Hebrew School Curriculum
Hebrew School is a five-year exploration of prayer for students in 3rd-7th grade. Our curriculum is oriented to making every child comfortable in the synagogue. This means developing a Hebrew "toolbox" in order to access the important texts of our tradition. This program prepares students for B’nei Mitzvah and serves as a foundation for a lifetime of Jewish practice and engagement. We offer two sessions on Wednesdays (4:30-6:30 p.m. and 6:00-8:00 p.m.) to accommodate family schedules.
T’filah (Prayer Service)
The highlight of Hebrew School each week is T’fillah in the Sanctuary. These services are a living laboratory, in which students explore the Hebrew prayers students are learning in class and bring the prayers to life. Students lead parts of these interactive and creative services. B’nei Mitzvah students read Torah to a community of their peers the week of their Bar or Bat Mitzvah. Parents are also encouraged to attend.
Overview: The goal of Shir Tikvah’s Hebrew curriculum is fluent siddur reading and an understanding of the key prayers in the Saturday morning service; prayers, blessings, and songs for home observance of Shabbat and the holidays; and selections from the Friday evening service.
When students have completed Hebrew School, they will be able to:
- Read the prayers in the siddur fluently
- Understand and translate key words and roots
- Discuss the theme of each prayer in English
- Connect key prayers to Jewish values and concepts
- Identify prayers that come from the Torah (ex: Mi Chamocha is the Song of the Sea from the Exodus story)
- Make connections between related prayers (ex: Yotzer Or is the prayer for the morning because it is about creating light, while Ma’ariv Aravim is in the evening service because it is about bringing on the dusk
- Place prayers in the order in which they appear in the service
- Participate in the rituals and ceremonies of Jewish life and understand traditions connected with the service (ex: the word Amidah includes the root “to stand” and therefore it is traditional to stand for this prayer during the service)
- Feel a sense of comfort and familiarity in the synagogue and the sanctuary
- Feel a sense of connection to Shir Tikvah and their Hebrew School Community