Kindergarten students begin their education by learning about the Torah and the holidays we celebrate through stories, crafts, music and games. They are introduced to the letters of the Hebrew alphabet and begin to acquire a vocabulary of Hebrew words with connection to the synagogue and Jewish holidays. The concepts of tzedakah and mitzvah are presented in active, hands-on ways that encourage children to embrace these values.
First grade students delve deeper into the stories and the important people introduced in the Torah through engaging, hands-on activities. Using art, music and storytelling, they learn about the symbols and customs of Shabbat and other holidays. Students begin to study Hebrew letter sight and sound recognition, and start to acquire a Jewish vocabulary. Ethics and values are introduced through lessons and projects that focus on doing mitzvot.
Second grade students learn the major themes of the Torah through varied lessons and hands-on activities. They explore the rituals and the meaning of the symbols we use to celebrate Shabbat and other holidays. God-talk enters the curriculum in second grade. Children are encouraged to think about, talk about and ask questions about how they feel about God. Storytelling, music and creative projects enliven every lesson. Students also begin to master Hebrew letter and vowel recognition through reading readiness materials.
Third grade students learn how to read and print Hebrew using primer materials. Their ability to participate in the rituals of the holidays expands as they master reading and reciting Shabbat and holiday blessings in Hebrew. Students go beyond the surface of the stories in the Torah to learn the moral and ethical lessons of our traditions. Third graders engage in lessons that encourage doing mitzvot outside of the classroom. Music, children's services, art and storytelling enhance the learning experience. Third grade features a special family program and ceremony focused on the tradition of giving children Hebrew names.
Fourth grade students explore the idea of the special Covenant between God and the Jewish people as described in the Book of Genesis and expressed in our life cycle events. Children learn ethical lessons as they are introduced to the Biblical Prophets. They also begin to develop their Hebrew prayer reading skills. During a special fourth grade Shabbat service, each student will receive a personalized copy of our prayer book.
Fifth grade students are introduced to the vast and fascinating subject of Jewish history. Students learn about the diversity of Jewish communities around the world through creative lessons, activities and projects. They examine and discuss the lessons of our weekly Torah portions. Students also explore ethical dilemmas to which they must apply Jewish values in judging the solutions. They continue strengthening their Hebrew reading and language skills while learning the central portion of our Shabbat liturgy. A highlight of the year is when students bring Jewish history to life by creating their own Living Museum comprised of Jewish objects from their own homes. Families are invited to participate.