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FAQ

1. How large is Temple Shalom’s congregation?

Temple Shalom has approximately 750 families. Our membership is very diverse and includes people of all ages, and families of all types.

2. What type of families are at Temple Shalom?

Temple Shalom is a diverse and inclusive congregation. We have members who are single adults, couples with no children, families with children at home, and families whose children are grown. We also have families with same sex partners, interfaith couples and interfaith families who have chosen to raise their children as Jews. Whatever the size or make-up of your family, there are social, worship, education and service opportunities available to help you feel at home and connected. We also have an Interfaith Connection group, made up of interfaith and other types of families, that gets together for social purposes and to work towards helping all people feel comfortable at Temple Shalom.

3. Does the size of Temple Shalom make it difficult to connect?

There are many ways to connect to the Temple Shalom community, including clergy and staff. Our size makes it possible to offer activities and programs that appeal to different age groups and interests.

There are also many ways to become involved in life at Temple Shalom. Activities and programming for the community are also done throughout the year by our Brotherhood and our Sisterhood.  Our Bonim group offers a wide variety of programming for congregants who are 55 and older. Many working committees and a wide variety of classes, worship opportunities and activities allow each member to find his or her own level and path to involvement.

4. What is worship like at Temple Shalom?

Shabbat Services offer a chance to pause from a hectic week. Participation provides opportunities for introspection and for connection in the community of worshipers through beautiful music, meditation and prayer. Our ushers and greeters are always ready to welcome new members and visitors.

All services are conducted in English and Hebrew. The Mishkan Tefila prayer book includes transliteration for all Hebrew prayers and readings. It is important to us that all who come to worship, regardless of background, should feel comfortable.

5. How does the Religious School operate?

We are very proud of our schools serving chlidren from 21 months through Grade 12.

For information about our toddler through Transitional Kindergarten programs in our Nursery School, please contact 617-969-5521.

Our K-6 Educational Program, SHACHARIT, meets on Sunday mornings for all grades and is complemented by one hour of Small Group Hebrew weekly for children in grades 3-6. Participants enjoy an integrated program of Hebrew and Judaica that includes hands-on Jewish elective rotations, an individually-paced Hebrew curriculum, and a solid foundation in Jewish ethics and Torah. SHACHARIT is designed to be inclusive to all families – and we are very deeply committed to supporting and accommodating children with special needs.

MINCHA, our program for students in Grades 7-8, includes a weekly educational experience on Tuesdays from 5–7 p.m. and social, communal, and religious opportunities throughout the year. MINCHA Tuesday  has something for everyone! Participants will enjoy dinner together as well as creative, interactive Jewish education.  MINCHA Tuesday also includes a service learning component through the TELEM Program of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Boston. Students will visit their service learning site approximately every third Tuesday.  Our talented and energetic staff brings an element of fun and excitement to each Tuesday evening. Participants will learn in both small and large groups, and will engage in the study of a variety of Jewish subjects and texts both ancient and modern through the lenses of their chosen service learning project.  Registration for MINCHA Tuesdays is a required part of the B’nai Mitzvah experience.

MA’ARIV is our High School program and incorporates a wide variety of opportunities for learning and leadership development. MA’ARIV students register for our weekly educational program on Tuesdays from 6:30–8:30 p.m.  MA’ARIV Tuesday is a vibrant environment that includes dinner and creative Jewish learning as well as preparation for Confirmation (10th grade), small group study with our clergy and leadership development opportunities.  Every participant is encouraged to find their own place within in the MA’ARIV community to grow and flourish. Those in 9th grade can attend our annual trip to Washington, D.C. with L’Taken to learn about political advocacy through the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. MA’ARIV Tuesday is a required part of the Confirmation experience.

6. How does Temple Shalom support children with non-traditional learning profiles?

Each year, parents receive school registration forms where they are asked to tell us anything special that we should know about their children. We have students with many different types of physical and learning issues that require accommodations like extra reinforcement, seating close to the whiteboard or teacher instructions given both orally and in writing. When a student needs more intervention, our educators meet with the family to find the best plan and setting for that child. Our Gesher program allows Hebrew students to work at a level that best suits their individual learning needs in a small classroom setting. Gesher students generally join their grade level class during the Judaica portion of each day.Our educators make every effort to work with families to make the student’s time at Temple Shalom both positive and productive.

7. What does it cost to become a member of Temple Shalom?

The Board of Trustees oversees dues and fee schedules to ensure that excellence in clergy and staff, diverse learning options, and quality of facilities are maintained as cost effectively as possible. It is also Board policy that no person or family is denied membership because of an inability to pay the established dues. Current dues schedules are available and are based on age and type of family.

For this and other detailed information on Temple Shalom, please contact Executive Director Ellie Goldman at 617-332-9550.

8. Is the temple accessible to those with special needs?

There are parking spaces on two levels reserved for those with special needs. For weekday entry on the lower level, they are outside the entrance between the upper and lower parking lot. For services or special events in the Sanctuary or Social Hall, parking is at the top of the main parking lot and by the lower fence. There are no steps at either entrance. The Temple has an elevator that can access every level. There are three handicap bathrooms, one on the office level and two on the lower Nursery School level.

We have large print prayer books available for both Shabbat and High Holy Day services and portable hearing assist devices.

Our Facilities Committee has an active group looking at all accessibility possibilities, and we welcome suggestions.

Tue, August 22 2017 30 Av 5777