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

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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. We honor the diversity of our student body and welcome students from all kinds of Jewish families.

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.

Chaverim (Pre-K & Kindergarten)

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

Grades 1 & 2 - Wednesday afternoons, 3:30-5:30; occasional Sunday mornings

Hebrew reading is taught over two years beginning in 1st grade, giving students 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.

Core Curriculum (for Grades 3 - 6) - Sundays and Wednesdays

Our program for 3rd - 6th graders focuses on t'filah (prayer), TaNaKh (Bible), and Hebrew. Our ambitious Hebrew program places renewed focus on vocabulary, grammar, and conversation, giving students the ability to explore Hebrew as a living language. Midweek Hebrew allows students the opportunity to keep building their skills. We include shorashim (Hebrew roots) as a core part of our t'filah 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 examine the commentaries, to think about the text in an expansive way, and to see themselves as part of Jewish history. 

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.). The students investigate meaningful questions and create a presentation showing how they have answered them. 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 B'Yachad Group Activities   

"B'yachad" (meaning "together") is a series of school-wide activities that foster community service, Judaic enrichment, and Jewish social interaction. Our Chaverim (PreK-K) are invited on Sundays to join us in the B'Yachad programming.

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 (weekly, schedule by consensus) - taught by the KBE Director and the Rabbi

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 Madrichim (Assistant Teacher) Program is for students interested in working at KBE on Sunday (9:00am – 12:00pm), Wednesday (3:30-5:30 pm), and/or from home during the week with online tutoring. Madrichim choose either to be paid or receive community service hours for their work.
  • Hebrew High classes, open to all teens, explore contemporary Jewish topics. Hebrew High meets monthly on Sundays. Madrichim are required to attend as part of their personal commitment to on-going Jewish learning.
  • Chai Mitzvah classes, open to all teens, allow students opportunities for hands-on engagement via the national Chai Mitzvah curriculum.


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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