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DISCOVER WHAT EACH GRADE LEVEL HAS IN STORE FOR YOUR CHILD AT LIVING JUDAISM.

As a nationally recognized, all-inclusive experiential learning model of Jewish education, our curriculum is designed to nurture a strong connection to Jewish identity, values, and heritage. At Living Judaism, we provide a supportive and engaging learning environment tailored to each age group, offering a diverse range of activities, lessons, and experiences that will help your child grow spiritually and academically. Explore our detailed grade-level expectations and get excited about the enriching journey ahead as your child embarks on their Living Judaism educational path.

PRE-K/KINDERGARTEN – TORAH STORIES

Our young learners begin their religious school education with wiggles, giggles and stories. They will begin to feel a belonging to and connection with the Jewish community and love of Judaism. Dancing, acting, singing, experimenting through science and the arts are all just some of the fun ways we introduce key values and concepts of Judaism to these young learners. Their introduction to Judaica is joyous, building community, integrating values, celebrating holidays, learning about Israel, and doing Jewish with hands-on and interactive experiences. Music, art, science, and Hebrew through Movement are integrated into the weekly instruction, weaving together a rich tapestry of Jewish culture, tradition, and identity.

FIRST GRADE – JEWISH HOLIDAYS

This year takes our students on a journey of Jewish holidays and celebrations. Our students make a box for each holiday of the year, building a tool kit for families to use for years to come whenever each holiday returns. First grade is introduced to Hebrew through Movement, an interactive and engaging way of honing their Hebrew skills. Working on Hebrew, they recognize key holiday words and continue to enjoy learning enhanced by music, art, and science, reinforcing our commitment to building an engaged community of learners.

SECOND GRADE – JEWISH VALUES

Second grade continues to immerse our students in a rich cultural experience while they focus on building a connection to Jews around the world. Our students learn all about Jewish values through stories and midrashim (Jewish tales), passed down through the generations. Hebrew skills continue to grow with Hebrew through Movement, and we begin to integrate technology into their Living Judaism experience.

THIRD GRADE – JEWISH HEROES

In third grade, our students learn all about Jews throughout history that have made an impact on our lives. This interactive and engaging curriculum weaves together storytelling, music, history, science, art, technology, and cooking as Jewish values begin to take on a more central theme in the lives of our students. Our students meet and learn about the many sides, colors, textures, stories, foods, and music that comprise the Jewish people. Hebrew reading skills continue to grow with Hebrew through Movement as our students begin to decode the prayers that form part of our Shabbat and Holiday services.

FOURTH GRADE – THROUGH THE TORAH

In fourth grade, we revisit the Torah Stories with a more analytical lens. We carefully consider the parables and tales, and focus on how these stories teach us the concept of tikkun olam (repairing the world). In this curriculum, we learn investigative skills to look for the messages and find meaning and relevance in our contemporary world through games, art, and science. Fourth-grade students continue to hone their Hebrew skills in interactive and engaging ways.

FIFTH GRADE – JEWISH LIFE CYCLE

Fifth grade marks the all-important Life Cycle curriculum. Our students trace the lives of Jews from birth through death, stopping to delve into the various ceremonies and meaningful events along the way. The year includes exploring milestones such as a naming ceremony, B’nai Mitzvah, wedding and Jewish death, burial, and mourning practices. Hebrew continues, with an emphasis on B’nai Mitzvah liturgy, as the students learn to lead the blessings associated with the Torah service.

SIXTH GRADE – EXPLORING TORAH

As our students enter 6th grade, they will explore a key element of the B’nai Mitzvah service, the D’var Torah (words of Torah). Each youth delivers a D’var Torah in front of the congregation. This teaching helps our learners create a personal connection to their Torah portion. In this class, they will explore how one approaches interpreting the words of the Torah, its various meanings, perspectives, and most importantly, what it can mean to us individually, on a personal basis. In addition, each week, we will explore a new or old tefillah (prayer) to enhance our connection to our heritage, our rituals, and gain a deeper understanding of the words we sing and recite weekly. Students will also learn how to work with one another in various groupings, developing tolerance and respect for different skill sets, backgrounds, and opinions while cultivating a strong sense of community among their classmates. Hebrew instruction continues its focus on building prayer fluency.

7TH GRADE – HOLOCAUST STUDIES

As our students prepare to become B’nai Mitzvah, they learn about the Holocaust –one of the defining events of contemporary Judaism. Utilizing developmentally age-appropriate resources, students explore the significance of this time as a supportive classroom community. This experience helps build strong Jewish identities and compassion for one another. The Jewish tweens that emerge from this class are bonded to one another, celebrating life cycle events together, playing and praying together, and solidifying relationships that will last for many years to come.

8TH GRADE -THE MIDDLE EAST

This is the year our students learn about the Middle East – the good, the bad, and the complicated. Building upon the cultural and historical knowledge learned in 6th grade, the 8th grade curriculum goes deeper by addressing more facets of the situation, learning the different narratives, studying the history and politics of the region, as well as delving into American influences and political agendas. Our students gain debating skills at the same time by representing sides and situations they may or may not agree with, and learn how to engage in meaningful and respectful dialogue. This curriculum is approached from a Humanistic perspective, ensuring that our students understand the values of life, liberty, and respect.

GRADES 9-12 – TEEN HAVURAH / CONFIRMATION

Our teens come together one Sunday a month for a carefully constructed experience. They learn how to navigate the difficult teenage years, make decisions based on values, and build leadership skills. Our teens work with a teen advisor monthly and meet with the Rabbi throughout the year. When not in their own class, they also work in our younger classrooms as a madrich/madricha (teacher aide), supporting both the teacher and students as they explore different aspects of their own Jewish identity, assist learners who need additional support, and lead learning experiences under the classroom teacher’s direction.

LIVING JUDAISM @ HOME

For those students who cannot make it regularly to any of our Sunday learning experiences, University Synagogue offers a flexible alternative-Living Judaism @ Home. Working directly with the Director of Congregational Learning, we will customize your child’s Living Judaism experience according to their individual learning style and your family’s needs and values.  This program takes place in the comfort of your own home.



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Tue, May 28 2024 20 Iyar 5784