DOR HADASH RELIGIOUS SCHOOL GUIDE

Our Values and Goals

The Dor Hadash Religious School provides Reconstructionist Jewish education in a warm and welcoming after-school setting for children of grade-school age through B’nai Mitzvah. Some post-B'nai Mitzvah programs are also held. There is a new teen group being formed, led by the teens themselves. 

We provide a caring learning environment focused on those ingredients that each family will need to engage in the lifelong process of being a responsible Jew.

We promote true equality within the Jewish tradition; a sincere regard for other religions and cultures; an appreciation of the divine in the world around us and in each one of us; and the continuing evolution of Jewish commitment.

More specifically, our aims are to:

The Dor Hadash Religious School began as the Reconstructionist Children’s Study Group in 1987 and was later known as Dor L’Dor. It is now closely integrated with Congregation Dor Hadash, a member-led, open and welcoming congregation affiliated with Reconstructing Judaism.

Synagogue Membership

All families with children in the Dor Hadash Religious School are required to join Congregation Dor Hadash. Much of our Jewish learning takes place in the context of synagogue worship and holiday celebrations. Congregation Dor Hadash also provides a substantial subsidy to the school. Membership information is available from Janice Gordon, the Dor Hadash Membership Chair, at membership@dorhadash.net.

Parent Involvement

Parent involvement is both critical to and a great strength of our school. Parents usually welcome the opportunity to take an active role and interest in their children’s education, as well as to help with the operation of the school. We encourage parents to talk with their children about what they are learning, incorporate that learning into your family life, to help children with homework, and attend Congregation services with them.

Teachers will contact parents via email with updates on what their children are learning and ideas for discussions between parent and child.

Class Attendance

Class attendance is crucial to achieving the goals of the curriculum. If your child must be absent from a class, please contact the teacher concerning missed assignments and preparation for the next class.

Synagogue Attendance

Synagogue attendance is an integral part of Jewish education, which cannot take place in a vacuum. All students and families are encouraged to attend services on a regular basis. Classes participate regularly in family-oriented Shabbat is for Everyone services on a monthly basis by leading prayers and singing prayer melodies they are learning in class. Our graduates often return as service leaders.

Students are strongly encouraged to attend at least one Shabbat service per month. Beginning in 6th grade this is required as part of B’nai Mitzvah preparations and to encourage participation in our synagogue community. 

Student Evaluations & Progress

Student progress is monitored organically on an ongoing basis by the classroom teacher to determine student engagement and growth. If a student needs help to meet specific benchmarks, the teacher and principal will work with the student and parents to provide assistance.

B'nei Mitzvah Preparation

B'nei Mitzvah preparation will take place only after a student completes at least four years of approved Jewish education, and by arrangement with Congregation Dor Hadash. Students who attend another Jewish school during these years are expected to attend the Mitzvah Class at Dor Hadash during their B'nei Mitzvah year.

Our students frequently experience their B'nei Mitzvah studies and accomplishments as a tremendously positive time of growth and connection.

A student who becomes a B'nei Mitzvah before the end of the school year in May is expected to participate in the class during the remainder of the year.

Meeting Times

Our classes meet once a week for 2 hours, following the public school calendar and observing the Jewish holidays. A calendar is provided for each school year. 

Homework

Our class time is limited. Homework is therefore a part of the learning process. When homework is assigned, please help your child be prepared and learn.

Books and Materials

Please help your child to be responsible for always bringing their books and their folder to class. Teachers will let students know what other materials they need. We will also utilize the Google Classroom. Each student has an account, and materials will be available in the Google Classroom. We began using the Google Classroom in 2020-21 during our year of virtual learning due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. We discovered it is a useful tool that will continue as class resource for materials, resources, and assignments.

Discipline

Occasionally, disruptive or challenging student behavior in class becomes a problem. When this occurs, the teacher, principal, parents and student will confer to discuss options for better behavior and agree upon a plan of action to preserve a productive learning environment for the class. Our goal is to create the best learning environment for all of our students. 

Tuition

Tuition and membership information can be found by contacting our Membership Chair at membership@dorhadash.net. There are always opportunities for scholarships depending on personal circumstances. 

Shabbat Dinners & Holiday Celebrations

We have Shabbat potluck dinners for classes and combinations of classes throughout the year. Dates will be determined during the school year, and posted on the Dor Hadash Calendar. These programs are integrated in the Dor Hadash Calendar and all are invited to join.

Mitzvah Projects

The School will provide opportunities for the students and their families to work on mitzvah projects throughout the year.


For more information, contact Principal Karen Morris at kmorris@dorhadash.net.


Dor Hadash, located in the heart of Squirrel Hill, offers a lay-led, reconstructionist alternative. Join us on any Shabbat!