May 24, 2024

Dear BERS Families,

What a fabulous year!  As we watched the photo montage at the Lower School closing assembly last Sunday, I couldn’t help but smile watching pictures of all of the learning, community, and fun we had together this year.  I was filled with similar emotion at our final Upper School session of the year, as our teens took part in a wide variety of activities, having a great time with their friends at BERS.  While we are sad to say goodbye to the 2023-2024 school year, we have so much to look forward to in 2024-2025!

Over the past several months, we have heard from and worked with parent groups to identify ways to strengthen our program and community. I am excited to share the BERS 2024-2025 program which is built on your feedback. Details of what’s new and returning for next year’s program follow below.

A few important notes to complete registration:

  • Class schedules and tuition information can be found in this information sheet, which we encourage everyone to review before filling out the registration form.
  • The form will need to be filled out for each child – once the form is completed, click the indicated link to complete the form for additional children.
  • Each registration is submitted with a $100 non-refundable, tuition deposit.
  • Registrations received before June 30 will receive a $100 discount off of your tuition bill

As ever, please do not hesitate to contact Allison ( or me ( with any questions. We cannot wait for another wonderful year of Jewish learning, experiences, and community with you and your family.


Elisha Rothschild Frumkin, CJE
Education Director

PS – Be sure to register by June 30 to take advantage of the early-bird tuition rates!



Highlights for BERS in 2024-2025

Lower School (K-6th Grades)

Continuing Successful Programs

  • Sunday Club Enrichment – Fun, optional enrichment opportunities for K-3rd grade students after the regular Sunday program, such as Israel Adventures, Torah Talk, and Jewish Arts and Crafts, with new options to choose from, like Let’s Speak Ivrit! (Learning Modern Hebrew).
  • We are continuing our successful elective program for 3rd-6th graders who attend midweek classes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at Beth El. New electives will be added, and fan favorites from the 2023-2024 school year will return, like Conversational Hebrew, Krav Maga, Jewish and Israeli Cooking, and more, all with the goal of giving our students the flexibility to explore new Jewish topics.
  • Hebrew Workshop, our small, leveled group approach to Hebrew reading and prayer connection in 3rd-6th grades
  • Hebrew through Movement, communal prayer experiences, and Jewish life vocabulary, to continue to build a Hebrew-rich environment throughout our program
  • Virtual options for midweek 3rd-6th grade classes


Focus on Engagement and Community Building

  • Club Kef – Youth Lounge hang out time before Tuesday and Wednesday BERS afternoon classes
  • Shabbat opportunities for families – a monthly Friday night service for BERS-aged families, as well as a regular Saturday morning option
  • Continue our focus on social-emotional learning in the classroom to build strong relationships between students and their Beth El community, nurture positive learning, and cultivate strong Jewish identity

Supporting Parent Engagement

  • Simplified Sunday schedules – unified start time for all K-5th grade students, with our Club Enrichment option giving families the option for one pick-up time
  • Continuing to improve communications between BERS and home, making it easier for families to stay connected to their children’s Jewish learning with more consistent, streamlined school and teacher communication
  • Expand our pilot kindergarten and first grade room parent program by recruiting parents to join grade-level groups to plan fun, social community building programs

Upper School (7th-10th Grades)

Opportunities for Teen Engagement and Leadership

  • Scheduled regular special programs/speakers and social action opportunities, such as a program partnering with the National Coalition for the Homeless and a social action project benefiting the Community and Family Life Services in DC.
  • More teen leadership opportunities through BERS and Beth El, including a new Upper School Teen Leadership Council to plan teen social programs, as well as expanding our popular madrichim program of teens working throughout BERS

Continuing Successful Programs

  • Weekly dinner and teen hang-out time before Upper School Tuesday night programs – now included in your tuition and with a rotating menu
  • Sorkin Trip to Israel happening this December 2024, with rising 10th and 11th graders participating in a joint trip
  • Class choice with electives, with brand new options coming this year
  • Discussion-oriented classes based on timely, real world topics



Special Needs Learners
Congregation Beth El is a warm, welcoming, and inclusive community, and the Religious School strives to ensure that all students have the fullest opportunity to participate in educational activities. If you have any questions about inclusion opportunities, please contact Elisha Rothschild Frumkin, Education Director (, 301-562-8569 x119).

Special Financial Arrangements
Beth El and Beth El Religious School is available to all, regardless of financial circumstances. To learn more or to discuss adjustments, please contact our Executive Director, Heather Garrett (

General Registration FAQs

Families with students enrolled for the 2023-2024 school year receive an email from the Beth El Religious School with a link to registration – this link is specific to your family and will have your information pre-filled out, as we have it in our database.  New families can go directly to the registration section of the BERS page on the Beth El website and register there. Our online registration process is easy and self-guided. We’ll also be here if you have any questions – contact Allison Brown, Religious School Program Coordinator at or (301) 652-8569 x109.

Early bird registration runs through Sunday, June 30, 2024 – registrations submitted during this time will receive a $100 tuition discount.

All students need to register each year for the religious school. While cannot roll over any of your information, clicking on your family’s unique registration link will pre-load the form with the information as we currently have it – you can update any changes there as well.

When you register your child(ren) for religious school, you will pay a $100 non-refundable tuition deposit per child.  There is also a space on the last page of the registration page to indicate interest in enrolling in automatic payments – simply check this box and we will be in touch with more information.  Religious School tuition will appear on your Beth El bill shortly after registration.  At least 25% of your tuition is due quarterly.  The first quarter must be paid before school starts and the full amount must be paid no later than May 31, 2025.

Class and session assignments are generally made during the summer months, so we will not know when Morah X is teaching until well after registration is underway.  If you have an idea of the type of teacher with whom your child typically does well, feel free to let us know on your registration form – there is a question for each child where we solicit information that will help make a positive class assignment.

We value our strong community at Beth El and know how important being placed with a friend or two can be in creating a positive learning experience.  You can indicate friend preferences during registration in the section where we solicit information that will help make a positive class assignment, or by emailing Allison Brown (  For class creation purposes, we do our best to ensure placement with a friend or two, so please prioritize in your request.  Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee placement beyond one or two friend requests.

General School Related Questions (Grades K-6)

Contact Allison Brown ( in the office as soon as you know about the conflict. Session changes are done on a first-come first-served basis, contingent upon classroom space.

Congregation Beth El is a warm, welcoming, and inclusive community, and the Religious School strives to ensure that all students have the fullest opportunity to participate in educational activities. If you have any questions about inclusion opportunities or this questionnaire, please contact Elisha Frumkin, Education Director, at

General School Related Questions (Grades 7-10)

Our Tuesday night teen dinner has been a longstanding part of our Upper School program.  Scheduled from 6:30-7:00, it allows our afternoon students to stay and socialize with friends, and gives our evening 7th-10th graders a chance to grab a bite to eat with a friend before class begins.  The cost of dinner has been included in the Upper School tuition, and, new this year, there will be a rotating menu – not just pizza!

The vast majority of Beth El teens continue into our Upper School program, which runs on Tuesdays for students in 7th-10th grades. 7th graders have their choice of an afternoon or evening session, while our 8th-10th grade program only runs in the evening.  Our Upper School program prepares our teens to be able to approach and engage meaningfully with the world around them with Judaism and Jewish values as a guide.  Tuesday evenings are discussion-based and social, with real world topics and engaging electives.

We know that some teens may have a conflict with our core Upper School program, but there are many ways to get involved at Beth El.  Contact Allison Brown ( to schedule a conversation to explore some options.

The Sorkin Trip to Israel is a culminating experience for Beth El youth completing the Religious School program, taking place over winter break of the 10th grade year.   Registration for the Sorkin Trip to Israel usually begins the January or February of the 9th grade year.