While each grade has its own discrete curriculum there are several themes that spiral throughout our school introducing students to core Jewish beliefs and behaviors and teaching them the skills necessary to fully participate in the life of the Jewish community. Opportunities for encounters with Torah, Avodah (service to God), and Gemilut Chasadim (acts of lovingkindness) are woven into every level of the learning experience.
- Holidays – Judaism sanctifies time. Knowledge of the meaning, traditions and symbols of our holidays, and the knowledge of how to observe them, helps us connect to the Jewish community past, present and future. From sharing apples and honey to learning how to chant the Four Questions, our students are reminded of how special and sacred it is to live in Jewish time.
- Torah – Torah is the foundation of Jewish tradition and learning. Students discover the relevance of Torah in their lives by exploring the ethical and moral lessons it teaches. The Torah provides us with a path for making good decisions and for living a life of meaning.
- Hebrew –From our sacred texts to conversations on the streets of Jerusalem, Hebrew is the language of our people. Students are exposed to the alef bet and some Modern Hebrew vocabulary in the early grades and move on to become competent Hebrew readers and chanters of tefillah. Learners gain an understanding of the service and strive to find a personal connection to prayer.
- Israel – A strong Jewish identity includes developing an understanding an appreciation of our connection to Israel. Students learn about the story of the Jewish people and our homeland and we encourage students to explore different ways in which they can appreciate and connect to Israel.
- Jewish Values – Judaism offers us ethical and moral guidelines for daily life. Through learning about and doing mitzvot (commandments) we are able to put our learning into action. We hope to inspire our students to walk in this world as Jews and act as God’s partners in tikkun olam, the repair of the world.
- God – Yisrael means “one who struggles with God.” We hope to inspire our students to continually ask questions and find their own path to the sacred.
These themes help to build Jewish identity, instill a sense of pride, and make Judaism meaningful and relevant to all of our learners. A fuller description of our curriculum and school policies can be found in either the Parent Handbook for grades K-6 in or the Upper School Handbook for grades 7-12. Both handbooks can be accessed from the main Religious School page under “Downloads”.