The mission of the Godring/Woldenbert Institute of Southern Jewish Life (ISJL) is to preserve, document and promote the practice, culture and legacy of Judaism in the South. Temple Emanuel has been using the ISJL Education Curriculum since 2008.
The ISJL Education Curriculum teaches students how to live meaningful lives and cultivate their Jewish identity. These
developmentally appropriate lessons are intended to cover the following content areas:
- Community – Students learn to take pride in their Jewish heritage and identify with others in the national and international Jewish community.
- Culture and Symbols – Students gain an appreciation and understanding of the symbols that comprise and define the Jewish culture.
- God – Students are encouraged to explore their relationship with God through discussion and historical context.
- Hebrew and Prayer – Students are involved in all aspects of Jewish worship and it’s spiritual meaning by participating in synagogue prayer services.
- Israel – Students learn about Israel, its history and importance to the Jewish people as their homeland. They will also recognize the need to support and participate in educational programs.
- Jewish History – Students study Jewish history, culture, language and music to learn the past and present of Jewish history.
- Jewish Holidays – Students at all levels learn the rituals and traditions associated with the Jewish holidays.
- Jewish Lifestyle Events – Students participate in Jewish life cycle ceremonies to commemorate the passages of time. Prayers, traditions, symbols and rituals are included to enhance and enrich the Jewish experience.
- Mitzvot and Jewish Values – Students are given the opportunity to explore ritual and ethical mitzvoh as they build a relationship with God.
- Tanach (Torah, Prophets, and Writings) – Students will be taught that their education is a lifelong process whereas the questions are just as important as finding the answers.
There are thirty, two-hour lessons that offer a variety of activities, which address different learning styles throughout each lesson. The curriculum plans for each grade range from topics that offer a broader spectrum of ideas to smaller objectives that are hands on. Teachers are given guidelines to follow that include a script and a timetable to keep them on track with their lessons.
As an added benefit to our curriculum service, traveling Education Fellows visit our community 3 times a year to provide teacher trainings, all school programs, service leading and assist with other needs or special requests we may have. Each year, our Temple sends a couple of teachers and/or the education director to the ISJL education conference for training and seminars to help us continually improve the education experience our children receive.
ISJL Education Fellow Amanda Winer led Shabbat services along with recent Bat Mitzvah Tessa Galloso.