Meets Sundays, 9:00-11:30 am
Learners become proficient at Hebrew decoding, learning the consonants and vowels and how to sound out multi-syllable words. The class is taught “immersion-style,” with spoken Hebrew used for instructions and questions, building on previous knowledge from Gan-Alef. A formal study of prayer begins this year, with learners learning the melodies and choreography for prayers common to Shabbat and weekday services. Learners discuss the weekly Torah portion and keep journals to share with their families. Shabbat and holidays are a special focus with emphasis on the traditions and ritual objects for each.
Kitah Gimel (Third Grade), Kitah Dalet (Fourth Grade), & Kitah Hei (Fifth Grade)
The Hebrew focus shifts to integration with prayers as learners begin a three-year series that examines the themes of the prayers as well as their links to Jewish values. In addition to learning the melodies and choreography of Shabbat and holiday prayers through the individualized Sulam Tefillah program, learners answer challenging analytical questions to personalize the meaning of each prayer.
Bible stories from Creation through the rebuilding of Jerusalem in 400 CE are explored through original text translation as well as midrashim/stories from the ancient rabbis. Learners engage with the text by creating their own stories in written or art form to deepen their understanding.
Learners begin to build their Jewish identities and learn what unites Jews as a people throughout the world. The Jewish community shares a common language in Hebrew, a common calendar of holidays, and common life cycle events. Gimel learners examine a Jewish view of time through the lens of Jewish identity – our shared history and stories, language, symbols and rituals, and ethical teachings. Students explore how the Torah is our source for wisdom and justice and a guide for living an ethical life. Learners will explore how a Torah is made, meet the rabbis whose commentaries make up the Talmud, and learn how our sacred texts define and enrich Jewish life.
Learners learn the major cities of Israel – their geography, history, culture, and personalities. Learners learn our shared history and heritage as they examine the influence of Jewish history on North American life today. They will explore the themes of exile and return, and learn how the values and traditions that have defined our people help us to understand our world today. In Kitah Hei, 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 return to the study of the holidays in depth in Kitah Hei. 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.
Each Wednesday, learners in Gimel through Zayin (3rd through 7th grades) gather for Tefillah/Prayer with the Rabbi from 5:00 to 5:30 pm.