Gimmel and Dalet
Third and Fourth graders master Hebrew script writing, expand their Hebrew vocabulary. They learn basic grammatical rules, distinguishing singular and plural, masculine and feminine and becoming more confident in speaking Hebrew. Students learn about each of the stories from the book of Genesis and Exodus in third grade and continue learning about the Judges and Prophets from Tanakh. They delve into these stories from many perspectives through discussion, debate, artwork and drama. They learn about tthe rites and rituals of a Jewish life cycle. They learn how to bring holiness into their everyday life and build a vocabulary to talk about G-d. They learn the prayers of the amidah and the closing prayers of every service. Students learn Shabbat and holiday music.
Fifth graders continue to build their Hebrew speaking, reading and comprehension skills using more sophisticated stories. They improve their grammar and build their vocabulary of Hebrew words. Fifth graders master the prayers of the Torah service. Students actively participate in Shabbat prayer and begin to take leadership roles. Students learn about first 3 millennia of Jewish life and history noting the greatest contributions and heroes as well as the challenges and conflicts. They create artwork and sing songs based on the teachings of the most respected sages, and learn about the relationship between Torah, Midrash, Talmud and other formative Jewish literature.
Sixth graders polish their Hebrew speaking, reading and comprehension. They learn how to decline verbs of several binyanim (categories), and begin to master past and future tenses. They learn how to chant the Haftarah trope as they move closer to leading their B'nai Mitzvah. Students learn about Jewish identity in the 20th and 21st century. They consider why Jews at the end of the 19th century needed a homeland, study the early years of Jewish nation-building in Palestine and the creation of the Israeli state. They learn about the massive immigration to the United States from Eastern Europe and the incredible contributions Jews made to American society. Students discuss the difficulties and conflicts of modern Israel as well as its extraordinary achievements. Students also learn about the roadblocks American Jews have overcome, the successes and failures of Jews in America since World War II and how Jewish life came to be what it is today.
Seventh graders polish their Hebrew speaking and comprehension. They learn useful vocabulary they will need when they visit Israel. Students will learn about the Holocaust. They will learn about propaganda and dehumanization techniques and compare them to those used today. Students will learn about Students will learn about Final Solution and its engines, about Righteous Gentiles and the many forms of resistance waged against the Nazis. They will explore post-holocaust mourning and memorialization and how to use our knowledge to protect ourselves and other vulnerable minorities.
Students will also explore contemporary ethical conundrums, learn to express their points of view more articulately, listen to and respect other perspectives, and hone their debate skills.