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General Information

School Schedule

Religious School is in session on Sunday and Tuesday-Thursday.

PreK - 3rd Grades
Sundays, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

4th - 6th Grades
Sundays, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Wednesdays, 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

7th Grade Gesher Hebrew & B'nei Mitzvah
Sundays, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Tuesdays, 5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., and
(Beginning 24 weeks prior to B'nei Mitzvah) Thursday, 5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

8th - 12th Grades
Wednesdays, dinner: 6:30 p.m.; class: 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
and periodic overnights/retreats

Student Pick-up & Drop-off

All vehicles should enter the Emanu El campus through Gate 1 (Hermann Park / Main Street side) and exit through Gate 2 (Rice Village side). Gate 1 will be open for entry during peak drop-off/pick-up times. A CEE parking sticker on your vehicle’s windshield will expedite campus entry.

During Helfman Religious School drop-off/pick-up times, parking in the Gaylor Parking Garage is limited to levels 2 and above.

Drop-off Locations


PreK - 3rd & 7th chapel entrance
4th - 6th school or chapel entrance


4th - 6th chapel entrance

Pick-up Locations


PreK - 2nd classrooms by parent or guardian ONLY
3rd classrooms or school/chapel entrance
4th - 7th school or chapel entrance


4th - 6th school entrance ONLY (carpool line and walk-ins)

Inclement Weather Closures

Severe weather may cause an emergency closing of the school. If HISD cancels school due to a weather emergency, Helfman Religious school will do the same. Families will be notified via email and text. Please be sure to provide preferred emails and cell phone numbers. Your understanding and cooperation are appreciated during emergency conditions.


Helfman staff will communicate with parents regularly. Please be sure to provide updated emails and cell phone numbers. Communications during the school year will include:

  • Weekly Helfman Herald e-newsletters
  • Event reminders and important updates via text message
  • Event reminders and important updates via postcards/flyers distributed in class
  • Grade level e-newsletters each semester
  • Hebrew report cards each semester for students in 4th-6th grades
  • Periodic email and/or telephone updates from your child's teacher
  • Photos and other posts to the Helfman Religious School and Congregation Emanu El Facebook pages

If you have questions about your child's activities or progress in class, please contact his/her teacher or call the Helfman office at 713.535.6400.

Behavior & Dress Code

Students are expected to dress in a manner that is safe and appropriate for an active learning environment in a house of worship.

Teachers are responsible for communicating classroom rules and procedures to students and parents, and for establishing and enforcing classroom management policies. The director is to be informed of any difficult situations or challenging behaviors that are continuous and ongoing so that alternative interventions may be discussed and applied.

Food Allergies

At times, we have children with severe, life threatening allergies. Some of these allergies include milk, dairy products, nuts, nut products, eggs, soy, and wheat. Please notify the office, complete an Allergy Action Plan, and notify your child’s teacher of any allergies that your child has, as well as the severity of the allergy. It is essential that the teacher know if there are any foods that your child cannot have.

Due to the dramatic increase in nut allergies over the last decade, as well as the sudden, unanticipated onset of symptoms, Helfman does not serve or allow food containing nuts or nut products on campus. We are a nut sensitive school, which means we take every precaution possible to eliminate nut products on campus. We appreciate your cooperation in helping us implement this policy.

Grade Assignments & Eligibility

Families must be members of Congregation Emanu El in order to enroll in Helfman Religious School classes. If you have any questions about membership, please contact Elizabeth Townsend at

Students will be assigned to their grade in conformity with their grade in public school or private school. For questions regarding placement, please contact the Director of Congregational Learning, Stefani Carlson at

Students who attend Jewish Day Schools must attend Helfman Religious School beginning in the 6th grade in order to be eligible to become a Bar/Bat Mitzvah. 

Religious School Committee

This Committee is responsible for setting goals for the School, monitoring the School’s accomplishments, serving as a resource for the School’s Director, overseeing the Parent Teacher Organization and helping to integrate the Helfman community within the broader Emanu El community. The Committee reports periodically to the Board and also carries out any other charges directed by the President of the Congregation or Board of Trustees. The Director of the Helfman Religious School and one rabbi designated by the Senior Rabbi serves as an ex-officio member of the Committee without a vote.

Tue, August 3 2021 25 Av 5781