Curriculum Guide

Gan: Kindergarten

Shabbat and Holidays are sacred times on the Jewish calendar. What does sacred mean? What does it mean for a time to be sacred? How do we celebrate and observe sacred time?

In Kitah Gan, learners will experience and observe the sacred times in the Jewish calendar, become familiar with core brachot that are associated with Shabbat and holidays, and feel connected to their classroom community through celebrating and exploring together.

As the focus of the Gan curriculum is Shabbat and holidays, the ongoing project will be a journal that children will work on with their families.

Aleph: 1st Grade

Makom Kadosh – Sacred Space. What makes B’nai Jeshurun a sacred space? Through exploration of objects, symbols and ritual practices, learners will understand how sacred space is created and used. Exploration of Shabbat and holidays will focus on how we celebrate in the synagogue and as a community. Israel studies will focus on Jerusalem as a makom kadosh.

Bet: 2nd Grade

Middot and Kehilah The Kitah Bet curriculum celebrates what it means to be part of a global Jewish community, and what it means to live a wholesome Jewish life. Our learners begin with simple questions. How do we treat other people? How do we interact with our friends? How do we create a welcoming space? And, why are these Jewish values? After exploring the above questions, we learn that Jewish people come from all over the world, and have a rich tradition, history, and culture. Our learners explore the tapestry of customs that make up the global Jewish people, and celebrate the various customs that make Judaism so unique and special. Through volunteering, art, theater, cooking, and more our learners will explore what Judaism looks like both within our community, and in different parts of the world.  

Gimmel and Dalet: 3rd-4th Grades

People of the Book. Learners will deepen their understanding of the Torah by examining key characters. Through creative modalities such as art, drama and creative writing students will create their own understanding of the Torah characters, their emotions and actions.

Learners will gain a respect for the Torah, and be able to navigate their own relationship with the stories and characters within the text. They will approach the Torah with a critical eye, analyzing and dissecting the text. Through deep understanding and study, learners will be able to draw lessons from the Torah’s characters that will help inform their daily lives.

Hey: 5th Grade

Mitzvot represent the core of Jewish values and participation, and are central to the mission and vision of B’nai Jeshurun. Mitzvot, often misinterpreted as “good deeds”, are in fact commandments and obligations that we have as Jews. Students will learn about the various types of mitzvot and how to perform certain mitzvot, through action, discussion, and in depth text study. Through our study of mitzvot we aim to make Judaism a tangible and sensible presence in the life of our Kitah Hey learners, and ultimately to help mold our children into active adults with strong Jewish identities.

Vav: 6th Grade

The Continuing Jewish Journey. The Kitah Vav curriculum acknowledges our learners’ modern lives, high level of independence, and capacity for thinking and intellectual curiosity. Throughout the year, learners will explore what it means to form their own Jewish identities and what it means to become a Jewish adult. Students will grapple with issues of moral integrity, explore their relationship to Israel, question the actions (or existence) of God, and more. Learners will dive into B’nai Mitzvah preparation, and will have opportunities to explore their parasha, understand responsibilities associated with becoming a B’nai Mitzvah, and acquaint themselves with their own family’s Jewish history. Through study, hard conversations, and challenging themselves, Kitah Vav learners will strengthen their own relationship with one another and continue their journey in shaping their own relationship to Judaism.

Zayin: 7th Grade

Facing History and Ourselves. Holocaust and Human Behavior curriculum which helps students explore the connection between Jewish history, identity, and the moral questions inherent in everyday life. It is an integrated course in history and identity grounded in Jewish ethics and values. The content is rich and teachers and students learn through concrete activities in history, literature, Jewish studies and the arts. A highlight of the year is the Kitah Zayin class trip to Washington, DC where our learners visit the United State Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Teen Learning

Our B’nai Jeshurun teenagers have the opportunity to opt into various mini learning sessions throughout the year. Our teen learning sessions are taught by professional B’nai Jeshurun staff, and the topics of conversation and study are suggested by individuals on our Teen Executive Board. Topics in the past have included Gender and Sexuality in Judaism, Jewish Pluralism and Growing up in the 21st Century, and Israel: How did we get here? This year’s teen learning program will also be connected to the service learning trip that our teen participate in.


Click here to learn about Kadima@BJ electives.

Thursday Afternoon 2018-2019

*Specific courses will be available shortly


Thursday electives will meet from 4:00-6:00PM.

4:00-4:40PM, students will engage in Hebrew Learning.

4:40-4:55PM, students will have a small break and music.

5:00-6:00PM, students will be in the elective they choose



  • 1st Round : October 11, October 18, October 25, November 1, November 8, November 15, November 29, December 6, December 13, December 20
  • 2nd Round: January 10, January 17, January 24, January 31, February 7, February 14, February 28, March 7
  • 3rd Round: March 14, March 21, March 28, April 4, April 11, April 18, May 2, May 9, May 16


Family Electives 2018-2019

Family electives are offered on the weekends, and require a parent / guardian to attend with the child (other family members are welcome to join as well)


Friday Family Shabbat:

When Friday night services begin at 6:30PM, this elective will meet from 5:45-8:30PM.

When Friday night services begin at 7:00PM, this elective will meet from 6:15-9:00PM.

  • Round 1: October 12 , November 19, December 14, January 11
  • Round 2: February 8, March 8, April 12, May 10


Saturday Morning Family Shabbat:

This elective will meet from 9:30-12:00 noon on Saturdays.

  • Round 1: October 6, November 3, December 1, January 5
  • Round 2: February 2, March 2, April 6, May 4


Hevrutah and Havdallah:

This elective will meet one hour before the time of Havdallah

  • Dates: October 13, November 10, December 15, January 12, February 9, March 9, April 13, May 11


Tzedek Sundays:

This elective will meet monthly from 11:00-12:15PM on Sunday mornings

  • Dates: October 14, November 11, December 16, January 13, February 10, March 10, April 14, May 12