Hebrew School Curriculum

Like Summer Camp in the City

At Beth Radom Hebrew School, we believe in experiential education. Students get up and move; they think and grow together. Our groups are divided by age, but often interact in multi-age groupings as well. We teach content through activities, in the belief that children learn what they do, not what they hear. Just like a summer camp experience, we believe that interacting with learning in informal ways leads to emotionally connecting with a love of Judaism.

All programming is designed  and planned by Principal Cindy Kozierok Joseph, a Doctoral candidate and an educator with nearly 30 years of experience and specialized training in sensitive topics such as Holocaust education. Teachers and assistants implement the lessons with her guidance and support throughout in order to provide a unified learning experience in all grades.

We are a Conservative Egalitarian synagogue, and we teach according to those values. In recognition that Judaism can be observed in many different ways, we are sensitive and inclusive of all types of families and their chosen level of observance. We are welcoming of children with special needs and work with parents to provide an environment that will best suit their learning and emotional needs.

SUNDAY PROGRAM:  JK-Grade 3 and Pre-Bar/Bat Mitzvah Program - Grades 4/5/6

Student/Teacher Ratio: 1:15 maximum

Since we operate on an alternating week basis, each class is packed with as much activity and learning as possible. We waste no time on "filler" activities and get straight into rich, meaningful learning. 

Tefillah(Prayer):

The first part of every Sunday class is devoted to Tefillah. With a focus on a Shabbat service, students are taught the zmirot (songs) and tefillot (prayers) as a group as well as individually. As older children progress through the program, they are given increased responsibility for learning and leading tefillot in the group. 

The year ends with a big Kabbalat Shabbat Service and dinner to which families are invited to join and celebrate their children's learning and participation.

Topics Covered through the year:

Although there is natural repetition of the topics from year to year, due to the nature of the Jewish calendar, we are keenly aware of planning unique and different activities for each grade level so students never feel bored from one year to the next. We delve deeper into different aspects of each topic as the children get older and have already learned the basics in younger years, exploring the three pillars of Judaism: Torah, Avodah (work), and G'milut Chasadim (Acts of Loving Kindness).

Topics Include:

  • Holidays: Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Simchat Torah, Chanukah, Tu B'shvat, Purim, Passover, Shavuot
  • Shabbat
  • Torah
  • Israel: Land and History, Yom Hazikaron, Yom Ha'atzmaut
  • Holocaust Studies (Grades 4/5/6 only) 

Extension Activities:

We provide many opportunities for families to experience Jewish living outside of the classroom. Volunteer activities, cooking classes, Shabbat dinners, synagogue celebrations and community based programming are all open to our students and families are encouraged to partake in as many activities as their schedules will allow!

WEEKDAY IN-HOME HEBREW TUTORIALS (Usually begins in Grade 2)

Student/Teacher Ratio: 1:4 maximum (semi-private and private options available)

Hebrew language is taught in a progressive, levelled system. Students are assessed at the beginning of the year and placed in the appropriate level, regardless of age and grade. Students progress at their own pace in small groups designed for high levels of personal attention and accommodation. Parental preferences are taken into account and the in-home tutor maintains a high level of communication with parents throughout the year.

Level 1: Aleph Bet (Alphabet)

Capitalizing on Hebrew's highly phonetic nature, children are taught the letters and sounds using Tutorworks and Storybook Hebrew. These programs create characters for the letters, allowing children to create memory tricks to learn them quickly and retain the knowledge for the next level.

Level 2: Nekudot (Vowels)

Tutorworks level 2 consists of 8 levelled books, one for each of the vowels in the Hebrew language. Students learn the phonetics and begin to put the sounds together in increasingly difficult exercises. A combination of nonsense words and actual Hebrew words are used throughout the levels.

Level 3: Comprehension Stories

Moving into the Shalom Ivrit series, students use their new skills to read simple stories. The children are introduced to a cast of characters who they will follow through the year and learn about holidays and Jewish observance. The focus is on reading, vocabulary and some writing as well. Block printing is used for writing, as this is the font used in all books, including prayer books.

Continuing with a levelled approach, the children work through each chapter as a booklet, rather than as a whole book. This allows for manageable pieces to be learned and for students to experience the confidence that comes with mastery.

 

Mon, August 21 2017 29 Av 5777