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Religious School, Recently Back After 25 Years, Growing at Temple B'Nai Shalom

B'Nai Shalom, the only temple in Braintree, is on Storrs Avenue and serves a diverse and conservative congregation.

In a room of Temple B'Nai Shalom, a dozen students ranging in age from 5 and 6 years old to middle-aged sit at two rows of tables. Before them is a large yellow pad, two chalkboards and a white board, all filled with Hebrew vocabulary and the instruments of pronunciation.

Down a short hallway, younger children play in another room.

"George, how are you remembering things here?" asks Solomon Borocov, an instructor who helped re-start the religious school when he came to the temple on Storrs Avenue from a similar program at Thayer Academy four years ago.

"Pretty good," the boy says.

Standing in front of two maps of Israel – the school teaches history and geography along with Hebrew – Borocov quizzes his students on the pronunciation of "glasses," the word for "year," the difference between female and male construction of words.

Occassionally, Borocov settles down the younger students with a quick "shhh."

The Religous School, running from early fall through the end of the Braintree Public Schools academic year, welcomes students from across the South Shore. For a "nominal cost," students learn Hebrew on Thursday nights and Sunday mornings, with the goal typically being the celebration of their Bar or Bar Mitzvah, temple publicity chair Richard Salloway said.

When Temple B'Nai Shalom was founded in 1959, religious classes were held in a large classroom, but until recently there had not been a course in 25 years, said Dr. Peter Kurzberg, president of the temple.

"This is wonderful to see so many people here," Dr. Kurzberg said.

Salloway and Dr. Kurzberg said they would like to see the school double or even triple its enrollment, and that the temple has plenty of space for the potential growth. The temple itself has about 70 member families, a higher than usual percentage of whom attend service regularly, Dr. Kurbzerg said.

Along with history and Hebrew, students learn Jewish holidays and traditions, Bible stories, the Ten Commandments, and Shabbat and other blessings.

For more information, visit www.tbsbraintree.com.

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