Curriculum Overview by grade

The goals of our education program for grades K-7 are the same as those for the entire congregation.  We seek to construct powerful educational experiences that enable our students to become:

  • Critical Readers
  • Social Justice Activists
  • Reflective Ritual Practitioners
  • Zionists in America

Our focus on the development of identities provides touchstones for making pragmatic, curricular choices; enables us to chart our personal development throughout our lives; encourages opportunities for experiential learning; and guides us in integrating the study of Judaism with the lives that we lead. 

Critical Readers
Historically, Jews have conveyed their past through the telling and reading of stories.  As a text-based religion, Jews perpetuate and renew Judaism through the act of reading and interpretation.  Guided by the ideology of Reform Judaism, we seek to enable students to be thoughtful and competent readers of Jewish texts whose lives will be deeply informed by the central stories of Judaism, particularly those contained in the Torah.  The 1976 Centenary Platform states, "Within each area of Jewish observance Reform Jews are called upon to confront the claims of Jewish tradition, however differently perceived, and to exercise their individual autonomy, choosing and creating on the basis of commitment and knowledge." Through ongoing text study in Hebrew and English, we endeavor to instill in our students the capacity to make wise choices regarding their Jewish practice and to integrate Jewish values into the entirety of their lives.

Hebrew
As with all aspects of our program, the tenets of Life-Centered Jewish Education 2 direct us in making choices about our Hebrew curriculum. We do not live in a Hebrew speaking environment and the structure of our program does not support the acquisition of spoken language skills.  However, becoming competent readers and interpreters of Biblical and liturgical Hebrew are very relevant educational goals for Reform Jews living in the United States.

There are three foci for our Hebrew program which is integrated into both Sunday and weekday school sessions:

  • 12 Verses of Torah: For their B'nei Mitzvah, our students prepare approximately twelve verses of a weekly torah portion.  We expect that our students will learn how to decode, translate, and interpret these twelve verses and that their B'nei Mitzvah will be milestone moments in our students' education, showcases for the development of their skills.  Concurrently, through enabling our students to "make meaning" of twelve verses of Torah, they will develop basic skills for reading any verses of the Bible and become thoughtful interpreters of any text.  Our Hebrew program in grades K-4 is designed to build the skills to prepare for this focus on 12 Verses of Torah that begins in the second half of 6th grade.
  • Our Siddur:  Generally, Jews encounter the siddur (prayer book) more than any other Jewish text. The siddur contains a shared story of Judaism's mythic past and is a reflection of a community's values and ideology.  The core of the Reform siddur (Mishkan Tefilah) is common to siddurim (prayer books) used in synagogues throughout the world. By teaching our students to read and utilize the siddur, we will enable them to be comfortable in various Jewish communities during  course of their lives. 
  • Cultural Literacy:  Most Jews do not speak fluent Israeli Hebrew.  Instead, many Jews speak "Judaism": a series of Hebrew (and Yiddish) terms that convey shared ideas and values.  Some of these terms and aspects of their definitions are frequently utilized at Temple Israel (examples: Torah, Tzedakah, Tikkun Ha'olam).  Approximately each week, our students will be introduced to a new term that will serve as a curricular "through-line," connecting various aspects of learning in most subject areas.  In the course of the school year, our students will build a vocabulary of Judaism, one that they will expand upon in subsequent years.  By the time that they leave for college and encounter Jews from a variety of backgrounds, they will be competent Reform "speakers" of Judaism, and able to cogently define and utilize this language.

Social Justice Activists
Judaism is another word for activism.  Reform Judaism embraces social justice as a key component of Jewish living in the modern world. There are many ways we understand and enact this pillar of Judaism in our religious school program at Temple Israel and in the larger Reform Movement.  We transmit to our students the values of tzedekah (righteous living), rachamim (compassion), and tikkun ha'olam (repair of the world), and to facilitate opportunities for them to engage in this work.  Each grade's curriculum focuses on aspects of our responsibility for repairing our world in an age appropriate manner, often including and relying upon parent participation and support. Kindergarten - 4th grade students focus on learning the basic vocabulary of social justice, and engage in a direct service activity on Tikkun Olam Day (the first Sunday in May).  In preparation for their B'nei Mitzvah, 5th - 7th grade students, with guidance and support from their parents, will have opportunities to begin learning and practicing the skills of grassroots organizing while working towards systemic and long-term change on issues they find personally meaningful.  As our students mature, their opportunities for serious social justice work will connect them to our larger Temple Israel community and the work of our social Justice initiative, Ohel Tzedek (Tent of Justice).

Reflective Ritual Practitioners
Through meaningful prayer experiences and an understanding of, and familiarity with, Jewish rituals of all types, we seek to imbue our students with a sense of their spiritual selves and competency in prayer and ritual.  Our goals are for our students to utilize prayer and ritual as a way to center and nurture themselves; to connect to the larger Temple Israel community; and to become engaged with an entire people bound together in covenant.

We can only achieve these goals in partnership with parents and continued family participation at Shabbat and holiday services.  Each student is required to attend at minimum, the number of services equal to the number of their grade level, e.g., Kindergarten and Grade 1, at least one service, 2nd grade, at least two services, 3rd grade, at least three services, and so on.  In order to keep track of those who come, there will be a big jar at the front desk of the Temple and cards. The cards will read: "Religious School and Day School Student 'Welcome' cards".  The children will fill them out and put them in the jar.  Shabbat services are a wonderful experience here at Temple Israel. We recognize and cherish the fact that Shabbat is an opportunity for families to spend quality time together.  Our services provide opportunities to join with the Temple Israel community as an extension of sacred family time.   Additionally, students in our weekday program (Tuesday/Thursday) will participate in a weekly, all - school, prayer experience led by the clergy.

Zionists in America
The Jews of Israel and America are Bnei Pelugta (children of purposeful controversy): Well-matched partners in a great debate as to the meanings of Judaism and our purpose as Jews.  Little else provokes us to broaden our tradition more powerfully than encountering the "Judaisms" of Israel.  Little else moves us out of our Jewish comfort zones more than going to Israel.  A relationship with Israel - both as people and place - is central to our evolution as American Jews. The goals of our Israel education program are as follows:

  • For students to understand how they are part of Am Yisrael/the Jewish people.
  • For students to experience the value of having two large centers of Jewish life - Israel and the U.S.
  • For students to internalize the importance of liberal Judaism, both in the US and Israel.
  • For students to be familiar with the "mythic geography" of Ancient Israel.

Music and the Arts
Creative arts are an integral part of our religious school curriculum.  Our music specialist meets regularly with our students and our music curriculum is closely tied to our weekly Qabbalat Shabbat service and includes prayers and songs related to each holiday as well as contemporary  Jewish and Israeli songs. Students in grades 3 - 7 may audition for our Youth Choir, Makhelah, which meets with Cantor Einhorn every Sunday from 10:45 - 11:15 AM.  In Makhelah students learn about Judaism through our rich musical tradition.
Students learn to chant the basic rubrics of the service including v'ahavta avot/imahot, g'vurot and aleinu. The Makhelah practices for performances and participates in our Qabbalat Shabbat Worship Services as well as Chanukkah, Shabbat Shirah and other holiday services.

Our art specialist works with our classroom teachers to create projects related to our curriculum.  In the past, our students have constructed a 3-D model of the old city of Jerusalem, Jerusalem "cityscapes," memory boxes, hamsas (a popular Middle East good luck amulet) and more.  Our multi-sensory, integrated approach to teaching and learning enhances our students' experiences and gives them the opportunity to create and express their Jewish identity in diverse ways.


Find the entire Centenary Platform here.

2 For a description of these tenets, click here.

KINDERGARTEN


OVERVIEW OF CURRICULUM
Our Kindergarten curriculum includes basic Jewish concepts, practices and experiences.
Students will learn about Shabbat and the Jewish holidays in a meaningful and fun way.  They will explore who they are and will begin to discover how to identify their Jewish selves.  Through ongoing communication with teachers the student's family will engage in interactive projects and activities based on our curriculum, "Torah:  Jewish Time and the Origin of Our Holidays."  A class tzedakah box, discussions about other forms of "just giving," and a class decision about where to donate their collected coins is a first step in our social justice/tikkun olam program.

EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES
Torah

Our students will be familiar with both the Torah origins of the Jewish holidays and the ways in which we celebrate those special days. 

Hebrew
Our kindergarten students will recognize and identify Hebrew letters, and begin to build a Hebrew vocabulary based on classroom routines.

Israel
The land of Israel in the Torah and the land of Israel today will be familiar to our students as they begin to form a personal Jewish identity.

Tikkun Olam/Social Justice
The students will begin to identify ways that young children can actively participate in social justice.

TEXTS AND RESOURCES
Let's Discover Alef-Bet
A Time to Celebrate
The Kids' Fun Book of Jewish Time
Library books related to Jewish holidays, Jewish themes, folktales
Overview of weekly Torah portions with emphasis on matriarchs and patriarchs

FAMILY EDUCATION
In Kindergarten Kesher Family and Parent Learning sessions, parents and children will explore the meaning and rituals of Jewish holidays. We have two classroom-based Family Kesher sessions planned for kindergarten families, The Torah as the Tree of Life, in preparation for Simchat Torah, and Looking Behind the Mask, in preparation for Purim.  In addition, there will be a third community based Chanukah program.

SPECIAL PROGRAMS
CONSECRATION

The youngest members of the Temple Israel Religious School are celebrated during this delicious ceremony. Invite any and all family members! This year's Simchat Torah Service and consecration is at 6:00 p.m. on September 25.

QABBALAT SHABBAT

The grade-wide Qabbalat Shabbat service will take place April 4. 2014.

 

FIRST GRADE

OVERVIEW OF CURRICULUM
In order to expand their vision and understanding of their place in the larger Jewish community, our first grade students explore their various and varied communities including family, Temple Israel, secular school, friends and neighbors.

EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES
Torah

The students will identify the Torah basis of holidays and become familiar with the variety of traditions amongt Jews around the world.

Hebrew
As the children's basic Hebrew vocabulary grows they will begin to identify letters and vowels both aurally and visually.  They will also gain sight-word recognition, preparing them for the transition to grade 2 curriculum when the students learn to read.

Israel
Our students will begin to identify three concepts:  Am Yisrael-the people of Israel, Eretz Yisrael-the land of Israel and Medinat Yisrael-the modern state of Israel. 

Tikkun Olam/Social Justice
As members of the Temple Israel community, the greater-Boston community and the Jewish community our students will be able to identify the Mitzvah of g'milut Chasadim and tzedakah - kindness to others and just or righteous action.

TEXTS AND RESOURCES
Holy Days Holy Ways
Otiyot Alef-Bet Workbook
Tanakh (Bible)
 
FAMILY EDUCATION

In Grade 1 Kesher Family and Parent Learning, parents and children explore various aspects of what it means to create Jewish community. We have two classroom-based Family Kesher sessions planned for first grade families: Building Community through Shabbat, and Preparing for Passover with a Matzah Factory. In addition, there will be a third community based Pesach program at the Temple.
 

SPECIAL PROGRAM
QABBALAT SHABBAT
 

The grade-wide Qabbalat Shabbat service will take place December 6, 2014.

 

SECOND GRADE

OVERVIEW OF CURRICULUM
Mitzvot (commandments), good deeds (ma-asim tovim) and Jewish values are at the core of a rich and enriching Jewish life.
By looking at text sources and traditions of practice, our second graders will be introduced to basic Jewish concepts and practices.  They will work together to discover just how easy it is to find mitzvot in their everyday lives while simultaneously exploring the complex notion of what it means for an autonomous Reform Jew to be "commanded by God". They will continue their study of community, started in first grade,  as they begin to define how one "belongs" to a Jewish community and what each person's role  is in that community. They will begin to discover what is Jewish about Jewish values. 

The addition of one afternoon each week allows the students to begin to master Hebrew reading skills. Through the book Shalom U'vrachah and the accompanying CD (Shalom U'vrachah Interactive) the children will begin to read words and simple sentences, to build on their vocabulary and begin to develop the skill necessary for the study of Torah and liturgy.

EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES
Torah

Our students will be able to identify a variety of mitzvot and will begin to recognize categories of mitzvot:  Those between and among human beings (bein adam l'chavero) and those between humans and God (bein adam lamakom).  They will be familiar with Torah sources that model social activism and good values.  Our students will be able to make connections between our ancestors and ourselves, seeing Jewish values as a continuum "mi-dor l'dor" from generation to generation.
 
Hebrew

Mastery of basic reading skills and a basic vocabulary will pave the way for reading prayers from their siddur and for the introductions of basic Biblical Hebrew when they begin to study Torah in grade 3.
 
Israel

Students will be familiar with the land, the people and the culture of Israel through the lenses of community and Jewish values.   Through the study of "kibbutz," they will recognize how communities grow, the importance of rules, and the responsibilities of individuals to the community.
 
Tikkun Olam/Social Justice

Jewish values and mitzvoth such as inviting guests, feeding the hungry, treating others as you would want others to treat you; these contribute to the foundation for building a better world. 
 
TEXTS AND RESOURCES

Jewish Values from Alef to Tav
Shalom U'vracha Express
Shalom U'vracha Interactive (CD)
 
FAMILY EDUCATION

In Grade 2 parents and children will focus on Jewish values and mitzvot (commandments) through the lens of the holidays. We have two classroom-based Family Kesher sessions planned for second grade families. The mitzvot of taking care of the earth and of telling and retelling the story of the Exodus from Egypt are explored through the holidays of Tu B'shvat and Pesach. In addition, there will be  a third community based Shabbat program in family homes.  

SPECIAL PROGRAMS
QABBALAT SIDDUR

Second grade is a milestone in our students' Jewish education as it marks the entrance of the students into our midweek program. We celebrate the children's completion of their learning to read Hebrew with a Qabbalat Siddur ceremony at which time students will receive their very own siddur (prayer book). By incorporating this celebration into a Qabbalat Shabbat service, our students will mark this occasion by immediately inaugurating the use of their siddur, using it to participate in a Qabbalat Shabbat service along with their families and the rest of the Temple Israel community.

This year the Qabbalat Siddur ceremony will take place on Friday, May 9.

 

 

THIRD GRADE

OVERVIEW OF CURRICULUM
Our students engage in the study of Torah by reading excerpts from the first book of the Torah, B'reishit (Genesis).  There is a lot to learn: there is a lot to question.   Creation,  Noah, monotheism, our Biblical ancestors, family relationships, ancient Israel, strangers in Egypt.  The students continue to develop the mastery of Hebrew reading and engage in activities to build text skills.  As they learn new tefilot (prayers), they will be able to identify these prayers in their siddurim (prayer books) and to read them in Hebrew.
 
EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES
Torah

Studying Torah as Reform Jews, our students begin to understand why cultures pass stories from generation to generation, and how sacred myth informs our lives as it did the lives of our ancestors
 
Hebrew

Students will be able to recognize recurring prefixes, suffixes and base words from B'reishit and will be able to read simple biblical verses with an understanding of context even if they are not yet able to translate them.  In addition, they will be able to read some words and short sentences as they appear, without vowels, in the Torah scroll.
 
Israel

Creating familiarity with the map of Israel, and developing ability to make connections between mythic geographic setting of the Torah, and Israel of the 21 century, will help to foster a meaningful relationship with this far away country.

Tikkun Olam/Social Justice
We encourage families to continue the conversation and application of the mitzvot of tzedakah (righteous living) and g'millut chasadim (acts of kindness). 
   
TEXTS AND RESOURCES

Explorer's Bible vol I
Manga Midrash 1& 2
Mishkan Tefillah (The Reform Siddur) 
 
FAMILY EDUCATION

In Grade 3, Family Education follows the students' close reading of the book of B'reishit/Genesis. The two classroom-based Family Learning sessions are based on the experiential study of several stories from the book of Genesis.  In addition, there will be a community based Shabbat program in family homes.  
 
SPECIAL PROGRAMS
SIYYUM B'REISHIT /QABBALAT TANAKH

At the end of Grade 3, upon their completion of the study of the first book of the Torah (B'reishit/Genesis) students will be presented with their very own TanaKh (Hebrew Bible), which we hope they will use throughout their lives. This ceremony, called Siyyum B'reishit (the completion of the study of Genesis) will take place on Sunday, June 8, 2014.

QABBALAT SHABBAT
The grade wide Qabbalat Shabbat service will take place February 7, 2014.

FOURTH GRADE

OVERVIEW OF CURRICULUM
In the fourth grade, students focus on the themes of Jewish peoplehood, holiness and covenant as they relate to questions of Jewish identity.  Understanding the challenges of coming together as a people, defining and finding holiness in their lives, and recognizing the significance of a covenant are not simple exercised.  However, as our fourth grade students continue their study of Torah with an emphasis on major themes in the books of Shemot (Exodus), Vayikra (Leviticus), B'midbar (Numbers)  and Devarim (Deuteronomy), they begin to grapple with these increasingly complex ideas, while building their text skills and their ability to express original ideas. Using their Tanakhim (Hebrew Bibles), students read many of these texts in Hebrew as well as in translation.

EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES
Torah

Our fourth grade students will learn how our founding myths and stories help determine what it means to be Jewish.

Hebrew
Students will continue to build reading skillswhich will allow them to become critical readers of Tanakh.  They will be able to identify recurring prefixes, suffixes and base words; they will be able to read and translate several biblical verses and begin to categorize recurring themes.

Israel
Students will learn how our rituals and practices connect and unite the Jewish people.

Tikkun Olam/Social Justice
By learning about, and then collecting, specific foods to be donated to the Family Table bakers' rack in the Temple Israel's atrium, the students take the first steps toward become social activists.

TEXTS AND RESOURCES
JPS Tanakh
URJ CHAI Curriculm
Mishkan Tefillah (the Reform Siddur)
Manga Midrash 3 & 4
Ulpan Alef and Ulpan Bet
Lashon Hatorah worksheets


FAMILY EDUCATION

In Grade 4 the Kesher Family Learning explores two important concepts that the students study in class: Am Yisrael (the People of Israel) and  Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel).  Through workshops, discussions with the clergy and a panel with members of the Temple Israel community, students and parents delve into what it means to be part of a diverse people and what the Land of Israel means to us.   In addition, there will be a Sukkot family education program on Erev Sukkot (September 18) at the Temple.

SPECIAL PROGRAM
QABBALAT SHABBAT

 
The grade wide Qabbalat Shabbat service will take place March 7, 2014.

 

FIFTH GRADE

OVERVIEW OF CURRICULUM
The Fifth Grade curriculum focuses on Jewish values and ethics as modeled through the leadership and idealism of the Israelite prophets. The primary goal is to examine the rise of prophecy in the Tanakh and draw practical conclusions that will inform the students' growing Jewish identity and sense of themselves as actors and movers of positive change in the world. Secondarily, through reading prophetic texts the students will build important text skills in both English and Hebrew.

In addition to the prophecy curriculum, our fifth grades also study texts, ideas and values relating to the our holidays, Jewish liturgy, Jewish practice, and the State of Israel which will help them to discover greater meaning, and to develop competence, with Jewish ritual and tradition. Throughout the year, the fifth grade students will learn about these different areas of Jewish tradition and practice through the lens of social justice values and activism.

EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES
Torah/ Hebrew/Tikkun Olam/Social Justice/Israel

Our students will have an increased ability to be critical readers of text and to apply these lessons to their own lives.  In this integrated curriculum our students should be able to recognize the Israel of the prophets as the land of Israel today, identify the prophets as forward thinkers, and understand the value of looking backward to inform the present and future.

TEXTS AND RESOURCES
JPS Tanakh
Mishkan Tefillah (the Reform Siddur)
Mitkadem prayer curriculum
Lashon Hatorah worksheets

FAMILY EDUCATION AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
In Grade 5 students and parents embark on the Bar/Bat Mitzvah Social Justice Program and begin the process of learning about, and engaging in, Social Justice.  There are four class-based family learning sessions,that focus on the connection between social justice, Jewish values and the Jewish experience. The family educator and parents work together to build community and to offer fifth graders a series of educational field trips and hands-on experiences that increase their understanding of the challenges and issues that face the larger community.  These opportunities have included: A visit to the Massachusetts State House and meetings with Senators and Representatives; volunteering at a local food bank; helping to bring birthday party celebrations to homeless children, and an environmental boat trip in Boston Harbor, among others.  These experiences help the students decide what matters to them, so that they are better positioned  to form action groups and to choose an area of focus for ongoing social justice activity in sixth and seventh grades.

The four Parent Learning sessions engage parents in parallel study of prophecy, leadership and social justice. 

SPECIAL PROGRAM
QABBALAT SHABBAT

 
The grade wide Qabbalat Shabbat service will take place April 11, 2014.


SIXTH GRADE
 

OVERVIEW OF CURRICULUM
The 6th grade history curriculum treats two very different, but thematically related subjects: the earliest developments of Reform Judaism in Europe and its expansion to the United States, and the period of the first rabbis in ancient Israel.  In our unit on Reform Judaism, we focus on how the advent of Reform Judaism coincides with Jewish political emancipation and how Reform Judaism's changes allowed for greater integration in the larger society, while still remaining broadly congruous with traditional Jewish practice and beliefs. In our exploration of rabbinic Judaism, we look at how the rabbis re-imagined Jewish practice and belief after their exile from Israel and the destruction of the second Temple. Our study of both historical moments addresses our overarching question for the year: How have Jews historically responded to political, social and geographical changes, and how in responding to change did our ancestors remain loyal to Jewish tradition? In exploring such moments of change and continuity, we encourage the students to think deeply about their Judaism and imagine what practical and theological changes they might want to undertake as they develop their individual Jewish identities and practices.

Additionally, in the middle of the year, the sixth graders spend a month studying their own individual Torah portions for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah.  In consultation with the teacher and aide, the students examine the meaning and nuances of their portion, focusing on the possible lessons they can learn and teach from their selection. At the end of the process, they will teach the class about their portion and lead the group in a discussion based upon their presentation.

In March, the students begin to study Torah in more depth with the Rabbis. This process of exploring biblical text critically and searching for its meaning will continue through the seventh grade year. The year concludes with the sixth graders going away on the sixth grade kallah where they study Pirke Avot, (Ethics of our Ancestors) while building community on the ropes course.
 

TEXTS AND RESOURCES
The Tenth of Av
Inherit the Wind
JPS Tanakh
Mishkan Tefillah (the Reform Siddur)
Mitkadem prayer curriculum
Lashon Hatorah worksheets
 
FAMILY EDUCATION AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
 
Grade 6 Kesher Family Learning sessions explore the Bar/Bat Mitzvah experience from a variety of perspectives. Families engage in Bar/Bat Mitzvah preparation sessions and text study with the clergy. Supported by the family educator and their parents, students form community groups that choose to work on specific social justice issues.  Through direct service and grassroots organizing families work together to increase their understanding of complex issues and how to go about creating systemic and long-term change.  Some of the issues that students and their families have worked on in the past include: hunger and homelessness; literacy; quality of life for senior adults; protecting the environment and animal welfare.  
 
SPECIAL PROGRAMS

THE SIXTH GRADE KALLAH
 
As part of the sixth grade curriculum, our students go away together for the weekend.  The Sixth Grade Kallah helps students understand the meaning of community and how to be responsible for each other. Through engaging learning opportunities, as well as ropes course activities, the sixth grade class bonds together as a group before their B'nei Mitzvah. This experience can be especially important for children in the tutorial program as it significantly deepens their relationships with other students. 

This weekend retreat is also the first chance our students get to experience the kallah model, which is a central part of our 9th -12th grade experience; the 6th grade madrichim (student teachers) also serve as retreat staff and connect this weekend experience to future high school kallot.

This year's Kallah will take place at Eisner Camp in Great Barrington, MA May 2-4, 2014.

QABBALAT SHABBAT
 
The grade wide Qabbalat Shabbat service will take place November 8, 2013.

 

SEVENTH GRADE
 

OVERVIEW OF CURRICULUM
The seventh grade curriculum is an integrated exploration of Jewish text, Jewish history, and Jewish identity in different ways throughout the year.  Through our different curricular foci, we explore issues of Jewish identity and peoplehood, and provide for our seventh grade students ample opportunity to explore their Judaism and to create community at Temple Israel while considering the broader Jewish world.
 
The 7th grade history curriculum treats two very different, but thematically related subjects: In our facing History and Ourselves curriculum we look at group identity, the origins of the Holocaust, and our responsibility to remember; through an integrated text curriculum, we will explore our own identities through the lens of Jewish Peoplehood to learn of the connections between memory, history, mishpachah (family; our obligation to one another), covenant (our connection to other Jews), makom (place; specifically the land of Israel) and language (Hebrew).
 
Continuing their work from 6th grade, our 7th grade students explore of the Book of Bereishit (Genesis) with the clergy in the fall and winter and learn different rabbinic midrashim (intepretations of the Bible) and legends in the spring.

EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES
Torah/Hebrew

Students will recognize the Torah as a literary work as well as a sacred document through the study of biblical criticism.
 
Israel/Peoplehood
Students will understand their relationship to Am Yisrael (the people of Israel), Eretz Yisrael (the land of Israel), the Brit (covenant) that binds us to the land, to our ancestors and to each other. 
 
Tefilah
Students will have a weekly prayer experience led by the Clergy.  A central goal of this experience is to increase students' comfort and leadership skills in prayer settings, while deepening the ability to be prayerful and meditative.
 
TEXTS AND RESOURCES
Facing History and Ourselves resource materials
JPS Tanakh
Mishkan Tefillah (the Reform Siddur)
Mitkadem prayer curriculum


FAMILY EDUCATION AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
TaNaKH study with the clergy and programming on the Holocaust, including meeting with a Holocaust survivor, comprise our Kesher Family Learning sessions for the 7th grade. Students and families continue to work in groups on their social justice projects and further their understanding of particular social welfare issues, as well as what it means to create systemic and long-term change.

SPECIAL PROGRAM
Seventh Grade  "Step-Up" service

The date of our Step-Up Service is Tuesday, June 3, 2014.