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Helfman Religious School

General Information

School Schedule

Religious School is in session on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

PreK – 3rd & 7th Grades
4th – 6th Grades**
B’nei Mitzvah (beginning 24 weeks prior to service)
8th – 12th Grades**

*Online options available for B’nei Mitzvah and Small-Group Hebrew
**6th & 10th grades include 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).

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

All vehicles must display a CEE parking sticker. If you need a sticker, please contact Elizabeth Townsend at elizabetht@emanuelhouston.org.

Drop-Off Locations: 

Pick-Up Locations: 

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:

If you have questions about your child’s activities or progress in class, please contact the 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 principal 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 and 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 past 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 Anna Shabtay at annas@emanuelhouston.org.

Students will be assigned to their grade in conformity with their grade in public school or private school. For questions regarding placement, please contact Lucy Mosbacher at lucym@emanuelhouston.org.

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 at Emanu El.

For the purposes of participation in the Shirley Barish Memorial Israel Experience trip and life-cycle events, attending regularly is defined as being absent for no more than 25% of class sessions without prior arrangement.

Religious School Committee

This committee of the Board of Trustees is responsible for setting goals for the school, monitoring the school’s accomplishments, serving as a resource for the director, overseeing the Parent Teacher Organization and helping to integrate Helfman 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 Lifelong Learning and one rabbi designated by the senior rabbi serve as ex-officio members of the committee.