It's an undeniable long-term trend: synagogues nationwide don't hold classes as many times per week as they used to. Many have made the switch from holding twice per week to once per week. Students are involved in so many extracurricular activities that they are often forced to choose between, say, religious school and dance - and religious school rarely wins outl. In a nod to these realities Or Hadash, a Reconstructionist congregation in Fort Washington, Pa., made the decision to only hold classes on Sunday. In a recent article in the Jewish Exponent, school leaders explain that very little is being sacrificed with the change.
Here's an excerpt:
Or Hadash Congregation understands the feeling. That’s why after a year of talking with parents of students who went to the congregation’s Sunday morning and Tuesday night classes and trying to think of a solution for a better time, it will be introducing a new program.
Come September, students will have a reason to smile — Or Hadash will introduce its SMILE program, which stands for Sunday Mornings Include Learning for Everyone.
“We’ve noticed a decline in attendance on Tuesdays, and it was a concern to us,” reflected Barbara Weisman, education director of Or Hadash. “We’re a small group anyway, so when we noticed that, we thought we would see what was up with our families.”