Emanuel Synagogue

  Hebrew School
The Hebrew School at Emanuel Synagogue is an after-school program that trains the young people of our congregation in the language and culture of the Jewish tradition and prepares them for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Hebrew School classes are held at the synagogue on Monday and Wednesday afternoons during the same period as the secular school year (including winter and spring breaks).

By all measures, our Hebrew School Program is unqualified success. Our students are the ones who lead services at Youth Group functions all over the world, and people keep saying: "You learned that in Oklahoma City?" We prepare our students for more than their Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. We prepare them to continue to read Torah and lead services all their lives, and they do.

Our students usually start Hebrew School when they are in the third grade of secular school or eight years old. Emanuel Hebrew School's principal, Myrna Page, is a talented and dedicated teacher and administrator. She is blessed with patience and creativity and can inspire the most reluctant genius to learn and thrive. She also recruits other devoted and qualified people to teach in our five-year program. Our Hebrew program concentrates on liturgy, prayer, and the skills needed to chant Haftarah and Torah portions. The students of the school lead Kabbalat Shabbat services at least once a month. In 2005 we even added a sixth year in which post-Bar/Bat Mitzvah students learn conversational Hebrew.

In addition, Arlette Poplin has been the leader of the Junior Congregation for more years than she wishes to remember. Each Shabbat morning during the school term, the students hold their own service and learn how lead the service, pronounce the Hebrew words correctly, stand, sit, and bow when it is supposed to happen. Every grandparent who attends one of our Bar/Bat Mitzvahs is heard to be sighing and kvelling all through the service, even if the child is not a relative! Very often, our former Bar/Bat Mitzvah students will learn new Torah portions and help in the services during the year.

The rabbi, too, takes an active part in the Hebrew School, teaching and training all of the students.

Emanuel's Hebrew School is open to the children of synagogue members (children of non-member Jewish families may attend the school but my not hold their Bar/Bat Mitzvah at Emanuel). For more information about the school program, including fees, scheduling, and enrollment, contact the synagogue office.


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