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Bet Midrash Class Descriptions

Bet Midrash Class Descriptions

 (September 2014 - May 2015)

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Pre-K (3 or 4 by Oct. 1, 2014)  Sat 10:30-11:30am 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  Sat 9am-12pm
Our Gan (Kindergarten) and Alef (1st grade) classes are taught by Lauren Kreisberg and Diane Gilmore 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 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
Wed 4:15-6pm; Sat 9am-12pm

Our Gimmel (3rd grade), Dalet (4th grade), and Hey (5th grade) classes meet twice aweek, on Shabbat mornings and Wednesday afternoons.  All grades enjoy an emphasis on modern Hebrew in their classrooms and more opportunities to learn prayer proficiency and service leading in learner's minyan-style services on Shabbat mornings. Our class sizes are kept small at this age to facilitate project-based learning, allowing students to learn by doing and to develop their personal relationships to religion, values, and the Jewish community.      

            All three grades enjoy three Family Education sessions over the course of the year, mostly on Sundays.

Our Gimmel class focuses on Hiddur Mitzvah, beautifying the commandments, through a study of great Jewish artists and creation of their own art.  They incorporate this art into a study of the Jewish calendar.  Gimmel also has a special focus on middot, Jewish values.
 
Our Dalet class focuses on questions about God, developing ideas and feelings about and articulating the ways in which they encounter God as individuals and as part of the Jewish and human communities. 
 
Our Hay class focuses on Israel, defined both as the broad Jewish people and the land and state.  They learn the history of the land and state of Israel while also exploring various Jewish communities. 

 

All three grades include a Bible component in their curriculum, covering the narratives of Genesis and Exodus, the end of the Torah and beginning of the Prophets, and selected books from Writings over the course of three years.  

     

Vav Mon 5:30-8pm; Sat 9am-12pm

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, Tanakh - 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 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  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 decisionā€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 9-12pm 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

      

        

 

                

Wed, 29 March 2017 2 Nisan 5777