Children in the first grade expand their sense of Jewish identity through age-appropriate, multi-sensory developmental activities covering a variety of objectives. We will learn about Bible stories, explore parts of the synagogue, learn to appreciate God’s work and how to talk with God, and examine proper ways six-year-olds can perform Mitzvot within his or her family and community. We add to the children's cultural awareness and familiarity with Jewish customs through art, dance, and music.
The upper grades are beginning the CHAI curriculum; We will explore a variety of customs and stories associated with the celebration of Jewish holidays. In particular, we will explore in more detail the customs associated with celebrating Shabbat. We will also learn several prayers and blessings and expand our participation in some parts of the services associated with celebrating Chanukah and Passover. We will “visit” Israel through its history and connection to Judaism using photographs and computer web sites.
Our Bible stories will reinforce and review in more depth selected stories from Genesis and Exodus as well as adding the Bible heroes’ stories of Jonah, Samson, Solomon, and David and Goliath. Mitzvah projects include activities stressing helping at home, visiting the sick, sharing, visiting older people, giving to the poor, helping people help themselves, giving secretly, welcoming strangers, guarding our tongue, remembering our manners, and talking about how children's tzedakah contributions are used to help people in the community and the world.
Our most exciting new objective will be to introduce Hebrew letter recognition in a more structured setting. This year we will be introducing a letter a week to allow the students to develop a foundation of letter recognition for reading Hebrew that will be taught in the older grades. We will continue to increase the children’s Hebrew vocabulary embedded within the context of the objectives mentioned previously.