3rd-7th Grades

The religious school curriculum for third through seventh grades consists of Jewish studies (Holidays, life cycle, Bible, and Jewish values) on Sunday mornings (9am–11am) and Hebrew reading/prayer instruction on either Sunday afternoon (11:15am–1pm) or Tuesday afternoon, online by appointment between 4:15pm–6pm).

Jewish Studies Curriculum Overview

The Jewish studies curriculum of the 3rd–7th grade program is aligned closely with the mission statement of our religious school: To provide novel and thought-provoking materials that invite students to explore the language, myths, narratives, laws, symbols, rituals, art, music, and ethical teachings that shape Jewish identity.

A well aligned curriculum is guided by a common framework of curriculum, instruction, assessment, and learning climate that are pursued over a sustained period of time.

Third Grade

Sacred Texts – Genesis, Exodus Holidays Life Cycle / Synagogue Israel Values / Ethical Teachings
Language Review Language from first and second grades; Introduce the following new words: B’reishit, Shemot, Midrash, Halacha, Aggadah, YIsrael, Hineni Review Language from first and second grades; Introduce the Shehechiyanu blessing; Add the following new vocabulary: Havdalah, Shavuah tov, Tishrei, Asseret Y’mai Teshuvah,

Chet, Megillah, Matanot L’evyonim, Hametz, Pesach (sacrifice), Matzah, Maror, Haroset

Review Language from first and second grades; Introduce the following new words: Aliyah, hagbah u’glila, Mahzor Review Language from first and second grades; Introduce the following new words: Yerushalayim, brit Review Language from first and second grades; Introduce the following new words : B’tzelem Elohim (In the image of God), Tzedek tzedek tirdof (Purusit of justice), Emunah (faith in God)
Myths/Narratives and Stories Cain and Abel (B’reishit 4:8-9); Abraham argues with God (B’reishit 18:23-32); Akedat Yitzhak (B’reishit 22:1-19); Jacob tricks Isaac (B’reishit 27); Jacob wrestles with the Angel (B’reishit 32:23-33); Joseph thrown in pit (B’reishit 37:12-35); Moses kills taskmaster and flees (Shemot 2:11-15); Moses at the burning bush (Shemot 3:1-15) “Sacred Occasions” (page 91 in The Bird of Paradise and Other Shabbat Stories) Exodus 3:1-10 – God appears at the burning bush – promise of redemption in Land Cain/Abel = B’tzelem Elohim;

Abraham argues with God = Tzedek tzedek tirdof;

Akedat Yitzhak = Emunah

Laws Exodus 31:16-17 (V’shamru -Observe Shabbat );  Exodus 12:18 (Command to eat matzah)
Symbols See Holiday Symbol Scope and Sequence Review Symbols from second grade; Introduce the following: Lion of Judah
Rituals Review second grade Rituals; Add the following: Blessing children on Shabbat, Havdalah ceremony, recite Al Chet, Inviting Ushpizin into Sukkah, Sending gifts to friends and the poor on Purim Hagbah u’glilah–raising and dressing the Torah
Art/Music Eliyahu Hanavi Eretz Zavat Halav U’dvash,

Fourth Grade

Sacred Texts – Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Kings Holidays Life Cycle / Synagogue Israel Values / Ethical Teachings
Language Review Language from third grade; Introduce the following new words: B’midbar, Devarim, Yitziat Mitzrayim, Am YIsrael, melech, Beit Hamikdash, Navi Review Language from third grade; Introduce the following new words: B’midbar, Devarim, Yitziat Mitzrayim, Am YIsrael, melech, Beit Hamikdash, Navi Review Language from third grade; Introduce the following new vocabulary: Brit milah, brit bat, get, bar/bat mitzvah, d’var Torah, Haftarah, mikvah, Ketubah, Aufruf, Hevrah Kadisha, Kriah, Shiva, Kaddish Yatom, Yahrtzeit Review the Language from third grade; Introduce the following new words: HaTikvah Gevurah (heroism/courage), Reyut (friendship), Hocheach tocheeach (rebuking wrongdoing), Shlom Bayit (family harmony), Ahavat HaGer (love the stranger)
Myths/Narratives and Stories Splitting of the Sea (Shemot 14); Providing manna in the wilderness (Shemot 16); Revelation at Mt. Sinai (Shemot 19:16–20:18); Spies scout the Land (B’midbar 13-14); Joshua at Jericho (Joshua 6); Deborah and Samson rally the people (Judges 4, 16); Ruth chooses Judaism (Ruth 1-4); Samuel anoints Saul as first King (I Samuel 8-9); David and Jonathan (I Samuel 20); David sins with Batsheva/Nathan’s rebuke (2 Samuel 11-12); Solomon builds the Temple (1 Kings 5:9-6:36); Elijah confronts the priests of Baal (1 Kings 18:16-39); Midrash RE Nachshon at the sea  (Mechilta d’Rabbi Yishmael 14:22) = Gevurah; Spies scout the land = Hocheach Tocheeach; Ruth follows Naomi (Ahavat HaGer); David and Jonathan resist Saul = reyut; David’s sin and Nathan’s rebuke = Hocheach tocheeach
Laws Exodus 31:16-17 (V’shamru – Observe Shabbat ); Exodus 12:18 (Command to eat matzah)
Symbols See Holiday Symbol Scope and Sequence Review Symbols from third grade; Introduce the following: grape cluster, Palm tree
Rituals Review third grade Rituals; Add the following: Birkat Hamazon, Yom Kippur greeting- “Gemar Hatimah tovah,” Bidikat/Biur Hametz; Memorial siren sounded in Israel for Yom HaZikaron,
Art/Music Eli Eli, Hinei Mah Tov HaTikvah HaTikvah Kol Ha’Olam Kulo

Fifth Grade

Sacred Texts – TANAKH Holidays – Minor Holidays Life Cycle / Synagogue Israel – Experience Modern Israel and HaMakom Values / Ethical Teachings
Language Review the Language from fourth grade; Introduce the following new words:

“im eshkachaych Yerushalayim”, Eicha,

“Kol sasson v’kol simcha”

Review the Language from fourth grade; Introduce the following new words: Tisha B’Av, Yom Ha’atzmaut, Yom Yerushalayim, Yom HaZikaron, Yom HaShoah Review the Language from fourth grade; Introduce the following new words: Tisha B’Av, Yom Ha’atzmaut, Yom Yerushalayim, Yom HaZikaron, Yom HaShoah  Kibbutz Galuyot (ingathering of diaspora); Zikaron (remembrance), Rodef Shalom (pursuit of peace), Pidyon Shivuyim (redeeming captives), Bal Tashchit (environmental protection-not waste)
Myths/Narratives and Stories Lamentations 1:1-22;

Psalm 137:1-4 – “By the rivers of Babylon”

Psalm 137:5 – “If I forget you, O Jerusalem.”

Jeremiah 33:10-11 – “Again there shall be heard in this place…the sound of mirth and gladness.”

The Field of Brotherly Love (#514-Jewish Story Finder), Nicanor’s Doors (#19-Jewish Story Finder), The Staff of Elijah (#133-Jewish Story Finder), David’s Harp (#143-Jewish Story Finder), Milk and Honey (#154–Jewish Story Finder)
Laws Shemot 23:10-11 – Law of Shmittah, The Law of Return
Symbols See Holiday Symbol Scope and Sequence Review all the Symbols from previous grades; Introduce the following: seven species, deer/gazelle
Rituals Tisha B’Av – 24 hour fast; Yom HaShoah – Lighting memorial candle, sirens in Israel; Yom Ha’Zikaron – sirens sounded in Israel; Yom Ha’atzmaut – fireworks, picnics, parades Breaking glass at weddings; Praying eastward toward Jerusalem; Sitting on the floor and reading Eicha;
Art/Music Im Tirtzu, Lechi Lach

Sixth Grade

Sacred Texts – Prophets Holidays Life Cycle / Synagogue – Becoming a bar/bat mitzvah History – American Jewish History Israel Values / Ethical Teachings
Language Review the following vocabulary: brit, Haftarah, kadosh;  Introduce the following new words: n’vuah, navi, Nevi’im, BCE, CE, Shalosh regalim, hakafot, zman simchateinu, s’chach, Zman Chayruteinu, Sefirat HaOmer, Yizkor, Shavuot, Zman Matan Torahteinu, Tikun Leil Shavuot, Chol HaMoed bar/bat mitzvah, bnai mitzvah, kehillah, tefillah, tzedek/hesed, d’var Torah, haftarah, brit, tallit, aliya, simcha Introduce the following new words: Kehillah, Sephardim, Ashkenazim, shtetl, pogrom, landsman, aliyah, Medinat YIsrael Review the following: Tzedek tzedek tirdof (pursuit of justice), Hocheach tocheeach (rebuke), teshuvah (return to best self), gevurah (heroism/courage); Introduce the following new words: Rachamim (compassion)
Myths/Narratives and Stories Shemot Rabbah 2:2 – Moses hoisting on his shoulders a lamb that had strayed from the flock; Shemot 33:7-23 – Moses asks to see God face to face;

1 Samuel 3:1-21 – Young Samuel hears God call while serving with Eli;

1 Samuel 8:1-22 – People demand a King from Samuel. He warns them against kingship. But God relents and appoints Saul;

1 Kings 18:20-46 – Elijah challenges the priests of Baal; 1 Kings 19:1-12 – Elijah hears the murmuring sound of God; 1 Kings 21 – Elijah confronts Ahab; Amos 5:21-25 – “Let justice well up like water…”; Isaiah 2:1-4 – “Nation will not take up sword against nation…”; Jeremiah 7:1-11 – Jeremiah stands at the gate of the Temple and demands justice throughout the land.

Shemot Rabbah 2:2 – Moses hoisting on his shoulders a lamb that had strayed from the flock; Shemot 33:7-23 – Moses asks to see God face to face;

1 Samuel 3:1-21 – Young Samuel hears God call while serving with Eli;

1 Samuel 8:1-22 – People demand a King from Samuel. He warns them against kingship. But God relents and appoints Saul;

1 Kings 18:20-46 – Elijah challenges the priests of Baal; 1 Kings 19:1-12 – Elijah hears the murmuring sound of God; 1 Kings 21 – Elijah confronts Ahab; Amos 5:21-25 – “Let justice well up like water…”; Isaiah 2:1-4 – “Nation will not take up sword against nation…”; Jeremiah 7:1-11 – Jeremiah stands at the gate of the Temple and demands justice throughout the land.

Laws Devarim 16:1-17 – Command to observe the shalosh regalim.
Symbols Sukkot – in addition to all previous Symbols taught, add water/rain; Pesach – in addition to all previous Symbols taught, add Angel of Death and Elijah; Shavuot – introduce the following: milk/dairy, 10 commandments, ketuba celebrating marriage between God and Israel at Mt. Sinai Review all the Symbols from previous grades; Introduce the following: seven species, deer/gazelle
Rituals Circling the sanctuary with lulav and etrog on Sukkot; Arbah Kosot of wine at Pesach; counting the omer each evening for 49 days beginning on the second day of Pesach; studying all night on the eve of Shavuot, eating dairy on Shavuot Praying for rain at end of Sukkot, Confirmation ceremony at Shavuot Hakarat hatov (gratitude), anavah (humility)
Art/Music

Holiday Symbols Scope and Sequence

Third Fourth Fifth
Rosh Hashanah Book of Life, Kittel Kittel, Crescent moon Crescent moon, Number 7
Yom Kippur Potter’s wheel, Tallit Tallit, Scapegoat Scapegoat, Gates of Neilah
Sukkot/Simhat Torah Lulav/Etrog, Cornucopia, Ushpizin Ushpizin, Full moon Full moon, Hatan/Kallat, B’reishit
Shabbat Shabbat bride/queen, Abraham’s open tent Havdalah candle, Spices Havdalah candle/spices, Eliyahu Ha’Navi
Hanukkah Dreidel, Ner Tamid Ner Tamid, Gelt Hammer
Tu B’shevat Seven species Seven species, JNF boxes JNF box, Humans as the tree of the field
Purim Megillah, Gifts to Friends/Needy Masks, Lots Masks, Lots, Purim Shpiel
Pesach Seder Plate, Shank bone, Parsley/Salt water, Egg, Wine, Afikoman Seder Plate additions, orange, Four Sons Elijah’s cup, Kittel, Burning Chametz
Yom Ha’atzmaut Menorah, JNF blue box Picture of Herzl, Ben Gurion signing Declaration of Independence Iconic photo by David Rubinger of soldiers at the kotel

Hebrew Reading/Prayer Curriculum Overview

The prayer curriculum is developed based on mastery learning theory. Mastery learning suggests that every child can learn the content, but each does so at their own rate of speed. Therefore, instead of the teacher devoting a given amount of time to presenting a particular prayer, assessing the students, and then moving on, mastery learning recognizes that children will master the material at different rates of speed. If a student does not achieve mastery on the test, they are given additional support in learning and reviewing the information and then tested again. This cycle continues until the learner accomplishes mastery, and they may then move on to the next stage.

Reading Fluency Concepts (for a complete list contact the main office) Values (for a complete list contact the main office)
3rd Bracha formulas; blessings over wine, challah, candles (Shabbat, Chanukah, and Yom Tov), Shehechiyanu, Mah Nistanah (first 2) Students will state that a brachah is not just words, but it is a connection to God; Students will identify 3 important roles of a brachah; namely, to recognize a gift from God, to thank God, and to make a request to God. Hakarat haTov (gratitude); Kedusha (holiness), and Human dignity
4th Modeh ani, Kiddush, Chanukah blessings, Shema, Mah Nishtanah (3rd/4th) Jews pray in a community; We demonstrate our love for God by acting righteously; We are connected to those who came before us and strive to be worthy of their gift. Emunah (faith in God); Ahavah (Love of God); Geulah (redemption); Zechut Avot (merit of our ancestors)
5th Barechu, Yotzer Or, V’ahavta, MiChamocha, Adonai Sefatai tiftach, Avot, Emahot, Gevurot paragraphs of Amidah Ushpizin, Full moon Full moon, Hatan/Kallat, B’reishit
6th Blessings before and after Torah and Haftarah, Kaddish, Aleinu, Ein K’eloheinu, Adon Olam Torah is sustenance for our souls.

Torah tells the story of the Jewish people and studying it links us to our collective past.

The universal values found in the Torah are a unique contribution of the Jewish people to civilization.

Achdut – (Oneness/unity of God); Tikkun Olam (our obligation to be God’s partners in repairing the world); Malchut Shamayim (glory and centrality of God in the world)
7th Torah service including: L’cha Adonai Ha’gedulah, Al Shlosha D’varim, V’zot Hatorah, Eitz Chaim he We re-enact the drama of our people standing at Mt. Sinai.

We have a special relationship with God.

Torah study is a well-spring of goodness and the Torah is a guide for living a better life.

Talmud Torah (Torah study); Gemilut Hasadim (deeds of kindness)