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School Curriculum

School-wide Content:

• Jewish Holidays
• Jewish Ritual
• Jewish Music
Tikkun Olam
• Jewish Ethics & Values
• Jewish Heritage
• The joy of being Jewish
Mitzvot and Hebrew
 

School-wide Key Questions:

• Why should I be Jewish?
• What does it mean to be Jewish?
• What is my obligation to Judaism and what do I get in return?
• What is the focus on each Jewish season?
• How do I combine my synagogue life with my life outside of the synagogue?
 
 

Class Curriculum

Preschool/Pre-K: Jewish Holidays and the Synagogue

Students in the preschool class will learn about Jewish holidays, synagogue life, and begin to interact with the Hebrew Alef-Bet. For many students, this will be their first experience with prayers and Hebrew songs. Through play, students will gain enjoyment for being Jewish, prayers, mitzvot (commandments), and Hebrew letters.
 
Additionally, we will explore the synagogue, the roles of the Rabbi and Cantor, and the symbols found within the synagogue. Activities such as card making, reading books, and technology, will aide our learning. Students will also begin to recognize appropriate b'rachot (blessings) for the candles, wine, and challah. CONTINUE ►

Kindergarten: Jewish Life in the Synagogue

 
The focus for this class is developing Jewish Identity. Through creative play, music, movement, and the arts, students will explore the Jewish Life, Shabbat, Holidays, will focus on Torah stories such as Creation, the Garden of Eden, and Hebrew as the language of the Jewish People. In the second half of the year, we will explore Bible Heroes such as Jacob and Joseph.
 
Additionally, we will explore the synagogue, the roles of the Rabbi and Cantor, and the symbols found within the synagogue. Activities such as card making, reading books, and technology, will aide our learning. Students will also begin to recognize appropriate b'rachot (blessings) for the candles, wine, and challah. CONTINUE ►

First Grade: Biblical Heroes

In first grade, the focus is on Torah stories and Bible heroes such as Moses and Abraham. Students will have a basic introduction to the Aleph-Bet, along with core oral vocabulary. Students will broaden their knowledge of Israel, Torah, mitzvot (Commandments) and holidays. In addition to the appropriate b’rachot (blessings) over the candles, wine, and challah, student will be introduced to the complete Friday Night Kiddush. 

Second Grade: Israel and Mitzvot

The focus of second grade is Israel and age appropriate mitzvot. While students will continue to progress in learning the Alef-Bet, holidays, and Bible stories, they will also begin to learn about Israel and its different regions and cities. Throughout the year students will develop a connection to the land of Israel as they learn about the language, history, geography, and culture. Additionally, students will begin to recognize prayers such as the Sh’ma, V’ahavta, and the appropriate b’rachot (blessings) for each holiday. 

Third Grade: Jewish Calendar

The third grade is the first year that students will be attending Hebrew School for the first time. The focus is on introducing the Hebrew Aleph Bet, learn about the Jewish calendar and Holidays, and develop a personal partnership/relationship with God. Students will make their own calendars while learning about Jewish months, lunar vs. solar year, why we have leap years in the Jewish Calendar, and the differences between the secular and Jewish calendars.  

Fourth Grade: Jewish Values

The focus in fourth grade is Jewish Values, Biblical and Modern Israel. Students will begin a deeper study of Tanakh (TorahNeviim (Prophets), K’tuvim (Writings – for example Psalms)). Reading stories from Kings and Prophets whose lives explain the rise and fall of the Hebrew Monarchy will enhance this year’s program. Students will also learn about mitzvot (commandments) throughout the year such as bikur cholim (visiting the sick). Students will be challenged to find a higher meaning in Jewish values while developing an understanding of God, holiness, and their roles as partners.

Fifth Grade: Tikkun Olam and Jewish Life Cycle

The focus for fifth grade is Tikkun Olam and the Jewish Life Cycle. The students will plant seedlings to observe and document not only how we as humans grow, but how that expansion effects the environment, as well as what our responsibilities are to ourselves and to make the world a better place for us and future generations. Students will become familiar with the Erev Shabbat Service, and master the blessing over the candles, wine (Kiddush), and challah. Students will interact with the weekly Torah portion and find ways to incorporate Jewish values with protecting the environment. In exploring the Jewish Life Cycle, students will investigate and dissect all aspect of a Jewish existence such as birth, naming, education, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, growing up, marriage, old age, death, and mourning.

Sixth Grade: Jewish History

In sixth grade, students will learn about modern American Jewish history with a focus on Jewish personalities such as poet Emma Lazarus, Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, labor rights activist Emma Goldman, and abolitionist August Bondi as well as Jewish Pioneers of the West such as Phillip Drachman here in Tucson, Otto Mears in Colorado, and the Jews of Tombstone (who made up around 10 percent of the population in the late 1800’s). We will discuss the circumstances that led these individuals, their ancestors, and others to come to the United States and the West. 

 


Seventh Grade: Holocaust and Israel

The students in seventh grade learn about Jewish history, Israel, and the roots of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. We will cover the role of prejudice and discrimination in the Nazis’ rise to power, the resistance movement, life in the ghettoes, and the concentration camps. We will look at the human-interest effects of the Holocaust and its impact on our lives today. Students will have opportunities to interview survivors from our very own community as part of their study of the Holocaust. Next, we will move on to the study of Israel as the Jewish State. Topics will be Israel as a "melting pot"- the variety of cultures, the military, technology, and other achievements in the last 72 years. Current events will be discussed as a regular part of each Sunday's lesson. 

 


Eighth Grade: Comparative Religion

The eighth-grade year marks the beginning of life-long Jewish education, carrying into high school and adult life. Eighth graders will learn about themselves as Jews within the context of the larger community. The focus will be on Comparative Religions, Tikkun Olam (Repairing the World), as well as using Jewish values in making decisions and facing challenges. 

 


Ninth Grade: Sacred Choices

Today's Jewish youth are looking for guidance and insight from their community about how to deal with many of the challenges they face at this stage of their lives. The Sacred Choices: Adolescent Relationships and Sexual Ethics curriculum helps students to develop a sense of personal sexual ethics, a spiritual framework for thinking Jewishly about their sexual choices. In a safe space, they will have the opportunity to talk openly and honestly about these issues. Within the context of the synagogue, our teens find a safe place for sharing and dialogue, they have adult role models whom they can trust for guidance, they find peers who face similar challenges, as well as finding a tradition that can teach and guide them in safe realistic directions. 

 


Tenth Grade: Confirmation

This class will be taught on Sunday mornings (9:00-10:00 am) with the clergy. Confirmation may coincide with the Jewish holiday of Shavuot as it is a re-enactment of the children of Israel accepting the Torah at Sinai.
 
This curriculum is designed to help students re-examine and define their relationship to Judaism. If you want to learn about Judaism as a grown up, then this year is for you. We will connect with four main topics: 

 

Fri, September 30 2022 5 Tishrei 5783