Students develop their Hebrew and heritage literacy in a gradual and spiraled process, building new ideas and concepts atop an expanding foundation of knowledge. The program gradually helps foster Jewish identity by allowing children to explore their Jewish roots and traditions in a fun and exciting manner. By making the study of Hebrew and Judaism relevant to the children’s everyday lives, the program enables them to develop a true appreciation of their heritage and understand the need for continued, lifelong Jewish study.
Judaic Studies, Parshat Hashavuah, Israel, and holidays are an integral part of the program and are taught through Hebrew stories, music, role play, posters, and experiential activities. Concepts and themes are integrated with the general studies curriculum wherever applicable. Tefillah is held daily, led by both teachers and students. We believe that our students gain a greater understanding of the meaning of prayer by learning the content as well as the melodies. Therefore, our Tefillah program incorporates prayer analysis and discussion in order to build community and true kavannah.
The L’havin U’lehaskil method is used to teach Chumash skills starting in 2nd grade. The curriculum is skills-based and was designed with the intention of ensuring that students are gaining the textual skills to learn Chumash independently. By incorporating current educational models and technology, L’havin U’lehaskil presents a step-by-step program to Chumash mastery and independent learning. The material becomes reinforced through spiraling, which is looking at the same skill over and over again with increasing depth until mastery is attained. The goal is for the students to be able to learn Chumash independently by the end of fourth grade, when they finish Sefer Beraishit.
Students are empowered when they are able to look at a pasuk and understand each word based on the prefix, shoresh, and suffix; the word analysis is then used to understand the context of the word in the pasuk. User-friendly, beautiful, and easy-to-read workbooks are used to break down words into their core components; posters, CDs, magnetic cards, and flash cards of high frequency words and shorashim are learning aides. Students’ performances are assessed three times a year in cumulative “tests,” and the school receives the results of how the students performed based on all of the Jewish day schools in the country who are participating in the program.