Religious School Education Philosophy and Curriculum
“The world stands on three things: On Torah (Study), on Avodah (Worship) and on Gemilut Chasadim”
(Deeds of Loving Kindness). -Pirkei Avot 1:2
The Congregation L’Dor V’Dor Religious School incorporates not only learning about these three core Jewish principles but also experiencing them. Most important we believe that an enjoyable Jewish learning experience lights the spark for future Jewish commitment.
The goal of the Religious School is to provide a strong foundation upon which our children can become mature and knowledgeable Jews, instilling in them a sense of pride in their Jewish heritage, language and traditions in a warm, nurturing and rewarding environment. The Religious School of Congregation L’Dor V’Dor is designed to teach children the skills that they need, to challenge students to discover their relationship with God, and to open their hearts to a love for and commitment to Judaism and Israel. We hope to emphasize the fundamental principles of Torah (study,) Avodah (worship,) and Gemilut Chasadim (deeds of loving kindness). We seek to inspire our children to put these principles into action, by respecting each other and assuming personal roles in acts of Tzedakah (righteous giving) and Tikkun Olam (social action.)
At the Congregation L’Dor V’Dor Religious School, we believe that Jewish education is a lifelong endeavor. We offer classes for students from Kindergarten through the 10th Grade. Our curriculum provides the foundation for many exceptional learning opportunities available to adults and families on their lifelong Jewish journeys.
We provide our students with a high-quality program of study taught by a dedicated, professional staff. Through creative learning experiences and innovative programming, we encourage our students to explore what it means to be Jewish in a warm and supportive environment.
Religious School Curriculum
Our Religious School Program incorporates both a Hebrew and a Judaic component for each grade. In Hebrew, our goal is for our students to be comfortable with decoding and reading Hebrew. We want them to be able to read Hebrew words, understand basic Hebrew vocabulary and gain the confidence to begin reading and connecting to Jewish prayer. Our younger grades gain knowledge through the use of stories, visualization of characters through movement, and colorful pictures that will help them to learn and remember their letters and vowels. The children in the upper grades will have the opportunity to develop a more self-aware, reading fluency, which will benefit them as they grow towards b’nai mitzvah age. They will develop this through reinforcement of reading utilizing the same modern techniques for new readers, which will be encouraging and fun. For a modern twist, students will have the opportunity to enjoy reinforcing their Hebrew reading skills through our Religious School Study Center website. This provides an interactive style of Hebrew and prayer reinforcement.
The Judaic component includes the study of Torah, History, Jewish Life and Culture, Israel and Prayer. In each grade, Jewish values and ethics are identified, taught and incorporated into the curriculum. Students learn about the concepts of Mitzvot (commandments), Tzedakah (righteous giving) and Gemilut Chasadim (acts of kindness). Jewish values such as Derech Eretz (respectful behavior) and not speaking Lashon Hara (hurtful words) are an integral part of each class.
The curriculum also centers on the rhythm of Jewish life and Jewish holiday celebrations. Students study and experience the rituals, blessings and customs of our Jewish holidays appropriate to their grade level. They appreciate and look forward to the annual return of holidays by focusing on a different aspect of the holidays each year.
Our curriculum builds on what students have studied in previous years and introduces new concepts appropriate to their cognitive development. To keep students focused and involved, teaching methodologies includes classroom discussions and study, individual and group learning experiences, experiential learning through Prayer Yoga with the Cantor, Jewish Cooking, craft making, and Ask (challenge) the Rabbi questions and discussions,