At the OJC Religious School we bring together the collective wisdom and energy of our students, their families, our administration, faculty and the OJC community. The aim of our Religious School is to foster the full potential of each student to become a knowledgeable, productive and integral member of Jewish society. The OJC Religious School is basic training for life as a Jew. During the years our children spend as a part of our Religious School community, we provide the education and skills they need to live a Jewish life, as well as, the motivation and commitment to do so. Our Religious School is a beginning, not an end.
It is important for our students to feel successful and appreciated as they engage in Jewish study and to understand why they should be proud to be Jewish. We encourage our students to treat every individual according to the highest principles of Jewish conduct and to develop lifelong friendships and memories in our Jewish community. Our knowledgeable, dedicated teachers provide an excellent strength- based educational program and a creative, stimulating enjoyable atmosphere in the classroom. Our Religious School strives to combine the intrinsic values of each child with understanding and acceptance of individual needs.
The Orangetown Jewish Center Religious School curriculum is a spiraling Siddur (prayer book) oriented curriculum. A major goal of our curriculum is that each student learn, at a very minimum, to read Hebrew and feel comfortable using the Siddur. A second major objective is the comprehension of the concept of prayer and what saying a certain prayer means in the individual's life. A third major goal is learning the English meanings of Siddur vocabulary to understanding important sacred Jewish terminology, make Siddur reading meaningful- not just rote reading, and as a link to learning the spoken Hebrew language.
Running parallel to these major goals are other aims which bring our school to life: feeling the joy of Shabbat and the holidays; pride in our land of Israel; studying the Bible and discovering in it our identity, the beliefs and values which make us a people.
As Jews, we are especially dedicated to helping our children understand their responsibilities to the community. Toward this end our school promotes an understanding of mitzvot as being a Jewish obligation, asking that our students participate in a routine of giving to and engaging in on-going projects. We believe that Judaism means the most when it is translated into action.
We want our children to develop an identification with all Jews of the past and present, to have pride in Jewish accomplishments, have empathy with Jewish tragedy, and responsibility for Jewish issues today. Because Torah has been the cornerstone of Judaism throughout the centuries, we want our students to be familiar with the Bible to have insights both into the history of our people and the development of the values we treasure.
To live what is learned in class, our students and their families are encouraged to participate in Shabbat and holiday services and celebrations, as well as, the many community events the OJC offers its families including opportunities to learn and enjoy all aspects of Jewish life.
Our educational philosophy is that our OJC Religious School students experience the joys of Judaism and gain the knowledge, understanding, and motivation to continue to grow "Jewishly" throughout their lives.