Curriculum Outline 2016-2017

DOR HADASH RELIGIOUS SCHOOL

 

GAN / ALEPH

Through stories, classroom discussions, and arts &crafts, as well as using colorful, developmentally-appropriate booklets, students are introduced to the basic concepts of Jewish life: mitzvot, holidays & Shabbat, Bible stories, rituals and symbols, traditions and history–the basics of what it means to be Jewish and to live a Jewish life. This includes the brachot for Shabbat and holidays and special vocabulary associated with the holidays. This is a very ‘hands on” class and the children will be making many art projects relating to the lessons.  They will also do some cooking, and learn Israeli dances.

The educational materials include:

“Let’s Celebrate the Holidays”

“Let’s Discover Mitzvot”

 

KITAH BET/GIMEL

The Hebrew study this year focuses first on the reading of the alef-bet, then moving on to reading and understanding modern Hebrew dialogues as well as reading some of the basic prayers and blessings of Shabbat and holiday rituals.  Not only will the students learn to read the prayers, but they will also learn their meanings and their place in the daily service.  The Modern Hebrew component focuses on learning words and phrases that are commonly used during basic Hebrew conversations.

This year the students study the history, rituals, and meaning of the holidays.  They also will be learning the basics of Jewish ethics and what being Jewish and being involved in the Jewish community means. Ideas such as Mitzvot (commandments), Rachamim (caring for others) and Tikun Olam (repairing the world) will be touched upon.  These ideas will help the students become more aware of what it means to be a part of Am Yisrael (the nation of Israel).

During the year, the students will also be asked to read a book of their choosing on any Jewish topic, fiction or nonfiction. They will then be asked to write a report on one and present an oral report on the other.  A suggested list of books will be handed out.

The educational materials include:

Shalom Uvracha

Shalom Ivrit 1 with corresponding Prayer Companion

 

KITAH DALET

Students continue to improve their Hebrew reading fluency and their understanding of Hebrew through reading and translating modern Hebrew dialogues.  The Modern Hebrew component focuses on learning words and phrases that are commonly used in basic Hebrew conversations.  Students also learn to read our basic prayers, including the Shema, the V’Ahavta,and  many of the Shabbat and holiday blessings, as well as learn their meanings and their place in the daily service.  All differences in the Hebrew between the textbook and the Reconstructionist version will be explained.

Students develop an understanding of how time is a sacred part of Jewish life. The class will discuss life-cycle events, the Jewish calendar, Shabbat and the cycle of the week, and the holidays and the cycle of the year. Through stories, interviews, and activities, and history, students learn the symbols, rituals, and ethical teachings of these important events.

Students will spend some time discussing middot: values related to character, including Individual Dignity (K’vod), Personal Satisfaction (Sameach b’Chelko) and Humility (Anavah). Questions addressed will include: what does it mean to have personal dignity? is it true that those who seek more than they need hinder themselves from enjoying what they have?  how does humility help the world?

The basic stories of the Torah are covered, from Creation, the lives of Abraham, Isaac Jacob, and Joseph, through the Exodus from Egypt under Moses’ leadership.  The moral and spiritual truths of these stories are highlighted, and the students learn to ask questions of the stories and apply them to the concerns of today’s children.  Colorful games at the end of each chapter help reinforce the facts and the lessons that are learned.

During the year, each student will read two books of their choice on any Jewish topic, fiction or non-fiction, and write a report on one and give an oral report during class on the other.  A suggested list of books will be given out.

  The educational materials include:

Shalom Ivrit 1 with corresponding Prayer Companion 1

Sacred Time:The Jewish Calendar & Life Cycle (3-4)

A Child’s Bible – Lessons from the Torah

Be Your Best Self   

 

KITAH HEH/VAV

Students will complete Journeys through the Siddur — Shabbat Morning, which they started last year; then they will move into the next Hebrew book: Journeys through the Siddur — Torah Service and Concluding Prayers. Students learn to read these prayers and chant them by the Dor Hadash melodies, with the help of recordings, which will be emailed.   Students discuss the meanings of these prayers, and study vocabulary and basic grammar.   All differences in the Hebrew between the textbook and the Reconstructionist version will be explained.

Students learn to speak some basic Modern Hebrew dialogues covering: Greetings, Food, Life at School, Clothing ,and other subjects; these are introduced in colorful booklets are some of the areas covered.  Exercises and games are included to reinforce the vocabulary.

Through a colorful, graphic-novel type book, the students journey through Jewish history, from the Bible though the present day, including Jewish life in the Middle Ages, Ashkenazic Jewry, Sephardic Jewry, the enlightenment, the emancipation, the birth of Zionism and the Jewish world today.  The continuity of Jewish values and the survival of the Jewish people will be emphasized.

The Holocaust will be studied in depth—in an age-appropriate manner.  The students read about the heroes of the Holocaust period, the people who held to their values during this desperate time.

During the year, each student will read two books of their choice on any Jewish topic, fiction or non-fiction, and write a report on one and give an oral report during class on the other.  A suggested list of books will be given out.

The educational materials include:

Journeys through the Siddur — Shabbat Morning (cont’d) and Torah Service

Ulpan Ale

The Holocaust, a History of Courage and Resistance

The Amazing History of the Jewish People Jewish Heroes, Jewish Values

 

The MITZVAH CLASS

The year of study to become a Bar/Bat Mitzvah is divided into two sections – the curriculum and the preparation.   Preparation is done through private lessons with a tutor, beginning 7 to 8 months ahead of each student’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah date. Also, for part of each class session, the students review the prayers and melodies of the Shabbat morning service, which they will lead at their Bar/Bat Mitzvah.  Emphasis is placed on the Ashrei, which the class leads together at all Bar/Bat Mitzvahs. Modern Hebrew will be included as time allows.

The Curriculum: During class, Bar/Bat Mitzvah will be explored in depth, so students understand the meaning and importance of all they are asked to do.  Emphasis is put on two areas: first, an overview of the Bible, so students understand the context of their portions and Haftarot.  Students discover how to draw meaning from the Torah and how it can teach different people different lessons.

Second, mitzvot are discussed: students examine the ethical and ritual requirements that come with Bar/Bat Mitzvah, examining mitzvot like rodef shalom, bikkur cholim, tzedakah, kashrut, and tefillah. Examples of Jewish teens who have made a difference in their communities through mitzvah projects are examined. Students will be asked to write of ways they practice these mitzvot  and how the rituals might be changed to make them more meaningful.  Each student must do a mitzvah project for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah; guest speakers will come in to present ideas.  The sources of kashrut, its rules, and its relevance for us today will be studied through a Reconstructionist perspective.

Also, students study 20th Century American Jewish history with an emphasis on the development of  the four branches of Judaism–Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist. The four movements are compared, and the Reconstructionist movement is studied in depth, reviewing its philosophy–especially its ideas about God and its understanding of the Bible and history.  The students will twice attend the Dor Hadash service & Torah study sessions on Saturday mornings.  The class will study the portions beforehand and participate in the discussions with the adults.  Parents are welcome.  The class will also attend a Shabbat service at an Orthodox congregation.

The educational materials include:

Journeys through the Siddur — Shabbat Morning (cont’d)

Journeys through the Siddur — Torah Service and Concluding Prayers

Making a Difference:  Putting Jewish Spirituality into Action, One Mitzvah at a Time

Challenge & Change Volume 3

Our Place in the Universe 

Kol Haneshamah, Shabbat V’Chagim