to construct powerful educational experiences that enable our students to become:
- Critical Readers
- Social Justice Activists
- Reflective Ritual Practitioners
Our focus on the development of identities provides touchstones for making pragmatic, curricular choices; enables us to chart our personal development throughout our lives; encourages opportunities for experiential learning; and guides us in integrating the study of Judaism with the lives that we lead.
Historically, Jews have conveyed their past through the telling and reading of stories. As a text-based religion, Jews perpetuate and renew Judaism through the act of reading and interpretation. Guided by the ideology of Reform Judaism, we seek to enable students to be thoughtful and competent readers of Jewish texts whose lives will be deeply informed by the central stories of Judaism, particularly those contained in the Torah. Through ongoing text study in Hebrew and English, we endeavor to instill in our students the capacity to make wise choices regarding their Jewish practice and to integrate Jewish values into the entirety of their lives.
We do not live in a Hebrew speaking environment and the structure of our program does not support the acquisition of spoken language skills. However, becoming competent readers and interpreters of Biblical and liturgical Hebrew are very relevant educational goals for Reform Jews living in the United States.
Social Justice Activists
Judaism is another word for activism. Reform Judaism embraces social justice as a key component of Jewish living in the modern world. There are many ways we understand and enact this pillar of Judaism in our religious school program. We transmit to our students the values of tzedakah (righteous living), rachamim (compassion), and tikkun ha'olam (repair of the world), and facilitate opportunities for them to engage in this work. Each grade's curriculum focuses on aspects of our responsibility for repairing our world in an age appropriate manner, often including and relying upon parent participation and support.
Reflective Ritual Practitioners
Through meaningful prayer experiences and an understanding of, and familiarity with, Jewish rituals of all types, we seek to instill our students with a sense of their spiritual selves and competency in prayer and ritual. Our goals are for our students to utilize prayer and ritual as a way to center and nurture themselves; to connect to the larger Beit Haverim community; and to become engaged with an entire people bound together in covenant.
We can only achieve these goals in partnership with parents and continued family participation at Shabbat and holiday services.
Religious School meets from 2:30 - 4:30 PM at Lake Oswego United Church of Christ.
Hebrew Classes for our students in 4th - 7th grades meet from 4:30 - 5:30 PM in same location.
Religious School Dates 2016-17
Religious school begins September 11, 2016, and runs through May 2017. Check back soon for the full calendar.