Sunday School: Atidaynu
Atidaynu, Our Future, is Har Shalom’s religious school for children from ages 3 – 13 years. Parents and other volunteers lead the classes. Depending on the activity, children are divided into groups based on age and Hebrew ability. We provide a variety of learning, crafts, and recreational opportunities for our boys and girls, including an opening t’fillah (prayer) gathering in which we sing songs and chant prayers. Many parents join us for this, too.
Younger kids spend a significant portion of their time with stories, arts and crafts, and games, all the while learning in a variety of ways— through studying bible stories, the Hebrew alphabet, and customs. As they grow older, there is increasing emphasis on learning about and acting upon Jewish values in the home and in the community. During the 2 to 4 years preceding a bar or bat mitzvah, students are exposed to Jewish history, ritual, and customs and learn to read Hebrew and lead service prayers.
A B’nei Mitzvah handbook is being developed. The training of children for their bar or bat mitzvah is under the direction of our Spiritual Leader and Student Rabbi, Laurie Franklin. We are proud of the fine young congregants who have come through Atidaynu, and are confident that together we will continue to strengthen the moral character and ritual knowledge of the next generation of Jews living in Western Montana.
B’nei Mitzvah Education
We recommend beginning preparations for b’nei mitzvah at least one year before the anticipated date of the bar or bat mitzvah. Each student works with a tutor to build reading skills and meets monthly with Spiritual Leader and Student Rabbi Laurie Franklin to discuss ideas and meanings in Torah, Haftarah, and words of prayer.
Engaging a tutor is the responsibility of the bar or bat mitzvah’s family.
Laurie will communicate regularly with tutors and family about each student’s progress. Students are expected to be enrolled in Atidaynu and to attend services regularly.
Each student engages in a community service project as part of b’nei mitzvah education.
We meet every Saturday at 10 am to read and discuss the weekly Torah portion. We read the Torah portion in a number of different translations and do some translating ourselves. Our discussions are lively, and we welcome everyone. No expertise is required.
Beginnings of Judaism
This adult class, led by Toba Winston, uses a DVD and book that has twenty-four, 1/2 hour lectures by Professor Isaiah M. Gafni, who teaches history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.The history begins about the 20th to 16th centuries before The Common Era (BCA) and ends about 500 to 600 CE, the date the Babylonian Talmud is completed. The discussion will delve into these beginnings and the effects they have on modern day Judaism as both a religion, a culture and a nationality.
To make an appointment, contact Spiritual Leader and Student Rabbi Laurie Franklin at