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Our Religious School Curriculum


Temple Shalom of the South Bay

Religious School Curriculum

 

 

SCHOOL PHILOSOPHY

 

Temple Shalom’s Religious School aims for our children to find life-long friends. We have a community where our students thrive and connect in meaningful ways to their Jewish identity. Knowing that we have interfaith families, we teach with open hearts and minds, engaging the students on many levels. We provide tools our students need to be a discerning young adult in the 21st century.

 

At TSSB we want our children to:

  • Develop a love of their Jewish heritage and an appreciation of other faith traditions
  • Gain skills in reading Hebrew and learning Shabbat & Holiday songs and prayers
  • Recognize they are a part of the great story of the Jewish people
  • Opportunities to become their best selves and practice being a Mensch!

 

 

TSSB Religious School Spiral Curriculum

 

Holidays

Kindergarten through third grade gain competency with prayers and rituals for all holidays. By 4th & 5th grades they recognize their role in continuing the traditions and can identify the values associated with each celebration. Hanukkah is about courage, Passover helping others to be free and Shavuot is a time to engage in ethical behavior. Sixth and Seventh grade examine the holidays in their historical context. They can compare the Maccabees to the rise of Hellenism. All students enjoy dramatic experiential experiences, like Exodus to the Beach and Israel Day Boot Camp!

 

Torah

Kindergarten through third grade analyze and recognize major characters and events in the Genesis narrative. Fourth grade will engage in the Exodus experience, finding underlying values and identifying with the theme of freedom in contemporary times. Fifth grade will explore the land of Israel in the book of Numbers and relate to the Spies, debating whether 40 years of punishment was justified for lack of faith!  Sixth grades will distinguish between the three parts of the Jewish Bible and critically examine the role of the prophets Joshua, Deborah & Elijah.

 

Mitzvot: Being Personally Responsible for Making the World a Better Place

Beginning with Kindergarten, all students will practice ethical behavior and engage in moral decision making. They will act out scenarios, watch videos, read stories and invent alternate endings where they point out kinder and more compassionate behaviors. The younger grades practice “Derech Eretz” – not hurting others, “Shalom Bayit”, bringing peace to the home and

taking care of the environment. The older grades have units on the danger of gossip, pursuing justice and welcoming the stranger.

 

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Special Projects

 

First grade is going to be making a video on Mitzvot and doing good deeds.

 

Second grade designs and creates their own Shabbat Box and leads all the prayers with their parents and their decorated ritual objects.

 

Third grade explores the Jewish Life Cycle. Students make a Hebrew name bracelet, decorate a “Yad” and re-enact a Jewish wedding complete with being picked up on the chairs!

 

Third and Fourth grade have a great time creating their own Hanukkah board games and also prepare and lead both the Tu B’shevat and Passover Seders.

 

Fifth grade’s special project is making their own Tallit.

 

Sixth grade is able to plan and organize a Torah service and lead the Havdalah Service.

 

Seventh grade students gain confidence and competence in all the prayers needed for their B’nai Mitzvah. They critically examine Jewish History from ancient time through the Holocaust. Each section has debates, opinion page essays, role playing activities and more to analyze and recognize major events and themes in the story of the Jewish people.

 

All grades participate in joyful Holiday celebrations, Israeli Folk dancing, art projects, online learning, and music with the Cantor. Parents are invited into the classroom to share the learning experience.

 

Religious School Calendar 2019-2020

Fri, December 6 2019 8 Kislev 5780