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Religious School Curriculum

Per our 2021 Curricular Content Priorities survey, the topics that parents feel most strongly about being included in their child(ren)’s Jewish education are (in order of most votes):

Jewish Values

Israel/Jewish Holidays/Prayer (tie)

God/Holocaust (tie)

Torah/Personal Jewish Identity (tie)

Pre-K/K students will begin to get into the rhythm of the Jewish calendar. Aiming to concretize the holidays they may or may not already have experienced, keeping in mind the young age of these learners this year focuses specifically on the “what” of our holidays and rituals. This year is crucial in sparking a love of Jewish learning and community in our learners, which is exemplified when we learn and celebrate together.

1st and 2nd grade turns inward, asking students to recognize distinct moments of Jewish action in their lives and their worlds through the study of Jewish values. Students will learn that these values that they likely already recognize are indeed part of our tradition, and will be introduced to examples of these values throughout Jewish history, ritual, and text.

3rd and 4th grade students receive an in-depth introduction to Jewish text while they also build the foundation for Hebrew reading. While they have heard plenty of stories from our texts before, they will study their roots and begin to understand the importance of text to Jewish history and tradition. Students will begin to explore the idea of God and how God plays into text, prayer, and Jewish life as a whole. This year plays a major role in starting to build students’ personal Jewish identities.

5th grade students move from the foundational stories to the lived experience, exploring Jewish life cycle traditions from birth to death. As students mature, they begin to unpack their responsibilities as soon-to-be adults, building a deeper connection to the role of ritual in Jewish life. As students also build upon their Hebrew and prayer skills, they will also dive deep into the meanings behind these prayers.

6th grade will move from the timeline of the life cycle events to the timeline of Jewish history, ranging from immediately post-Biblical until the 20th century (pre-Holocaust). This will provide them with the ability to understand the evolution of tradition and community, and will provide a basis for which they will learn about the Holocaust and modern State of Israel in 7th grade. 6th graders will take their Hebrew and prayer knowledge from the three years before into exploring the structure of the service and, like history, how that structure moves prayer along in time.

7th grade's year will focus on two major components of modern Jewish history: the Holocaust and the State of Israel. With the backbone of the "Facing History and Ourselves" curriculum, students will examine the history of the Holocaust while fostering their skills in ethical reasoning, critical thinking, empathy, and civic engagement. In the second half of the year, students will learn about the history, figures, and basic complexities behind the modern State of Israel that have shaped its culture, society, and importance to the Jewish people.

Wed, October 20 2021 14 Cheshvan 5782