Sign In Forgot Password

LEARN > Religious School (K-7) > Curriculum

K/1st 2nd/3rd 4th/5th
6th 7th Hebrew/Tfillah

Grades K & 1
Holidays: Celebrate Being Jewish

Grades K & 1 focus on Jewish holidays and how we celebrate being Jewish. Our classrooms are full of songs, art, play, and joy. Utilizing a unique approach to learning called Torah Play, Temple Isaiah fosters a strong sense of wonder and exploration in our youngest learners.

Students also begin learning Hebrew using an approach called Hebrew Through Movement, which helps them get used to hearing Hebrew words and associating words with body movements. As well, students learn basic letter recognition and Jewish life vocabulary.

Grown-ups are warmly invited to join their students for t’fillah which occurs during the final 25 minutes of the religious school day (both sessions) where we pray, sing, and enjoy community time with our Grades K - 3 community.

On five Sundays during the year, students and their grown-ups come together for Mishpacha: Family Together mornings (first session only) where we learn and explore together, students and grown-ups.

back to top

Grades 2 & 3
Torah: My People’s Stories

Our 2nd and 3rd grade students take a deep dive into the Torah and its stories throughout the books of Genesis and Exodus. They learn about Creation, Noah, the Tower of Babel, Abraham and Sarah, Moses and Miriam and more! Utilizing the Torah Play method (adapted from Godly Play), students begin to understand the Torah stories in their own ways bringing their creative selves to the stories of the Jewish people. 2nd and 3rd graders also learn about the cycle of Jewish time and celebrate the holidays in real time with their classroom communities.

Our 2nd grade family programs focus on the cycle of Jewish time and on Jewish names and how they link us to the past, present, and future. Our 3rd grade family programs include a scavenger hunt through the prayer book (3rd graders receive their own special prayer book to use at religious school) and the 3rd grade kallah, an overnight Shabbat experience for 3rd graders and the whole family. The 3rd grade kallah is often considered one of the most memorable and impactful parts of the Temple Isaiah religious school experience.

In addition to the Sunday experience, the 3rd grade students also attend religious school on Wednesday afternoons from 4 PM - 5:30 PM, where they get to choose an elective where they continue the curricular learning in a modality of their choice including art, drama, and games.

Our 2nd and 3rd grade students participate in our weekly, musical t’fillah (prayer/communal worship) which occurs during the final 25 minutes of the religious school day (both sessions) where we pray, sing, and enjoy community time with our Grades K - 3 community. 3rd graders also participate in t’fillah on Wednesday afternoons with our Grades 3 - 5 community. Grown-ups are warmly invited to join their students for t’fillah.

back to top

Grades 4 & 5
The Jewish People: Heroes, Trailblazers & Israel

Our 4th and 5th grade students extend their Jewish learning to begin to think about the Jewish people outside of their own communities. Specifically, 4th graders learn about Jewish heroes and trailblazers and the Jewish values that animate their lives. 5th graders explore Israel - the land, the state, and the people - as well as the world Jewish experience. Our 4th and 5th graders begin to see themselves as part of a larger web of Jewish life that extends beyond their own lives and our Temple Isaiah community.

In addition to the Sunday experience, the 4th and 5th grade students also attend religious school on Wednesday afternoons from 4 PM - 5:30 PM, where they get to choose an elective where they continue the curricular learning in a modality of their choice including art, drama, and games. 5th graders also do “Hebrew boot camp” where they work 1:1 with a teacher to learn how to decode and read Hebrew.

Our 4th grade families participate in a fall family program exploring heroes and trailblazers in our own lives using the technique of collage artist Hanoch Piven. In the spring, they gather to think about Moses and Miriam through the lens of Jewish heroes just in time for the Passover seder! Our 5th graders have a day-long retreat on Veteran’s Day where we spend the day learning about Jewish veterans, participating in mitzvah projects in support of veterans, and learning about kibbutz and early pioneer life in Israel through games, dance, food, and community! In the spring, 5th grade families celebrate Passover with a Creative Seder in which they are encouraged to interpret parts of the seder through a creative technique of their choice including arts, drama, science, and more!

Our 4th and 5th grade students participate in our weekly, musical t’fillah (prayer/communal worship) which occurs during the final 25 minutes of the religious school day (both sessions) where we pray, sing, and enjoy community time with our Grades 4 - 6 community. 4th and 5th graders also participate in t’fillah on Wednesday afternoons with our Grades 3 - 5 community. Grown-ups are warmly invited to join their students for t’fillah.

back to top

Grade 6
My Jewish Identity: Count Me In

Our 6th grade students focus on the development of their personal Jewish identity and what it means to be counted on as an emerging Jewish adult. The curriculum focuses on a deep dive into Jewish values, prayer fluency and meaning, and Torah learning.

On Sundays, 6th graders focus on Jewish values including Teshuvah (owning our mistakes), B’Tzelem Elohim (being created in the image of God), and Gevurah (inner strength). They explore these relevant ideas from a pre-teen perspective using engaging tools like videos, news segments, and team building activities.

Prayer fluency and meaning are also key components of 6th grade. Students study 1:1 with a prayer tutor to master reading and chanting. Prayer meaning is explored in the classroom on Wednesdays through arts and discussion based learning. T'fillah (prayer/communal worship) is also a regular part of the 6th grade experience. On Sundays, 6th graders join the 4th and 5th graders for a t’fillah lab where students have a chance to practice prayer skills and be prayer leaders for their peers. On Wednesdays, 6th and 7th graders join together for t’fillah and are encouraged to sign up to lead prayers and practice their t’fillah skills.

6th graders also learn how to access, explore, and navigate the Torah and Hebrew Bible, as well as how to write a d’var Torah (an insight into the weekly Torah portion).

6th graders and their families participate in five B’Mitzvah workshops throughout the year to explore what it means to become B’Mitzvah. One highlight of the B’Mitzvah program is the chance for 6th graders and their parents to learn Torah together and to help select the portion of Torah they will chant at the B’Mitzvah ceremony. This process culminates in a special 6th grade Torah Art Project where students, with the guidance of an arts educator, explore their Torah portion with visual art. These art pieces are displayed at Temple Isaiah for our community to enjoy.

6th graders participate in a 6th grade weekend retreat where they strengthen their bonds through team building and leadership activities and lead a special 6th grade Shabbat service where each 6th grader is invited to chant a line of Torah.

back to top

Grade 7
Tikkun Olam: My Role in Repairing the World

7th grade is a busy year for our students! Many of them are preparing to become B’Mitzvah and working on personal Mitzvah projects. We use our 7th grade community time to focus on Tikkun Olam (repairing the world). This curriculum, which has three rotations, strengthens the idea that we are all responsible for one another and that each of us has a personal role in this holy work.

In our first unit, we consider housing insecurity from a Jewish perspective. 7th graders learn about the factors that contribute to housing insecurity, how the issue impacts our community, and they get to know organizations in the Boston areas that are addressing the issue. We bring in guest speakers who have experienced homelessness and housing insecurity so that students may hear directly from those impacted greatest by this issue. We also participate in a group mitzvah project creating Kitchen Starter Sets for Household Goods and take a field trip to Household Goods to learn more about the organization and its mission. The 7th graders explore what they can do to address this issue as citizens and Jews.

In our second unit, we look at Jewish values around honoring our elders. The 7th graders learn about issues facing today’s aging population and hear from guest speakers who work with the aging Jewish population. We participate in a mitzvah project in which the students make cards for homebound seniors and we visit a retirement home to meet with and hear about the unique challenges of growing older. The seniors love seeing and meeting our youth!

In our third unit, we consider Jewish values on equity and inclusion. The 7th grade students study Jewish texts on the topic, meet with individuals with disabilities and their families, learn from these families who have lived experience with inclusion, and learn from a guest speaker about equity in the community. This unit culminates in a desk building project for Volunteer Ventures building desks for students in need. Our entire 7th grade also participates in the Boston Winter Walk for Homelessness.

Finally, our year culminates in the students creating a tzedakah fair to teach the younger grades about various organizations and to help them distribute the tzedakah they collected throughout the year.

7th Grade students also participate in weekly t’fillah (prayer/communal worship) on Wednesdays and are real-time b’mitzvah role models to our 6th grade students.

back to top

Hebrew & T'fillah

Hebrew learning is integral to everything we do at Temple Isaiah Religious School. Temple Isaiah is a leader in the #OnwardHebrew movement (https://www.onwardhebrew.org), an innovative, research-based, and trailblazing Hebrew and prayer curriculum. Hebrew is integrated into everything we do and our approach to Hebrew education is fun while also aligned with how children learn language naturally. Please visit our Temple Isaiah T’fillah CD to hear songs and prayers used regularly at Temple Isaiah.

Our Hebrew program goals include:

- Feeling confident in Hebrew skills, knowledge, and tools that support this goal
- Developing a love of and connection to the Hebrew language and Jewish prayer
- Recognizing the letters and vowels of the Hebrew alphabet
- Decoding and reading simple Hebrew
- Responding to basic commands in Hebrew
- Knowing important Jewish words and phrases in Hebrew (what we call “Jewish Life Vocabulary”)
- Being able to describe the structure and flow of a service and explain the themes of key prayers
- Reciting key prayers at synagogue speed with no more than a few mistakes (for example: Shema, V’ahavta, Avot v’Imahot)
- Participating in a Jewish service and rituals (for example: follow along in a prayer book, know when to sit and stand, sing along)

 

The Temple Isaiah Hebrew Program includes four major components. Click here (coming soon!) to learn more about these four components and how they are integrated into the curriculum at each grade level.

1. Jewish Life Vocabulary
2. Hebrew Through Movement
3. T’fillah (prayer/communal worship)
4. 1:1 Hebrew Learning

 

back to top

Fri, July 19 2024 13 Tammuz 5784