BEIT SEFER

   The Desert Outreach Synagogue is proud and excited to announce the opening of our Beit Sefer for the 2022- 2023 school year. School is held on Saturday mornings (Shabbat school), from 9:45 AM to noon. We also offer Adult Education and Torah Study classes.     * * * Please fill in the registration forms as soon as possible.

   All classes meet on Zoom on Saturdays OR at the Unitarian Church community room.

         72425 Via Vail
         Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
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    9:45 AM to noon with snack and break time
   11:30 AM – Family T’fillah
    Noon to 1:15 PM – Teen/Confirmation program
    4:00 to 5:15 PM – 6th & 7th TUESDAYS on Zoom

Shabbat School 

    The goal of our Beit Sefer is to prvide the Coachella Valley with a vibrant environment where students will learn about Jewish rituals, holidays, observances and liturgy through a creative curriculum led by experienced teachers. We incorporate appropriate art, music, dance and fun activities to allow our students to build Jewish friendships. We are a full-service educational program providing classes for K- 10th grade.

    B’nai Mitzvah preparation and confirmation are taught by the Director of the school, Arava Talve. Arava, formerly the principal of the Avi Levine Religious School at Temple Sinai in Palm Desert, has been a Jewish educator for over 25 years and has led more than 500 youth and adult students on their journey to become Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Arava also teaches confirmation and, as the director of our school, is very excited about sharing the beauty of our Jewish tradition with our youth.

    In addition, in order to give our students leadership opportunities, Arava facilitates a Learner’s Minyan for the final half our of class. Parents will join the students in prayer as they share their growing knowledge and participate with both Keva (chanting the prayers) and with Kavannah (what the prayers mean to them). Our school will also have a library program to facilitate intergenerational learning, special art projects and a music program focusing on Jewish folk songs and some new and creative tunes currently used in reform shuls around the country.

 


DOS Confirmation class

    Reform rabbis believed that 13 is too young for a child to affirm a lifetime commitment to Jewish tradition and practice, and thus the Confirmation service was developed. It usually is held when young people reach 15 or16, and are considered more mature in their understanding of a truly Jewish lifestyle. Using this reasoning, it is easy to see why Confirmation initially took the place of bar or bat mitzvah in Reform synagogues. Over time, of course, that position was modified, and today many teens have the distinct honor of becoming both a bar or bat mitzvah and a confirmand.

   Modern Confirmation echoes the symbolism of the ancient observance of Shavout: “Today…young people are the first fruits of each year’s harvest. They represent the hope and promise of tomorrow. During the service [they] reaffirm their commitment to the covenant.”

   The course of study includes, the Book of Ruth, the Ten Commandments, Mussar (a Jewish study that promotes balance in one’s life) and continued exploration of their growing Jewish Identity. DOS Confirmation class meets on Saturdays from noon to 1:15 pm beginning October 8th at the Unitarian Church in Rancho Mirage. Because of a scheduling conflict, four classes will be remote learning on Zoom.

If you have any questions about the Beit Sefer program or Confirmation Class, please contact Arava (909-560-3313).

 

 


Jewish play group

                                                     “Above all we take pride in the education of our children.”  Josephus

    As part of the DOS Shabbat school, we are happy to share the launching of our Jewish play group.  Jewish families with small children (ages 4-7) now have a place to grow, play, learn and build Jewish friendships on Shabbat mornings from 9:45AM to noon.  Parents are invited to stay and meet other families working to secure their child’s Jewish identity.  Through art, song, and story, the children will learn about their Jewish heritage, rituals and prayers. 

    The playgroup meets 17 times during the school year for a cost of $285 per child with a 10% reduction for each additional child. You may pay monthly or in full. No one is turned away due to financial constraints. 

    Our Saturday Shabbat school serves students from four years of age through confirmation. Our B’nai Mitzvah program, led by Arava Talve, focuses on a balance between Keva and Kevannah; learning the words and reflecting on what the words mean for the Jewish community and also to the students on a personal level.   As Rabbi Jules says, “Come join us because you already belong”.  If you have any questions about the Shabbat school or our Jewish play group, please contact Arava.

Activities

Hanukkah

The Hanukkah menorah symbolizes the miracle that occurred when the Maccabees, Jewish fighters in ancient Judea in the 2nd century BCE, re-sanctified the holy Temple in Jerusalem after defeating their Greek-Seleucid occupiers who had desecrated the Temple and banned Jewish worship. When the Maccabees finally took back the Temple, they found only one small jug of oil for lighting the Menorah for the rededication. As the story goes, the small jug of oil lasted for eight days, just enough time for more kosher oil to be made. We know that this is also a story of the Maccabees and their quest for religious freedom. We celebrate their victory in their fight for religious freedom more than 2,000 years ago. Tragically, that fight is no less important today, and not only for Jews, but for people of all faiths.

We will discuss those communities in our world that still struggle to practice their religion and learn about the special menorah for our rededication by the Maccabees all those centuries ago.

Faith is like a flame. Properly tended, it gives light and warmth. I look forward to sharing the students’ creations in the coming weeks.