June 1, 2023

Dear BERS Families,

What a fabulous year! I can’t believe we wrapped up our BERS year just two weeks ago. The year truly flew by. And now with this amazing year behind us, we are thrilled to launch registration for our 2023-2024 program year!

Over the past several months, we have heard from and worked with parent groups to identify ways to strengthen our school community. Your ideas include increasing fun and positive Jewish experiences, strengthening community and social connections, including student choice in learning options, and nurturing positive Jewish identity.

I am excited to share the BERS 2023-2024 program which is built on your feedback. Details of what’s new and returning for next year’s program follow below.

As ever, please do not hesitate to contact 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!

Lower School (K-6th Grades)

Increased Student Choice:

  • Sunday Clubs – Fun, optional enrichment opportunities for K-3rd grade students, after the regular Sunday program, such as art, Torah stories, and conversational Hebrew
  • Adjusting the midweek program for 3rd-6th grade to include electives such as conversational Hebrew, Art, Drama, and more, giving students the opportunity to explore new Jewish topics

Focus on Engagement and Community Building

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

Supporting Parent Engagement

  • Simplified Sunday schedules – unified start time for all K-5th grade students
  • Increased and regular parent learning sessions with the clergy
  • Improved communications between BERS and home, making it easier for families to stay connected to their children’s Jewish learning with more consistent teacher communication

Continuing Successful Programs

  • Virtual options for midweek 3rd-6th grade classes
  • Hebrew Workshop, a 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

Upper School (7th-10th Grades)

New Opportunities for Teen Engagement and Leadership

  • Relaunch of our newly refreshed Youth Lounge on Tuesday nights
  • Scheduled regular special programs/speakers and social action opportunities, such as a program partnering with HIAS to support refugees and a program with the National Coalition for the Homeless
  • 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
  • New opportunity to participate in a L’Taken Social Justice Seminar at the Religious Action Center in January 2024 for four days of advocacy and action

Continuing Successful Programs

  • The ever-popular pizza dinner and teen hang-out time before Upper School Tuesday night programs
  • Class choice with electives
  • Teen social time during breaks
  • Discussion-oriented classes based on timely, real world topics

Class schedules and tuition information can be found in this information sheet, which we encourage everyone to review before filling out the registration form. Begin the enrollment process by clicking the button below.


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 (

Religious School Restricted Funds
We invite parents/guardians to contribute to the funds listed below, allowing us to further enrich our program. You can support these funds by donating through the Beth El website’s donation page.

  • The Elaine Tanenbaum Religious School Enrichment Fund enables the Religious School to take advantage of special opportunities that make the school experience more interesting, exciting, and engaging for our children. This fund has been used to pilot, sustain, and enhance such programs as the fourth-fifth grade retreat, sixth grade Shabbaton, conversational Hebrew instruction, family education, arts specialists, and various outside speakers who meet with our students.
  • The Dr. Elaine L. Shalowitz Education Fund enables the Religious School to provide enhanced training opportunities for our teachers and administrators, as well as offer additional enrichment programs for our students.
  • Sorkin Israel Trip Fund enables the Beth El Religious School to send a group of teens to Israel each year as a cultimating experience during the Confirmation year in tenth grade.  This fund allows the trip to be partially subsidized for those students who choose to attend.

General Registration FAQs

Families with students enrolled for the 2022-2023 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 Friday, June 30, 2023 – 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, 2024.

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)

The vast majority of Beth El teens continue into our Upper School program, which runs from 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 Tali Moscowitz ( 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 begins the January of the 9th grade year.