We expect great things from our children. We want them to learn to stretch, to handle change with ease, to be open to learning from each other as well as our staff, to develop themselves as people. We know that the future rests in their hands, and that the richness they take from their experiences here will inform and guide them as Jewish adults. We know that our time with them is precious, that we are a part of the mosaic of interests that they have. Consequently we choose to be fun-filled, succinct, meaningful and sequential in our approach to learning.
Jewish Civilization, Culture and Talmud Torah
Rabbi Mark Greenspan writes, ‘There are no exceptions: every human being is created in the image and likeness of G!d. Every person is composed of dust and divinity. The moral fabric of our universe begins with this assumption. It teaches us something about how we are to greet the world, and how we should treat ourselves and others.’ Using this understanding as a base, our curriculum explores many aspects of the nature of the Divine and the dusty and how they relate to our students, helping our students relate to the values, the dust, themselves, each other, and ultimately, G!d. Each class is centered on a particular theme, as well as a Jewish value.
To download the Curiculum Map, click here.
The Beit Midrash wants our students to have more than a passing relationship with Hebrew, since in addition to being able to chant Torah with the rest of their B’nai Mitzvah class, it is a wonderful connection to Israel, Israeli culture, and carries the linguistic memory of their ancestors. Many studies indicate that language acquisition takes 4 ordered steps: listening, speaking, reading and finally writing, and we aim to introduce Hebrew using this model, so the act of reading Torah, a ‘goal’ in some programs, becomes a normal outgrowth of burgeoning bilingual abilities.
Children in K-2nd grade learn their Aleph Bat, and master songs and some basic vocabulary. In the third and fourth grade, we focus on Israel: it’s history, culture, food, people and language. In this year, reading skills are established, along with a greater facility in using Hebrew in everyday conversations. Do not be surprised when your child asks you to tuck them into their mita (bed)! Using a simple and efficient set of textbooks, 5th-6th grade students are introduced in a stepwise fashion to a wider vocabulary and fluid reading skills, preparing them for leading at their B’nei Miztvah and for a trip to Israel with grace and ease.
Because mastery of language happens best when it is regularly reinforced, we send easy reading home with each student in Grades 4 and up. We ask that students practice three times a week, for at least 5 minutes at a time, with an adult, who can then sign off. It does not matter if your Hebrew is non-existent! Listen and learn: the act of reading will help your child to gain confidence as well as proficiency. Students who return to class with folders signed off will be rewarded with in-class incentives.