Temple Beth Shalom of the West Valley offers many educational opportunities for all ages, including:
Adult Education: We offer a variety of educational opportunities, such as a series about Judaism and humor.
Religious School: We have a very small school which allows us to provide individual attention.
Bar or Bat Mitzvah and Confirmation: We have a multi-year program for children to learn about Judaism, our prayers and basic Hebrew.
Scholar-in Residence: Our Scholar-in-Residence have included Rabbi David Frankel from the Schechter Institute in Jerusalem.
Jewish education is the teaching and transmission of the knowledge, ideas, practices, and character traits of the Jewish religion and has been valued since the birth of Judaism. In the Hebrew Bible, Abraham is lauded for instructing his offspring in God's ways. The act of study can serve as a transformative experience for us, changing the ways that we understand and interact with the world.
On the third day of the third month after the Israelites left Egypt, God descended in a cloud upon Mount Sinai in view of the entire Children of Israel. According to The Book of Exodus chapter 19, God began speaking directly to the people, uttering the first two of the Ten Commandments. This marked the beginning of God’s giving of the Torah to the Jewish people.
The word “Torah” means the Five Books of Moses but in a broader sense it symbolizes all of the efforts of Jewish education. Torah is a framework and tradition that helps us make sense of our lives and build our own individual system of faith that can make our lives laden with spiritual significance.
But for any of this to make sense and therefore provide personal as well as communal meaning, we need to study it in order to understand Torah and then be able to integrate it into our lives and absorb it into our very essence — our souls.