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K-12 Jewish Education

Temple Beth El Teens Working in the KitchenTikkun v'Or Gan Class Celebrating ChanukahOutside at Tikkun v'Or

Ithaca is home to two religious schools for children in grades K through 12. IAUJC supports the schools financially so that they can offer scholarships and special programs to the students. To make an online donation to our Local Funds in support of Jewish education, click here and scroll to the bottom of the page.

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Congregation Tikkun v'Or Jewish Learning Experiences (JLE)

Congregation Tikkun v'Or Jewish Learning Experiences provides creative and progressive Jewish education for children in Kindergarten through 7th grade. The curriculum includes history, holidays, ethics, Torah, Israel, and Hebrew. Most classes meet on Sunday mornings. 6th and 7th grade students also meet on Wednesdays for additional Hebrew studies and preparation for becoming bnai mitzvah. Kindergarten and 1st grade families meet monthly.
We encourage young people to enjoy themselves while connecting with others in a Jewish context, with our shared traditions and past. We provide opportunities for wrestling with what we call “Big Jew-cy Questions,” and exploring answers in ways that allow them to learn and decide for themselves which Jewish experiences are most meaningful to them.

The teachers are community members. College students from Ithaca College and Cornell University often assist or tutor. Middle and high school students help out as madrichim. Parent volunteers are always welcome, especially to help with chugim (electives) -- a chance for students to choose activities such as Jewish music, cooking, art, dance, and more. The Judaic studies curriculum is based in part on URJ Chai and Hebrew Through Prayer series for Hebrew.

Funding from IAUJC is used for JLE scholarships, teen programs, and community guest presentations.

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Rabbi Felix Aber Religious School of Temple Beth El

The Rabbi Felix Aber Religious School at Temple Beth-El offers an innovative Jewish education to families and students in preschool through high school. Our curriculum includes tefillot (prayers), holidays and customs, ethics and values, Tanakh (Bible), history, Israel, and Hebrew. Our school offers monthly preschool activities for three- and four-year-olds and their parents, Sunday classes for kindergarteners and first graders, classes twice each week for students in grades two through seven, and b’nai mitzvah training beginning in the second semester of sixth grade and continuing through seventh grade. Midrashah classes provide post-b’nai mitzvah students (grades 8 – 12) the opportunity to explore topics to help facilitate and direct their development as knowledgeable, independent, critically thinking, and committed Jewish adults. 

Classroom activities benefit from our supplemental program of instruction in the arts (music, dance, drama, crafts, etc.), youth group activities (Kadima for grades 5 – 8; USY for grades 9 – 12), field trips, guest speakers and guest artists, and Shabbat programming for children and their families. The recently instituted Hebrew Through Movement curriculum enriches our Hebrew language program, as do the efforts of a Hebrew specialist, who inspires our students individually and in small groups.

Our faculty is comprised of a mix of community members and college students from nearby Cornell University and Ithaca College. High school students serve as madrichim (aides), and both Rabbi Glass and Rabbi Brody regularly interact with all of our students and their families. 

Funding from the IAUJC helps to provide resources for Religious School tuition scholarships, employment of a Hebrew specialist, and funding for special programs that bring together our Religious School students with other segments of the Ithaca Jewish community.