Tzedakah Project: Birthday Boxes for Foster Children

Religious School students will be providing birthday boxes for local children ages 3 to 13 in foster care through a year-long tzedakah project. The boxes will include cake mix, a can of frosting, birthday candles, a banner or streamers, a new children’s book, a gift card, and a personalized note with birthday wishes.

The goal is to raise enough funds to make 60 boxes by May 2020 to deliver to the Allen County Foster Parent Association. Weekly tzedakah collected at Religious School will go toward the project. Foster care parents get a stipend for each child, but the local parent association says it is generally not enough to cover anything other than necessities. 

“As we celebrate our birthdays each year we usually don't think twice about a party that we are going to get or the gifts that we will be given,” said Religious School Principal Leah Hadashi. “These children wonder if they will have warm enough coats, hats and gloves to wear to school. Part of our Jewish education, part of us being Jewish, is giving Tzedakah. This is a hands-on approach to doing so.”

How can you help? 

  • Please spread the word of our project.
  • Volunteer your time to help assemble birthday boxes during the Temple’s annual Mitzvah Day on Sunday morning, April 19.
  • Donate funds. Each box will cost approximately $36. Tzedakah donations towards this project would be appreciated. Checks should be made payable to “CAV – The Temple” and earmarked for “birthday boxes.”

Please call the Temple office or contact Leah to learn about more ways that you can help. What is foster care?

Religious School Registration and Information 2019-2020
Welcome to our Religious School for the 2019-2020 school year! 

Please fill out registration materials prior to the first day on September 8. These include:

Religious School Hours: Students age four through 8th grade meet on Sunday mornings from 9:45 a.m. to 12 p.m. High School students meet from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Please enter through the front entrance on Sunday mornings.

Hebrew School Hours:
 Students in grades 4-6 will meet on Wednesdays or Thursdays as scheduled between 4 and 6 p.m. 

Please contact us at (260) 744-4245 or for membership information or with questions about our school. Registration forms are available. Religious School Chair Wendi Wallet, Principal Leah Hadashi, and Rabbi Paula Jayne Winnig also are available to discuss your child's education. Families must be a members of the Temple to enroll children.
Our 2019-2020 Religious School Team

We look forward to a great year of Jewish learning!

Principal: Leah Hadashi
PreK, Kindergarten, Grade 1:
 Rachel Gordon
Grades 2, 3 & 4: Dave Flapan
Grades 5 - 7: Micah Soltz
Grade 8 and High School: Leah Hadashi and Rabbi Paula Jayne Winnig
 Bruce Colegrove
Librarian: Betsy Gephart
Religious School Committee Chair: Wendi Wallet

Middle School Showcase
During the 2018-2019 school year, Dave Flapan's Religious School middle school students studied the Tanakh. He explains: "We read dozens of passages from the Torah. We also read commentaries and analyzed these classic stories.For our final project, we chose two Torah portions.  We summarized them, researched commentary on them, and analyzed all of this. We then studied HTML, and coded a website for our output format!"

Please take a look at the work of students Joseph Katinsky and Naomi Gephart.
Meet Our Principal

Religious School teacher Leah Hadashi brings her enthusiasm for Judaism and Jewish education for a third year in fall 2019 as principal of our learning program for Temple youth ages 3 through high school.

As principal, she serves as chief administrator for our Sunday and weekday Hebrew program, working with Rabbi Paula Jayne Winnig, Religious School Committee Chair Wendi Wallet, and our teachers to ensure an enriching Jewish education for students. In addition, Leah will teach our students in 8th grade and high school with Rabbi Winnig.

“I am passionate about Jewish Education because I see the value a positive early experience can have on a person as they grow older,” Leah said. “I want the education that the students receive here at CAV and the experiences that they partake in to stay with them and help to build the solid base that they are able to stand on as strong and proud Jewish adults.”

Leah began teaching in our Religious School in late 2010, including students in second grade through b’nei mitzvah. She and her husband, Shai, have four children. Originally from West Lafayette, Leah made Aliyah in 1999. She and Shai lived in Ramat Gan for three years before moving back to the States.

Our Goals

The Religious School at Congregation Achduth Vesholom seeks to provide an enriching learning experience that engenders a deeper, more purposeful appreciation of our students' spiritual heritage.

Our aims and objects:

  • To implant in our students and their families a feeling of belonging to the Jewish community.
  • To teach Jewish values, traditions, history and culture.
  • To create meaningful Jewish experiences for our children so that Judaism becomes a positive intellectual and emotional experience that brings pleasure, beauty and joy of life.
  • To strengthen and reinforce Jewish associations within the lives of our young people so that the TEMPLE and HOME become the centers for Jewish life and values.

Tzedakah Program

At Religious School, our children's weekly education includes the recognition of Jewish responsibility and helping others in need in the community. Weekly collections of Tzedakah taken in each classroom on Sunday morning give each child the opportunity to put this knowledge into action. Please encourage your child to share his or her good fortune by giving from his or her allowance. Funds will be allocated during the school year as students learn about places and people in need.

Our Religious School
Achduth Vesholom's Religious School offers comprehensive educational programming for children of Temple members in preschool through 12th grade. (Children who turn 4 by September 1 are eligible to enroll.)

Our objectives include teaching our students Jewish values, traditions, history, heritage, and way of life. We want to create a meaningful Jewish experience for our children so that Judaism becomes a positive intellectual and emotional experience. We also want to strengthen and reinforce Jewish feelings, associations and fellowship. We utilize the Union for Reform Judaism's CHAI Curriculum.

Basic Hebrew is part of the comprehensive religious school program. We use the URJ's Mitkadem Hebrew program. Additional Hebrew classes are required for bar/bat mitzvah candidates. Confirmation marks an educational milestone for young people in the 10th grade. Post-Confirmation classes are offered to students in grades 11 and 12.

Our high school program for students in grades 9 through 12 meets on Sundays, covering topics relevant to their lives as Jewish teens and young adults. Field trips and Confirmation class trips broaden our students' view of the Jewish world.

Our 170-year tradition of meaningful Jewish education in Fort Wayne has been fostered by the hard work and dedication of teachers, rabbis and educators. We're also fortunate to have the Rabbi Richard B. Safran Library as a resource. The Temple also encourages our young people's involvement with the Temple's Junior Youth Group and FOrTY, as well as Jewish summer camps and NFTY programs.

Questions? Contact us at (260) 744-4245 or
Weather Cancellations

Religious School: In the event of inclement weather, a calling tree will go out to all families, teachers and aides no later than 8:30 a.m. on Sunday morning.

Hebrew School: If Fort Wayne Community Schools are closed due to weather, then we will not have Hebrew School. If the weather gets bad later in the day on Tuesday or Wednesday, a calling tree will go out to all Hebrew School families and teachers no later than 4 p.m.

As always, please use your discretion regarding the weather. You and your family's health and safety are always the top priority.

Family Education

The goal of the Temple's Family Education program is to provide tools for integrating Jewish customs, observances and rituals into a student's home. Family education attempts to provide a level playing field for both parents and children in our school and give a basis for family celebrations of holidays and life-cycle events. Discussion revolving around faith issues and the role of Judaism in family life (both historically and with current relevance) will provide parents an opportunity to participate in various discussions without having to initiate them. Family Education Programs occur approximately 2-3 times per year in grades kindergarten through 8th grade.

Youth and Family
Interfaith Family