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Curriculum

Our curriculum is designed with several basic elements, which are detailed below.  It has been crafted with the intention of creating opportunities for many different kinds of learning – project-based learning, creative expression, movement, alongside more traditional modalities.

Grade-Based Curriculum

Each grade covers a particular time period or area of study. This provides a consistent “thread” throughout the year that culminates in a final project or presentation.  

The Early learning through Kitah Bet (2nd grade) classes share the topic of Shabbat and Holidays.  The year cycle provides the “backbone” of Jewish time and practice; and creates wonderful opportunities for including families, as students bring their learning home. The holiday curriculum for both our younger and older (3rd-7th grade) students is a "spiral curriculum", with each grade exploring new holiday experiences, narratives, observances, and opportunities for personal meaning.

 

Grade Level Topic
Early Learning Holidays and Shabbat, Introduction to some Hebrew letters
Gan-Aleph (K-1) Holidays and Shabbat, Beginning Hebrew
Bet (2) Holidays and Shabbat, Beginning Hebrew
Gimmel (3) Torah (Genesis and Exodus)
Dalet (4) Torah (Leviticus through Deuteronomy)
Hei (5) Mishna and the Early Rabbis
Vav (6) Lifecycle (situating Bar/Bat Mitzvah in a larger life context)
Zayin (7) Holocaust, Zionisms and Israeli Society, “Hot Topics”, Current Events

 

Themes –  Middot (Values) and Mitzvot (responsibilities)

Throughout the year, we have whole-school units that focus on specific Jewish values and responsibilities.  We search for connections between the content we are learning and the values we are exploring, noticing how our holidays, lifecycle moments, sacred texts, legends, history, and community can help us make good choices.

Hebrew

We begin introducing Hebrew letters and sounds to our youngest students.  Children in our Early Learning through Kitah bet (2nd grade) classes encounter the Aleph-Bet in various ways, working towards recognition of all the letters and their sounds.

In Kitah Gimmel (3rd grade), students work more systematically through the Hebrew alphabet through Aleph-Bet Quest, a fun reading program with a game-based digital home component.  Our goal is for students to be able to decode (sound out words) with confidence by the end of Kitah Gimmel (3rd grade)

Kitot Dalet through Zayin (grades 4-7) learn through the Mitkadem Hebrew curriculum.  Mitkadem is a self-paced Hebrew learning system that focuses on the structure of the Hebrew language as well as on fluent pronunciation and recitation of prayers.  In this system, students work independently, assisted as needed by teachers and Madrichim (teen aides).  

 

 

 

Tefilah (prayer)

Weekday Tefilah:

We begin each Sunday and Wednesday session with Tefilah - prayer.  The goal of these prayer experiences is not simply to "teach" the blessings and melodies that students will need to know for the future, but to create authentic prayerful experiences that help student connect with the words they are learning.  Blessings and prayers are interspersed with discussion and opportunities to share personal experiences.  In the older grades, we also explore what it can mean to pray even when you are not sure if you believe in God, if you are sure you don't believe in God, or if your ideas about God are different from what you read in the Siddur (prayerbook).

Shabbat Tefilah:

We always invite and encourage students and their families to be a part of our congregational Shabbat services, and we also have several special Mispallelim Shabbat programs throughout the year.  As part of these programs, students lead prayers that they have learned, teach the community about what Shabbat means to them, and share their own interpretations of the Torah portion. 

Electives

Held during the second half of the session on Wednesdays, electives give students an opportunity for choice and self-expression,  Some electives offerings have included:

  • Sports and physical games in Hebrew
  • Jewish cooking
  • Creating ritual items to take home
  • Imitating artistic styles of Famous Jewish Artists
  • Mitzvah Corps  - doing small social action projects
  • Torah yoga

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[1]  any parents who are in regular contact with students need to have clearances as determined by state and federal laws.

Tue, January 19 2021 6 Shevat 5781