Religious School Curriculum

Joseph and Belle Braun Anshe Emet Religious School Curriculum

Our religious school is based on four pillars: Knowledge, Community, Flexibility, and Diversity.  We utilize a curriculum that builds and connects Jewish knowledge within and across grades.  Throughout the course of the year, we study sacred texts and traditions through a shared prism of Jewish values.

Values Units:
All our students study Jewish content related to Jewish values.  The whole school focuses on these values through the year:

-Hachnasat Orchim:Welcoming the Stranger, Sept-Oct
    Welcoming the stranger is a commandment repeated many times in the Torah, but how do we live
    welcoming as a value? 
-Gimilut Chasidim: Acts of Loving-Kindness, Nov
    What are traditional acts of loving-kindness?
-Tikkun Olam: Repairing the World, Dec-Jan
    What can we do to make the world a better place? 
-Tzedakah: Charity & Righteousness, Feb
    How does the tradition understand acts of giving as a responsibility?
-Honor, Respect, and Friendship, March
    How can we cultivate the social skills and social values that we learn to be good friends and good
    community members?
-Kol Israel Arevim ze B’zeh: All of Israel are Responsible for One Another, April
    What can we do to connect with diverse Jewish communities, make friends, and learn to value each other
    in more than abstract ways?

Curriculum Content:
In each grade, we focus on developmentally appropriate learning in eight content areas:

Sacred Text
We help to build our students’ connection to and love of the Torah, select prophets, historical books, megillot, and rabbinic text.  Multi-modal learning allows students to choose between traditional modes of study, art, drama, and other forms of creative expression, building curiosity around and passion for the texts.

Hebrew
Our students learn Hebrew in the context of meaningful prayer.  A love for Hebrew is developed in the lower grades through movement and song, progressing to increasing familiarity with the aleph-bet through multimodal learning.  Fluency and vocabulary are gained through interactions with sacred texts, in the context of an integrated curriculum.

Prayer, God, & Spirituality
Our school works to create an environment where students can develop a rich, personal relationship with prayer, God, and their sense of spirituality.  We encourage student discussion of tough moral and ethical questions, in the context of the Jewish tradition.  Students learn rituals, traditional prayers, and songs, as well as methods for spiritual seeking and advanced prayer leading skills in the upper grades.

The Jewish Calendar
From learning the symbols and foods of the holidays in the early grades, to engaging in historical and social analysis of holiday observance throughout the Diaspora and Israel in the upper grades, our students develop a rich appreciation of the Jewish calendar.  We love celebrating the holidays, and we are also invested in studying the intellectual, historical, traditional, and spiritual richness of the calendar.

Jewish History
Students at our school engage in Jewish History from a personal, familial, and global perspective.  As students grow they will learn about Jewish History from Mishna to modernity, with additional focuses on Biblical history, American Jewish history and our relationship to Israel, and the history of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust.

Israel
Developing an understanding of Israel’s history and culture is an important part of students’ developing relationships with Israel.  Our students’ education on the state of Israel provides a rich and nuanced backdrop for the development of advocacy skills in the upper grades, giving our young people the tools and the confidence they need to discuss Israel with their peers.

Mitzvot and Values
We explore mitzvot and values through study and action.  Our students work with synagogue committees to help actively serve our community through participation in projects like Team Yarok’s green initiatives, making baby meals, and engaging in tzedakah while building meaningful relationships with other kids in international Jewish communities.  Kashrut, prayer obligations, and Shabbat observance are also important elements of our curriculum, as are other ways the mitzvot tie to care of the self and care of others.

Contemporary Jewish Life
From lifecycle events to current events through a Jewish lens to contemporary Jewish communities around the world, our students learn about the richness of Jewish life today, as well as the meaningful ways our tradition helps to frame crucial events in each Jew’s life, from birth to death.

Curriculum Content by Grade:

Junior Kindergarten

Senior Kindergarten

First Grade

Second Grade

Third Grade

Fourth Grade

Fifth Grade

Sixth Grade

Seventh Grade

Eighth Grade