Religious School

At Temple Etz Chaim, we understand that we are responsible for providing our students with an excellent Jewish education. Our school’s critical role is to develop knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for our students to be active and knowledgeable members of the Jewish Community. Religious education will help to enable our future generations to live productive and meaningful lives as Americans and Jews.

Welcome to Religious School

“I love Religious School.”

“And I love having you here.”

This verbal exchange occurs numerous times every day as I stroll through the playground chatting with the students and teachers at recess and passing out licorice. You are probably wondering, “Do the children really mean it or do they just want a piece of licorice?” Actually, they truly mean it, as do I.

Over and over again, I have heard parents marvel at the fact that their children not only enjoy coming to Temple Etz Chaim’s Religious School, they love it. I have heard many parents at religious school express how negative their own experiences were in religious school and how surprised and happy they are at how much their children enjoy their religious school experience.

I, also, was one of those parents. When I attended religious school, I always tried my best and studied hard. Sometimes, however, I would answer a question incorrectly or mispronounce a Hebrew word, and the teacher would pinch my hand. Sometimes it would really hurt, and I always wondered why the teacher did that. I knew that there must be better ways to teach.

What I didn’t know at the time was that I would be given the opportunity to direct a religious school that children would love attending: a BJE accredited school noted for its strong, warm, nurturing staff who are not only knowledgeable and capable, but also kind, caring, and devoted to our children’s Jewish education and well-being.

Together we strive to fulfill the school’s mission:

From Generation to Generation, to inspire love of Judaism, dedication to Torah, and fulfillment of mitzvot

L’Dor v’Dor

If you have any questions, my door is always open. You can also call the Religious School office at 805-494-8174 or email me at .


Joyce Bronstein
Director of Religious School Education

Our Goals

At Temple Etz Chaim, we embrace the important responsibility of providing our students with an excellent Jewish education.  Our school’s critical role is to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for our students to function responsibly in the Jewish Community. Religious education ensures that future generations to live productive and meaningful lives as Americans and Jews.

Our goals are to:

  • Provide each student with skills and knowledge to live a Jewish life, enabling them to participate in synagogue and family rituals with meaning and understanding
  • Prepare students for lifecycle events such as Bnai Mitzvot and confirmation, providing them with necessary skills to lead prayers with competency and understanding
  • Enhance a student’s moral and character development
  • Strengthen a student’s sense of Jewish identity, creating empathy towards Jewish people around the world, and upholding the theme of Klal Yisrael
  • Encourage students to embrace mitzvot at Temple, home, and in the community through acts of Gemilut Hasidim, giving tzedakah, and Mitzvah projects
  • Enhance each student’s educations by involving their families in group Shabbat dinners, Religious School services, other school activities, as well as family education

We strive to ensure that all our students realize that they are part of an unbroken chain, linking generations to Jewish people to each other.


Our Religious School’s curriculum emphasizes your child’s development in Jewish Life. Topics are taught at appropriate grade levels to maximize learning utilizing various teaching methods, including cooperative learning, music, art, dance, drama, storytelling, videos, visual aids, and games are used to enrich the learning process. Textbooks are assigned by subject and grade level. Our educational materials and resources progress from year to year, enabling students to mature end enter discussions at appropriate grade levels.