While each grade has its own discrete curriculum so that students gain new knowledge and have new experiences each year, there are several themes woven throughout the grades. Students explore these themes in hands-on ways each year to build their Jewish identity, instill a sense of pride, and help make Judaism meaningful and relevant. See below for each grade’s specific curriculum.
Holidays – Celebrating special times throughout the year enables our community to share in the joy of being Jewish. Each holiday gives our students an opportunity to learn the story or history of the holiday, along with the special symbols and traditions. From sharing apples and honey to the annual menorah building contest to the famous “chocolate seder” to grade-level Shabbat dinners, students are reminded of how special it is to live in Jewish time.
Torah – As the foundation of Jewish tradition and learning, we teach Torah in its broadest sense and make it relevant and meaningful in our modern lives. Students learn the stories of our ancestors along with discovering the moral and ethical lessons those stories teach. They explore the values and commandments that Torah teaches that can help us to make good decisions in our lives today.
Hebrew – From the very beginning, students are exposed to Hebrew in a variety of ways. Modern Hebrew phrases can be heard in classrooms throughout the school, and a short prayer service is part of the students’ weekly routine. Our youngest students learn Hebrew letters connected to holidays or Jewish values/ideas and this learning evolves into our prayer-based Hebrew curriculum. We want students to develop a comfort with different prayers in the service, and this comfort comes both from attaining reading fluency as well as understanding the themes and concepts of prayers.
Israel – As Jews in America, developing a connection to Israel is an important aspect of our Jewish identity. Our school encourages students to explore the different ways they can understand “Am Yisrael” (the people of Israel), “Eretz Yisrael” (the land of Israel), and “Medinat Yisrael” (the modern state of Israel). Interactive lessons in the classrooms and special programs in Israel Land, our very own Israel museum, enable students to develop a relationship with Israel.
Jewish Values – Everything that we do and teach is embedded in Jewish values. Learning mitzvot (commandments) and values help our students to be good people who make decisions that positively impact the world. We don’t simply learn about Jewish values, we live them!