Meets Sundays, 9:00-11:30 am & Wednesdays, 4:15-6:15 pm
Learners study the holidays in depth as they year progresses. Modern customs and celebrations are presented alongside each holiday’s history and ancient traditions. Bible stories and midrashim/stories illuminate the meaning and core Jewish values of each holiday.
Israel learning expands to cover the regions of Israel. Learners are introduced again to Israel’s history and geography, as well as its political, commercial, and cultural life. Israel’s struggle to coexist peacefully with its neighbors is presented in a thoughtful and age-appropriate way. Learners learn about Israelis their own age: what they do for fun, their favorite sports and foods, and what their schools are like.
Learners learn about the Holocaust in an age-appropriate curriculum from the stories of young people who survived. Through online discussions and engaging activities, learners gain a personal connection to history and explore issues of ethics and personal responsibility.
In the year of bar/bat mitzvah, learners study what mitzvot are, as well as practical and creative suggestions on how to observe them. Learners explore the wisdom of Jewish sacred texts and examine through a Jewish lens the kind of adults they want to become and how the practice of mitzvot can help them achieve their goals. Jewish rituals for life-cycle events are a core part of the Zayin curriculum.
Chugim are electives for learners in Hei through Zayin (5th through 7th grades). Each semester, learners will choose two classes of interest to them. Sessions meet on Wednesdays from 4:15 to 5:00 pm and from 5:30 to 6:15 pm. Choices may include:
- Jews & Food: Study the laws of kashrut and enjoy cooking foods from Jewish cultures around the world
- Times of Our Lives: Learn about Jewish lifecycle events and create a mock wedding
- American Jews/Jewish Americans: Learn about historic and contemporary famous Jewish Americans as well as your personal history to find similarities
- Torah Reading: Learn the ancient trop cantillation and how to chant Torah, then put theory into practice reading Torah during youth services
- Israeli Dancing: Become part of a dance troupe, learn ancient and modern dances, and experience Judaism in a whole new way
- Creative Writing: Through poetry, drama, short stories, memoirs, and so on, create a collection of personal explorations of Judaism in various genres
- Book Club: Read and discuss books with Jewish themes, characters, or topics
- You Be the Judge: Explore and debate ethical issues from a Jewish perspective
- Jewish History: Understand the timeline of Jewish history by placing Torah stories, holidays, and historical events in chronological context
- Beyond the Bible: Learn about the Prophets that make up the Haftarot read each Shabbat and holiday