Curriculum - Hebrew/Judaica
be a hands-on, multi-sensory introduction to Religious School and the rhythm of
Jewish time. Families will follow the holiday adventures of Sammy Spider during
monthly “Sit and Spin” story sessions, and students will begin to learn the
aleph-bet and basic Hebrew phrases.
Kindergarten is a celebration
of creation, as students are invited to discover all that is holy in the world
around them by making contributions to the “Natural Wonders” table with a
weekly round of “Show and Kvell”. Students also build on their emerging Hebrew
vocabulary through dedicated weekly Hebrew class and a concluding song session
with Lisa Silver.
the formal introduction to Jewish learning with a Consecration, where students
receive their very own illustrated Torah during Shabbat services. Students explore Jewish holidays, ritual
objects, heroes, and synagogue life.
There is a weekly “Family Favorites” session that invites parents to
participate throughout the year, including a Shabbat backpack that goes home
with a student each week.
Second Grade begins a
two-year cycle of Torah study, exploring the stories of Genesis. Hebrew lessons are supplemented through midrashim, or stories, that relay Jewish
values to each letter of the aleph-bet.
The rituals and blessings associated with havdallah are also practiced
the discovery of ancient Biblical stories, this year in the book of
Exodus. Students will also learn related Hebrew
vocabulary as they explore ideas of God and humanity, and the ongoing
interaction and covenant between them.
a journey into the land
of Israel, where students
encounter the people, places, food, and other cultural and historical
experiences that have shaped our Jewish homeland. Our 4th graders conclude this year
as hosts of the community-wide 1st grade program “Shalom, Israel!”
~ a trip to Eretz Yisrael that
features a ride on El Al with stops at Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and a kibbutz.
on the teachings of the Jewish prophets and how they apply to modern-day
life. Students will consider the dual
role of prophecy ~ to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable ~
paying particular attention to the call of our congregation’s namesake to “Do
justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.”
Families heed the prophetic call by helping run the weekly mitzvah market.
the Shabbat morning service and the sacred process of studying Torah. Whether
or not students plan to participate in the official B’nai Mitzvah program, all
students become Bar or Bat Mitzvah at age 13.
Here, students learn the history and symbolism behind the prayer
service, as well as critical tools for reading and interpreting Torah texts. Parents participate in several sessions,
learning to join with their children and “come to Torah together – b’yachad.” Students also look to historical fiction and
the ketuvim to support their
understanding of Jewish tradition and wisdom.
on the power of living a life of mitzvot, as encountered through the rich Reform tradition of “informed
choice”. Students consider the
commandments conceptually; the question of what it means to be “commanded”; and
the challenges and rewards of observing certain commandments to their secular
lives. Students will plan and
participate in several social action projects over the course of the year. Additionally, students and parents
participate in the URJ’s Sacred Choices
sexual ethics program.
moves students beyond the Torah of b’nai mitzvah
preparation to Judaism’s midrashic and mystical literature. Modern ethical issues are also addressed,
such as on-line conduct and finding ways to move from “MySpace” to
“OurSpace”. Students begin to give back
to their Religious School community through interaction with the Kindergarten
students where they write a book explaining Judaism for a Chanukah gift.
Students then conduct an oral history project with senior synagogue members
(the Schmoozers) while studying Pirke
Avot, learning first-hand “who is wise.”
considers the unique and enduring experience of Jews
through exposure to a variety of texts, films, and guest speakers. Students have the chance to participate in
the national L’Taken social-action
seminar in Washington D.C., helping them to understand the
historic and ongoing roles of social advocacy in Reform Judaism. Students also participate in an exchange
curriculum with peers in Israel, preparing them for an anticipated trip to
Israel in the 11th grade.
Tenth Grade (Confirmation) is a special
experience through which students are challenged to reflect upon how they
define and practice their Judaism while also engaging with traditional and
comparative texts from other faith traditions. Outside the classroom, students
put the teachings of prophecy into practice with their 10th grade
peers from West End Synagogue. Students
conclude the year by hosting a brunch for the community’s senior citizens, leading
a special Shabbat morning service and traveling to New York City.