Letter to Parents, 2021-2022

Beth Israel –The West Temple Religious School

14308 Triskett Road • Cleveland, OH 44111

Phone: (216) 941-8882


July, 2021

Dear Parents:

We hope that you have been having a wonderful summer and everyone continues to be safe and healthy!  I, along with the Rabbi and all our teachers look forward to teaching your children this year.  

The first day of Religious School is Sunday 12 September 2021.

The registration fees for the 2021-2022 school year are as follows:

  • One child enrolled:  $195.00
  • Two children enrolled:  $295.00
  • Three or more children enrolled:  $375.00
  • Late registration assessment:  +$10.00 for checks mailed before 31 August 2021


These registration fees cover all costs associated with Religious School, including materials, special programs, and Shabbatot.

PLEASE NOTE: Registration can only be completed by members of the congregation in good standing. Dues must be paid according to arrangements made with the Temple Treasurer before registration can be accepted. Any questions may be directed to the Temple Treasurer, Robin Kaufman at 216-387-6630 (mobile).

Please pay all fees by 31 August 2021.  Checks may be sent to:

Beth Israel — The West Temple
14308 Triskett Road
Cleveland, Ohio  44111-2328


As we are all aware, the current COVID-19 surge is a fluid situation. In the past few weeks there has been a surge of COVID cases in our community. To help mitigate the risk of exposure and transmission of the COVID virus our Educational Committee has made the decision to temporarily modify our Religious School schedule to reduce the number of people in the building and ensure the safety of our students, staff and families. 

The Schedule for the September and October Religious School classes will divide the lower elementary (Grades PK-3/4) and Upper Grades (5-12). The lower elementary and upper grades will meet on alternate weeks. It is our hope that we will resume a regular schedule and have all of our students together for Sunday Religious School in November after the peak of the latest COVID surge.

Monday Hebrew for Grades 3-6 will still offer two options for families. Students may meet in person for grade level lessons from 6:15-6:45 pm. These classes will be small and have individualized lessons for the students. 

There will also be an on- line Hebrew class for students in Grades 3-6 on Monday from 6:45-7:30 pm. Each grade level will meet in a break- out room with their teacher from 6:45-7:00 pm. Then the classes will combine for group instruction. 

Beginning Sunday, September 12, the Religious School and Hebrew schedule will be as follows:

  • Sunday, September 12- Grades 5-12 will meet 10-11:30 am
  • Monday, September 13- In person Hebrew for Grades 3-6 will meet from 6:15-6:45 and On line Hebrew for grades 3-6 will meet from 6:45-7:30
  • Sunday, September 19-Grades PK-3/4 will meet from 10-11:30 am
  • Monday, September 20- Grades 3-6 will only have online Hebrew from 6:30-7 pm. We will then join the Zoom Sukkot service at 7 pm
  • Sunday, September 26- Grades 5-12 will meet from 10-11:30 am
  • Monday, September 27- Grades 3-6 will have on line Hebrew from 6:30-7 pm and will join the Zoom Simchat Torah service at 7 pm.
  • The October schedule will be posted in the next couple weeks in the weekly Chai There!

We will follow safety protocols to minimize contact and exposure between vaccinated and unvaccinated students. Children will remain in grade level pods in their classroom and in the sanctuary. The younger unvaccinated students will also be sitting three feet apart from one another while they are in class or in the sanctuary. Additionally, all students will be required to wear masks at all times in the classroom and during Tefillah. 

We appreciate everyone’s support during this challenging time! We look forward to seeing all of our students and families in a few weeks!

Tidbits for the coming year:

  • Mark your calendars! This year we will be bringing back Winter University in January, 2022. There will be intergenerational learning programs and workshops which will include, music, art, text study, Hebrew and guest speakers. More information to come.
  • This year there will welcome musician in residence Steven Greenman who will be leading a “Taste of Klezmer” workshop during Winter University, and then return in the spring to lead a congregational Shabbaton connected to Jewish music!
  • The students and families will take part in mini retreats during the year called “The Passover Project”, in which they will explore and rethink the rituals that are part of the Passover Seder.
  • Shared Shabbat with Class — This year students in Grades PK-12 will help lead the Shared Shabbat services. There will be a virtual Shabbat service in which students will help create or lead. The dates will be as follows: Grades K-3- Friday, November 5 Grades 4-6/7- Friday, January 7 and High School, Friday, March 4.
  • The High School class will be studying the impact of Jewish immigration in America, and will be  taking a trip to New York City in January 21-23, 2022.
  • A special family Sukkot celebration will take place the evening of Monday, September 20. More information to follow. This will be followed by fun holiday observances for Simchat Torah and Consecration for Grades ½,(* Date TBD).  Special Chanukah, Purim and Passover programs and celebrations are also being planned. These will be great opportunities for our students to invite their friends to see how compelling and exciting Judaism is at Beth Israel-The West Temple.
  • We are delighted that last year’s superstar teachers are returning:  Shosh Ault, Scott Machol, David Neumann,  Ariella Payne, Lisa Fisher, Carol Ross, Renee Kolesar, Mary Lou McGuire and Allison Winokur. This year Jeff Heller will once again be teaching the High School class.The High School class will periodically be joined by guests who will bring additional knowledge and distinctive insights to our classrooms. We are also very excited to be welcoming Ken Dunn to our staff! He, along with Beryl Palnik, will be teaching the Grades 7/8 class.

We look forward to sharing this wonderful year with you.



Debbie Chessin

Director of Education


Education Committee:  Rabbi Enid Lader, Shosh Ault, Debbie Chessin, Robin Kaufman, Tina Keller, Josh Levy