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Rabbi Elliot Stevens Kol Ami Religious School

Welcome to Kol Ami Religious School in Montgomery, Alabama! Our mission at Kol Ami is to strengthen our children’s faith in God, their love of Torah and their identification with the Jewish people. We hope to inspire a strong sense of Jewish community and enrich their observance of Jewish practices, education and values. In May 2008 the Temple’s Board voted unanimously to approve a merger of the Temple Religion School with the school of Agudath Israel-Etz Ahayem (the nearby Conservative synagogue in Montgomery). Both congregations are fully committed to maintaining their own ideological identities and separate affiliations with our respective movements. The combination clearly fosters a better learning environment with larger classes based on students’ demographics. Whether you were born into our historic Jewish community, are a recent transplant, or are joining us from Maxwell Air Force Base, you are most welcome here.

Our students’ ages range from incoming three-year-olds to graduating confirmation students. Kol Ami uses the non-denominational curriculum prepared by the Goldring Woldenberg Institute for Southern Jewish Life. This is a spiraled curriculum, in which students revisit key content areas with increased sophistication as they progress through the curriculum. The ten key content areas: Community, Culture and Symbols, God, Hebrew and Prayer, Israel, Jewish History, Jewish Holidays, Jewish Life-cycle Events, Mitzvot and Jewish Values, and Tanach (Torah, Prophets and Writings). The curriculum is developmentally appropriate, nurturing students’ Jewish identity, equipping students to live rich and meaningful lives. There are a variety of activities in each lesson that implement the idea that students have different learning styles. Visual, auditory and kinesthetic learnings activities are used throughout each lesson. In addition to learning, it is important for our students to socialize together in a fun and warm Jewish environment. Our team here at Kol Ami is dedicated to our students and seeks to model and inspire meaningful, joyful, and engaged Jewish living.





Confirmation was introduced into Jewish life by the Reform Movement  in Germany, nearly 200 years ago. As the service that celebrates the culmination of years of religious school, Confirmation has become an occasion of rejoicing, and is today followed by many Conservative congregations as well.

At Temple Beth Or Confirmation represents the culmination of religious school, usually at the end of tenth grade. Yet one’s religious education never truly ends, for where the formal school program leaves off, the full range of adult education opportunities becomes available. In this sense Confirmation represents another stage in a program of life-long Jewish education. 

The Confirmation class is a two-year program, and is run jointly with students at Agudath Israel-Etz Ahayem. The class is taught by both congregations’ rabbis, either together or in alternation. The two-year course covers basic Judaism (life-cycle, the Jewish year, Jewish history, theology, prayer, ritual and contemporary Jewish life) as well as special  topics reflecting the students’ interest. These have included such topics as Anti-Semitism, cultic proselytization, differences between Judaism and Christianity, issues of bio-medical ethics and Jewish sexual values. The Confirmation class has also held sessions with high school students in the church community.

At the end of the program, we celebrate Confirmation in the context of Shavuot, the Jewish holiday that celebrates the spring harvest and is tied to the giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai. Students participate in planning the service, and might be asked to do a mitzvah project, read Torah or prepare a D’var Torah (Torah-related sermon).

At Temple Beth Or it is our hope that our young people will choose to go through confirmation, thereby laying the foundation for a life-long love of Jewish learning.

Sun, December 3 2023 20 Kislev 5784