Gan (K) is a delightful opportunity for kindergarteners to begin or continue their exposure to Jewish learning in a warm, nurturing setting. Through the teaching of Hebrew letters and vocabulary, Bible stories, holiday symbols and celebrations, prayers and mitzvot, our teachers foster a love of Jewish learning and a sense of community. The children learn about the synagogue and the people, spaces and ritual objects that make it their “Jewish home.” Gan students and parents join together for “Na Likroh!-Let’s Read!” a Jewish literature program, and be sure to bring your pj’s and teddy bears for the “Bedtime Shema!” program.
Kitah Alef (1st Grade) students strengthen their recognition of the letters and sounds of the Hebrew Alef-Bet. Symbols and landmarks of Israel become familiar to our young children and are the start of a growing connection to Israel that is advanced throughout their educational experience. A classmate’s or teacher’s trip to Israel is always a cause for celebration! The link between beloved Bible stories and mitzvot plants the seeds for unfolding the long, loving relationship between God and the Jewish people. Our Alef students learn simple blessings and home observance of the chagim (holidays). Parents participate with their children in the “Joy of Shabbat” program to create an ‘all you need for Shabbat’ kit to use at home, and “Mezuzah Magic” features a scavenger hunt and a make-your-own mezuzah project.
Kitah Bet (2nd grade) takes an exciting leap forward in Hebrew language learning as vowels and script writing are taught. The Jewish calendar and its monthly lunar cycle are introduced. Treasured early stories of Biblical heroes set the stage for later learning about Jewish leaders and leadership. The empowering message that “even one person can make a difference” resonates with our 2ndgraders as they learn about Moses, Queen Esther, and even King Christian X of Denmark. The connection to Israel is strengthened as the children grow to see it as a real place that is their Jewish homeland. A special focus on brachot gives Bet students and their parents a chance to understand Judaism’s unique appreciation of the beauty and wonder of every day and, together, parents and kidsbring ‘Order’ to the Seder with a fun, interactive Haggadah project. Kitah Bet students learn the blessings for Havdalah (the end of Shabbat) with our Hazzan and then take the lead at a special community Havdalah program.
Kitah Gimel (3rd Grade) students enthusiastically reinforce their Hebrew decoding and word recognitions skills while adding to their growing repertoire of classroom and daily-life vocabulary. Students begin the journey of chronological study of the Torah, getting to know our Patriarchs and Matriarchs and the unique personalities and qualities of each as well as the beautiful early stories of our people. Beginning to read and understand tefilot (prayers) is a highlight of Kitah Gimel and culminates in the spring with a family event at which the children give a presentation and receive a gift of a personal siddur.
Kitah Dalet (4th Grade) explores what it means to be a Jewish leader. Their unit on Israel highlights heroes and leaders of the modern state and then offers the opportunity to observe these qualities in Jewish people they know, with the goal of empowering each student to find and cultivate these same leadership qualities in him/herself. Their Torah studies bring them to slavery in Egypt and the Exodus. This dovetails with their focus on the prayers, blessings, readings, and customs of the Passover Haggadah, and concludes with a special program, and a gift of a Haggadah to each child. Students are grouped for Hebrew language study, effectively ensuring that each child’s learning needs are met in this critical area. Tefilah learning focuses on selections from the Friday night service and culminates with a class opportunity to participate in a service and share a family Shabbat dinner at Temple Emanuel.
Kitah Hay (5th Grade) is the year when Hebrew reading fluency becomes personal for our students. They recognize that next year will be the start of Bar/Bat Mitzvah learning and, while this milestone is certainly not viewed as an endpoint in Jewish education, it is a major goal for which successful Hebrew reading has meaning. In their TaNaCH (Bible) studies, the development of Jewish “nationhood” and the journey to reach and settle the land of Israel are the focus. The weekday morning service is the center of Kitah Hay’s Tefilah curriculum. A broader partnership and connection with Temple Emanuel is facilitated through the Brotherhood’s “Build-A-Pair” Tefilin Project and the packaging of yellow Yom HaShoah memorial candles. A major highlight of Kitah Hay is our partnership with the 5th graders of the Zichron Yosef School in Haifa, Israel. Our kids have personal pen pals and communicate regularly. Teachers plan shared learning activities, and Skype enables face-to-face meetings. Modern Israel comes alive as current events and Israel’s contributions to the world take on new meaning.
Makor 6th & 7th Grade Program in Partnership with Prozdor/Hebrew College
The first-of-its-kind in the country, Makor offers a unique program that responds to the needs and interests of middle school students. Choice, relevance, and connection to synagogue and clergy are the hallmarks of this outstanding program. Our students study at the Hebrew College campus on Sunday mornings where each grade has its own core of study as well as elective choices. On Tuesday afternoons, Temple Emanuel clergy and senior staff are the teachers of such topics as Hidden Stories of the Torah, Talmud-based ‘Lessons for Living’, TOSEM (Tikkun Olam Seminar), and B’nai Mitzvah Seminars.
For more information, please visit the Hebrew College Prozdor web site.