Temple Har Zion is a Reform congregation; it belongs to URJ – Union for Reform Judaism, the North American umbrella organization of the Reform Movement.
Reform Judaism can be defined in many ways. However, two aspects of the movement are particularly important when designing our school curriculum. First, the concept of “informed choice” in religious practice puts the onus on the Reform Jew to be knowledgeable enough to be able to make those informed choices. To that end, we at Temple Har Zion Religious School strive to provide our students with the foundation of knowledge as well the love of learning to become educated Reform adults able to make such choices throughout their lives.
Second, Reform Judaism is completely egalitarian. In practice, this means that boys and girls in our school participate equally, learn the same things, become Bar and Bat Mitzvah at the same age of 13, and have the opportunity to wear the same ritual garments. They are equal in every way.
The goals of our school are three-fold, providing the building blocks necessary for students to develop and deepen their Jewish identity:
- To teach a rich, engaging curriculum that includes holidays and traditions, Torah and Tanach, G’milut Chasadim (deeds of loving-kindness), Tzedakah, Israel, Jewish history, and Jewish ethics;
- To teach a siddur (prayer book) based Hebrew curriculum which allows students to develop literacy skills in prayer context in order to be able to participate in worship;
- To help our students and their families form connections with each other;
In addition to the school, we also encourage the children of our community to become involved in our youth groups: JHAZY (grades 7 and 8), and MHARZY (high school age).
At Temple Har Zion, Jewish education is a life-long pursuit. Children begin in kindergarten, move through the school on to Bar / Bat Mitzvah, Reaffirmation and Confirmation, eventually becoming adult learners. The friendships they form over the years often last a lifetime. My staff and I look forward to working with you and your children.
Director of Education
Temple Har Zion