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There are four components to our program that combine to create our fantastic 3rd-6th grade program, an experience of intensive learning, friendship-building, and meaning-making:

  • An exploration of the meaning of Jewish prayer during T’filah. Third - seventh graders stay for an extended T’filah in which they answer questions that push them to reflect on the meaning of prayers;

  • Hebrew Lab: individualized, self-paced instruction with Hebrew tutors and peers, focused on mastering decoding (reading) and prayer chanting;

  • Full-Grade learning on an essential component of Jewish literacy during Core. 

  • “Chug,” an experiential exploration of Jewish values and holidays using a whole-person approach. Students will explore the curriculum with specialists, ranging from cooking, performing and fine arts, arts and crafts, sports and nature, and engineering. Learning during this period is often with other students in the 3rd - 6th Grade JCAL Program. “Chug” is an elective program: children choose which specialty they wish to take for each unit.


Third Grade Curriculum

The Third Grade curriculum emphasizes developing students’ critical-thinking skills and moral fiber in a Jewish context. Students unpack texts from Torah (the 5 Books of Moses), learn to read Hebrew, prepare for the holidays, and explore middot (values) and mitzvot (good deeds/commandments).

Fourth Grade Curriculum

Fourth Grade continues the Jewish literacy focus, with an eye to preparing students for b’nai mitzvah, lifelong Jewish learning, and an ethical toolkit for life. Students learn prayers through T’filah and Hebrew; our stories and to question through Torah study; and Jewish values and holidays through “Chug.”

Fifth Grade Curriculum

The focus of fifth grade is deepening students’ Jewish roots and relationships while developing their capacity for questioning and evidence-based debate: through learning Jewish history and literature; t’filot (prayer) learning and Jewish values and holidays through “Chug.”

Sixth Grade Curriculum

The focus of sixth grade is deepening students’ Jewish roots and relationships while making sure students have the Jewish literacies that prepare them for the teen years and b’nai mitzvah. Topics covered include Israel, modern Jewish history, Jewish prayers and their meaning, and the middot (values) and mitzvot (good deeds/commandments) of Jewish holidays in “Chug.”

Click here to read grade-level learning benchmarks.

Hebrew Lab

In Hebrew Lab, students will learn to decode (first year) and chant the Shabbat morning and Shabbat evening prayers. We use an individualized program called Mitkadem that ensures each child moves at their own pace while mastering reading and chanting. The first day of Hebrew Lab is "Hebrew Training!" with whole-body exercises modeled after sports trainings to teach and refresh the Alef-Bet (Hebrew Alpha Bet). On subsequent days, students new to Hebrew will divide up into smaller groups to learn to read with Ramah 1, the first level in the Mitkadem Program. Returning students will begin with Ramah 4.

Hebrew Lab is 50 minutes. The first half hour or so students are grouped by the Ramah (booklet) they are currently working on, with the support of a Hebrew tutor. The remainder of Hebrew Lab students get to choose how they want to practice what they've learned. Stations include a quiet station, chanting station, art station, sensory/building station and a Hebrew games "station."

Hebrew Lab is designed so that if a student misses they can pick up where they left off, and if a student moves quickly through material, they can continue to advance or do the bonus learning about a prayer.

Please reach out to Rabbi Miriam with any questions,

Sun, February 5 2023 14 Sh'vat 5783