Morah Rachel Harrison Rhodes
Students will explore selected stories in the book of Beresheet/Genesis guided by these questions: Who are the members of our Torah family? What do we learn from our Torah family about how to treat each other and the world? The Torah curriculum includes connections to Hebrew, prayers, holidays, mitzvot (laws), and middot (values). Torah is learned and experienced through children's literature, art, music, drama, and social action activities.
Chagim/Holidays and Shabbat:
We use BJL Beginnings pamphlets with family learning components.
Through engaging, experiential, and age-appropriate activities, students will explore the meaning of the Jewish holidays, including their rituals, mitzvot and the way they are celebrated in Israel. Students will share how their families celebrate Jewish holidays to enrich the classroom learning.
Spirituality and Tefillah/Prayer:
Kitah Alef will participate in tefillah with the school and during their music time. They will explore the synagogue and what makes it a special place. During snack time the students will practice reciting blessings over different foods. Students will sing, understand the meaning of, and make a personal connection to the following prayers: Modeh Ani, Mah Tovu, Baruch Sheamar, Shma, Oseh Shalom. They will begin to master the Chanukah candle blessings and the 4 Questions, as well as identify the concepts of mitzvot and tzedakah and how they apply to students’ lives.
Click here to listen to Shabbat and holiday prayers and songs.
Students will learn to identify Hebrew letters and vowels and master Hebrew sight words in connection with their study of tefillah, Torah, holidays, and music. Students will hear stories which bring the letters to life and aid in memory retention. Hebrew letters are taught with a multi-sensory approach—speaking, singing, writing, kinesthetic activities such as Alef-Bet Yoga, stories about the letters, and art projects.
Through our Chaverim (Buddies) program, students will have many opportunities to build connections with students in Torah Lataf and Kitah Dallet.
Gemilut Chasadim/Acts of Loving Kindness
As part of our school wide Gemilut Chasadim program, Kitah Alef will explore the value of Hospitality, Hakhnasat Orchim. They will use a real tent to act out the Torah story of Abraham and Sarah welcoming guests. Students will explore how each Jewish holiday incorporates hospitality. Children’s literature and stories from the students’ families will also provide examples of hospitality and inspire their own acts of hospitality. They will host Torah Lataf students for an activity that Alef students prepare.
Kitah Alef students will join the Kindergarteners for music. The music curriculum includes Shabbat morning tefillot, holiday songs, Israeli songs, and traditional Jewish songs.
Israel is incorported into the first grade Torah and holidays curriculum.