Religious School

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Instructional Objectives

As noted above our curriculum is divided into a number of over-arching categories:

  • Torah & Mitzvot – focusing on Biblical texts and mitzvah practice
  • Israel – its current culture(s) and history; Hebrew
  • Hebrew language as it relates to liturgy and synagogue participation
  • Jewish Time – holidays and calendar
  • Jewish History – rabbinic period, emigration, Holocaust studies (5th grade and up)

In each grade level there are varying levels of emphasis on each subject area. Each grade level also completes at least one craft project – a piece of usable Judaica, and makes at least one trip off-campus for enrichment.

Our curriculum is “spiraled” and therefore students will touch on a subject more than once in their career at TIRS. As a subject is addressed in succeeding years new materials will be layered onto those that were previously studied.

Torah & Mitzvot

By looking at Biblical stories students learn about and practice the performance of a vast number of mitzvoth, commandments. These are divided into two broad categories of Mitzvot of a practical nature and Mitzvot that we often think of as ethical or having social impact.

The latter category includes:

  • Tsedaka – giving charity and doing righteousness
  • Derekh Eretz – having good manners and proper behavior
  • Kibud Av Va'Em – honoring and respect parents and elders
  • Caring for Animals – avoiding causing distress or waste
  • Tikkun Olam – the general category of leaving the world better than one found it
  • Shalom Bayit – create peace in the home, or more generally, wherever one spends time in a community
  • Hachnassat Orchim – inviting and hosting unexpected guests
  • Shmirat haLashon – using appropriate speech and avoiding slander or hurtful language
  • Seeking Forgiveness – apologizing and asking for absolution
  • Kavod HaBeriah – honoring the planet and the environment
  • Kavod HaBeriot – honoring all people
  • Bikkur Cholim – visiting the sick
  • Nichum Availim – comforting mourners

In terms of practical mitzvot students will have a broad experience with Jewish rituals as they relate to Jewish holidays, prayer and synagogue life. Students will also encounter recitation of blessings, kashrut, Passover, etc.

Israel

Israel education at our Religious School focuses on forging a bond between our children and the Land and residents of Israel. To that end we celebrate the State of Israel in various ways and educated children to differences and similarities between our Diaspora Jewish cultures and those of Israel.

Major points of reference include:

  • Hebrew is the Language of Israel
  • Locate Israel and major regions of Israel on a Map
  • Life in Israel/America
  • Israeli Folk Dancing
  • Recognize and learning to sing haTikvah
  • Familiarity with Declaration of Independence of Israel

While our Hebrew program’s primary focus is synagogue life and prayer students also learn hundreds of words with practical application in Modern Hebrew.

Jewish Time

The most fundamental binding force in the Jewish world is our communal adherence to an ancient calendar of Shabbatot and Hagim, Sabbaths and Holidays. The study of those holidays really drives our program.

We understand that it is impossible to focus on every Jewish holiday every year and therefore we have a schedule that emphasizes different holidays at different times throughout the curriculum.

The chart below is a basic rendering of when we Introduce, Focus, Review, or create Awareness about particular holidays and commemorations.

Gan

Aleph

Bet

Gimel

Dalet

Hay

Vav

Zayin

Shabbat

F

A

A

R

F

R

R

A

Rosh Chodesh

 

 

A

A

A

A

F

F

Rosh Hashana

I

F

A

F

F

R

R

A

Yom Kippur

I

F

A

F

F

R

R

A

Sukkot

I

A

F

F

F

R

R

A

Shmini Atzeret

 

 

 

 

I

R

R

R

Simchat Torah

I

A

A

F

F

F

R

A

Chanukah

F

A

A

R

R

R

R

F

Tu BiShvat

I

A

F

R

F

R

R

A

Purim

I

A

A

R

R

R

R

F

Pesach

F

F

R

F

R

F

F

A

Yom HaShoah

 

 

 

 

 

A

R

F

Yom HaZikaron

 

 

 

 

 

A

R

F

Yom HaAtzma'ut

I

A

A

R

R

R

R

F

Lag BaOmer

 

 

 

 

 

F

R

A

Yom Yerushalayim

I

A

A

R

R

F

R

F

Shavuot

I

A

F

A

R

F

R

A

Tish'a B'Av

 

 

 

 

 

I

F

F

Tu B'Av

 

 

 

 

 

F

F

 

Jewish History

We are an ancient people living in a modern time and all of our holidays, our language, our rituals and our stories are products of our history. With this in mind we add the study of history to almost all of classroom experiences: the study of Israel, holidays, language, etc.

Students in the higher grades have a more intensive experience of studying history as the delve more deeply into historical European Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust as well as the formation of the modern State of Israel.