Last year’s Religious School year at TBS was unprecedented, just like all aspects of our lives during the COVID pandemic. As we reemerge to a “new normal,” and a fully in-person program, we also have an exciting opportunity to innovate. We’ve heard feedback over the years from our community about the advantages and challenges of our program - specifically, the Hebrew program. While we are blessed to have one of the largest religious schools in Columbus, teaching and learning Hebrew in a large classroom can be challenging. While a one day a week program is desirable for many families, this model may not be as convenient for students who have other priorities later on Sundays. These were some challenges we sought to address as we re-envisioned what Hebrew at TBS Religious School can look like.
After significant research and discussion, we’re excited to announce an exciting change to TBS Religious School’s Hebrew program: we're transitioning to a small group Hebrew model!
This small group model has seen great success at many religious schools across the country! Students learn more Hebrew, have more time with the teacher, and work at the pace of a small group rather than a large class.
4th, 5th, and 6th grade students will now meet in a small learning "pod" of 3-6 students, that meets with an expert teacher. This will be their Hebrew class for the year. Some of the benefits of small learning pods include:
How will this work with our Sunday program?
For families who prefer the one-day religious school model, very little will change for your student on Sunday morning. Your student will just have Religious School in the morning and Hebrew right after!
TBS Religious School 5782: Small Group Hebrew!
Moving to Small Group Hebrew rather than Traditional Hebrew Classes. Hebrew groups will happen on Sundays or during the week - your choice!
How does my student sign up for a Hebrew pod?
Please fill out the signup sheet here to share your 4th, 5th or 6th grade student’s preferences for a Hebrew pod. We will do our best to match students with their preferences. We will then share placements before the start of school!
How many students will be in a Hebrew pod? Who will be teaching it?
Hebrew pods have a minimum of 3 students and a maximum of 6 - it depends on who signs up for which pods. Each pod will be taught by an expert Hebrew teacher, and Sunday morning pods will be assisted by our 11th and 12th grade madrichim.
What will my students learn in Hebrew pods? How is it different from last year?
Teachers will be using the same curricula as last year! The big difference is students will now be learning in groups of 3-6 students, which will create more effective and engaging learning as well as tailored lessons for students. Here’s the breakdown:
Does my student still attend on Sunday morning if they have a weekday Hebrew pod?
Yes! Students who choose a weekday Hebrew pod are signing up for a two-day program. Students who sign up for a midweek pod will only have to attend the first part of the morning for Religious School (see schedule above); during this time they will connect with their grade for a full classroom experience learning about Jewish values, holidays, music, Torah stories and more.
What if I want my student to switch Hebrew pods?
Once the religious school year begins, we will accommodate one pod switch for each student during the year. While students may have changing schedules during the year, it’s crucial for small groups and teaching to remain as consistent as possible. Please let Rabbi Lenette know if any extenuating circumstances arise.
What if my student misses a weekday pod?
For that week, your student can join a Sunday morning pod as a make-up session. Please reach out to Rabbi Lenette if your student will be absent.
What about Madrichim?
Our amazing madrichim are a huge part of our amazing Religious School community and they will be just as involved this year, even with these changes! 8th-12th grade madrichim will continue to assist religious school classes as usual. During the second hour, 7th-10th grade students will have their teen classes while 11th & 12th grade madrichim will assist in Aftercare and Hebrew pods.
What about Aftercare, Adult Hebrew, and other religious school programs?
We’re excited that all of the programs that make our Religious School great will remain in our program this year! We will still be providing K-2 Aftercare for any of our younger students who will be staying past the second hour. Adult Hebrew will now be taught during the first part of religious school along with amazing learning from Rabbi Bar-Lev and Kopans!
Can I request my student to be in a pod with their friends?
Students will all have an opportunity to spend time with their friends during their grade's Religious School class on Sundays. For Hebrew, we're gathering student preferences for days and times, and we'll then place students before pods begin at the end of September. It is our goal to accommodate everyone's first day/time choice to the best of our abilities. If your student and their preferred pod-mates all sign up for the same day and time, it is highly likely they'll be in a pod together.
Frequently Asked Questions
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