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I am looking into religious school for my daughter who will be starting Kindergarten in the fall. I am wondering about the programs at Temple Beth Abraham and Temple Sinai. My husband and I are both Jewsih and would feel comfortable in a Reform or Conservative Temple. We are looking for a committed, lively, and educational school with a group of parents who will become a nice community for us. Oakland Mom
The best way to investigate would be to come see a service. If you go to TBA's website, www.tbaoakland.org, you can see our calendar, which actually lists upcoming bar and bat mitzvahs. Seeing what these students can do as the culmination of their education might help you decide. On the first Saturday of the month we also have our children's services (one for preschool- grade 1, the other for grades 2-5) which give you a flavor of the curriculum in terms of prayers and the service.
I think we have a very warm and lovely community that embraces people from a variety of different backgrounds and experiences. We have been very happy there. (When we joined almost 10 years ago, I was not Jewish, but over the years as we became more involved, I chose to convert to Judaism.) Our rabbi is very personable and involved with the Hebrew school -- he leads singing and prayer regularly, and comes into the classroom often to answer questions and talk to the children.
We have a new director who has made some wonderful improvements and I'm sure would be happy to talk to you about the school. Her contact information is on the website.
I suggest you do the same with Sinai -- visit the services, including children's services, a bar or bat mitzvah, talk to the school director. Your personal reaction to both places will be as helpful as information from third parties! Happy at TBA
Jewish religious school at Temple Beth Abraham
I am interested in sending my son and daughter to Temple Beth Abraham for religious school and joining the Temple. Does anyone have any experience with the religious school and Temple? Thanks. Kathy
Re: Looking for a Good Rabbi
We just got back from vacation so I only just started reading the ''Looking for a Good Rabbi'' posts. I feel compelled to mention our wonderful Rabbi Mark Bloom at Oakland's Temple Beth Abraham. He is the most ''child-friendly'' rabbi I have ever met (and I've met many over the years.) My three-year-old son adores him, and so do the many many other children at the pre-school.
Rabbi Mark has a special talent for establishing a rappoire with young children and teenagers that is remarkable. He is repectful of children, really listens to them, and is truly interested in what they have to say. He's a wonderful teacher.
In the eleven months since he's been at Beth Abraham, he's instituted joyful, musical ''Tot Shabbats'' that are eagerly anticipated by all family members, started a youth group for teenagers that kids have chosen to join without being forced by their parents, and in general, has energized our community with love and ruach . We had a standing room only ''Rock and Roll Purim'' this past Spring with a fabulous band of talented musical congregants, led by our guitar playing rabbi.
For adults there have been weekly Torah study groups, ''Sunday school,'' and a number of speakers and educational events. Our community retreat last Fall was such a success, we're doing it again in November. People are still talking about the beauty of Shabbat in the woods, and the campfire singing that continued until midnight (again, led by our guitar playing rock and roll rabbi.)
He has a lovely family - a two-year-old son, and another child on the way. His wife is terrific.
We are having many special Friday nights this summer. Please check out the Beth Abraham web site for more info (www.tbaoakland.org) and come visit on a Friday night or Saturday morning. Kids are always welcome, and free childcare is available on Saturday mornings. Lunch on Saturday in the social hall after services is a great time to meet the Rabbi and the community.
My family joined about 18 months ago, and I cannot begin to tell you how much being part of the TBA community and getting to know Rabbi Bloom and his family has enriched our lives (although I think I've just given you an idea.) I feel lucky that we're there. It's the kind of synagogue & community I wish I'd experienced when I was a child and teeneger, and that's high praise.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the synagogue. Sally
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