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Mission Statement

At Temple Ner Tamid, we strive to unite family, synagogue and school to develop in members of all ages an enduring Jewish Identity and a life-long love of Jewish learning. 
 
By offering opportunities for group learning and innovative experiential education, the Temple seeks to impart the fundamental skills of Jewish living and ritual; an understanding of Jewish history and values; a love of Torah and Israel; a familiarity with the Hebrew language and our liturgy; and a passion for Jewish life that finds fulfillment in the spiritual and belonging to the community. 
 
Our families have arrived from many different backgrounds. Together we strive to foster the development of individuals and families who identify with Israel and the Jewish people, and who pursue social justice and the improvement of our world as individuals and through community action. Our educational programs are designed to help congregants of all generations discover their own personally meaningful path through Jewish life; and find support, strength and identity not only in family, but in the larger communities of synagogue, Israel, and the Jewish people.
 
 
 
 

Curriculum Focus - Grades K-6

Kindergarten and First Grade
The goal for our youngest learners is to instill in them a love of Judaism! Through art, music, and play, these students spend the year learning about how all of the things around them are Jewish. From holidays, to spiders, to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, students learn to see Judaism all around them!
 
Second Grade
In 2nd Grade, students begin to learn Hebrew letters, Torah stories, and the people, places, and things inside a synagogue. Each class, students learn a new parasha from the Torah and a new Hebrew letter. Through these stories, they are not only taught to recognize the characters and histories of the Jewish people, but are also taught to recognize core Jewish values, or middot, such as being kind, welcoming, and forming community. Finally, students learn to recognize what makes not just TNT, but any synagogue a special place by being able to recognize the people, places, and objects that they see whenever they walk through our doors.
 
Third Grade 
This is the year that students learn to become proficient in writing and decoding in Hebrew! Once they learn all of their letters and vowels, they begin to learn to read prayers and other Hebrew vocabulary. In Judaics, students focus on Holidays and “Jewish Time.” Through fun activities and experiential learning, 3rd Grade students practice the customs and traditions associated with all of our major and minor holidays throughout the year. They are also taught about how the Jewish calendar moves differently, and what makes that special.
 
Fourth Grade
As students continue to work on practicing prayers in Hebrew, they will also begin to learn about their context and meaning within the t’filah, or prayer, service. In Judaics, 4th Graders focus on Israel. They spend the year learning about Isarel’s history, geography, and its biblical and modern significance to the Jewish people. The curriculum is specifically designed to be accessible and age appropriate, and to open the door for deeper learning in the future.
 
Fifth Grade
As our 5th Grade students continue their Hebrew studies in small, leveled groups, they also begin to take their first steps toward Jewish adulthood in the TNT community. Students simultaneously learn about middot, or Jewish values, and Jewish Lifecycle events. Together as a class, they explore what makes these specific set of values Jewish, how they go hand in hand with the major milestones within a Jewish life, and how these things can be applied to both their Jewish and secular lives.
 
Sixth Grade
In addition to regular Hebrew classes each week, this is the year that many of our 6th Grade students begin to study for their B’nai Mitzvah with our Clergy Associate, Ronni Pressman. In Judaics, students being the year by dissecting the prayer Eilu D’varim, which lists ten of the most important mitzvot one can perform. Each week, students learn about a new mitzvah from the list, what it means, and how they can actively and practically participate in that mitzvah as they begin to think about their larger Mitzvah Project for B’nai Mitzvah. Once students learn about the final mitzvah listed, the study of Torah, they spend the last part of the school year revisiting Torah stories, in the form of studying midrash and the role of God in some of our most beloved stories.
 
 

Upper School Curriculum - Grades 7-12

Seventh Grade
During 7th Grade, while students are actively preparing for B’nai Mitzvah, they also transition to a whole new Religious School experience. For the first time, these students join our Upper School program as they spend the first half of the year learning about the Holocaust. During the second part of the year, students study the foundations of Israel as a Jewish State and the complexities surrounding Israel both then and today.
 
Eighth Grade
This year, 8th Grade students will enjoy “trimesters” where they will first study the Holocaust, then Israel, and finally Jewish immigration and ancestry. Each of these units will be punctuated with related experiences that are in part planned by the 8th Graders themselves. 
 
Ninth Grade
9th Grade students spend the year exploring Social Action and Social Justice. This student directed year has them studying causes about which they are passionate, culminating in an Social Action Project that is created, executed, and run by the 9th Grade class with the aid of their teacher. They are also invited to attend the L’taken Seminar at the Religious Action Center in Washington, DC.
 
Tenth Grade
In this Confirmation year, students study with Rabbi Katz. They spend the year together learning about theology while delving deeper into their own personal faith and beliefs. As a class, they are also given the opportunity to travel to Amsterdam with the Rabbi.
 
Eleventh Grade
This year between Confirmation and Graduation is spent exploring the social and emotional needs of our students. Creating a safe space for themselves, students discuss the issues they face as teenagers and high school students and how to cope with the things that they face through a Jewish lens.
 
Twelfth Grade
During their final year of Religious School, students learn about many of the things they might encounter as they move on from high school and into college and beyond. Discussions are based on everything from environmentalism to living with a roommate to how to stand up to antisemitism injustice in the “real world.” As a culminating experience, students go on a Senior Trip which includes a service project outside of the New Jersey area and other fun and educational Jewish experiences.
 
 

Jewish Family Journeys

Jewish Family Journeys is program that provides an alternative to Jewish education for families with children in Kindergarten. The program was started in September 2010 in response to the needs of many of our younger Temple families. Jewish Family Journeys takes us beyond the typical synagogue based family education programming and provides a unique learning and social experience for those involved.
 
JFJ families create a small community within the larger temple community that studies, celebrates holidays and socializes together. Participating families help design the curriculum and any supplementary programming that is done. Last, Jewish Family Journeys takes place during regular religious school hours which enables families to participate while their other children are in also in class.
 
 
 

Religious School Staff

Meredith Lubin
Director of Youth and Family Education
ext. 118

Maribel Leon
Religious School Administrator
MLeon {at} nertamid.org
ext. 112

Erin Ackerman
VP of Education
 
 
 
 
Nami Ratki
Hebrew Coordinator
Hebrew Teacher
 
 
 
Michele Lainof
Youth Group Advisor
Grade 7 Teacher
 
 
 
Tova Felder
Madrichim Coordinator
Hebrew Teacher
 
 
 
Sat, December 4 2021 30 Kislev 5782