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Long-Time Teacher Becomes New Principal at Beth Am Religious School

Long-Time Teacher Becomes New Principal at Beth Am Religious School

Starting this school year, long-time teacher Karen Herskowitz became the new principal at Beth Am Religious School in Pearl River. The school is also introducing a new program in which students will get the opportunity to lead Shabbat services at least three times a year. This will allow them to become comfortable with being at the bima, thus preparing them to become a Bar or Bat Mitzvah.

Beth Am Temple has served a Reform congregation since its founding in 1963. The Beth Am Religious School, established in conjunction with the temple, teaches children in Kindergarten through grade eight. Through small class sizes and hands-on engagement, the school seeks to nurture in students an enthusiasm for Jewish tradition and values.

Classes are held on Sundays from 9am-11am. From 4pm-8pm on Wednesdays, a second session is offered for kids in grades four through eight. Students in each grade have the chance to learn about the various aspects of Jewish history, culture, and language, which is introduced in Kindergarten and integrated throughout the school’s curriculum. By eighth grade, students are able to recite specific Hebrew prayers and practice the Ashrei.

Since 1988, Herskowitz has also been an educator in the Clarkstown Central School District, where she currently teaches sixth grade English. Her teaching style can be described as student-centered.

"Over the years, I've found that each student comes to me with his or her own strength," says Herskowitz. "It is my job to find that strength and build upon it."

This year, Herskowitz will teach a combined second and third grade class at Beth Am. This is the stage at which students are first introduced to Hebrew vowels and letters, a topic, she says, that gets them very excited.

Beth Am Religious School is located in 60 East Madison Ave, Pearl River. For more information, visit the Beth Am Temple website or contact the office directly at 845-735-5858 or


Image: Herskowitz will act as Principal of Beth Am Religious School while continuing to teach as she has since she first started teaching at Beth Am twenty years ago.

Courtesy: Beth Am Religious School

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