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
My Community. The Kitah Bet curriculum celebrates what it means to be part of a Jewish community. Jewish people come in all sizes, shapes, and colors, come from all over the world, and come from a rich tradition, history, and culture. 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. Mitzvoth, 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
Becoming a Jewish Adult. 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.