Religious School Curriculum
Our Religious School curriculum is designed to help our students form a strong Jewish identity. Guided by Jewish values and traditions, we provide students exposure to various aspects of Jewish belief, history, and culture.
Rabbi Ben Bag-Bag says, ‘Turn it and turn it again, for everything is in it.’” (Pirkei Avot 5:22)
We return to topics many times throughout the curriculum, so students experience themes in developmentally appropriate ways.
Judaic Studies Curriculum
PreK & Kindergarten: This two-year curriculum helps our youngest students understand how Judaism infuses all aspects of their world. Our curriculum alternates between My Jewish Home and Shomrei HaAdamah (Guardians of the Earth).
In My Jewish Home, students learn about all the Jewish items and symbols that they might see in their home and the world immediately around them.
During the year of Shomrei HaAdamah (Guardians of the Earth), students learn how they can be guardians of the earth and help protect our world through the lens of Jewish values.
In both years, students will learn about the holidays from the perspective of the year’s theme.
1st Grade: As the students’ awareness of the world around them grows, so does our curriculum. The focus of the year is My Jewish Community. Students learn how Jewish values can guide their interactions with others, who and what they see in our synagogue, and more. We continue the study of the holidays with a focus on how we celebrate with our Jewish community.
2nd Grade: The focus of our second-grade curriculum is Torah Values. With an emphasis on the stories from Genesis and Exodus, students learn about the biblical stories and the values they teach us. Students continue to explore the holidays and their connections to various biblical stories from our tradition.
3rd Grade: As our students begin their Hebrew studies, our Judaic Studies curriculum teaches them about Israel, where Hebrew is the native language.
Israel: Biblical Land and Modern State helps our students build a connection to Israel both as the location of our biblical stories and as a modern state that speaks Hebrew.
4th Grade: Building on their biblical knowledge, our curriculum focuses on Prophetic Values. Using prophets and other biblical stories as a foundation, our students learn the timeless values that Judaism offers to help enrich their lives.
5th Grade: As our students prepare for a major lifecycle moment, our curriculum focuses on Cycles of Jewish Living. During this year, students learn about Jewish life cycle moments and return to a study of the Jewish calendar. The life cycle curriculum focuses on how we celebrate Jewish moments in our lives, from birth to death. The focus of our holiday curriculum centers on why we celebrate the holidays instead of how we celebrate.
6th Grade: Students will learn about the Jewish American Experience while learning about US History in their secular school. Starting in 1654 when the first Jews arrived in America, students will understand how our community has evolved over the past 350+ years and the impact Jews have had in American history.
All our students engage with Hebrew in one form or another throughout our entire curriculum. Our youngest students will have weekly sessions of Hebrew Through Movement, which helps the students learn modern Hebrew vocabulary and the sounds of Hebrew. Decoding and formal Hebrew instruction begins in third grade.
3rd Grade: Students will begin to put sound-to-print as they begin to decode Hebrew. By the end of the year, students will be able to sound out Hebrew words and even recite some simple blessings.
4th Grade: Building on the foundation attained in 3rd grade, students begin learning the prayers and the Shabbat worship liturgy, focusing on the first section of the worship service. Students will also learn simple prayers used in holiday celebrations.
5th Grade: Students will continue their study of the Shabbat worship service, with a focus on the second section of the worship service. Students will continue to learn blessings used in holiday celebrations.
6th Grade: The year will focus on the Torah service and concluding prayers for Shabbat worship. Students will also learn special readings for holiday celebrations.
7th Grade: Students will get the attention they need to support their preparation for leading a congregational worship service. Taught by our rabbi and educator, the curriculum focuses on worship service skills.
Recognizing the evolving needs of our students, Chai School gives students the opportunity to learn in-depth about various topics from individuals with specialized knowledge. Students will have four courses each year that allow them to take ownership of their Jewish spiritual adulthood.
Course offerings include:
- 7th Grade
- Comparative Judaism
- Judaism and the Environment
- 8th Grade
- Jewish Cooking
- Exploring the Sources
- Comparative Religion
- 9th Grade
- Tikkun Olam
- Contemporary Antisemitism
- Modern Israel
- Jewish Identity
Confirmation & Post Confirmation:
10th-12th Grade: Click here to learn more about our Confirmation and Post Confirmation programs.