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Congregation B’nai Emet provides a program of Jewish education aimed at developing concepts that will strengthen the fabric of Jewish life and ensure the future of Judaism. Our goal is to deepen the Jewish experience and knowledge of students of all ages, fostering a love of Torah, assisting in spiritual development, and encouraging identification with the Jewish people through involvement in the synagogue and participation in Jewish life.

Check out the links below to explore what CBE offers, and find links to additional information.

 CBE Preschool 

 

Congregation B'nai Emet shares a campus with CBE Preschool, which has its own staff of dedicated teachers and caregivers. Offering infant care from birth to 2 years, and a number of different programs for children 2-5, designed to fit any busy family schedule. For more information, go to cbe-preschool.com, or contact the staff at (805) 522-2214 or cbepreschool@cbe-preschool.com.

Meet the Director

Coming soon!

 Religious School 

 

Religious School classes, for kids K-8, are held on Sunday mornings during the secular academic year. Students study Jewish holidays, thought, prayer, history, and the Bible, as well as Hebrew. Lessons come to life through stories, crafts, songs, plays, field trips, and hands-on experiences.

Each session includes a half-hour morning service, a Judaica segment based on the child’s grade-level and a Hebrew lesson tailored to different levels of competence.

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Prospective students and their adults may attend one class session as a trial, by prior arrangement with the teacher. Any further attendance requires completion of CBE Membership and Religious School registration.

If you would like to discuss financial assistance or other special arrangements, please contact the temple office at info@cbesimi.org to request a confidential meeting with our Financial Secretary.

Please note that an authorized adult MUST sign each child in and out of Religious School each time they attend.

Meet the Teachers

Meet our new Lead Teacher, Melissa Cohne! Melissa believes in making strong, positive connections with students and families, and we are pleased to welcome her to CBE's Religious School teaching staff!

 

Melissa received her teaching credential in 1999 from CSUN. Since then, she has taught in Burbank Unified School District, Los Angeles Unified School District, and Simi Unified School District. Over the years, she has also taught Religious School at both Reform and Conservative synagogues. She and her husband moved to Simi Valley in 2020 with their three children.

 

Please welcome Melissa and her family to CBE!

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 Melissa Cohne 
Religious School Lead Teacher

Jill Katell has been a member of CBE since 1994, and has a background in social work and education. Both of her children went to CBE's Religious School and had their B'nai Mitzvah here. Jill also had her adult Bat Mitzvah at CBE, and began teaching at the Religious School around the turn of the millennium, working with all grade levels at various times. She really enjoys being a part of the Religious School and has learned a lot from the students.

 

Jill retired from her full-time position at the end of 2020, and now has more time with her family, including two adorable grandsons.

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 Jill Katell 
Religious School Teacher

 B'nai Mitzvah 

 

Students begin preparing for their B'nai Mitzvah one year in advance, with an additional hour of class on Sundays focusing on the meaning of becoming a Jewish adult, and learning more prayers and melodies. B'nai Mitzvah students also receive one-on-one tutoring once a week, and their progress is monitored as they work toward their big day. In the final weeks, additional tutoring days are available.

To inquire about B'nai Mitzvah prep, please use the Contact page.

 

 Judaica High 

Judaica High is a three-year cycle of Jewish education for teens ages 13-16 (8th-10th grade), designed to engage them in contemporary Jewish history and issues. No previous Jewish education or Hebrew is required. Held one evening per week on Zoom, the course covers the Holocaust, the history of Israel, Jews in America, Jewish ethics, and Judaism in modern society.

 

Upon completion, students receive their confirmation at a ceremony held at a Friday Night service during Shavuot, where the graduates present a special program.

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Prospective students and their adults may attend one class session as a trial, by prior arrangement with the teacher. Any further attendance requires completion of CBE Membership and Religious School registration.

If you would like to discuss financial assistance or other special arrangements, please contact the temple office at info@cbesimi.org to request a confidential meeting with our Financial Secretary.

Meet the Teacher

 Meridith Shaw Patera 
Director Emerita of Jewish Education

Meridith Shaw Patera has been involved in Jewish education since 1969, following her junior year at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. A native of Long Island, NY, she received a BA in Political Science with a certificate in Middle Eastern Studies, and an MAT in Social Sciences and Hebrew from the State University of New York at Binghamton. She has also done extensive coursework in Jewish education and administration. Meridith has taught all ages, from preschool through adulthood, in public, Jewish day, and congregational schools across the country. She called New York, Florida, and Texas home before settling in California, where she has been with CBE Religious School since 1988. In 1992, she became School Administrator. As of 2022, Meridith will continue to teach Judaica High and tutor students preparing for their B'nai Mitzvah, as well as providing her guidance and wisdom as Director Emerita.

Meridith is the author of two books, Kings and Things: 20 Plays for Jewish Kids, and Skits and Shpiels,14 Plays for Grades 4 to 9, as well as several plays for adults. She has also written the book and lyrics for a number of Hanukkah musicals for both kids and adults, which she produces and directs annually at CBE's Hanukkah party. Hilarity inevitably ensues.

 

Meridith has three sons, Bennett, Sam, and Max. She finally got two of them out of her house in Moorpark in 2018. The other one is still hanging around, nagging her about watering the plants, and generally driving her nuts. She is, of course, extremely proud of all of them.

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