Our Sunday School Program meets Sundays from 9 – 11:30 am, for students from Kindergarten through 7th Grade.
Overview by Grade:
Kindergarten – Together, students explore basic concepts of being Jewish. Through learning about holiday symbols and observances, they begin to understand the common customs shared by the “Jewish family.” The children are introduced to the Bible through the study of the events of Genesis. Oral Hebrew begins as students learn the names and sounds of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, as well as the words for synagogue and holiday symbols. For the third year, there will be a Hebrew immersion time.
First Grade – The beginning of first grade will be marked by “Consecration,” a ceremony celebrating the commencement of formal Jewish education. Students will explore the rituals and meanings of Jewish holidays and festivals, with a particular emphasis on Chanukah and Tu B’Shvat. Jewish values, such as Tzedakah and Gemilut Chasadim (Acts of Loving Kindness), will be explained and students will learn ways of performing these Mitzvot on a daily basis. The students will develop visual recognition of Hebrew letters and expand their Hebrew vocabulary to include family members, classroom items and Mitzvot.
Second Grade – Second grade will utilize the Chai curriculum. This curriculum is based on teaching Torah, Avodah and Gemilut Chasadim and an understanding by design, namely asking the enduring question and leading the student in the quest for deeper understanding.
• The students will understand that they are a part of the ongoing story of Torah and the Jewish people, and that the Torah teaches us how to be a part of the Jewish people.
• The students will learn that their Jewish acts help them to discover the beauty and order of the sacred time and place in the Jewish story, and they will discover that Jewish stories, celebrations and rituals help them understand and express their relationship with God.
• The students will experience acts of Gemilut Chasadim in order to make the world a better place, not only at the temple but also at home.
Third Grade – Third grade students will begin to learn Hebrew in earnest! Our goal is to ensure that each and every student will be able to read Hebrew by the end of the year, write all the letters and have a basic vocabulary of spoken Hebrew, as well as some T’fila (prayer) vocabulary. The core curriculum for the grade is Chagim-Jewish Holidays. They will expolore them, celebrate them, and experience them as the year progresses. Eligibility for the Junior Choir begins in this grade and continues through the seventh grade. Third grade students will concentrate on understanding the Jewish calendar and the holidays. At their Shabbat they will “show off” some of the ideas they had shared in class.
Fourth Grade – Fourth grade students will delve into the Books of Genesis and Exodus by focusing on the origins of Pesach (Passover). They will also be introduced to the practices and rituals that mark the Jewish life cycle events of Circumcision (the Brit) and Naming, Consecration, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Confirmation, Marriage, and Death and Mourning. In addition, fluency in Hebrew reading and the development of a basic foundation of Hebrew language skills, both oral and written, will be emphasized.
Fifth Grade – Fifth grade students will acquire an understanding of the Jewish values expressed in the resource book, Explorer’s Bible Vol 2. In addition, they will explore the story of the Jewish people and their homeland from the biblical period through statehood in 1948 to the present. Students will improve their level of Hebrew fluency by reading groups of words and sentences. At mid-year, the students will receive the date of their Bar or Bat Mitzvah.
Sixth Grade – Sixth grade students will study Jewish history from ancient Israel to the big immigration waves to America. As they learn about American Jewish history, they will explore their family origins and the diversity of the Jewish world. As part of their preparation for Bar or Bat Mitzvah, they will study the content of the Torah service and practice the chanting of the Torah and Haftarah blessings. They will continue to improve their Hebrew, and explore the themes of the prayers they recite. Our goal is that the students be able to explain the meanings of the prayers, as well as mastering reading and chanting.
Seventh Grade – Seventh grade students will continue the study of Jewish history, with an emphasis on the impact of the Holocaust on Jewish and world history, exploring the nature of anti-Semitism and the importance of embracing diversity and tolerance in our world. In preparation for Bar or Bat Mitzvah, they will discuss their identities as Reform Jews and explore the importance of doing Mitzvot, both ethically and morally. They will form practical and creative suggestions on how to observe such Mitzvot as Rodef Shalom, Tzedakah, Kashrut and T’fila. The students will study the wisdom of Jewish texts and examine who they are through the Jewish lens and what kind of adults they want to become.