ABOUT TOWN: Stoughton and Randolph Synagogues Merging Religious Schools (And More...)
Welcome to "About Town with Mark Snyder," a column that will keep you up to the minute with what's what, who's who and what's going on around town. If you see or hear something we could use here, let us know by sending an e-mail to email@example.com.
MERGING OF THE MINDS: Ahavath Torah Congregation of Stoughton has a newly-named religious school, combining its school with that of Temple Beth Am in Randolph, starting in September, 2012.
The new school is named B'Yachad South Area Religious School. B'Yachad meaning “Together," symbolic of the merging and collaboration of the two synagogues' religious schools, staff and curriculum.
The religious education merger is a way to save costs and deal with declining enrollment for the two Hebrew Schools. There are no plans at the moment, however, to merge the Stoughton and Randolph congregations.
B'Yachad South Area Religious School will offer a two day per week schedule, and caters to preschool age to grade 7. Classes meet on Sundays from 9 a.m. to noon, and Wednesdays from 3:45-5:45 p.m. Jewish history, customs, culture, prayer, holidays, and the Hebrew language are emphasized in interactive classes, which will be held at Ahavath Torah Congregation, 1179 Central Street in Stoughton, from Sunday, September 9, 2012 through December 19, 2012. The school year will continue on January 2, 2013 and run through May 22, 2013 at Temple Beth Am, 871 North Main Street, in Randolph.
According to Sue Rosman, the Education Director of B'Yachad South Area Religious School , "I am looking forward to partnering with Temple Beth Am's religious school. I have been in close contact with Debbie Gladstone, the Education Director, and together we are merging the best elements of our schools to create B'Yachad South Area Religious School. I am proud and excited to be a part of the birth of a new school that embraces its history while envisioning new directions in Jewish education and Jewish identity."
Rosman, in an exclusive interview with About Town, said that the educational merger would result in "larger classrooms, the chance to socialize with more Jewish children, and more informative discussions, featuring a larger collection of opinions."
She said that Ahavath Torah had 40 students, and Beth Am was down to 26 students.
During times when school is in session in Stoughton, Junior Congregations will be held in Randolph. And when school is in session in Randolph, Junior Congregation will be held in Stoughton. She explained, "Last year, we had holiday programming with Temple Beth Emunah in Brockton and Temple Beth Am in Randolph. It worked out well. It's the first step in educational regionalization."
Ahavath Torah president David Schulze told About Town that Combined Jewish Philanthropies has been promoting a regional educational spinoff, S.A.G.E.
He added, "All the local synagogues have gotten smaller, and when they are under 40 kids in their schools, it's difficult to fund. It costs the same amount if you have 75 students or 25. We need at least 75 students or it's a financial burden to the Temple. This merger of our two schools has lessened the financial burden on both Temples, while allowing students to be in larger classes, with greater offerings."
When asked if this is the beginning of the merger of a number of local Temples - as rumors have it - he replied, "This is not a formal step toward any merger."
Registration is now open for the new school's September 2012 session. For more information on B'Yachad South Area Religious School, contact Sue Rosman, Education Director, at 781-344-8755 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ahavath Torah Congregation is a Conservative synagogue in Stoughton, MA, with Rabbi Jonathan Hausman as religious leader. It is located at 1179 Central Street in Stoughton. For more information, call the synagogue office at781-344-8733, send an email to email@example.com, or visit the website at www.atorah.org.
Temple Beth Am is a Conservative synagogue in Randolph, MA, with Rabbi Loel Weiss as the religious leader. It is located at 871 North Main St. in Randolph. For more information, call the synagogue office at 781-963-0440, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the website at templebethamrandolph.org.
GYMNASTICS WINNER: Andrea Brancaccio from Stoughton placed first at the State Gymnastics Championships in Level 5 last Sunday, June 24. The Meet was held at Holyoke Community College with over 150 gymnasts in the competition.
Andrea' attends the Gibbons Elementary School and trains at the Somersault Center in Stoughton with her coaches, Chad Buczek (former Penn. State gymnast) and Laura Dube (former Southern Ct. State gymnast). She also placed first on the Balance Beam and the Floor Exercise.
She trains for over 10 and a half hours a week and plans on moving up to Level 6 next year!
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY: to Jeff and Sue Ledin. Jeff is a Stoughton firefighter/EMT and manager of Century 21 C & S Properties in town.