Norma’s HaKol Article

Temple Beth El Religious School September 2019 Update

Norma James

Hands on, Hearts on, Minds on Learning!

Religious School classes 9:30-12:00 (3rd/4th stays until 12:30.)

Midweek Hebrew 5th-7th Wednesdays 4:30-6:00

A complete school calendar is on our Temple Website.

Miss Emily is coming for the weekend September 6-8. DO NOT MISS THIS!  Our families are always looking for great ways to connect our children to Judaism.  Let us learn together as Dr. Emily Teck shares both her music and her educational expertise with us.

  • Friday Shabbat: Miss Emily will lead us in music and will share a D’var.  This service will be engaging for young and old alike.  Come early for wine, juice, like snacks, and meet Miss Emily before the service.
  • Saturday Morning Tot Shabbat: Miss Emily will be Rabbi Erin special guest at his monthly Tot Shabbat.  Her program will be perfect for children ages 0-7.  We hope to have a large group, so we will be at TBE in the Sanctuary. Come ready to sing, move, and celebrate Shabbat.
  • Sunday at Religious School:
    1. Miss Emily lead a program for our parents and teachers on making Judaism a joy for children.
    2. Miss Emily will delight B’yachad with a musical visit.
    3. Miss Emily will lead a worship experience for our students that will be fabulous. Parents are welcome!

We have many new faces at Religious School this year!  TBE is a hoppin’ place on Sundays.  We have welcomed several new families who have joined our congregation and several younger siblings who have started in our PreK/ K class.  Be sure to introduce yourself to our newcomers. It is never too late to join our Religious School.  Contact Norma James for more information.

Saying goodbye and saying hello to staff members.

 We must say goodbye to Stephanie Kors.  We have been very lucky to have Stephanie with us while she works or her Doctorate in Psychology at UT.  She hated to leave our students, but this is her last year, and she needs to devote her time to finishing up.  BUT WAIT!  Stephanie will be subbing this year, so we will still get to see her.

Welcome back Gina Feldblum!  After a sabbatical for graduate work, Dr. Gina will return to our staff to teach our 6th/7th grade class.  To say we are pleased is an understatement!

Three new teachers join our staff. 

Jessica Coles and Emily Shulman will teach our combined 3rd/4th grade class.  This is a large and inclusive classroom with diverse learners.  Jessica, who got married this summer, is a trained classroom teacher and cannot wait to get started. Emily worked as a sub for us last year.  She is a rising UT senior with many years of experience working with students in a variety of settings. Emily will also work in our Hebrew program.  I am very excited about the possibilities for this class. 

Jessica Weckstein is one of our new families and is excited about working in our Hebrew program.  Jessica, mom to Eden, Ray, and Jeanna, taught Hebrew in her previous congregation for 20 years.  Wow!  Lucky us!

For our Madrichim, it’s L’dor Vador.  One of the best parts about being the director for 18 years is watching our children grow up.  We have a wonderful tradition of post Confirmands becoming madrichim and then teachers.  Justen Bain, Jeannine Mill, Lizzy Noon, Rachel Margulies, Ben Gibbons, Stephanie and Danielle Goldfeld are just a few examples.  This year madrich Ben Margulies will be joined by post-Confirmands Ryan Gibbons and Reuben Margulies.  Ryan has already been working with our Midweek Hebrew program.  I could not ask for a better support staff then these three young men.

B’yachad will be at TBE September 8th.  We are so excited to host this very special B’yachad program this month. Anna Iroff will be teaching about the Fall Holidays.  TBE has a very special guest for the weekend.  Miss Emily’s forte’ is early childhood education, and she will share her talents with B’yachad tots.  I hope all of our families with young children will participate in this program.

B’yachad means “together.” It is a monthly program 10:00-11:30 offered at no charge for our tiniest learners and their parents in our Jewish community. Our program is open to children ages four and under who are not in our weekly PreK/ Kindergarten classes.  B’yachad means “together,” and is sponsored by Temple Beth El, Heska Amuna Synagogue, and Knoxville Jewish Day School.  Anna Iroff teaches this monthly program of music, crafts, songs and more with a special Jewish theme each session.  Join in the fun designed to engage our youngest children in the joy of Judaism.  It is also a great way for young families to mingle.

Sydney Tumpson becomes Bat Mitzvah Saturday, September 14th at 10:30: We are delighted to announce that the first of the Tumpson girls will be called to the Torah.  Sydney is the daughter of Toby and Linnette Tumpson and older sister of Sophia and Sally.  Sydney spent many summer days preparing for her service.  She even worked with a tutor at Camp Coleman! Her Torah coach is Norma James. Rabbi Boxt works with her on her speech and final preparations for her service.  Sydney is the final student from last year’s very large B’nai Mitzvah class to become Bat Mitzvah.  I hope you will join the entire Tumpson family in this beautiful life cycle event.

Apples and Honey at Religious School Sunday, September 29th. Yes, we WILL have religious school right before Rosh Hashanah!  It gives us a wonderful opportunity to study our High Holy Days in order to get a deeper appreciation of what these Days of Awe mean.  Our Sisterhood will once again provide apples and honey for all our students. Thank you for this kindness!

We will celebrate Rosh Hashanah September 29h and 30th.  Our Children’s Service will be at 9:30 this year to give us all a little more time to get up and ready.  Rabbi Erin and Norma will do a service for our younger children Tots to 3rd or 4th grade.  We have a few new twists for the service this year.  We hope to see our older students at regular services beginning at 10:30. Childcare is offered for Monday with reservations required. Remember that your child should receive an excused absence from school for these Jewish holidays.

Fall Break is Sunday, October 6 through Sunday, October 13.  We resume Wednesday, October 16, with Midweek Sukkah Decorating & Pizza in the Hut.  All families are invited.

October Fall Holiday Schedule:

October 8        Erev Yom Kippur

October 9        Yom Kippur    Children’s Service 9:30 & Morning Service 10:30

October 16      Family Sukkot Decoration & Pizza

  • NOTE: The adults will have a decoration event on Sunday. Don’t get confused.  We are still decorating on Wednesday during Midweek.

October 25      (Friday) Simchat Torah