BERS Registration FAQs

GENERAL REGISTRATION QUESTIONS ABOUT BETH EL RELIGIOUS SCHOOL (BERS):

We’re excited to sign up for BERS! What do we do to register?
Families with students enrolled for the 2019-2020 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 Carmen Izurieta, Religious School Program Coordinator at cizurieta@bethelmc.org or (301) 652-8569 x109.

When is early bird registration?
Early bird registration runs through Wednesday, July 15, 2020 – registrations submitted during this time will receive a $50 tuition discount.

What about the coronavirus pandemic?  Will what BERS look like this year?
During this challenging time we remain committed to providing a dynamic Jewish educational program for our students and their families.  We have exciting plans for the coming year, including in-person learning together at Beth El, virtual learning, and a blending of the two; whatever is possible, we will continue to create Jewish learning experiences that are meaningful and relevant for our students and families.  We are working with Beth El’s Reopening Task Force to make plans for the year that will keep students, families, and staff safe.

What is BERS Limmud Online?
The year ahead is filled with uncertainty due to the pandemic, and while we do not yet know what our BERS year will look like, we are anticipating a hybrid program with both in-person and virtual learning.  We are also offering BERS Limmud Online, an online only track for families who would prefer a remote learning experience this year.  Please contact Elisha Frumkin (efrumkin@bethelmc.org) with any questions.

We were enrolled at BERS for the 2019-2020 year. Do we need to register for a new year of classes, or can you just roll over our registration?
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 do we have to pay for Religious School?
When you register your child(ren) for religious school, you will pay a $75 registration fee per child.  You will also have the opportunity to make a donation to our Religious School Committee’s Teacher Appreciation Fund, which our Religious School Committee uses to show our amazing faculty how much they are valued throughout the year.

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, 2021.

Which teachers are teaching each session/day/grade?
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.

It is very important that my child is with his/her friends.  How can I make that request?
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 Carmen Izurieta (cizurieta@bethelmc.org).  For class creation purposes, we do our best to ensure placement with a friend or two, so please prioritize in your request.

 

GENERAL SCHOOL RELATED QUESTIONS (GRADES K-6):

What is the Chug Enrichment Program?  Does my K-2nd grader have to come during the week in addition to Sunday?  Is it happening even if BERS is taking a hybrid form next year?
Chug is an optional enrichment club for K-3rd grade students.  There are two options for Judaic enrichment for BERS students:

  • Midweek Chug for K-2nd grade—Tuesday or Wednesday afternoons from 4:30-6:30
  • We are not currently offering our Sunday morning Chug Enrichment Club for K-3rd graders.  We will open enrollment for Chug once we are able to hold classes in person.

The Chug enrichment program is experiential and learning is dynamic – it goes beyond what they learn on Sunday and our Chug students consistently rave about the class.  This is a great option for families who would like additional Judaic and Hebrew enrichment for their child.

We registered and selected class for one midweek day, and now our schedule has changed. How do I switch?
Contact Carmen Izurieta (cizurieta@bethelmc.org) 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.

My child has special learning needs – how do I make sure he/she is successful in Religious School?
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 Lesli Gillman, Religious School Student Support Specialist, at lgillman@bethelmc.org.

 

GENERAL SCHOOL RELATED QUESTIONS (GRADES 7-10):

What happens after bar/bat mitzvah?
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.

What if I can’t come on Tuesday evenings?
We know that some teens may have a conflict with our core Upper School program, so this year we are offering an online-only class, Upper School Limmud Online, that will happen on a different day of the week (to be decided closer to the fall).  This option is for teens who are not able to regularly attend Tuesday evening classes but would like to continue their Jewish education.  Upper School Limmud Online participants will be eligible for all 10th grade Confirmation programs, including our fall trip to NYC and the Sorkin Youth Trip to Israel.

What is the Sorkin Youth Trip to Israel?
The Sorkin Youth 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.  Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, we have cancelled our December 2020 trip and are actively planning a combination trip for December 2021 for this year’s tenth graders and next year’s class.