Meets weekly on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

This year’s focus is for students to continue to deepen their Jewish identity through the discovery of ourselves as the People of the Book, and our Jewish History. This class will take a deep dive into the sea of texts that make up our heritage and wisdom, as we strive to make the stories and lessons of the Torah, Tanach, Talmud, and Siddur come alive.

Students will explore their personal Jewish history and connect their own family stories to the larger story of Jewish modern history. They will also gain a more brief and broad overview of the full course of Jewish history, to begin to see how our stories reach back, influenced by our past, all while our ancient texts and historical figures reach forward to teach and connect us all to our past and future.

The overarching goals of learning about our texts and history together in this way is that students will learn how the values and traditions that have defined our people for countless generations help us to understand our world today.

“Turn it, and turn it again, for everything is contained in the Torah” – Rabbi Ben Bag Bag.

Students will be challenged to look at their life experiences through the looking glass of our Jewish wisdom and discover why the Jewish people are called the “people of the book.” Which Jewish characters through history do I connect with and why? Which stories have the most impact in how I act and the choices I make?

How can the prayer liturgy found in the siddur inspire me to act and be a better person, whether I believe in God or not?

These are some of the questions students will examine as they navigate the texts that make up the building blocks of Jewish life, while learning about the actions of people and events that came before them. Students will develop their own commentary, putting themselves into these texts for modern times.

Hebrew and Prayers:

Students will use the S’fatal Tiftach Prayer Hebrew text book Volume 1.

Students’ focus in 4th and 5th grade will be to learn and gain confidence with their decoding skills while learning how to chant the prayers listed below. Students will also learn to connect personally to these prayers through their origin stories, learning the context and events that may have inspired the authors to write them. Students will deepen their learning of and mastery of the opening prayers: Modeh Ani, Elohai Neshamah, Mah Tovu, Bar’chu, and spend a significant part of the year learning to read accurately and sing the Shema/V’ahavtah.

Students will also continue Hebrew through Movement, which will incorporate and reinforce their prayer learning, as well as other Hebrew vocabulary.