The Power of a Promise
Here at Temple Shalom, formal Jewish education ends with the completion of 10th grade. The years between b’not/b’nai/simchat mitzvah and 10th grade are a period of significant adolescent development including our youth’s essential spiritual, religious and moral growth as young Jews. For this reason, all the b’not/b’nai/simchat mitzvah at our congregation promise to continue their Jewish education through at least the end of Tenth Grade.
The power of this pledge has led to a 10th grade and Confirmation program of depth, meaning and quality as the students delve into many topics and issues relevant to their lives at this time. Those who have gone through 10th grade and Confirmation at Temple Shalom speak for years – even decades – afterwards of what that year, and its culmination, meant to them.
10th Grade Graduation
Having honored their promise to complete their formal Jewish education through the 10th grade, our students graduate from our Religious School during a Shabbat evening service.
Following this service, the confirmands participate in a special Confirmation pledge ceremony. They have some time to speak privately with the Rabbi and their teachers about what their Judaism and connection to the Jewish people means to them and how they will continue their connection to Judaism and the Jewish people.
The Confirmation Service is led by the students. The service contains their creative reflections on prayers, the Ten Commandments and issues in their lives: a living midrash (interpretation) and personal reframing of the liturgy and Torah of Jewish life.
In these ways, and more, we teach our soon-to-be young adults to "own" their Jewish identity.
Confirmation Class meets Sundays from 6:00pm-8:00pm.
Many of our students choose to continue their Jewish education through 11th and 12th grade. They determine the course of study and topics of interest. Classes are taught by the clergy, teachers with whom the students have built relationships over the years, congregants, guest speakers and by the students themselves.
During a Shabbat evening service, we recognize our Post-Confirmation seniors’ accomplishment of completing this class. The juniors and seniors conduct the service, offer their reflections on their experiences during their Religious School years and the seniors graduate from Post-Confirmation.
Post-Confirmation Class meets Sundays from 6:00pm-8:00pm most weeks; one week each month they meet during Shabbat evening, afternoon or Sunday morning. This schedule provides the students more opportunities to attend the classes.