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The Louis B. Silver Religious School’s mission is to develop each student’s life-long commitment to Judaism.  With over 120 students, LBSRS represents a range of Jewish observance and identities for children Pre K through 12th grade.  An energetic USY and Kadima program help to broaden our Jewish teens experiences in the eyes of your children.

Registration is now open for the 2020-2021 year.  Register here!


 

A Message About the 2020-21 School Year

As we are about to enter registration season for another year of religious school, I wanted to sincerely thank our faculty, madrichim, specialists, students, and parents for transition to at-home learning so quickly/efficiently and concluding the 2019-2020 school year on a high note. We also sincerely appreciate you affirming your commitment to Jewish education and to the Pasadena Jewish Temple and Center.

A committee made up of staff and LBSRS parents have helped me shape the 2020-2021 school year. I am thrilled to share that next year will be exciting, immersive, student-centered, and student-driven: we plan on beginning the 2020-2021 school year with a combination of online classes, weekly electives, and dozens of engaging, curated experiences to earn merit badges (see below). The pandemic, while stressful in so many ways, has afforded us the incredible opportunity to reevaluate the goals and purpose of religious school and we are overjoyed with the new ways our students are going to be building and strengthening their Jewish identities.

Below you will find answers to two questions you might have, which I am sure will bring about many more. I hope to have addressed (most of) your concerns. Thank you for your patience as LBSRS navigates this new territory.

 

What is going to remain the same? We will still:

  • Use the same Jewish values based curriculum from ShalomLearning AND have added ShalomLearning’s Hebrew program
  • Meet on Sundays (K’tantanim – Kitah Zayin) and Tuesdays (Kitah Gimel – Kitah Zayin)
  • Have grade level “classrooms” with a faculty member and a madrich/madricha (teacher’s assistant)
  • Begin in August. You will receive a calendar soon. While we take the parameters of opening up day by day, the differences outlined below can carry us the rest of the year. We are hoping full online learning will just be through the fall semester.
  • Expect a 3% cost of living increase in tuition. PJTC highly values Jewish education and we look forward to continuing to employ our excellent faculty and madrichim. LBSRS is heavily subsidized by the synagogue budget, as tuition only covers half of LBSRS’ operating expenses. This year, in addition to tuition covering the expenses of education within the classroom, tuition will also be used to provide families with materials to engage in Judaism and Jewish education outside of the classroom.

What can we expect to be different?

Expectations that education happens inside the walls of a classroom.

Time inside a “classroom” will be less than what was previously experienced, but our new structure actually provides MORE opportunities to engage with Judaism than ever before; we will be adding two new components: electives (chuggim) and merit badges (tagim, explained below).

  • Classroom session timing (outlined below) will not be what it once was (2.5 hours of instruction + .5 hours recess on Sundays; 1.75 hours of instruction + .25 hours of recess on Tuesdays)
  • Students will have myriad ways to strengthen their connection to Judaism that fit their own schedules and interests. They can even invite friends to earn tagim (badges) and work on projects together!

Timing.

As Zoom can be fatiguing for both faculty and students, we are going to have a schedule like this for Sunday:

  • 9:30-9:45 Meet in a large group Zoom to check in
  • 9:45-10:15 Class breakout rooms
  • 10:15-10:30 Meet in a large group Zoom to say goodbye
  • 10:30-11:00 (Optional) chuggim / electives - see below

And like this for Tuesday:

  • 4:00-4:15 Meet in a large group Zoom to check in
  • 4:15-4:45 Class breakout rooms for Hebrew learning
  • 4:45-5:00 Meet in a large group Zoom to say goodbye

Chuggim (Electives).

We are excited to offer some new ways to make Judaism relevant!

  • Some of these will be outlined in our registration. If you/your child would like to see something in particular, please email me or Daniel!

Tagim (Badges). 

For complete information, click here.

  • Earn badges by making a Shabbat dinner, debating Latkes versus Hamantashen, researching a Jewish hero from history, using a Jewish text to inspire your own poetry or art, and more! 

LBSRS’ complete plans for reopening will be based on state and local guidelines, as well as whatever PJTC has in place. We are considering additional factors such as faculty and family comfort levels with building and classroom capacity and the efficacy of virtual learning. No matter what is in place, our children will benefit from continuing to develop their Jewish identities and engaging in their community. As always, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me with any questions or concerns. We look forward to another successful year of LBSRS with you.

L’shalom,

Rabbi Aimee

 


Rabbi Aimee Gerace, our new Louis B. Silver Religious School Education Director begins her new journey with PJTC in July 2017. 

Rabbi Aimee Gerace was awarded an exclusive position in 2011 into the HUC-JIR Mandel Fellowship Program.  This prestigious opportunity exemplified Aimee’s qualities, understandings, and competencies to inspire congregational communities, fostering the social reality that transcends denominational and geographical boundaries.

Named the Elizabeth and Fritz Krauss Outstanding Student in Jewish Studies, Rabbi Gerace received her BA in Jewish Studies and Spanish Language from Tulane University in New Orleans.  She began working extensively with Jewish youth in Los Angeles as an early childhood educator and youth advisor, before going on to receive her MA in Jewish Education from Hebrew Union College Los Angeles in 2011. Aimee first joined Temple Isaiah in 2012 as a rabbinic intern, and then officially joined the education team after ordination.  This is where she successfully began to reshape the religious school and further inspire students and teachers and is now the Senior Director of Youth and Family Education.

In 2013 Rabbi Gerace was ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles.  She now shares her vision on a daily basis in her role as Rabbi-Educator at Temple Isaiah, creating and facilitating a well-rounded and multi-vocal approach to Israel and education within Temple Isaiah’s Religious School.  Her passion for learning and deep knowledge of Jewish history gracefully elevates her ability to share her vision with others.  She is an American Jewish University Teaching Israel Fellow alumna, a member of the Mandel Leadership Fellowship, a mentor and tutor to Bar/Bat Mitzvah students, and a leader on domestic and international educational student trips.

A native of the San Fernando Valley, Rabbi Gerace has made Los Angeles her home along with her husband, Marco, their two cats, and their newest addition, Carson.  When she’s not questioning and challenging the norms and objectives in Jewish education, she finds great pleasure in her kitchen seasoning chili with hot sauce, or going on long walks with her family.

Thu, October 22 2020 4 Cheshvan 5781