Education at Temple Beth El

In the Babylonian Talmud Ta’anit 7a, Judah Hanasi wrote:

I learned much from my teachers, more from my colleagues, and most from my students.

It is with precisely this philosophy that we take into the highest consideration when developing our learning environment here at Temple Beth El.  Teachers are an incredible source of wisdom, passing down traditions and knowledge from one generation to the next.  Fellow students serve to further help our ability to access the knowledge that the teacher passes on, making it even more dynamic, and allowing it to come to life.  But we must not forget that the teacher learns, too, from what students teach them about the knowledge that they are passing down.  Thus, we try to incorporate these three elements in every learning endeavor upon which we embark – where teachers impart their wealth of Jewish wisdom, where students learn from one another, and where teachers learn from their students.  This is what we aspire for.  This is a dynamic educational environment.  This is a place where Jewish learning and thinking are alive and vibrant.

It is our hope that, through this kind of learning, students and adults form and re-form their own spiritual identity, leading them to live fulfilling lives, learn of Jewish traditions that they will sustain for a lifetime, and engage in life-long Jewish learning.  Torah, God, and Israel are central themes that we are always exploring in varying forms.  Through educational experiences involving these three central Jewish themes, we encourage our congregation to question tradition, to struggle with it, and to grow from those endeavors.

We ultimately strive to create learning experiences that deepen our understanding of Judaism, our commitment to Jewish education, our love of Torah and sacred texts, our relationship with God, and all of the various paths that lead us towards creating a k'hillah k’dushah, a sacred community.

Please contact Nina King-Madlem, Director of Religious Education at Temple Beth El, at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or by calling (253) 564-7101 with any questions or for more information about our educational programming.