Curriculum Outline 2017-2018

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 students learn to read Hebrew, which makes this is a very exciting year.  They have had an introduction to the letters and vowels, but now they will learn to put them all together into syllables and words and prayers. When they are ready, they will move on to reading and understanding simple modern Hebrew dialogues as well as reading some of the simple prayers and blessings of Shabbat and holiday rituals.

This year the students study the story of each holiday, as well as the rituals, symbols, traditions, and legends that are told about it.   Students learn the blessings and important vocabulary of each holiday.

The class will begin to study the basic stories of the Torah, 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.

In a short delightful book, the students will learn about the important parts of our tradition and our community: mitzvot, language (Hebrew and Yiddish), history, symbols, rituals, foods, our diversity and our great Jewish teachers.

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

My Jewish Year

Building Jewish Identify:  Our Community

A child’s Bible:  Lessons from the Torah

 

KITAH DALET/HEH

Students continue to improve their Hebrew reading fluency and their understanding of Hebrew through reading and translating modern Hebrew dialogues.  During the year, the students will move onto another book which covers all the prayers of the Shabbat morning service—including the Shema, the V’Ahavta, the Amidah, Shabbat and holiday blessings—and concentrate more on the meaning of these prayers and their place in the service.  All differences in the Hebrew between the textbook and the Reconstructionist version will be explained.

The students continue their study of the major stories and characters in the Bible.  This year picks up where last year left off: the crossing of the Red Sea, the events at Mt. Sinai, Deborah, Ruth, Esther, King David and King Solomon are among the important events and figures the students will read about.  Like last year, the moral and spiritual truths of these stories are highlighted. Students learn to ask questions of the stories and apply them to concerns of today.

Students take an informative and fun-filled tour of Israel. They are introduced to Israel’s history, geography, and political and cultural life.  Israel’s struggle to co-exist with its neighbors is presented in a thoughtful, age-appropriate way. They also learn about children their age: what they do for fun, favorite sports and foods, what school is like.

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.

  1. Shalom Ivrit 1  with corresponding Prayer Companion (cont’d)
  2. then Journeys through the Siddur — Shabbat Morning
  3. A Child’s Bible: Lessons from the Prophets & Writings
  4. Welcome to Israel

 

KITAH HEH/VAV

Using Journeys through the Siddur:Torah Service and Concluding Prayers, students learn to read the prayers of the Torah service, including the Torah and Haftarah blessings, and to 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 Servi

Ulpan Alef

       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