KADIMA BETH EL - Temple Beth El's Religious School Program

Kadima means forward, and reflects our striving to help today's families bring the vibrancy and relevance of the Jewish tradition forward into their lives. Our religious school is moving forward in how we're supporting Jewish youth and family education.

We offer a variety of opportunities for participation and enrichment while maintaining our fundamental goals of helping children and their families:

  • Become lifelong active participants in Jewish living, growth, learning, and community. 
  • Attain the foundation to live responsible lives informed by Jewish tradition and values.

We recognize each child as a unique and special individual whose growth, Jewishly and generally, we help parents nurture, encourage and support. We are committed to creating opportunities to enhance community and to make Shabbat a special experience. Scholarships are available so that all families can participate in our educational programs regardless of personal finances.

Pre-K & Kindergarten - Sunday Mornings

Pre-K and Kindergarten students experience the joy of being Jewish through song, dance, stories, games, activities and movement in an immersive environment enhanced by natural, everyday Hebrew. 


Grades 1 & 2 - Sunday Mornings

Hebrew reading is now taught over two years beginning in 1st grade, giving students more time to integrate each letter and vowel they learn. Through interactive activities the students also learn about Jewish holidays, customs, values, t'fillot (prayers), and other Judaic topics.


Sunday Core Curriculum (for Grades 3 - 6)

Our Sunday program for 3rd - 6th graders focuses on t'filah (prayer), TaNaKh (Bible), and Hebrew. Our ambitious Hebrew program places renewed focus on vocabulary, grammer and conversation, giving students the ability to explore Hebrew as a living language. We're building on that success by introducing shorashim (Hebrew roots) as a core part of our tfilah program. Students will not only learn to sing prayers, but be empowered to grapple with the meanings of the prayers inside the classroom and without. In Bible classes, students are encouraged to grapple not only with the TaNaKh, but with the commentaries as well, encouraging them to think about the text in an expansive way, and to see themselves as part of Jewish history. 


Wednesday Project Based Learning (for Grades 3 - 6)

Through engaging, hands-on, and interdisciplinary elective group projects students cover a wide variety of Judaic topics (such as Jewish holidays, customs, lifecycle, Tikkun Olam, values, Israel, etc.). Each six-week cycle is capped off with an open classroom program, where other students, parents and community members are invited in to learn about the students’ work. 

Sunday Chugim and B'Yachad Group Activities   

These Sunday morning activity "clubs" meet monthly. Students in grades 3-6 choose from activities such as dance, pen-pal writing and journalism, demonstrating how our Jewishness can be a part of everyday activities. "B'yachad" (meaning "together") is a series of school-wide activities that foster community service, Judaic enrichment, and Jewish social interaction. 

When students have Sunday or Wednesday conflicts, Kadima Beth El provides a variety of multimedia resources integrated with and parallel to the classroom learning, which can also serve to enrich and enhance the Jewish knowledge and skills of families.


7th Grade (Sunday afternoons)

Our innovative 7th grade curriculum prepares our students to become full citizens of our Jewish community -- touching the many fields teens will need to explore as they become b'nei mitzvah. Examining fields such as community, history, the synagogue and Jewish texts, students explore the various ways their Judaism and Jewish identities affect how they live their lives as Jewish adults. This course incorporates trips around the state, guest speakers, weekly journaling assignments and interactions with community members at every level.


Teen Initiatives (for grades 8-12):

The Teen Initiative has several separate, but coordinated components. 

  • The Madrichim (Assistant Teacher) Program is for students interested in working at KBE on Sunday (10:00am – 12:00pm), Wednesday (3:30-5:30 pm), and/or from home during the week with Skype tutoring. Madrichim choose either to be paid or receive community service hours for their work.
  • Hebrew High classes, open to all teens, explore a different Judaic topic each month; by student request, this year’s topic is Hebrew language.  Hebrew High meets monthly from 9:00 – 10:00 am. Madrichim are required to attend as part of their personal commitment to on-going Jewish learning. 
  • The Teen Beit Midrash meets twice monthly to offer interested teens an adult-learning style environment of more intensive study, taught by a variety of teachers.
  • KBE also offers social programming! We are involved both with USY and in building relationships with Jewish teens across the state of Maine, regardless of denomination.


For more information about Kadima Beth El, please click here to contact our Kadima Beth El Director, Abby Halpern.

Contact Us:

  • 400 Deering Ave, Portland, ME 04103
  • P: 207.774.2649 | F: 207.774.7518
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