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Religious and Hebrew School

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Religious School (K4-7th Grades) 
5782 (2021/2022)

Religious school this year will meet from 9:30 - 11:30 for all students. While we will not be able to gather for our usual all school T’filah in person, we will hold services virtually for students to participate directly from their classrooms.  T’filah serves a few purposes.  First and foremost, it serves as a chance for your children to hear and practice singing the Hebrew prayers.  The more exposure your children have to hearing the prayers, the more “Aha! moments” they will experience as they deepen their Religious and Hebrew studies.  The second purpose is to connect our families to themselves, to each other and to God.

Within each grade, students will learn about topics ranging from holidays, history, life cycle, Jewish identity, and more.  See below for more details on your child’s grade specific topics.

K4 and K5 – Introduction to Judaism

            Our Kindergarten students spend much of their time learning through play, stories, and hands-on activities.  They will learn about basic Jewish symbols, our most central Torah stories, and have a chance to explore the Jewish holidays as they arrive throughout the year.

1st Grade – Shabbat and Holidays

            In 1st grade, our students learn more about the holidays with a special emphasis on Shabbat.  Through creating and decorating all the essential components of the Friday night Shabbat blessings, students will learn about this special time each week and how to celebrate it at home with their family. 

2nd Grade – Holidays with the Community

            Second grade students will learn about the synagogue and all the special symbols associated with it.  Additionally, they will learn more about how the Jewish holidays are celebrated at the synagogue compared to how they may celebrate at home with their families.

3rd Grade – Genesis and Israel

            In 3rd grade, students are reintroduced to Torah stories with an in-depth exploration of the book of Genesis.  Students will learn the stories of creation, Noah’s Ark, Abraham and Sarah; Isaac and Rebekah; Jacob, Leah, and Rachel; and Joseph and his brothers.  Students will also get an introduction to Israel and begin formulating their own personal connection with the Jewish state.

4th Grade – Exodus and God

            Our 4th graders will continue to explore the Torah by examining stories from Exodus.  They will learn about Moses as a child, how he came to be the leader of the Israelites, the 10 plagues and exodus from Egypt, the beginnings of wandering the desert, the 10 commandments, and more.  Through this, the students will also have a chance to learn about their own connection to God and the different attributes and characteristics of God that are evident in these stories.

5th Grade –Lifecycles & Holidays

Fifth grade focuses on the events and holidays that help build a sense of Jewish identity in our children. Through discussions and hands-on activities, our fifth graders will learn about the rituals, prayers, and foods that bring joy and meaning to our celebrations of Shabbat, Pesach, Tu b'Shevat, Purim, the High Holy Days, and Shavuot. They also will gain an understanding and appreciation for what it will mean for each of them to become a Bar or Bat Mitzvah in just a few short years.

6th Grade – Jewish History

In Pirkei Avot (3:1) Akabyah ben Mahalel said: … know from where you come, and to where you are going...

Our sixth graders will discover more about themselves as they study our people’s history from ancient Israel through the third wave of Jewish immigration to the United States.  Through the study of our people’s story, the students will consider how their own lives compare with the lives of our ancestors, how each generation adapts Judaism to its time and place, and how the decisions of previous generations influence our own lives and decisions.

7th Grade – Tough Questions Jews Ask and Holocaust Studies

Using Rabbi Ed Feinstein’s book, Tough Questions Jews Ask, our seventh graders will find themselves deep in conversations about God, prayer, the afterlife, miracles, and so much more.  Rabbi Feinstein writes, “Every day I wonder if God is real, if the Torah is true. Every day I wonder why I’m a Jew. But that’s part of being Jewish. In the Torah, we’re called Yisrael―the ones who wrestle with God. Wrestling, asking, wondering, searching is just what God wants us to do! God loves good questions. Now tell me, what are your questions?"  Our seventh graders will get to know each other, and themselves better as they begin to parse out their own Jewish beliefs as they come into Jewish adulthood.

In the second part of the year, the students will engage in studies about the Holocaust.  They will tackle this difficult topic so that they can take their place in fulfilling the obligation to never let an atrocity like the Holocaust occur again against Jews, or any other group of God’s precious children.

8th/9th Grade Chai School – How to be a Jewish Adult and Current Events

Our 8th and 9th graders will meet from 9:30-10:30am, giving them the opportunity to also serve as madrichim, teaching assistants, for the younger grades from 10:30am-12:00pm.  

Our 8th and 9th grade students will spend their time exploring what it means to be a Jewish Adult.  Having already become Bar/Bat Mitzvah, our students have the opportunity to take more ownership of their own Judaism and explore topics that interest them.  We will also take time to look at events playing out in the world around us and examine what Judaism has to say about them.

10th Grade - Confirmation Studies

Our 10th grade Confirmation students will meet virtually with the rabbis on Sunday mornings from 11:00am-12:00pm, giving them the opportunity to also serve as madrichim, teaching assistants, for the younger grades from 9:30-11:00am.

Our Confirmation students will engage in deep conversations with the rabbis and each other about what it means to be Jewish.  They’ll debate one another about Jewish dilemmas, analyze critical Jewish texts and examine the meaning behind many Jewish rituals; all in an effort for these students to be able to confirm their own religious beliefs and identities.

11th & 12th Grade Post-Confirmation Studies

Our 11th and 12th Graders are encouraged to serve as madrichim, teaching assistants in our school.  They are also welcome to join in the Chai School classes taught by our expert teachers.  Should your 11th or 12th grader wish for deeper study beyond these opportunities, the rabbis will work with the teens to develop an individual course of study that is both relevant and meaningful for your teen.

Hebrew School (Aleph-Dalet: 3rd-6th Grades)

Hebrew School this year will take place in person.  Our Aleph and Bet students will focus primarily on building a strong foundation of letters and vowels so that they can decode any Hebrew that they see with ease.  Our Gimmel and Dallet students will study the prayers in more depth, both for meaning and for fluidity of decoding.

Hebrew School is offered in two main tracks:

  1. Mid-Week Hebrew will be offered on either Tuesdays or Wednesdays from 4:30-6:15pm.
    Mid-week Hebrew consists of a 30 minute age-appropriate T’filah led by one of our clergy members.  The purpose of this T’filah is to familiarize the students with the sounds of the prayers.  This will lead to more “Aha! Moments” in the course of their Hebrew studies.

  2. Boker Tov Sunday Morning Hebrew will be offered from 8:15-9:15am on Sunday mornings.  These classes are smaller by design.  Students should sign up for Boker Tov Hebrew if they are unable to make the mid-week Hebrew option work with their schedule, or if learning in the afternoon following a full day of school proves challenging.

Please note that because we are capping our Boker Tov Hebrew classes at 6 students per class, priority will go to those who complete their registration on a first come, first served basis.


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Wed, October 27 2021 21 Cheshvan 5782