LIMUD PROGRAM MISSION STATEMENT
The Temple Beth Elohim Limud Program strives to provide a meaningful and engaging learning program for grades K - 5, including formal and informal experiences and family learning opportunities.
- To develop and inspire a community of educated and caring Jewish children, knowledgeable about and committed to the philosophy and practices of Judaism.
- To create a stimulating and experiential program that enables our students and their families to experience the joy of Jewish living.
- To engage students in learning the key components of Jewish education - rituals, Hebrew and the holiday cycle, Torah, prayer and ethics, Jewish history, music and Israel.
- To prepare our children to understand and live by the Jewish values of worship,tzedakah and social justice.
PRIMARY DEPARTMENT (Kindergarten to 2nd Grade)
Grades K-2 meet Sundays, 8:45 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. or 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.
In addition to the individual programs explained below, students will participate in a fun, engaging music program and social justice projects that emphasize not only giving money, but also doing righteous deeds. Families will have the opportunity to join together for holiday celebrations and special family programs.
KINDERGARTEN - Torah Lens
- Kindergarten students will begin to develop a connection to their classroom community and the Jewish community at large as they engage in a curriculum that integrates formal and informal learning.
- Through Torah and holiday stories, students will start developing connections to their Jewish roots, holiday traditions and mitzvot.
- Students will learn the Hebrew letters through auditory, visual and kinesthetic approaches and will begin to learn simple Hebrew words that will provide the foundation for Jewish life vocabulary.
Our experiential curriculum evolves from the question “Who Am I?” Through a variety of activities, including Bible and holiday stories, music, drama and arts and crafts the children begin to develop a sense of connection from home to the synagogue and to the larger Jewish community. Students learn the meaning of mitzvot and how mitzvot apply to their every day lives. Hebrew is introduced auditorily, building on Jewish vocabulary that relates to family, Hebrew name, holiday and Shabbat blessing. We introduce the Hebrew letters using the book “Sam the Detective.” Families are invited to a special Family Program and blessing of Consecration, a family picnic and multiple community holiday celebrations. Children are also invited to participate in Chalutzim, the junior youth group for grades K and 1 that meets 4 times a year.
GRADE ONE – Israel Lens
- By studying about our ancestors in the Torah, holidays and related mitzvot, first grade students will begin to develop an understanding of our connection as a Jewish people to the land of Israel.
- Students will be engaged in a pre-reading program that provides exposure to Hebrew letters and vowels. Students will continue to increase their repertoire of Jewish life vocabulary.
Our first graders will participate in an interactive curriculum that focuses on holidays,mitzvot and K’lal Israel (Jewish people). Students will read Torah stories that focus on these topics as they explore how we are connected to Jewish people around the world and to the land of Israel. This multi-faceted curriculum includes music, story-telling and arts and crafts. In addition, the children will be introduced to the Hebrew alphabet (aleph-bet) and vowels and will continue to add Hebrew words to their Jewish Life vocabulary. They will be encouraged to explore Jewish literature with regular visits to our TBE library, including the opportunity to take home library books. Parents are invited to a special program recognizing the accomplishments of the first graders. Children are also invited to participate in Chalutzim, the junior youth group for grades K and1 that meets 4 times a year.
GRADE TWO – G’milut Chasadim Lens
- Through the study of Jewish values and selected mitzvot the students will develop an appreciation of God’s world and their responsibilities to make it a better place.
- Students will begin to decode Hebrew words by blending sounds, recognizing syllables and learning some idioms of the Hebrew language.
- Students will expand their knowledge of Torah stories, focusing on texts that teach us that because we are created in the image of God, we have responsibilities to humanity.
As Jewish people, we are commanded to take care of the world. To better understand our responsibilities in the world, second grade students will examine the creation story and other Bible stories, holiday celebrations and customs through the lens of G’milut Chasadim and Tikkun Olam. They will explore the difference between “mitzvah” and “good deed” as they consider our relationship to God and our world.
Building on the previous year's introductory Hebrew lessons, children will review the letters and vowels and will start recognizing sounds and short words. In each curricular area, children will engage in learning in a multi-sensory way, using music, arts and crafts, stories, games and other interactive learning modalities. When students complete their learning of the Hebrew Aleph Bet, families join together at a Siyyum Aleph Betcelebration. Children are also invited to participate in Chaverim, the junior youth group for grades 2 and 3 that meets 4 times a year.
INTERMEDIATE DEPARTMENT (3rd to 5th Grade)
Grades 3, 4, and 5 meet twice weekly:
Sundays from 8:45-10:45 a.m. or 11:15 a.m - 1:15 p.m., and,
Tuesday 3:30–5:30 p.m. or Wednesday 4:00 – 6:00 pm.
GRADE THREE – Torah Lens
- Students will develop an understanding of the structure of Torah, T’filah (prayer) and the Jewish calendar.
- Students will examine a variety of blessings as they appear in the Siddur (prayer- book) and Torah and explore how they can use blessings in their daily life.
- Students will explore the Torah to learn about the beginning of Judaism from God’s call to Abraham to Joseph’s ride to power in Egypt.
In Grade 3, students advance their study of Hebrew by attending mid-week religious school, dedicating additional time to learning how to decode and read in Hebrew. The Hebrew curriculum focuses on B’rachot (blessings), the meaning of the blessings and why blessings are an important part of Jewish liturgy. In this transition year from the primary grades to the intermediate grades, the curriculum weaves Torah into learning at many levels. The students will learn about the structure of the Torah. They will examine the Jewish calendar and, as they study holidays, they will examine Torah texts to better understand the sources for these celebrations. Children will also start to develop an understanding of our siddur (prayerbook), why we pray and different types of prayers.
Each week students in grades 3-5 participate in a brief lesson on T’filah (prayer) in the Sanctuary led by one of our clergy and our music Educator, Matt Stern. Students have the opportunity to practice their emerging Hebrew skills, learn holiday and liturgical music, and become familiar with the choreography of Shabbat services. This year, the 3rdgraders will join 4th and 5th grade students in T’filah in January as they gain proficiency in reading Hebrew and can actively participate in the service. Children are also invited to participate in Chaverim, the junior youth group for grades 2 and 3 that meets 4 times a year.
In third grade, we introduce our "Passport to Israel" program which is a partnership among our families, Temple Beth Elohim and the Combined Jewish Philanthropies that facilitates learning about Israel and provides joint financing for a student’s future visit to Israel.
GRADE FOUR – Israel Lens
- Students will study T’filot (prayers) and the structure of the service, learning the language that ties our history to the present.
- Students will discover the story of our people as we immerge from slavery to freedom and the journey that led to the birth of the Jewish nation.
- Students will examine the Exodus text in the Torah along with some Midrashim (commentaries) to explore ideas about leadership and partnership with God
Fourth grade students continue to explore the narrative of the Jewish people, moving from the Genesis stories to learn in depth select texts from the book of Exodus about the creation of a nation – the people of Israel. The textbook “Torah-Toons I” will, for the first time, introduce students to specific texts from weekly Torah portions. This exploration will lay the foundation for the 5th grade when they will study from theTaNaKh (Hebrew Bible).
Students will learn Hebrew through the structure of a Shabbat service. They will focus on the meaning of prayers, and learn Kabalat Shabbat and Shabbat morning prayers in Hebrew, as they increase their fluency with our liturgy. Each Hebrew lesson builds on prior lessons, providing continual reinforcement and progress. The students play a variety of language games to strengthen reading skills and develop fluency. Students participate in T’filah, our weekly prayer service with other students in 3rd and 5th grades. They will also have the opportunity to help lead parts of the service where they have mastered the prayers. In addition, students will be introduced to cantillation to lay the foundation for mastering skills for Torah chanting. Parents are invited to celebrate with their children when they receive their own TaNaKh (Hebrew Bible) at the end of the year.
Children are also invited to participate in Yedidm, the junior youth group for grades 4 and 5 that meets 3 times a year, and participate in one Shul-In (Friday evening to Saturday morning).
GRADE FIVE – G’milut Chasadim Lens
- Students will learn the structure of the TaNaKh (Hebrew Bible) and study select texts from Prophets to gain a deeper understanding of G’milut Chasadim andTikkun Olam.
- Students will study T’filot (prayers) in the Amidah, the central prayer of the service, in a way that connects us to the legacy of our forefathers and mothers.
- Students will apply the lessons of the prophets to the message of the Amidah to begin to define their own sense of responsibility to the world.
The fifth grade year is designed to challenge our maturing students to discover Jewish life as both a life-long continuum and a daily living experience. The study of the Jewish life cycle enables students to examine celebrations across a lifetime, including procedures at the end of life, and extrapolate meaning from those events. Fifth grade students will also consider how life cycle events have evolved over the years and how they can bring personal meaning to these milestones. Students also revisit the Jewish holiday cycle with an eye toward gaining new understanding through the mitzvot(commandments) associated with each of the holidays. A third piece of the curriculum isThe Gift of Jewish Wisdom. Students will examine how the values and ethics found in our sacred texts apply to our lives today. They receive a copy of the Jewish Publication Society TaNaKh (Hebrew Bible) and learn about its structure. During the year, they will explore the TaNaKh through the study of the Jewish imperative to engage in G’milut Chasadim (acts of loving kindness) by reading selected texts in the book of Judges and several prophets.
In Hebrew, students attend T’filah, our weekly prayer service, and refine their reading and chanting skills. Prayers and liturgy serve as a vehicle to introduce and empower students to use their growing siddur (prayer book) vocabulary. Upon attaining a level of mastery, students have the opportunity to lead the other students in prayer. The Hebrew textbook helps students to make a connection between ancient and modern Hebrew. Through the study of liturgy, students develop a fuller appreciation for the Shabbat services at Temple Beth Elohim, both in structure and meaning.
Children are also invited to participate in Yedidm, the junior youth group for grades 4 and 5 that meets 3 times, and participate in one Shul-In (Friday evening to Saturday morning).
In addition to several community holiday celebrations, parents will join us for a Moving On ceremony that recognizes 5th grade students as they are about to enter our B’nei Mitzvah Magical Mystery Tour (BM3T) program for 6th and 7th grade.