Congregation Bet Ha’am’s religious school program serves students from the toddler years through 12th grade. Our school is staffed by volunteers from our community, which allows students to know their teachers as role models of Jewish life in many different contexts and which allows families to participate in our programs together. We offer training for volunteers and provide constant support and resources.
Bet Ha’am has created an innovative way to help busy modern families find time in their schedules for Jewish education while continuing to provide a quality religious school and Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) experience.
- On our Tikkun Olam Sundays, students have opportunities to fill hygiene kits with supplies to give directly to those who need them; interact with rescued animals and organizations that aid them; and visit with seniors in retirement communities.
- Students use Hebrew for games and athletics on our “Hebrew Focus Day.”
- Students visit other Jewish centers of our Maine community; they use our kitchen to connect with Jewish history through food; they travel to Washington, DC to lobby for causes they support Jewishly.
In our program, children actively learn Hebrew and Judaica with an increased sense of hands-on purpose and meaning.
You can also read more about how our community celebrates and supports our children’s Jewish journeys.
Preschool and Kindergarten
Our youngest students and their parents meet one Sunday morning most months, in either K’tanim (Little Ones) for children aged 2-4 years old, or Shalom Yeladim (Hello Children) for children aged 4-5 years old. Kindergarteners meet in their own group twice each month.
The curriculum focuses on learning about Jewish holidays and traditions.
Students in 1st-6th grades will get a monthly family Shabbat experience, Tikkun Olam Family Days, and regular Judaica and Hebrew instruction. Primary grade students focus not only on celebrating Jewish holidays, but also on learning about Jewish practices at home and in the synagogue. Prior to becoming B’nai Mitzvah, our students learn about and discuss Torah stories and stories of the prophets; what it means to be a mensch (a person of noble character) in the community; Jewish history in America and around the world; and the history of the state of Israel. And of course, our students learn Hebrew—not just the rote memorization of prayers, but how to read, what words mean, and why we say them.
Bet Ha’am is pleased to partner with the Jewish Community Alliance to give children in Grade 1 the opportunity to participate in the Gift of Israel program. (Read more about it here.) We will provide enrollment materials to first grade families each year.
The calendar for Grades 1-6 for the 2019-2020/5780 year is here.
Our 7th-12th grade students participate in an evening program that allows them to choose from dynamic experiences and to craft their own journey through what they want to learn, where they want to be, and who they want to become.
The Grade 7 Gesher (Bridge) program incorporates social activities into the calendar, while meeting less to accommodate students’ B’nai Mitzvah tutoring and studying needs.
The Grades 8-10 Chavayot (Experiences) program offers electives based on students’ interests, as well as returning to old themes with a high school lens.
This monthly seminar, titled “Everything You Never Knew About Judaism,” is a community-wide course that is geared towards students’ religious dilemmas before graduating.
The calendar for Grades 11-12 for the 2019-2020/5780 year is here.
Fees for Grades K-10
It costs approximately $1,300 per student to maintain the high quality Jewish education that Bet Ha’am offers. Because of the value our congregation places on teaching the next generation, we are pleased to be able to subsidize our religious school to keep it affordable for all families. As always, if personal circumstances require you to request relief, please contact Rabbi Saks for scholarship funds. And if your personal circumstances enable you to give a bit more so another student can more easily attend our program, we are grateful for your additional support.
A 10% non-refundable registration fee holds a spot for your child. This is deductible from school fees which are due in full by September 8, 2019. Kindergarten students receive a discount of 50% off normal fees.
Preregistration (April 7-June): $400/child
Registration (June 3-August 13): $440/child
Late Registration (after August 13): $500/child
Additional fees: Students in grades 7-10 pay an additional $135 for dinner
The school year begins September 8, 2019.