Message from the Rabbi:

“Spending time with our children at Religious School is one of the most inspiring, fun and optimistic things I do at the Temple.  I believe deeply that — as important as it is for our children to learn about Jewish prayers, holidays, culture and history — what’s most essential for them is the overall experience they have when they’re here.  For the kids, Religious School is their Jewish community.  How they feel when they are here in Religious School will shape their attitude about being a part of Jewish community for the rest of their lives.  That is why we must ensure that our kids feel stimulated, engaged, and, most of all, loved when they are at Temple.  Then they will know that there is a reason for them to learn Hebrew and about ways of participating in Jewish life.  They will know that everything they study here will help them feel a part of this wonderful, inspiring, caring community all their lives.”

RELIGIOUS SCHOOL
PROGRAMS BY YEAR
TEENS
SHABBAT AT EET
HOLIDAYS

WHO WE ARE

An integral and lively component of East End Temple, the Religious School provides a warm and inclusive community of teachers, students and families.  It is a place for children to expand their minds, their hearts, and their understanding of the world around them within the context of an open, progressive Jewish environment.

Our curriculum places focus on Jewish experience, as opposed to just content.

We ask the question:  What does it mean to live a Jewish life?  It means coming together as a community to celebrate holidays, taking part in important customs and traditions— but it also means working for social justice, cultivating an inquisitive mind, and becoming responsible, ethical citizens of the world.

WHAT WE DO

EET’s Religious School students attend once a week (days and times below). We engage students in Jewish curriculum topics ranging from Torah, holidays, mitzvot, Jewish values and Jewish history through varied activities such as drama, arts and crafts, technology, and debate. 

At the beginning of our afternoon together, we gather in the sanctuary for t’filah (prayer), which parents, family and friends are welcome to join. T’filah is led by our cantor, Shira Ginsburg, and rabbi, Josh Stanton, and students participate throughout the service. T’filah allows our students to gain comfort with the language, order, and command of the prayers while forming a connection to their meaning.

Hebrew is taught with the primary objective of reading fluency. We teach the students the skills they need to prepare for their bar/bat mitzvah. Hebrew learning is individualized in 2nd through 6th grade. Students work in small groups for concentrated Hebrew study.

DAYS & TIMES

Our religious school meets once a week on the following days, by grade: 

  • PreK – 1st Grade  Thursdays, 4:00-5:30pm
  • 2nd – 3rd Grade   Thursdays, 4:00-6:00pm
  • 4th – 5th Grade    Wednesdays, 4:00-6:15pm
  • 6th – 7th Grade    Tuesdays, 4:00-6:15pm

ADDITIONAL PROGRAMMING

Students and their families are encouraged to engage in Jewish learning and living throughout the year.  Gatherings such as Class Shabbat, Simchat Shabbat, holiday celebrations, and tzedakah (charity) programs like Food For Families, provide fun and enriching occasions to come together in answering the question: What does it mean to live a Jewish life?

LEARN MORE

Please see our EET Religious School Curriculum for more detailed information by grade.

REGISTRATION

We love to welcome new families and new students to our Religious School!  If you would like to discuss further details of the program with our Director of Education Mindy Sherry, you can reach her at educator@eastendtemple.org.

Teen Life at East End Temple

East End Temple’s teens connect for social programs, community service, travel opportunities, and the chance to take a break from the intensity of school and off-site opportunities, In addition to hangouts, trips, and special programs, the youth program begins each week over dinner with the Rabbi and Youth Director and a lively conversation about life, big questions, and current events through a Jewish lens.

See what we’re up to at EET! Even if you are not yet registered, come stop by and see what everyone loves about it.

In the last several months, East End Temple has seen an explosion of teen engagement through our youth programs. From chalking the entrance to the building with personal expressions of Judaism to discussing Talmud on the High Line, EET’s teenagers are building a community that celebrates Jewish identity and encourages self-discovery. To that end, our young congregants are planning and leading peer-driven activities dedicated to the mission and values of the East End Temple community.

In addition to neighborhood scavenger hunts, game nights, and field trips, the East End Teens program engages in an ongoing discussion of social justice in a Jewish context. Our staff also works to connect Jewish youth with service, cultural, and educational opportunities in the New York area and beyond. 

Please email youth@eastendtemple.org to learn more about our upcoming programs or to connect with our youth director.

If you would like to sign up for the Teen Program, please contact the office at school@eastendtemple.org or 212-477-6444.

The rabbi and cantor are proud to work with many individuals toward conversion to Judaism.

The Jewish community in the United States grows ever more diverse, and one way people without a Jewish background join the community is through conversion. The cantor and rabbi meet with students for conversion individually to guide them through Jewish learning, living, and spiritual reflection. Students also participate in an appropriate Introduction to Judaism class.

At the end of their process, usually lasting about a year, students meet with a bet din (a rabbinical court), are immersed in the mikvah, and are given a blessing in front of our community celebrating their new status as Jews. The EET community is proud to have so many Jews-by-Choice in our midst.

You choose us, and we choose you!

Please contact us for more information.

Introduction to Judaism

Discover what could be meaningful to you in liberal Judaism. Explore a modern take on Jewish life. Engage with Jewish values, celebrations, spirituality, and community in an Introduction to Judaism class.

Our next class will begin Monday, October 12, from 7:30-9:00pm.
This 21-session class, taught by Cantor Amelia Lavranchuk, welcomes all who are interested in learning more about Jewish tradition and wisdom. In 21 sessions, it will provide the basis for further learning or a Jewish life. The entire class will be held remotely, via Zoom. Sessions will take place from 7:30-9:00pm on Mondays: Oct: 12, 19, 26; Nov: 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; Dec: 7, 14, 21; Jan: 4, 11, 25; Feb: 1, 8, 22; Mar: 1, 8, 15, 22. The class is free for EET members, and $360 per person ($720 per couple) for non-members. 
For member registration, click here.
For non-member registration, click here.

Everyone is welcome. The class is perfect for interfaith couples, those raising Jewish children, spiritual seekers, individuals considering conversion, and Jews who want a meaningful adult Jewish learning experience. Ask your questions, engage with multiple perspectives, and explore Jewish life through a Reform lens.

Business Ethics Lunch and Learn (BELL)

Join us for a lunch time conversation with Rabbi Josh about ethical dilemmas in business and life and the ways in which Jewish tradition and ethics guide our choices. Tuesdays Oct. 13, Nov. 10, Dec. 8, Jan. 12, Feb. 9, March 9, April 13, and May 11, from 12:00-1:00pm. All sessions this year will take place via Zoom.

Tuesday Night Learning

Join Rabbi Josh Stanton for lively and discussion-based Adult Education opportunities. These will take place throughout the year on Tuesday evenings from 8:00-9:00pm. Whether this is your first chance to learn Jewishly, or you grew up going to yeshiva, there will be something here for you. For more information, keep reading below or e-mail Rabbi Josh Stanton directly.

Science, Truth and Judaism in the Age of Covid-19
East End Temple & Scientists in Synagogues 

In 1987, Rabbi Irving Greenberg predicted that the Jewish People would reach a “Third Era,” driven by lay leaders and facilitated by clergy. He was more than thirty years ahead of his time, but seismic shifts within Jewish communal life are likely to prove him right in the coming year. Covid-19 has accelerated existing trends towards lay leadership and empowerment, tapping their stores of knowledge, wisdom, and understanding.  

Our collaboration with Sinai & Synapses, through its Scientists in Synagogues program, will harness the wisdom of East End Temple lay leaders – and engage our entire community in the process of reflecting on truth, science, and the place of Jewish thought in guiding our choices amid a time of uncertainty. It is evident that scientists within the Jewish community have long navigated questions of belief and doubt, the search for truth and Truth, and troubling questions about human nature.  

This unique year of study will both captivate minds and help our community continue fulfilling its potential as a lay-driven institution. It will focus on a series of five Adult Education mini-mesters, each with three 60-minute class sessions for laypeople in East End Temple, as well as the wider community. For the time-being, these will take place via Zoom in the evenings from 8:00-9:00pm. In the future, we hope to gather in-person.  

Year of Study 

Rosh Hashanah Preamble: Saturday, Sept. 19 at 1:30pm
Rabbi Joshua Stanton will facilitate a careful study of “The Third Era of Jewish History” by Rabbi Dr. Irving Greenberg on the afternoon of Rosh Hashanah. 

Class 1 — Communication and Miscommunication: Tuesdays Oct. 13, 20, and 27 at 8:00pm

Social media is changing the way we understand ourselves, human nature, and the world around us. Join us, as we explore the ways in which people get information (and misinformation) today – and the rabbinic norms about how we should communicate.   

Class 2 — Plague and Peoplehood: Tuesdays Dec. 1, 8, and 15 at 8:00pm

From the Exodus to the Bubonic Plague to Covid-19, plagues have defined Jewish life and community, as well as the ways in which other communities view us. We will reflect on these unique (and moving) histories in order to gain insight into our present pandemic.  

Class 3 — Jewish Approaches to Medicine: Tuesdays March 9, 16, and 23 at 8:00pm

From Maimonides to Jonas Salk, Jewish physicians have redefined excellence in care and pioneered new approaches to painful ailments. How does Jewish tradition approach medicine (and vice versa)?  

Class 4 — What Makes Us Human? Tuesdays April 6, 13, and 20 at 8:00pm

Rabbinic tradition defines human beings as “the creature that speaks.” When does our humanity begin, when does it end, and what does it mean?  

Class 5 — Big Data and Artificial Intelligence: Tuesdays May 4, 11, and 18 at 8:00pm

At one point do machines deserve rights? At what point do they surpass human capacity? At what point should we be worried? Jewish tradition speaks extensively about the positive potential of science and human ability to create. How does it reflect on the dangers and drawbacks of human creations? 

Join us for holidays when you can, and in the event you cannot, here are some resources for you to celebrate the holiday at home or wherever you are.  

SHABBAT – When most people think of holidays, they think of annual celebrations, but in Judaism there is one holiday that occurs every week – the Sabbath. Known in Hebrew as Shabbat and in Yiddish as Shabbos, this holiday is central to Jewish Life.  As the great Jewish writer Adad Ha-Am has observed: “More than the Jewish people has kept the Sabbath, the Sabbath has kept the Jewish people.” The Sabbath truly has been a unifying force for Jews the world over. Click here for more.

ROSH HASHANAH – (literally, “Head of the Year”) is the Jewish New Year, which marks the beginning of a 10-day period of prayer, self-examination and repentance. This period, known as the Yamim Noraim (Days of Awe or High Holy Days), is widely observed by Jews throughout the world, many with prayer and reflection in a synagogue.  There also are several holiday rituals observed at home.  Click here to learn more about Rosh Hashanah.

YOM KIPPUR – Yom Kippur means “Day of Atonement” and refers to the annual Jewish observance of fasting, prayer and repentance.  Part of the High Holidays, which also includes Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur is considered the holiest day on the Jewish calendar.  Click here to learn more about Yom Kippur.

SUKKOT – a Hebrew word meaning “booths” or “huts,” refers to the Jewish festival of giving thanks for the fall harvest.  It also commemorates the 40 years of Jewish wandering in the desert after the giving of the Torah atop Mt. Sinai. Sukkot is celebrated five days after Yom Kippur on the 15th of the month of Tishrei, and is marked by several distinct traditions.  One, which takes the commandment to dwell in booths literally, is to erect a sukkah, a small, temporary booth or hut.  Sukkot (in this case, the plural of sukkah) are commonly used during the seven-day festival for eating, entertaining and even for sleeping.  Click here to learn more about Sukkot.

SIMCHAT TORAH AND SH’MINI ATZERET – Immediately following Sukkot, we celebrate Sh’mini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, a fun-filled day during which we celebrate the completion of the annual reading of the Torah and affirm Torah as one of the pillars on which we build our lives.  As part of the celebration, the Torah scrolls are taken from the ark and carried or danced around the synagogue seven times.  During the Torah service, the concluding section of the fifth book of the Torah, D’Varim (Deuteronomy), is read, and immediately following, the opening section of Genesis, or B’reishit as it is called in Hebrew, is read. This practice represents the cyclical nature of the relationship between the Jewish people and the reading of the Torah.  Click here to learn more

CHANUKAH –  Meaning “dedication” in Hebrew, refers to the joyous eight-day celebration during which Jews commemorate the victory of the Maccabees over the armies of Syria in 165 B.C.E. and the subsequent liberation and “rededication” of the Temple in Jerusalem.  The modern home celebration of Chanukah centers around the lighting of the chanukiyah, a special menorah for Chanukah; foods prepared in oil including latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts); and special songs and games.  Click here to learn more.

TU B’SHVAT – The “New Year of the Trees,” is observed on the fifteenth day of the Hebrew month of Sh’vat, Tuesday and Wednesday, February 6 and 7, 2015.  Even the trees get a new year of their own!  

Click here to learn more about  Tu B’Shvat: Customs and Rituals.

PURIM – Is celebrated with a public reading — usually in the synagogue — of the Book of Esther (Megillat Esther), which tells the story of the holiday.  Under the rule of King Ahashverosh, Haman, the king’s prime minister, plots to exterminate all of the Jews of Persia.  His plan is foiled by Queen Esther and her cousin Mordechai, who ultimately save the Jews of Persia from destruction.  The reading of the megillah typically is a rowdy affair, punctuated by booing and noise-making when Haman’s name is read aloud.  Click here to learn more about Purim.

YOM HASHOAH – Also known as Holocaust Remembrance Day, occurs on the 27th of Nisan. Shoah, which means catastrophe or utter destruction in Hebrew, refers to the atrocities that were committed against the Jewish people during World War II. This is a memorial day for those who died in the Shoah. The Shoah is also known as the Holocaust, from a Greek word meaning “sacrifice by fire.” Click here to learn more about Yom Hashoah.

PESACH – Also known as Passover in English, is a major Jewish spring festival, commemorating the Exodus from Egypt over 3,000 years ago.  The ritual observance of this holiday centers around a special home service called the seder (meaning “order”) and a festive meal; the prohibition of chametz (leaven); and the eating of matzah (an unleavened bread).  On the fifteenth day of Nisan in the Hebrew calendar, Jews gather with family and friends in the evening to read from a book called the hagaddah, meaning “telling,” which contains the order of prayers, rituals, readings and songs for the Passover seder. Today, the holiday is a celebration of freedom and family.  Click here to learn more about Pesach.

YOM HASHOAH – also known as Holocaust Remembrance Day, occurs on the 27th of Nisan.  Shoah, which means catastrophe or utter destruction in Hebrew, refers to the atrocities that were committed against the Jewish people during World War II.  This is a memorial day for those who died in theShoah.  The Shoah is also known as the Holocaust, from a Greek word meaning “sacrifice by fire.”  Click here to learn more about Yom HaShoah.

YOM HAZIKARON and YOM HAATZMAUT – Israeli Memorial Day and Independence Day.  Since the establishment of the State of Israel, four new holidays have been added to the Jewish calendar – Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), Yom HaZikaron (Memorial Day), Yom HaAtzmaut (Independence Day), and Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day).  In Israel, these holidays are observed as national holidays.

  • The Israeli Knesset established the day before Yom HaAtzmaut as Yom HaZikaron, a Memorial Day for soldiers who lost their lives fighting in the War of Independence and in other subsequent battles.
  • Yom HaAtzmaut, Israeli Independence Day, marks the establishment of the modern state of Israel in 1948.  It is observed on or near the 5th of Iyar in the Hebrew calendar, which usually falls in April.

Click here to learn more about Yom HaZikaron and Yom Haatzmaut.

LAG BAOMER – Lag BaOmer is a festive minor holiday that falls during the seven weeks between Passover and Shavuot (usually in May or June on the Gregorian calendar).  This period of time is known as the Omer.  An omer is an ancient Hebrew measure of grain, amounting to about 3.6 liters.  Biblical law forbade any use of the new barley crop until after an omer was brought as an offering to the Temple in Jerusalem.  The Book of Leviticus (23:15-16) also commanded: “And from the day on which you bring the offering… you shall count off seven weeks.  They must be complete.”  This commandment led to the practice of the Sefirat Ha’omer, or the 49 days of the “Counting of the Omer,” which begins on the second day of Passover and ends on Shavuot.  Lag BaOmer is a shorthand way of saying “the 33rd day of the Omer.”

Click here to learn more about Lag BaOmer.

SHAVUOT – Shavuot is the Hebrew word for “weeks” and refers to the Jewish festival marking the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, which occurs seven weeks after Passover.  Shavuot, like many other Jewish holidays, began as an ancient agricultural festival that marked the end of the spring barley harvest and the beginning of the summer wheat harvest.  In ancient times, Shavuot was a pilgrimage festival during which Israelites brought crop offerings to the Temple in Jerusalem. Today, it is a celebration of Torah, education, and actively choosing to participate in Jewish life.  Click here to learn more about Shavuot.

TISHAH B’AV – Observed on the 9th (tishah) of the Hebrew month of Av, is a day of mourning the destruction of both ancient Temples in Jerusalem.  In contrast to traditional streams of Judaism, liberal Judaism never has assigned a central religious role to the ancient Temple.  Therefore, mourning the destruction of the Temple may not be particularly meaningful to liberal Jews.  In modern times, Jews understand Tishah B’Av as a day to remember many tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people throughout history.  Click here to learn more.

A jewel of the temple, our library houses an extensive collection from which temple members may browse and borrow. The breadth of the collection includes Jewish history, politics, liturgy, Holocaust, fiction, nonfiction, biography, Jewish feminism, life cycle events, holidays, and Jewish cookbooks. Use our Library Thing database to search for specific titles. Click here to check it out today.