Curriculum

Curriculum Overview

Open Room

Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students explore Judaism through four activity centers in the Open Room: art, story, activity and free creative play.

The last morning rotation is a music session for the entire room. Through art projects, games, stories, music and exploration, the children make friends and have fun while learning about Judaism. The program is a two-year curriculum.

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Grade 1

First graders have a widening sense of the world beyond their homes. Our goal is to foster and strengthen Jewish identity and help kids connect with one another through a wide variety of positive Jewish experiences.

We focus on Jewish values, Jewish holidays, Bible stories and relationship with God. Kids also enjoy t’fillah (services), Sefer Safari (library reading program) and Torah Play.

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Grade 2

Second graders are curious! We take advantage of their natural curiosity by exploring the following big ideas:

  • I am part of the Jewish family (from my own family, to my synagogue family and all the way to my connection with all Jewish people).
  • The synagogue is my home away from home. How is the synagogue like a home?
  • Israel is a place and a people. I belong to both.
  • We have a responsibility to use our Jewish values to help us be better people and to help our friends, community and world.

We also introduce Hebrew letters and students participate in t’fillah (services), Sefer Safari (library reading program) and Torah Play.

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Grade 3

Third-grade students explore the Jewish Holidays on a deeper level than they have previously. We focus on the relevance of the holidays in today’s world. Big Ideas we explore:

  • Holidays help us connect to our tradition, our community and the world.
    Celebrating/observing holidays helps us to live a Jewish life and build Jewish identity.
  • Holidays teach us about our responsibility to ourselves, our people and our world.
  • Holidays can be experienced in many different ways at different times in our lives.
  • Holidays are more than celebrated or observed; they are experienced.

Students continue their Hebrew study through an active-learning Hebrew program called Hebrew Through Movement. Students also participate in t’fillah (services), Sefer Safari (library reading program) and Torah Play.

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Grade 4

The fourth grade is focused on Israel: people, land, history, religion and culture. With their earnestness for learning and their longer attention spans, fourth graders begin to delve into complex topics. Questions we explore:

  • What does Israel mean to me?
  • How can knowledge of Israel enrich my Jewish identity?
  • What different roles do Eretz Yisrael (the land) and Medinat Yisrael (the state) play in my relationship to Israel?
  • What does it mean to be part of Am Yisrael (the Jewish people)

Students also participate in t’fillah (services), Sefer Safari (library reading program) and Torah Play. Additional Hebrew instruction begins with our online Hebrew Connect program. Students become confident with their letters and vowels and are able to decode Hebrew.

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Grade 5

Fifth grade has a Project-Based Learning curriculum. Project-Based Learning is student-driven and student-centered; it embraces the philosophy that meaningful learning happens when students ask questions, identify problems to be solved and are motivated to pursue their own answers and solutions.

The fifth graders explore Jewish texts, traditions and values; ask big questions about how this Jewish knowledge applies to their own lives and communities; and pursue projects – with the guidance of their teachers – that will help them answer those questions.

Fifth graders also participate in t’fillah (services), Library, Torah Play and community-building team activities. Students continue in our online Hebrew Connect program, with a focus on decoding prayers including the Amidah.

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Grade 6

In this grade, we focus on Jewish history from biblical times to the present. We explore important events and people through six units focusing on different key periods and places in Jewish history. Big Ideas we explore:

  • I am part of a Jewish family tree that goes all the way back to the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, and includes Jews in every age and nation.
  • By understanding the challenges, choices, contributions and opportunities our ancestors faced, and the similarities to my own, I can better choose how to live Jewishly today.Jewish life and culture have been enriched through creative responses to the challenges history has presented.
  • I am part of a kehilah kedosha, a community based on kavod (mutual respect) for each other, as demonstrated by derech eretz (good manners).

Sixth-graders also collaborate on a film project, creating animations of the historical figures they study; write and present their own Torah Plays; and participate in tefillah (services) and Library. Hebrew classes continue to learn the Shabbat morning liturgy.

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Junior High

The junior-high curriculum continues to build community and offers students some choices in their learning. In our electives system, students choose two elective courses each semester.

A diverse range of topics are offered, including: Jews Around the World, Jewish Art, Modern Jewish Comedy, Making a Difference and History of the Holocaust.

In addition to these electives, junior high reinforces Jewish values and helps teens explore and embrace their Jewish identity. Our J.A.M. (Jewish Action Mornings) curriculum, which takes place on the first three Sundays of each semester and the final three Sundays of the school year, features field trips, guest speakers and innovative social action projects. It’s engaging, interactive and experiential Jewish education at its best.

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