Jewish holidays are filled with symbols and rituals, food, and stories. We begin our study with holidays because it grounds our students and parents in the rhythms of Jewish life.
Students also begin their introduction to the Hebrew language, focusing on the names and sounds of the 22 letters of the alef bet. As they learn the Hebrew letters, our students develop a basic Jewish vocabulary.
Our children often have profound questions about God, a most intangible and personal subject. Our third and fourth graders participate in open and thoughtful discussions concerning their beliefs, exploring their relationship with God.
The students also continue their study of Hebrew as beginning readers. Building on their knowledge of Hebrew letters, they learn to combine consonants and vowels together to read simple words, in the process building their Hebrew vocabulary.
Jewish Life Cycles express beliefs and ideas that lie at the heart of living as a committed Jew. Our students trace the path of a Jewish life and explore the meaning behind these life-moments. Class discussion is an integral part of this curriculum, in addition to role playing, debate, and song.
Students become acquainted with significant prayers and blessings, studying their background and meanings while developing familiarity with the Jewish concept of prayer. There will be both verbal and written activities to improve prayer-reading skills.
We also introduce the fifth grade students to our Israel curriculum, helping them to develop an understanding of the important connection between the Jewish people of the Diaspora and the State of Israel.
Our students approaching their teen years benefit from a more experiential approach to the curriculum. As they prepare to celebrate becoming Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, they continue their study of prayers and blessings, developing skills for leading a Shabbat service.
They also learn about the Prophets and explore the topic of speaking out for justice and other social action issues relevant to their role in the Jewish community. Class discussion and role-playing are integral parts of this curriculum, engaging our students in critical thinking to help them understand how Jewish values play a role in their everyday lives and personal relationships.
Each month, the students meet with Rabbi Arthur to explore the weekly Torah portion. They also participate in an “Ask the Rabbi” session, engaging them in conversation about Jewish values, customs, and how Judaism relates to their own lives.
Once a month at the Friday night Shabbat Family Service, students are given the opportunity to help lead the prayers. This class also participates in a retreat and a tour of Los Angeles synagogues and some of the rabbi’s favorite Jewish culinary haunts.