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OkunKCJS

Temple B’nai Israel has a strong history of educating its youngest members in the traditions, language and prayer of the Jewish people. In early 2016 Temple B’nai Israel and the Congregation of Moses began meeting to explore the benefits of a joint religious school. It was quickly apparent that our goals were the same –  to provide the best possible Jewish education in a warm, inclusive and caring environment.

Representatives from the two congregations met regularly through the winter and spring to further explore the viability of a joint religious school. In April 2016 the congregations formally agreed to pursue a joint religious school, with an inaugural class beginning September 2016.

The joint religious school is funded by tuition, equal subsidy from Temple B’nai Israel and the Congregation of Moses, and generous grants and endowments. In recognition of an endowment and the desire to foster a community school in both name and action, the school is named the Marvin and Rosalie Okun Kalamazoo Community Jewish School (OKCJS). The school is governed by a committee with representatives from both congregations, and led by a newly hired Director.

In 2016 there are 62 enrolled students, pre-K to high school. Classes are held at both congregations and are led by teachers and rabbis. The OKCJS has a unified curriculum in Hebrew and Judaism, which also explores and respects the traditions of both congregations.

The school continues to evolve to meet the needs of the students, congregations and membership.

At the heart we share a sense of Jewish community for our children, a feeling that religious school is a second home, an exciting and engaging time, and a place to find lifelong friends. When our children laugh together and learn together, they develop lasting relationships and a positive sense of belonging to a community full of good friends, meaningful activities and rich traditions.  

Questions and comments regarding the school may be directed to the Temple B’nai Israel representatives on the OKCJS Committee, or to the school Director. They are:

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Shabbat Services

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Please join us for Shabbat services led by Rabbi Matthew Zerwekh. On the first, third, and fourth Fridays of each month, Shabbat services begin at 7:00 p.m. On the second Friday  of each month, Shabbat services begin at 6:00 p.m. and are followed by a community potluck meal open to all (October through May) or a shared meal at a local restaurant (June through September).  In months with a fifth Friday, we forego services at TBI and instead gather in members’ homes for a shared Shabbat dinner.

Every Saturday morning, our  our weekly morning Shabbat serviceMinyan Milamed, begins at 10:00 a.m. Check our calendar page for updates. Our Shabbat services are always open to visitors; we invite you to come and experience Temple B'nai Israel!

Torah Commentary

Ten Minutes of Torah