The Big Jewish Idea: God created me as a Jew so I could believe Jewish ideas, celebrate Jewish holidays, do Mitzvot (commandments), and make the world a better place.
Our Kindergarten students will explore holidays, the story of Creation and focus on the celebration of Shabbat. They will learn about several commandments such as tzedakah, honoring parents and hanging a mezuzah. They will begin to learn about the State of Israel as a Jewish homeland and learn some basic Hebrew such as greetings and the parts of the body. Their prayer focus will be on the Shema and the Shabbat blessings.
The Big Jewish Idea - Being Jewish is important because it helps me understand myself and my community. It is the reason I do Mitzvot (commandments and act to make the world a better place.
First graders will learn that being Jewish “counts.” They will “count” Joseph and his brothers, the 40 years the Israelites wandered in the wilderness, the 613 commandments and the 10 commandments. They will learn to count in Hebrew and explore places in Israel. Their prayer focus will be on the Shehecheyanu and holiday blessings.
The Big Jewish Idea: As a Jew I am a part of many different communities such as my Religious School, Central Synagogue, New York, and the world. My participation in these communities makes my Jewish identity stronger and strengthens that community as well.
Second graders will explore the concept of Kehillah (community) by learning Torah stories which highlight the importance of community such as the Tower of Babel and the establishment of our community in Israel under Kings Saul, David, and Solomon. They will learn about their synagogue community by exploring the ritual items in our sanctuary and learn about the many different peoples of Israel. In Hebrew they will learn the vocabulary for members of the family and their prayer focus will be on the Barchu and Havdalah blessings.
The Big Jewish Idea: Performing Mitzvot (commandments) is what defines me as a Jew. The observance of both ritual and ethical Mitzvot is critical to Jewish identity.
With their focus on doing what God commands us, third graders will learn about Mitzvot associated with holidays as well as Talmud Torah (Jewish learning). Torah stories will include examples of our ancestors responding to God such as Abraham leaving his homeland and Moses listening to God at the burning bush. Life cycle events covered will include Bar/Bat Mitzvah and Confirmation. Prayer focus will be on Shabbat blessings and the blessing for Torah study. Third graders begin their study of the Hebrew language, learning to decode the Hebrew consonants and vowels and identifying key words.
The Big Jewish Idea: There is an eternal relationship between God and the Jewish people that we call a brit (covenant). The brit is the foundation of our relationship with God, the land of Israel, and each other.
Fourth graders will focus on stories in the Torah which highlight the Brit, such as the stories of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Noah, and the Revelation at Sinai. Life cycle events covered will be Brit Milah and naming, fourth graders will overview Biblical sites in Israel and focus on the Mitzvot of welcoming guests and visiting the sick.Hebrew studies continue as students improve their reading skills and focus on a variety of blessings.
The Big Jewish Idea: Pursuing justice is a core Jewish value as illustrated by the teachings of the prophets and rabbis.
The Jewish pursuit of justice will be chronicled through the teachings of Biblical prophets and the early rabbis of the first centuries. The theme of justice will also be evident as fifth graders explore Mitzvot such as guarding their speech and taking care of the earth. Their studies of Israel will highlight Tzedakah organizations in Israel and the life cycle events covered will be marriage and divorce. Hebrew studies continue as students improve their reading skills and focus on the prayers of the Shema and its blessings and the Amidah section of the service.
The Big Jewish Idea: Remembering our past is a vital part of being a Jew.
As sixth graders learn the importance of Jewish memory, they will study Jewish history in modern times, from anti-Semitism and emancipation in Europe, to the Holocaust and the founding of the state of Israel. The life cycle event covered will be death and mourning, and the highlighted Mitzvah will be Tzedakah.The power of Jewish memory and its effect on how we live vibrant Jewish lives today will be the focus. Hebrew studies continue as students improve their reading skills and focus on the blessings of the Torah service.
The Big Jewish Idea: American Judaism is a religion, culture, people, and belief system that allows room for a wide range of people and beliefs. Understanding the diversity of American Jews will help us better understand ourselves as Reform Jews.
Seventh graders will participate in both a core class and an elective. The first semester core will focus on the American Jewish experience and comparative Judaism, while the students in the second semester will participate in a program called “Sacred Choices,” a curriculum prepared by the Reform movement to help middle school students discuss sexual ethics. In addition to these core classes, all seventh graders will get to choose from a wide variety of elective classes offered by our talented educators.
The Big Jewish Idea: The term “Jew by choice” is most often used to describe those who convert to Judaism. However, we can all be considered Jews by choice as we grow older and make individual choices about how we believe and observe.
Eighth Grade students will participate in both core classes and electives. Core classes will focus on Jewish identity and how we observe God’s Mitzvot (commandments). In addition, eighth graders will join with ninth graders to choose among a wide variety of elective classes offered by our talented educators.
The Big Jewish Idea: Classic Jewish texts and teachings provide a wealth of wisdom which we can use to make good choices in our lives today.
Ninth Grade students will participate in both core classes and electives. Core classes will focus on classic texts such as Torah, Midrash, and Talmud with emphasis on how study of these texts can be relevant to the issues that teenagers face in the 21st century. In addition, ninth graders will join with eighth graders to choose among a wide variety of elective classes offered by our talented educators.
Taught by Rabbi Rubinstein, the Confirmation class is a very special year. Confirmation is a beautiful and inspiring ceremony when young men and women affirm their connection to God and the Jewish community. The goals of our Confirmation class include encouraging students to engage in the search for religious meaning, struggle with the “unanswerable” questions, reflect and assess their essential Jewish beliefs, and strengthen their connection to Judaism and Jewish life.
The opportunities for Jewish engagement and learning never end. Even after Confirmation, our teens are encouraged to continue their studies in an informal and engaging environment.