Rabbi Bernard S. Raskas Religious School
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Midat Hachodesh-Mitzvah of the Month
V’shinantem L’vanecha: Teach them diligently to your children
Every time I have the opportunity to stand on the Bima in our sanctuary, I stare at the stain glass windows and see the words V’shinantam L’vanecha. These words translate as “you shall teach these to your children”. These are referred to as the Mitzvot and this section comes from the first paragraph of the Shema in our liturgy and originally in Deuteronomy Chapter 6 in the Torah. During this time of year it is appropriate that we thank those with in our community who cherish this value and go further as teachers, aides, and tutors whom our young people can emulate. Please play a part in continuing to educate our young people and ask yourself: have you taught a child something today?
USY begins it's year off with a bang at Pinstripes! USYers rasied over $100 for
School and Special Shabbat ProgrammingTimes:
EDUCATION SUCCESS FOR YOUTH AT TEMPLE OF AARON
We are dedicated to providing Jewish education that will spark the love of learning and appreciation for the traditions of Judaism. It is our strong belief that Jewish Education is a lifelong process that starts in pre-school and continues through High School and beyond. In preparation for a lifetime of active synagogue participation our students study a variety of viewpoints and perspectives on important religious issues while always representing Conservative Judaism and its principles. The curriculum includes age appropriate instruction in Hebrew Prayer, Tanach (Hebrew Bible), other Jewish Texts, Israel, Holidays, God, and various other Judaic topics. Our curriculum presents topics at levels of increasing difficulty as a child progresses through each grade.
The Lower school curriculum is also integrated with music, tefillah, and art and incorporates meaningful family and grade level programs to enhance the classroom curriculum. Our Upper school curriculum is enriched by special projects including field trips, speakers, and interactive programs. This year we are continuing and enhancing our Family Education component of our curriculum.
Toddler, Pre-Kindergarten(Ganon), and Kindergarten (Gan)
We use these early years to introduce our students to the school and to making them comfortable in the synagogue and excited about Jewish learning. The curriculum emphasizes Jewish holidays and rituals, and introduces students to blessings and some prayers (tefillot). The curriculum is enhanced with lots of music, songs, art projects, & fun activities. Students also participate in special programming for our elementary grades and their families. These grades meet on Sundays only.
1st Grade (Kitah Alef)
The curriculum is based on the theme of discovering our wonderful Jewish traditions through Bible and holiday stories, exploring age appropriate concepts about God, a continuation of studying prayers
2ndGrade (Kitah Bet)
Second graders begin their formal study of Hebrew and Judaic education. Children now begin to participate twice a week in our program in preparation for understanding more in looking toward becoming a B’nai Mitzvah. Students continue to build upon the prayers (tefillot) from previous years. Our overall objective is to begin providing students with a love of the Siddur, Hebrew language, Tanach, Israel, Jewish ritual and a basic understanding of God. Students begin an in-depth exploration of holidays, an in depth look at Jewish symbols and the core concepts of Mitzvot. Second graders also enjoy art, music and participate in special school/family programs focused on building community. This year our 1st and 2nd grade classes will be combined as one class and will only meet on Sundays.
The third grade curriculum emphasizes God and spirituality through the continuing study of prayers (tefillot), holidays and rituals. Study of the Tanach is formally introduced, as is the history of Israel. Students continue their intense study of Hebrew to build on their decoding proficiency and Hebrew vocabulary in order to more thoroughly understand the meaning of prayers in the Siddur. Third graders also enjoy art, music and participate in special school/family programs focused on building community. 3rd grade students also have the opportunity to participate in a community-wide Shabbaton.
Students in fourth grade continue the study of prayer (tefillot). They continue learning key Siddur vocabulary and gain a further understanding of the content and rituals associated with these tefillot. They continue to work on writing Hebrew and continue learning how to chant the service to participate in Shabbat services. The fourth grade curriculum continues to explore the Tanach and more emphasis is placed on learning about Israel’s history, politics, commercial and cultural life. Forth graders also enjoy art, music and participate in special school/family programs focused on building community. 4th grade students also have the opportunity to participate in a community-wide Shabbaton.
5th Grade (Kitah Hey)
Fifth grade students begin the preparation of becoming a B’nai Mitzvah. Curriculum is focused on learning the Shabbat Shacharit Service during Sunday School classes Hebrew classes are designed to complement our program through challenging students to think critically about prayer meaning and discovering how to find personal meaning through prayer. Discussion of Jewish practice is also explored within the Jewish world, daily and holiday rituals and history. Study of the Tanach offers the opportunity to question and discuss biblical text through reviewing weekly Midrash and finding age appropriate meaning. In recognition of the intense B’nai Mitzvah training students will be completing for the next 3 years, students receive their own Siddur with a personally designed cover created by their parent(s). At the end of 5th grade, students successfully participating in our program receive their silver Kipah. We have added a Shabbat program component of a Junior Congregation Family Service and also give 5th and 6th graders an opportunity to lead services in the Main sanctuary. 5th grader students also have the opportunity to participate in a community-wide 5th/6th grade Shabbaton.
6th Grade (Kitah Vav)
Sixth grade students continue their preparation to become a B’nai Mitzvah. The Hebrew curriculum emphasizes the Shabbat Torah service and preparing students to understand the lessons to be learned in both the weekly Torah and Haftarah parshiot. Hebrew proficiency is mastered through key prayers in the Torah service & additional prayers in the Shabbat morning service; emphasis is also on understanding the meaning of these prayers and the traditions followed when davening. History of the Jewish people from Ancient Israel to 1880s America fosters discussion about the evolution of our Jewish heritage. Click here for Family tree template. During classes students learn the blessings before and after the Haftarah, Haftarah troupe, Torah blessings, and explore understanding the weekly parshiot chanted in both the Torah and Haftarah. Proficiency in Jewish Studies is rewarded with the honor of a Greenie Beanie at the end of the school year. We have added a Shabbat program component of a Junior Congregation Family Service and also give 5th and 6th graders an opportunity to lead services in the Main sanctuary. 6th grader students also have the opportunity to participate in a community-wide 5th/6th grade Shabbaton.
7th Grade (Kitah Zayin)
Being they are entrenched in studying to become a B’nai Mitzvah we gear our curriculum to complement that time of their lives. Throughout the year the students will gain an understanding of Midot and Mitzvot (values and commandments) within Judaism. There is also an emphasis on the connection between their Torah portion and community organizations through the Torah U’Mitzvot project. As students are in the midst of experiencing a Jewish Life Cycle event, students will learn about other key lifecycle events and the importance of passing on traditions from one generation to the next. On Wednesday evenings these students also have the opportunity to study with Rabbi Shavit-Lonstein, Rabbi Jeremy Fine, Hazzan Mitchell Kowitz, and Director of Education and Community Life Joshua Fineblum in a B’nai Mitzvah Seminar. They will also have a chance to choose from some electives including: Teen Choir, The Jewish Artisan, Jews in Sports, and Environmental Judaism. 7th graders will also have the chance to participate in the 7th/8th grade Shabbaton.
8th Grade Honors & Religious School (Kitah Chet)
The eighth grade curriculum guides students through Jewish roots and traditions that exist in spite of a history of sacrifices, sorrows, and struggles. Through the study of the Holocaust and Comparative Judaism students will better understand what it means to hold true to your beliefs and values and to attain knowledge that will help them in the future. 8th graders also participate in Leadership class and have an opportunity to be tutors in our B’nai Mitzvah program earning their points toward Confirmation. More information about the point system can be found later in this packet. In order to be a tutor in our program, 8th-10th graders must be involved in a two day a week program. During Wednesday Honors students will have the chance to choose from many different electives including: They will also have a chance to choose from some electives including: Teen Choir, The Jewish Artisan, Jews in Sports, and Environmental Judaism. 8th graders will also have the chance to participate in the 7th/8th grade Shabbaton.
9th Grade Honors & Religious School (Kitah Tet)
As 9th graders are developing into adults, students explore their own personal values and define how to live a Jewish life at home, school, Temple of Aaron, and in the community at large. Our focus on Sundays is Social Action and furthering our knowledge of Tzedakah and Gimilut Chasadim through action, Comparative Religion, and Text Messaging: Ancient Sources with a Modern Twist. 8th-10th graders in our school are also give the opportunity to be tutors in our B’nai Mitzvah program. In order to be a tutor in our program, 8th-10th graders must be involved in a two day a week program. During Wednesday classes students will have the chance to choose from many different electives including: Bubby’s Kitchen, Teen Choir, The Jewish Artisan, Jews in Sports, and Environmental Judaism.
10th Grade Honors and Confirmation (Nachshonim)
Rabbi Shavit-Lonstein, Charlie Goodman, Ernie Gulner, special classes with Director of Education & Community Life Joshua Fineblum, and Confirmation Coordinator Lindsay Berg, focus on providing students with a broad understanding of the value of studying/analyzing ancient texts, and learning about the varying Jewish viewpoints. The highlight of the year is a trip to NYC where students experience the origins of American Jewry. 8th-10th graders in our school are also given the opportunity to be tutors in our B’nai Mitzvah program. In order to be a tutor in our program, 8th-10th graders must be involved in a two day a week program. During Wednesday Honors students will have the chance to choose from many different electives including: Bubby’s Kitchen, Teen Choir, The Jewish Artisan, Jews in Sports, and Environmental Judaism. The Confirmation service and ceremony will take place during Erev Shavuot and is the culmination of their education to this point. In 11th and 12th grade we give students the opportunity to continue their education through our Jr/Sr Seminar.