Religious School and Hebrew High School
Temple Beth-El of Great Neck and Temple Israel of Great Neck have partnered to form a shared religious school called Kulanu, which means “all of us” in Hebrew. Under the direction of Rabbi Amy Roth, director of Congregational Schools; Avi Siegel, director of the Waxman Hebrew High School and Youth Engagement; and David Woolfe, TBE educator and Kulanu liaison, our students and families have the opportunity to experience the vitality and synergy of our joint religious school community.
Through our visionary community-school model, Temple Beth-El stands committed to the best of Reform Judaism, always working to:
- Enhance the peace and sanctity of our homes,
- Honor and cherish the amazing diversity of our families,
- Better the lives of those who are less fortunate,
- Improve the well-being of the world,
- Expand the warmth and energy of our learning and prayer,
- Honor Jewish texts and traditions,
- Bring passion and joy to Jewish life, and
- Create exciting, meaningful and uplifting experiences for our teens.
Temple Beth-El’s commitment to tikkun olam through social action is an integral part of our students’ learning experience.
David Woolfe and Temple Beth-El’s clergy are active participants in our students’ Jewish education, teaching in regular classroom settings, leading tefilah services and training all grades levels in the beauty of chanting Torah trope. We expect our students to be prayer leaders at Shabbat services and during home ritual.
Bar and Bat Mitzvah
As our TBE students approach Bar and Bat Mitzvah, we increase and enlarge their engagement at TBE. Our sixth graders (and their parents!) participate in monthly programs at Beth-El, including our incredible retreat. The curriculum is designed to help students and their families focus on the powerful life event awaiting them. Seventh graders are taught by Cantor Adam, Rabbi Meir, Rabbi Tara and David Woolfe at TBE. The program develops prayer skills and comfort leading on the bimah. We also wrestle with the challenging issues of identity, so important at this point in our students’ lives.
Through action and advocacy, our teens learn to change the world. We encourage them to participate in the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC), either virtually due to the pandemic or by visiting elected representatives in Washington, DC.
Confirmation and Graduation
We stress the importance of continuing their learning post-Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Confirmation, at the conclusion of 10th grade, and Graduation celebrate our teens as they transition to adulthood.
In 1990, the late Monsignor Thomas Hartman, popularly known as one-half of the “God Squad,” and Roger Tilles, past president of Temple Beth-El, created Project Understanding, a program for Catholic and Jewish youth. Each year a group of Catholic and Jewish 11th graders, recommended for selection by their congregations and teachers, engage in a series of interfaith activities designed to promote understanding and respect for their similarities and differences. The highlight is an extraordinary trip to Israel, usually during school vacation in February, with leaders from the Catholic and Jewish communities.
Those who have participated in Project Understanding have had only the highest praise for the program, saying that they have developed a depth of understanding that would otherwise have been unattainable. They have formed lasting friendships and their lives have been forever changed for the better.
One or two 11th grade students from Temple Beth-El are typically among those chosen each year. For this spring, Harrison Weinberg and Cameron Cooper were selected as delegates from TBE. Learn more about Project Understanding here.
Kulanu Class and Zoom Hebrew Tutorial Schedule for Kindergarten to Grade 6
Kindergarten and First, Second and Third Grades on-site from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Grades via Zoom
First, Second and Third Grades via Zoom
Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Grades on-site from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Youth House Course Options for Grades 8 to 12
Weekly Class on Tuesdays from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Join other teens to explore your Jewish self and remove the pressures of the world while being authentic in our curated space. Classes include Perkei Avot, Torah with the Rabbi, Jewish Heroes, Judaism and the Media, Rituals for our Lives and #RealJudaism.
Youth House Cooking Seminar (Monthly)
Take an exciting culinary adventure with our resident chef Tziona Kamel as she teaches students how to whip up some of the most delicious dishes from around the world. All ingredients will be provided, and after each class students will take home the food they learned to prepare.
Youth House Green Squad (Monthly)
If you have a green thumb and want to make the world a little better, join our squad to meet and discuss projects we can take on to make our carbon footprint a little smaller—and then share what we’ve learned to educate the larger community.
Youth House Israel Seminar (Monthly)
Israel is the Jewish homeland, and so much in its modern history affects our lives. Gain a new perspective on the country’s issues and navigate your relationship with the State of Israel when you join our seminar to discuss its land, people, rights and safety.
Leadership Training Institute (Monthly)
The Leadership Training Institute offers teens a chance to gain the skills and knowledge that will enable them to become the next generation of leaders. This core group will create a stronger Jewish community as they collaborate on fun, social and meaningful events for other Jewish teens in Great Neck.
Rosh Hodesh/BROdesh (Monthly)
Rosh Hodesh meets at the home of Moji Pourmoradi for art, sharing and delicious food. Rosh BROdesh meets at Youth House with Avi Siegel for discussions about Jewish masculinity, sports, activities and good food.
Senior Seminar (Monthly)
High school seniors can savor their last year at their temple home and gain insight for their big transition by joining the rabbis for discussions on what it means to leave the nest, as they participate in conversations on college, relationships, Israel on campus, Jewish journeys and Anti-semitism.
Team Tikkun (Monthly)
When you join our monthly social-action team, you will participate in the Rise Up challenge, Challah for Hunger, interactive soups kitchen, Midnight Runs and the brand-new Teen Philanthropy. We will spend time figuring out what true chesed work entails and how we can make the world a better place.
Youth House Internship
Do you need an internship for school? Learn what it takes to run a business, get first-hand experience and even develop your own program.
USY/Kadima (Only $100)
Become a member of our local USY/Kadima Chapter, and you will be entitled you to go to divisional and regional events.
To register for Kulanu Religious School and Youth House Teen Programs, click on the appropriate link.
To learn more, click on these helpful links:
2020–21 Fees (No Synagogue Membership Required)
First to Seventh Grades: $1,300
COVID-19 Fee: $36 per student
Youth House Hebrew High for Eighth to Twelfth Grade
Weekly Program: $990
Monthly Programs: $445 (for 1) • $840 (for 2 to 3) • $1,235 (for 4 to 6)
All Access Package: $1,650
Note: During in-person classes, everyone will be required to wear masks and will be social distancing.