JUNE 7, 2018, PEABODY – This fall, Temple Ner Tamid of Peabody will pilot an innovative new Hebrew School for students in kindergarten through seventh grade. In addition, the temple also will add educational programs for high school students and adults, with many of the programs available online.
Students will have the option of taking half of the classes online. The school will be held two days a week: on Sundays, students must physically be in class, but on Tuesdays, they will be able to take the class from their computers. They do not have to watch the class live; they can view it at any time during the week, and complete an assignment before the following in-person class on Sunday.
Ner Tamid Rabbi Richard Perlman added the online component because he felt Hebrew schools needed to offer flexibility for increasingly over-programmed families.
“For the past 20 years, I’ve been hearing, ‘It’s too difficult to get the kids to school, with dance and soccer and football,” he said. “I said, ‘Let’s stop saying yes to missing out, and come up with an alternative plan.’”
Perlman plans to implement the same curriculum that he designed and used for 17 years as rabbi of Temple Am David in Warwick, R.I. The multifaceted approach will teach students the essentials of Tefillah, such as reading and writing Hebrew, holidays, prayers, and life cycle events. Just as importantly, it will teach students how to be upstanding Jewish citizens.
“We’re getting our students ready to be young adults in the community,” said Perlman. “Kids will learn the concept of respect not just for people but for books. The curriculum is based on tzedakah.”
Perlman also will emphasize knowledge of and love for Israel. He pointed out that many of his former students in Rhode Island either made Aliyah or participated in some type of program in Israel.
There also will be a Hebrew high school, adult education, and family programming available online. The high school will be mostly online, and students will meet with Perlman once a month at the temple. There will also be a family tab on the website (tamidschool.com) with videos of Jewish prayers.
Already, many families have expressed interest in the programs, including some who previously provided Jewish education to their children only at home. Congregants outside of Ner Tamid are welcome to enroll their children.
Interested parents can attend an open house from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on June 11 at Temple Ner Tamid, 368 Lowell St., Peabody.