Two progressive Orange County Jewish congregations are reimagining how education should be offered to modern families.
Beit Sefer (pronounced “bate say-fayr”) of Orange County is the region’s newest Jewish religious and cultural program. It’s a welcoming, inclusive multifaceted program open to all families - including interfaith - raising their children in the Jewish tradition.
Beit Sefer (meaning school) offers a fresh twist on Jewish learning. It offers options for weekly Sunday classroom instruction on Jewish values and history, along with all hands monthly “out of the classroom” experiences and monthly interactive Sabbath dinners. But that’s not all, students will help lead monthly services - boys and girls have equal access to worship here.
Rabbi Roger Lerner and Rabbi Rebecca Shinder, the spiritual leaders of Temple Beth-El of Monroe and Temple Beth Shalom of Florida, respectively, have worked with volunteers from both communities to craft a program that encourages creativity, flexibility and fun.
The lineup of monthly “experiences” (or chavayot in Hebrew) includes spiritual and musical interactive workshops that immerse students in Jewish teachings through various media including the fine arts as well as mindfulness and movement techniques.
There will be one Hebrew curriculum taught in two different options on two different days. Students may register to study Hebrew either in person on Tuesdays in Monroe or via Zoom on Thursdays in Florida.
If proximity problems, learning styles or commuting complications are part of your decision-making, then the two different options for the same curriculum will make Beit Sefer of Orange County a welcome change.
Students will have time for informal socialization. They’ll go on field trips, including to the Lower East Side and will participate in community service projects.
Meet and great on Aug. 26 at Rosmarin’s
Beit Sefer of Orange County will debut for the school season of 2023-2024. An opening meet and greet called a Havdalah Hangout will be held at Rosmarin’s in Monroe on Saturday, Aug. 26, from 4 to 6:30 p.m.
Students and parents will have the opportunity to learn more about Beit Sefer, register, get to know each other and have some late summer fun. All are welcome to the Hangout.
For more information, or to RSVP to the Havdalah Hangout, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call Temple Beth Shalom at 845.651.7817 or Temple Beth-El at 845.783.2626.