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Bet Midrash Class Descriptions


Pre-K (3 or 4 by Oct. 1, 2018)  Sat 9:00 - 10:15am when in session
Three and four-year-olds will enjoy 12 Jewish learning workshops spread across the year in groups of 3 sessions. Preschool-aged children will learn about the Jewish calendar through crafts, stories, drama, song, and dance. Over the past year, our Pre-K students experienced the gratitude of Sukkot, the miracle of Chanukah, the joy of Shabbat, and the liberation of Passover, and also had a special role to play in our Everyone Shabbat celebration. A half hour Tot Shabbat service is offered after every Pre-K workshop, open to all children 0-5 and their caregivers.       
Click for Pre-K Workshop Details


Gan and Alef (kindergarten and 1st grade) Sat 9am - 12pm
Our Gan (Kindergarten) and Alef (1st grade) classes are taught by Ellen Goldsmith and provide a gentle introduction to the Jewish calendar, Bible stories, Israel, and Jewish values. These classes also allow children to explore their own developing relationship with God and their own Judaism through stories, art, drama, music and movement, prayer, and classroom blessings. The Gan and Alef classes participate in half an hour of immersive conversational Hebrew each Shabbat.  Modern Hebrew is introduced in a relaxed, low pressure environment, and enhances children's relationship with Judaism and Israel as well as supporting future Hebrew acquisition.  In each year of our K-2 conversational Hebrew curriculum, students learn approximately 50 new Hebrew words.  Gan and Alef will attend one Friday night family education session with their parents and siblings. 
Click for Gan Alef Bet Curriculum Details


Bet (2nd grade) Sat 9am-12pm
Our Bet (2nd grade) class meets on Shabbat mornings for three hours. This year's curriculum emphasizes Bible stories, prayer and blessings, conversational Hebrew, recognizing Hebrew letters and vowels, and above all, middot or Jewish values. During the Bet year, students focus intently on the middot of tzedakah and hakarat hatov (gratitude) and the ways that Jewish tradition emphasizes a wise use of food. Through classroom tzedakah and regular field trips to our neighbor, Toni's Kitchen, students become dedicated to the work of tikkun olam. Our experienced Bet teacher, Pia Kutten, also focuses on crafts and decoding Hebrew letter-vowel combinations.  The Bet class enjoys one Saturday night havdalah program during the year.
Click for Gan Alef Bet Curriculum Details


Gimmel, Dalet, Hey (3rd, 4th, 5th grade)
Wed 4:15 - 6pm; Sat 9am - 12pm

Please click here for more information. 


Vav (6th grade) Mon 5:30 - 8pm; Sat 9am - 12pm

- with a focus on the ethics of the Prophets, holidays, and Hebrew. On Shabbat mornings, students will have the opportunity to study Hebrew (both modern and rabbinic/prayer) and classic Jewish texts in small groups and will develop prayer competency in a learner's minyan setting. Over the course of the year, students will develop confidence as prayer leaders and will prepare themselves to experience and appreciate the adult service. Vav students also study the Jewish life cycle in depth.   Over the course of the year, the class will go on a Sunday field trip to supplement their life cycle curriculum as well as use family experience, drama, and creative writing to make the curriculum come alive.   On Monday evenings, we will continue to offer Tanakh. The Vav (6th grade) year is a crucial one for developing Jewish identity as children begin to experience increasing maturity and responsibility in their school and home lives. During the Vav year, students continue to study Jewish values, chuggim, allowing students to develop expertise in areas of personal interest.  Vav students and their families complete a family tikkun olam project during the year and work together to improve our Bnai Keshet community and the world. 

Click for Vav Curriculum Details


Zayin (7th grade) Mon 5:30 - 8pm; Sat 9am - 12pm

Zayin (7th grade) is the big b'nai mitzvah year! The transition from childhood to maturity marked in the Jewish community by the bar/bat mitzvah is reflected in our Zayin curriculum. The Zayin curriculum focuses on Hebrew, prayer, classic Jewish texts, and Jewish history. Students will begin to locate themselves in Jewish history as they study the second Temple period through the modern age, including the Holocaust. The history curriculum creates natural opportunities to study the development of the major Jewish movements and the unique experience of Jews in America.  Students will explore continuity of cultural identity, responsibility to community, and decision‐making based on Jewish values. Supplemental field trips to the Lower East Side and a variety of synagogues will enhance this understanding. On Shabbat mornings, students will attend classes from 9am - 12pm covering Tanakh/parshat hashavua (the weekly portion), rabbinic texts, and prayer. On weeks where there are b'nai mitzvah, they will use the service itself as an opportunity for experiential learning after a 9 - 10am class. On Monday evenings, we will continue to offer chuggim, allowing students to develop expertise in areas of personal interest. Our theme for Zayin is chochma, wisdom, and our classroom and family education curricula underscore the process of helping students develop wisdom and values-based decision-making from our ancient sources and our community's experiences. 

Click for Zayin Curriculum Details





Mon, April 22 2024 14 Nisan 5784