In 4th grade, our students engage in their core Judaic learning in a looped two-year curriculum with our 3rd grade students. In Year Aleph, students learn about the narratives of Jacob and Moses, focusing on the stories from Genesis and Exodus. In Year Bet, students learn about important people and events in Jewish history and modern Israel. In Hebrew, students can expect to learn short blessings (such as Barechu and blessings over food), Ma’ariv Aravim/Yotzer Or, the Four Questions, Kiddush, and Havdalah.
Judaism in the Classroom
Our 3rd & 4th grade students will meet every Sunday for 60 minutes. During this session, they will have time as a whole cohort to participate in community building activities. They will also be able to choose electives through which to learn their core Judaics content. These electives will be small groups of students with a teacher and madrich/a. Previous electives have included Game Making, Odyssey of the Mind, Arts & Culture, and Video Making. This is a required part of our program for all students in Kindergarten – 7th Grade.
Hebrew in the Classroom
Hebrew is at the core of everything that we do and learn in Judaism. And, that said, we also know that learning Hebrew (a language that looks and sounds nothing like English) can be challenging under the best of circumstances. For that reason, we have chosen to change the model of our Hebrew program. Beginning this year, Hebrew learning is optional for our 3rd and 4th grade students. We will offer four levels of Hebrew – Hebrew I, Hebrew II, Hebrew III, and Hebrew IV. Families who believe that their child would benefit from beginning Hebrew later on can opt into Hebrew beginning in 5th Grade, where they would begin in Hebrew I with age-appropriate peers. Hebrew will be required beginning in 5th grade. Families choosing to enroll their students in Hebrew beginning in 4th or 5th grade should expect that the B’nai Mitzvah journey will look different for their children and will likely include leading fewer prayers or chanting/reading fewer, or no, lines of Torah. The B’nai Mitzvah journey is ultimately about learning to take on responsibility in the Jewish community; having spent fewer years learning Hebrew will not detract from the experience of your child’s B’nai Mitzvah.
For students enrolled in this program, there will be two components – a 30 min class session on Sunday mornings, separate from the core content, and a mid-week session. Given the nature of the current climate, all mid-week Hebrew will take place online. Students will be able to choose from two options – either small group learning that meets with one of our Hebrew teachers for 60 minutes or 1:1 Hebrew tutoring for 30 minutes once per week.
Judaism in Action
4th Grade families are invited to join us for the inaugural year of the Mishpacha (family) Project. The Mishpacha Project is a new and innovative way for families to engage in Judaism together, as a family unit. This program will provide educational and social opportunities for families to build authentic relationships around Jewish education and identity building. In cohorts, families will engage in programming that focuses on Jewish ritual moments and Jewish values, focusing both on experiences within the Jewish community and at home. There will also be time for adults and students to engage in parallel learning, so that everyone has the opportunity to learn at the level most appropriate to them. The Mishpacha Project is an intergenerational program that is open to families with students of all ages.