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Special Programming

In addition to the regular curriculum, the Religious School offers the following special programs

Bnai Mitzvah class 1 Ulpan
Junior Congregation
Passover Grade Level Seders
Attendance Awards
Israeli Dance
Field Trips
Religious School Parties
Seventh Grade Murder Mystery
Master of Mitzvot
Religious School Family Shabbat Services
Religious School Grade Level Family Services
Religious School Grade Level Shabbat Dinners
Seventh Grade Graduation

ULPAN provides additional help to those students who are experiencing difficulty learning Hebrew reading and prayer. The Ulpan teachers work with groups of approximately four students who are pulled from their regular Hebrew class for 20-minute increments. The goal is to help students achieve their maximum potential in Hebrew reading ability. The self-image and attitudes of the students participating in the program improve noticeably. Ulpan has helped to relieve the frustration and negative feeling that some students experience while learning a foreign language.

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JUNIOR CONGREGATION is an integral part of the school's curriculum. Students can participate and lead prayers in the Saturday morning service. Additionally, students are encouraged to participate in the Torah reading. These Shabbat morning services provide an opportunity for students to use what they have learned, giving them a great sense of pride in their abilities and knowledge. Many parents have commented on the discussions that they have had based on parts of the Shabbat Service as well as the Torah portion.

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PASSOVER GRADE LEVEL SEDERS allow students in grades 3-7 to share a Seder experience with their friends and teachers. Teachers enjoy leading a Seder with their own students because it provides an intimate atmosphere. Different Haggadot are used depending on the academic level. Since the Seders are organized by grade level, they are age appropriate, allowing students to truly understand and enjoy the ritual. Religious School Volunteer Parents (RSVP) purchase the Seder food and recruit the help to set up the classrooms. The preparation is done during the first hour of Religious School while students are participating in an assembly. The Seders take place during the second hour.

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ATTENDANCE AWARDS recognize those students who have had excellent attendance at Religious School. To receive this award, students in grades three, four and five must have missed no more than two days per semester, and students in grades six and seven must have missed no more than three days. Students who have earned this award are acknowledged at a special assembly. Each student is called to the Bima to receive a personalized certificate. Our students strive to earn this honor. Attendance awards have been a positive addition to our programming.

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MUSIC is offered once a week for approximately 20 minutes. All types of Jewish songs are taught to the children. Students in grades K-7 participate in a unique grade level Shabbat program that highlights the songs they have learned. Students practice for a longer amount of time prior to their individual program.

Grade level program themes:

K Hebrew Names



1  Consecration
(includes new 2nd grade students)
2 "Growing Up Jewishly"
3 Siddur Tefillah
4 Torah Parsha
5 Israel
6 Shabbat and Hanukkah
7 Graduation

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ISRAELI DANCE is offered to students at holiday times. Various dances, including both traditional and modern, are taught to the students. Religious School students truly benefit from the instruction of Israeli Dance, allowing them an opportunity to experience more of the cultural aspects of Judaism.

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CERAMICS allows students to make many different Judaic ceramic art pieces. Art projects in this class have included Shabbat candleholders, Kiddish cups, Seder plates, Passover salt-water bowls, Hanukkah trays, challah trays, and so much more. The Religious School is fortunate to have a kiln to fire all of the students' ceramic art creations. These projects have provided a bridge between the Judaism they learn in the school with the home.

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FIELD TRIPS are planned each year. Students in grade 7 will participate in a three-hour experience at the Museum of Tolerance.

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relschool_dance_2_2011-02-26RELIGIOUS SCHOOL PARTIES are offered to students in grades 3-7. The dance is an opportunity for Jewish children to socialize with other Jewish children. All Jewish children are welcome to attend regardless of affiliation. Students are asked to bring a can of food as a donation to SOVA for entry to the dance.

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SEVENTH GRADE MURDER MYSTERY is a program designed to teach students about the very difficult subject of death and dying. As part of the seventh grade curriculum, students study a unit on life cycle. As a culmination to the death and dying unit, students participate in a Murder Mystery. Students enrolled in the eighth grade Confirmation Program drama elective are the actors for the Murder Mystery. On the day of the Murder Mystery, seventh grade students remain after Sunday school. They enjoy a pizza, salad and ice cream lunch. As they are eating, some of the drama class students provide entertainment by playing musical instruments, singing and dancing. After lunch, the drama class performs the Murder Mystery. The play contains information on Jewish values, ethics, and practices. During intermission, seventh grade students are divided into two teams to play a Jewish Life Cycle Trivia Game (all students receive a prize). Before the murderer is uncovered, the students meet in prearranged small groups to decide who the killer is and why he/she murdered the victim. After the team votes, the play concludes. The team with the correct identification of the murderer wins. Everyone enjoys the Murder Mystery Program. The play provides an innovative means to teach students about death and dying.

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MASTER OF MITZVOT is a program designed to enhance and enrich the process of becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah. To achieve Master of Mitzvot, students must complete thirteen mitzvot as outlined in a notebook given to them at the first B'nai Mitzvah Family Education workshop. Mitzvah is one of the most important ideas Judaism has given to the world. The act of performing a mitzvah is central to one's Jewish identity. Completing the thirteen mitzvot contained in the book enriches the Bar/Bat Mitzvah experience and strengthens students' Jewish identities. It also increases the spirituality and meaning of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah experience for both students and their parents. The Master of Mitzvot book must be completed and turned in to the Director of Religious School Education one-month prior to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Students who complete the program are recognized at their Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony with a beautifully framed "Master of Mitzvot" certificate.

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RELIGIOUS SCHOOL FAMILY SHABBAT SERVICES occur on the fourth Friday of each month during the school year. Families are invited to lead prayers and be active participants in the Friday evening service. Families use a special siddur, P'nei Shabbat: The Shabbat Family Siddur. Singing and praying together provide a positive and inspirational experience for families. This Shabbat service has led to an increased involvement of families in synagogue life. Families eagerly look forward to this monthly Shabbat evening program.

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RELIGIOUS SCHOOL GRADE LEVEL FAMILY SERVICES involve students in grades K, 1, 2 who lead specific prayers in the Family service such as L'Cha Dodi, Shema v'Ahavta, and Adon Olam. Students also sing songs based on the theme of their grade level. In kindergarten, the theme is Hebrew names; in first, Consecration and Torah; in second, "Growing Up Jewishly."

  • 3rd grade – Siddur Tefillah – students receive a siddur with a personalized cover
  • 4th grade – Torah Parsha – students receive a hand-made tallit
  • 5th grade – Israel – students create a beautiful colorful kippah
  • 6th grade – Shabbat and Hanukkah – students make their own ceramic tray

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RELIGIOUS SCHOOL FAMILY SHABBAT DINNERS frequently occur prior to Grade Level Family Services (see above) and provide an opportunity for the grade level family to celebrate a special achievement or special program.

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SEVENTH GRADE GRADUATION relschool_primary_2 is truly a highlight of Religious School programming. A crucial year in the overall education of our students, we are proud of the fact that almost all of our seventh grade students, regardless of the date of their Bar/Bat Mitzvah, continue to attend classes throughout the school year. Therefore, we have continued to have successful graduation ceremonies with almost 100% participation. Seventh grade students lead a Mincha Service and also sing inspiring songs throughout the evening. Some of the students' writings are personally read. Each student receives a graduation certificate. After the service, a beautiful dessert reception is held in our social hall.

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confirmation w/ rabbiCONFIRMATION, held on Erev Shavuot, is an important and meaningful life cycle experience for our tenth graders and their families. Under the direction of the Rabbi, Hazzan and the Director of Religious School Education, these young adults lead a spiritual ceremony. Students write personal essays, expressing their thoughts and feelings, which are read during the service. Their essays, along with their biographies and pictures, are included in the Confirmation booklet, which is given to everyone in attendance. Families celebrate at a festive dinner before services and beautiful dessert reception following services. These young people truly exhibit a love of and commitment to Judaism.

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Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur

High Holidays - 2017/5778

High Holidays 2017/5778 Services Schedule -Rosh Hashanah September 21-22, Yom Kippur September 29-30 - Click here for the 2017 services schedule.

Sign Up to Attend High Holidays Services - Please let us know which services you'll be attending in order to help us assign honors by completing our High Holiday Services Attendance Form 

Reserve Your Tickets and Seats - Can pay by cash or credit card - Click here for the ticket and seating reservation form.

Special Programming for Children and Teens:

Children Can Participate in Our Beautiful Neilah Service - Join us on September 30 at 7:00 p.m. sharp in the Chapel. - Click here for the registration form due by September 25, 2017.

High Holiday Children's Services - Great for families who love holiday songs and storytelling! Join us for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur at 2:30 p.m. - Click here for the schedule

High Holiday Childcare for Children up to 5 Years - Free for Temple Members, $25/day for Non-members, Return form to the office no later than September 1, 2017 - Click here for the form.

High Holiday Experience For Children in TK, Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Grades - A creative service with hands-on fun! Begins at 9:00 a.m. - Click here for the flyer.

Junior Congregation For Children in 5th, 6th, and 7th Grades - Join in leading a meaningful service in the Winer Chapel. For Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, meet in Wolfson at 10:45 a.m. - Click here for the flyer.

This Yom Kippur Sicha is LAVA!! Don’t get burned by the choices you made in the past! Join us on September 30th, from 12pm-1pm for a fun and interactive program about how to be our better selves this year. For 8-12th graders only. Click here for the flyer.

Tashlich Walk with USY - USY Tashlich Walk at Temple Etz Chaim. Meet us on September 21st in the Religious School rotunda at 11:30 a.m. sharp.  Click here for the flyer.

Caring Connections and More

I Care, We Care, TEC Cares!

For more information and to be a part of Caring Connections visit our page.

Volunteer opportunity: The ALS Association is looking for volunteers to visit home-bound people with ALS once a week. Teens would be welcome. Please contact with Barbara Porush: 818-429-5686b[email protected]

Bereavement Support Group Open to the Community: Our Bereavement group will meet every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month.

Al-Anon meets every Wednesday at TEC, 7:00-8:15PM. 

Be Involved - Click here for a calendar of upcoming events.

Refuah Shelamah Requests - Can't make it to shul for a friend or loved one in need of a prayer for healing?  Send in any name you would like read at services (Shabbat, minyan or other) and a dedicated Temple congregant will stand and read the name. Just email your request to refuah.[email protected] with the details of the individual in need of healing. It is that easy and simple!  Because No one should be without a voice. 

Community Outreach/Caring Connection presents New support group forming at TEC: Caregiver Support Group - May 15th,11:00am ALL TOPICS ENCOURAGED (dementia, behaviors, finances, Alzheimer, aging, etc.) Hear, share,learn, discuss, resolve issues in caring for loved ones. Click here for the flyer - Open to the community.

Chai Lights

Rabbinic Seach Frequently Asked Questions - Our congregation has begun the process of searching for and hiring a new rabbi. The Rabbinic Search Committee (RSC) recognizes that you will have various questions regarding the search, so we thought we would try to anticipate some of them and do our best to provide answers. Please read our Rabbinic Search Frequently Asked Questions.

Saturday September 16th dinner and Selichot Services- Join us for Havdallah, a light dinner, the screning of "The Women's Balcony" followed by a coffee and cake and the late night Selichot service. More information.

Operation Isaiah Canned Food Drive - Donate cans of food to the hungry! September 18 - September 30, 2017

September 29th is the last day to RSVP for "Dinner in the Sukkah" More information and form

Annual Sukkah Building October 1st 9 am- Join the Men's Club in the annual tradition of building and decorating our sukkah, it's a great way to spend a Sunday while the kids are at Religious School. No esperience necessary. More information.

Sukkot Dinner December 6, 6 pm - Remember to RSVP by September 29th.

RSVP for Say Shalom "Celebrate Life" Dinner by October 11  ​- "Celebrate Life' Shabbat onwill begin with a Say Shalom complimentary dinner for all at 6:00pm. Please RSVP by October 11

Guess Who's Comming to Shabbas. October 13 - This is Temple Etz Chaim’s new program where congregants host a Shabbat dinner in their homes and invite 1-2 other synagogue families to attend. Thus far, 86 Etz Chaim families have participated! If you’d like to host a dinner, if you’d like to be invited to attend a dinner, or if you have questions, just contact us at [email protected]. Our goal is to have every Temple family invited for an at-home Shabbat dinner over the next year. Doesn’t everyone enjoy celebrating Shabbat over a good meal at home with family and friends?

Say Shalom Dinner: Celebrate Life and Community in the New Year Friday, October 20 6:00 pm ~ Social Hall - Click here for the flyer.

TEC Book Club - Join us to read and discuss a selection of great books - August-November 2017 upcoming schedule

The First Great Challa Bake -Wednesday, November 8th RSVP by October 27. 7:00 pm -9:00 pm Click here for the flyer.

Be The Change - Tzedakah campaign - Are you ready to be the change? Suggested donation of $5.

Parent and Me Classes - Wednesdays, 9:15 AM -10:30 AM. Storytime, art, music, Jewish traditions, crafts, and so much more.


Women of TEC Judaica Shop

Visit the Women of TEC Judaica Shop at Temple Etz Chaim! We carry a wide selection of Judaica gifts for every occasion. Visit the Women of TEC Judaica Shop web page for hours and featured items!





Religious School 2017-2018

First Day Religious School Grades 3-7

Tuesday, September 5th and 6th are the First Days of Religious School Grades 3-7

First Day Class Grades TK,K,1,2

Sunday, September 10 is the first day of Religious School for Grades TK-2

First Day Confirmation Grades 8-12
Monday, September 11th 6:30pm

Infant Care Now Registering!

Infant Care Now Registering!

Now Offering Full-time Infant Care from 3 months on. 

Small caretaker - child ratio.
Full Time Monday to Friday 7:30am - 6:00pm.
Space fills up fast, plan ahead and reserve your spot! To schedule a tour please contact the pre-school office at (805) 497-6852 or email us at [email protected].

Registration Form

Support Temple Etz Chaim everytime you shop

Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases when you shop at AmazonSmile - smile.amazon.com.

Agoura Hills Hand Car Wash "Wash Bucks" Program

Find out here how you can help support TEC every time you wash your car or shop at Agoura Hills Hand Car Wash.


Earn Funds for TEC

When you search and shop with GoodSearch, you help Temple Etz Chaim earn money. How? Good Search is a search engine which donates 50-percent of its renveue to the charities and schools designated by its users.