Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel
Rabbi Jacob M. Ott  Hebrew School News

Please Welcome our new Hebrew School Director, Rabbi Carrie Benveniste

Dear Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel Families,

My name is Rabbi Carrie Benveniste. I’m honored to announce that I have been chosen to serve the new Director of Education for Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel’s Hebrew School. My career as an educator began during my undergraduate years at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where I worked with teen parents in the Teen Academic Parenting program. I was ordained at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the American Jewish University here in Los Angeles, California.

Since ordination, I have taught in both after-school religious school programs and day school programs. I served as the director of a small congregational school in San Luis Obispo, the co-director of a congregational school in Venice, the Director of Education and Assistant Rabbi for the Malibu Jewish Center for the past nine years, I have served as the Director of Education at Congregation Tikvat Jacob’s Ohren Education Center in Manhattan Beach.

I am the mother of two teenage children, two dogs, an African Grey parrot and a goldfish. I am a native Californian and feel passionate about bringing the California experience to Jewish education. I strongly believe that Jewish education should be both joyful and engaging. Our job in educating Jewish children is to inspire a desire for lifelong learning while giving them a foundation to be the builders of the future of American Judaism.

As both a mother and a teacher, I understand the difficulty we face motivating our students to learn in an after-school Hebrew School. I believe students learn best with interactive learning. We will incorporate more student involvement and less frontal based learning.

We will be reopening our IN-PERSON HEBREW SCHOOL for all of our students and families this fall with exciting new programming, great teachers, a strong Hebrew curriculum and a return to our beautiful synagogue where we can gather and learn together. I look forward to meeting you ALL and working with this amazing community. Keep an eye out for registration and calendar information coming soon.

If you are signing up for Hebrew School for the first time please use this link:

If you are a returning family and have used TADS in the last year an email with your personalized code will be sent shortly.


Rabbi Carrie

The Rabbi Jacob M. Ott Hebrew School

Shalom & Beruchim HaBaeem! On behalf of Sephardic Temple, it is our great honor and pleasure to welcome both parents and children to our extraordinary Jacob M. Ott Hebrew School family. Welcome to an unparalleled and beautiful Jewish experience! We believe that Judaism should be educational, joyous, and filled with fun in order to encourage the formation of great new friendships.

Through our energetic teachers, cutting edge educational practices, engaging family activities and heartfelt social justice projects, your child will discover the deep meaning of Sephardic customs in our rich Jewish tradition. As the Chosen People, we are not better than other nations, but rather, we were given the huge responsibility of תיקון עולם (Tikkun Olam), to repair the world.  Judaism gives deep purpose to our lives and each of us has the obligation to leave this world a better place than we found it. We believe that education is the cornerstone of Judaism! The Shmah Israel prayer teachers us ושננת לבנך (Veshinanta Levanecha), “…and you shall teach your children…” We hope to develop life long learners inspired by our Torah values and moral-ethical conclusions. We aspire to create and develop in our children deep love for our Sephardic Jewish tradition. Our goal is to inspire and empower our students to become knowledgeable about our Jewish heritage and help them become great problem solvers, creative thinkers, and innovators so that they can make great improvements in our community, nation and world.

We want our children to become deeply connected to our Homeland, Israel, so all students, grades K-8, will learn aspects of Israel’s people, history, geography, heroes, culture, art, and delicious food. Our success relies on parents as our partners in living meaningful Jewish lives and being greatly involved in our Hebrew School. The success of our school is built upon the strength of the partnership among our administration, teachers, parents and students. We believe that meaningful and inspirational Jewish education of our children is sacred. We appreciate you entrusting us with this task, and we will do our best to be worthy of that trust.

We look forward to meeting you and your children. Together we will start the journey of becoming life-long learners of our unique Jewish tradition.

School Standards:

We understand that students are engaged in many different activities during the week.  Secular education, extracurricular activities, family time and a time for play are all important. We also believe that a formal Jewish education is critical to the moral character and spiritual growth of students.  We ask our students and their families to make Jewish education a priority in their lives.

Students are expected to attend at least 80% of Hebrew school classes and programs. We have a great deal to teach our students in a limited amount of time. Students whose absences exceed 20% of their scheduled classes and programs will be required to make up work in order to matriculate to the next grade level.

In order for our students to learn effectively, it is imperative that students arrive on time. Tardiness disrupts the entire class and limits the learning potential of the student who is late.  We kindly request that all students arrive 5 minutes before Hebrew School begins.  K through 7 classes are held on Tuesday and Thursday from 4:00 to 6:30 P.M., Maccabim and High School classes are held twice a month on selected Tuesdays only from 4:00 to 6:30 P.M.  Students in younger grades must be accompanied to class by a parent or guardian.

We respectfully request that students and their parents observe the Kashrut policies of the temple.  No outside food is allowed in the classroom or on the premises.  Students are given a break during class and a healthy snack is provided by the Hebrew School.  Please do not send food with your student to class.  If you would like to celebrate a student’s birthday, please contact the Hebrew School office.

Students’ academic performance will be evaluated throughout the year. Academic challenges will be reported to the Director of Education and communicated to parents.  Students will receive report cards in January and late June. Students who do not meet academic standards will be given the opportunity to improve their performance in order to matriculate to the next grade level.

Students need to be well-behaved for the entire class to learn and reap the most benefit from their Jewish education. Students who choose to repeatedly disrupt the class will be removed from the classroom. The Director of Education and parents will be notified if a student is continually disruptive and remedial action will be taken as needed.

Guests are discouraged from visiting the classrooms as it is disruptive to the other students.  Guests must receive prior written approval from the Hebrew School Office before entering a classroom.

Our academic and religious focus is to teach our students how to live their lives as Sephardic Jews. We want our children to experience the joys and meaning of our Jewish values and Sephardic culture. The study of Torah, a love for the Jewish people and a belief in the importance of the land of Israel are all central to our educational aspirations. Our educational goals are embodied in the following steps:

  • Hebrew Reading – To teach our students how to read and understand basic Hebrew, the common language of our prayers, text and people.
  • Sephardic Culture – To instill in our students an understanding of their beautiful Sephardic heritage, customs, and culture.
  • Shabbat – To teach our students to appreciate and celebrate the holiness of Shabbat.
  • Shabbat Services – To prepare our students to participate in and help lead Shabbat services.
  • Jewish Holidays – To familiarize our students with the religious, Sephardic and Zionist events and holidays in the Jewish calendar.
  • Israel Education – To emphasize the importance for the Jewish people to have a homeland in Israel.