SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Congregation Beth Israel’s Religious School in Scotch Plains held a Moving Up ceremony for its second- and seventh-grade students on Sunday, May 21, to celebrate their advancing to the next level of Jewish education. For the second-graders, the ceremony marked the conclusion of their weekly Sunday School program and the start of their formal two-day-a-week Religious School education. For the seventh-graders, the ceremony marked the conclusion of their Religious School studies and the continuation of their Jewish education in Congregation Beth Israel’s Hebrew High School, the Machon Institute.

In front of their families, teachers and fellow classmates, the second-graders sang several songs together, and each child explained what they liked best about Sunday School, what wish they had for the Jewish people, and what they wanted to tell Rabbi George Nudell upon his retirement after 35 years. The seventh-graders imparted “words of wisdom” to the second-graders and provided insights into the great activities in Religious School.

On behalf of Congregation Beth Israel’s entire Religious School, the students then sang a song for Rabbi Nudell and presented him with a farewell gift, a framed photograph of all the students in the school, holding a sign saying, “We will miss you.” 

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The students, in turn, were presented with certificates and gifts to mark their accomplishments. The Religious School teachers and their assistants were also acknowledged and thanked for their dedication and service.

Congregation Beth Israel’s Religious School educates students from pre-school through 10th grade through experiential grade-specific programs that encompass the family in its curriculum. Students in pre-K through second grade meet on Sunday; synagogue membership is not required for students to attend this program. Religious School for grades 3-7 meets two days per week, on Sunday morning and Wednesday afternoon. The Machon Institute Hebrew High School meets once a week on Wednesday evening.

Congregation Beth Israel has been recognized as an ABLE Awarded Congregation by the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest for its commitment to inclusion and accommodation for all its members. Contact Gail Beckman Buchbinder, Education Director, at (908) 889-1830 to discuss how the Religious School can help your children achieve their Jewish potential. 

Congregation Beth Israel is an egalitarian Conservative synagogue, serving the religious, cultural, educational and social needs of congregants from Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Westfield and surrounding towns. It has an active Sisterhood, Men’s Club and youth group, plus a wide array of programs, ranging from adult education courses to social action opportunities. Congregation Beth Israel is located at 18 Shalom Way, Scotch Plains (corner of Martine Avenue).