The Barry Ira Graff School for Living Judaism at Congregation B’nai Israel offers programs for children in Kindergarten through 12th grade.


During this year, students receive an introduction to our school and synagogue life. The holidays come alive with celebrations, music, food, arts and crafts, and prayer. Students learn general Hebrew vocabulary and are taught to make the world a better place by contributing to our many tzedakah projects and by performing mitzvot. The children will also explore the synagogue and its place in Jewish life, in addition to the concept of G-d.

First Grade

Our students learn about the Jewish holidays with a deeper understanding of our customs and ceremonies and their place in Jewish life. They discover basic prayers to communicate with G-d in the synagogue, in home celebrations, in the classroom, and in their personal lives. The concepts of mitzvot and tzedakah continue to be a part of their studies, while they further explore Gemilut Chasadim (the giving of loving kindness) and Israel.

Second Grade

This year focus’s on the early Bible stories. Through art, music, and role-playing, the Biblical personalities come alive and help to create Jewish memories. The students continue with holiday observances, mitzvot, and tzedakah. Hebrew letter recognition and vocabulary prepare the students for the following year’s formal introduction to Hebrew. In addition, a special library program is added to the curriculum.

Third Grade

Our students become Tzofim (Israeli Scouts) for the year. Their year begins with the creation of their Tzofim t-shirt and a candle lighting induction ceremony where they begin their quest for badges in the areas of Synagogue, Torah, Prayer, Helping Hands, Israel, Bible, Jewish Books, Holidays and Shabbat. Students begin the first level of formal Hebrew where they will learn the names and sounds of letters and vowels, and how to read Hebrew, including simple prayers.

Fourth Grade

During the year, students concentrate on the Jewish Life Cycle and receive their Hebrew name at a special Naming Ceremony. They explore the various components of Consecration, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Confirmation, marriage, and death. Students begin the second level of Hebrew which includes the concept of prayer, reading prayers with fluency and accuracy, and holiday and prayer vocabulary.

Fifth Grade

This year students explore the State of Israel, its past and present. The format involves the students taking a “tour” of modern Israel, where they will visit and experience the major cities and sites, meet the builders of the country, and confront the highs and lows of its history. Holidays are observed as though in Israel. Current events are an integral part of the program. The third level of Hebrew continues with the prayer curriculum, focusing on the Shabbat evening prayers.

Sixth, Seventh & Eighth Grades

Congregation B’nai Israel and The Barry Ira Graff School for Living Judaism are pleased to announce the inauguration of our groundbreaking new religious school program for grades 6, 7 & 8. No more classroom lessons where everyone is moving at the same speed. Our new Hebrew program will provide your child with Hebrew lessons in a fun and interactive group setting that is paced to their specific needs. Each child will receive an individualized education plan based on their own abilities. Your child will be able to sit with groups of students who are at the same level and work with teachers to master each prayer.

At CBI and The Barry Ira Graff School for Living Judaism, we are always looking for ways to improve the Jewish learning experience. For parents,this new program will require less of a time commitment and more flexibility. We know how busy you are and we want to make it easier for you to involve your children in Jewish learning. Forstudents,thisnewprogramwillbe more social, more hands-on, with many opportunities to connect with clergy and friends. We want our students to use critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity through hands-on activities to encourage a lifelong love of Jewish learning and motivate our students to explore and discover new things.

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Eleventh & Twelfth Grades

Our Post Confirmation program provides students with the opportunity to study with our rabbis once a month on a Sunday morning. This creates a further bond with the rabbis and a further connection to Congregation B’nai Israel. In this two-year curriculum, we explore our “Jewish Roots in America” one year and “Jewish Values That Support Civic Engagement” the next year. We will take a trip to New York City during the Jewish Roots year and to Washington, DC during the Jewish Civic Engagement year. A formal graduation for seniors celebrates their accomplishments.

For more information about all of our programs, fees, or to register, please contact of Director of Religious Education, Kim Beame.