K–1 / Gan–Aleph: "Heroes, Holidays, and Hebrew"
Our youngest students enjoy experiential learning, focusing on holidays, basic brachot for Shabbat and holidays, important Biblical figures and the values they can teach us, and introduction to the aleph bet. Lessons will include art, games, stories, music, and movement. Teacher and students together will build a community in the classroom where all children feel respected and encouraged to learn about Judaism. Returning teacher Adina Marx infuses the class with her enthusiasm for Judaism and the learning process. She has a great respect for each child as an individual who has the ability to make valuable contributions to the class. Adina will be joined again by an ozeret—classroom assistant—a teenager who has grown up in the Kehila. In K–1, students will start down their lifelong path of education by tasting the sweetness of Jewish learning!
Grades 2–3 / Bet–Gimmel: "Becoming a Modern-Day Mensch"
Our 2nd and 3rd grade students will continue their community building and learning with a special focus on what it means to be a "mensch" in today’s world. Our talented educator, storyteller, and artist—Gale Pressman—will shape the lessons using art, stories, movement, games, songs and discussion. Native Hebrew speaker Hanna Weissberger, who has a deep love for the language, will help students experience the beauty of Hebrew. In addition to continuing their Hebrew studies of the aleph bet and blessings for holidays and Shabbat, children will learn some key mitzvot and how to put them into practice in their daily life. In both the Judaics and Hebrew portions, students will develop comfort and confidence in their class through individual work, pair study, and group discussions—all the while gaining a deeper spiritual understanding of Judaism.
Grades 4–5 / Dalet–Hey: "Jewish Life Cycle and Mindful Mitzvot"
Our 4th and 5th grade students will build on their knowledge from previous years as they strengthen their classroom community. Lessons will focus on Jewish Life Cycle: discussing receiving (Hebrew) names, the Jewish wedding, and the Jewish funeral as well as on mitzvot (both the everyday and those specific to particular events and holidays). They will be challenged to think more deeply about their behavior—making connections between Judaism and their daily life with family, friends and community. Our talented educator, storyteller, and artist—Gale Pressman—will shape the lessons using the students’ various learning modalities. Native Hebrew speaker Hanna Weissberger, who has a deep love for the language, will help students experience the beauty of Hebrew. They will continue with decoding letters and vowels, and reading and recognizing words. Students will gain comfort and confidence with the Hebrew words and blessings that are linked with each life cycle event, holiday and mitzvah. In both the Judaics and Hebrew portions, a mix of individual, pair and group work and discussion will be a core part of the learning process.
Grades 6–9 / Mitzvah–Machon "Jewish Identities and Values"
New this year for our students in grades 6–9: Students will explore ways that Jews have understood themselves, their communities, and their role in the world. With an emphasis on continuity and change in the Jewish community, we will learn about the history, values, debates, changes, innovations, and practices of many different Jews. Topics will include comparative religion, different types of Jewish denominations/communities, life cycle observance, tikkun olam/community service, and historical events like the Holocaust and the development of the state of Israel. The class will place an emphasis on discussion, art, hands-on learning, and field trips as we explore a variety of topics. Returning teacher Liz Savopoulos is beloved by students and parents alike. She brings an understanding of the developmental stages of the students to her interactions, meeting them where they are while guiding them towards deeper understanding of the world around them.