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Our K-6th graders participate in activities in the following 6 areas:
- Jewish Literacy
- Life Cycle
- Jewish Values
Our curriculum is designed for each student to build a connection to each of these subject areas as they develop in their own understanding of the world and their community. The K-6 curriculum is further enhanced by a Modern Hebrew curriculum called “Hebrew through Movement,” an opportunity for students to learn Modern Hebrew vocabulary through active participation.
This curriculum is based on the educational theory of TPR – Total Physical Response. Our hope is that as our students are exposed to the sounds of Hebrew that when they begin to decode Hebrew in preparation for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah that they are already familiar with the sounds of the Hebrew language. Students therefore begin their connection to Hebrew as a modern , living, and vibrant language.
K-6th grade students are also fortunate to build a connection to Jewish music through song sessions connected to our curriculum with our local Camp Harlam Songleader. We are excited to add this to our curriculum this year!
7th grade curriculum will focus on building a strong Jewish identity during this formative year. First period students will engage in a curriculum exploring Jewish ethics. Students will be presented with ethical dilemmas that they might face in their everyday lives and be asked to study and react to the Jewish response. 2nd period students will participate in a curriculum that focuses on what it all means to them – prayer, God, values, and other important formative concepts and how they can incorporate these concepts into their Jewish identity as they move past their bar/bat mitzvah.
After a student becomes a bar/bat mitzvah, 8th grade students will:
- Focus on Jews who are doing good in the world in a class called “The Strength of the Jews.” Jews in our community, our state, our country, and around the world are making a difference through acts of Tikkun Olam.
- Explore the impact of these individuals and their commitment to doing good which will culminate in a project that represents their contribution to society.
- Finish the first semester with a strong sense of Jewish pride and positive examples of what Jews are doing in the world
- In-depth study of the Holocaust. An exploration of the events leading up to the Holocaust will hopefully shed light for our students about being upstanders in their communities rather than bystanders. The lessons of spiritual and physical resistance during this dark time will provide examples of how a strong will and dedication to one’s faith and religion can provide important lessons to shaping a young person’s identity.
- Culminate with a trip to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC.
9th graders will spend their first semester learning, studying, and participating in a Comparative Judaism experience. Students will complete this course with:
- An understanding that there is an ideological background to each movement and a sense for the response of each movement to major topics of importance such as God, Torah, and Israel
- Engage in conversation about how INFORMED CHOICE is at the core of being a Reform Jew
- Explore the place of Israel in their lives and begin to develop a more adult approach to the concept of a Jewish homeland
- Engage in conversation about Modern Israel and explore what Israel faces in the media. Our goal is that our students can develop skills to become critical consumers of media. Students will be able to make personal connections to Israeli students of similar age through technology.
Our 10th grade Confirmation class will be a 3-part experience. Students will participate in Shalshelet, the community high school program held on Monday evenings 2x/month. Each class is free-standing, addressing important Jewish subjects and concepts. The 10th graders will be able to connect to their greater Jewish community and other Jewish teenagers through their participation in this program. The second part will consist of important conversations with the Rabbi about what it means to be a Jews in the modern world. The third part will be an individual project/portfolio to be presented in order to complete the Confirmation experience. The project will be individually initiated based on a subject that is importance to the Confirm and and developed in partnership with the Director of Education.
Grade 11 and 12
11th and 12th graders are encouraged to continue their Jewish education in partnership with the Shalshelet Program. Please visit their website at http://www.bethelallentown.org/Education/Shalshelet-10th-11th-12th-grades-40.cfm for more information and to register for this important experience.