Third Grade Curriculum

Overall Theme

The Jewish Life Cycle

Texts Used

  • Journey Through A Lifetime (Behrman House Publishers)
  • Shalom Alef Bet! (Behrman House Publishers)
  • Trade books about holidays

Highlights

The related Jewish rites include a brit and baby naming, bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah (or b’nai mitzvah), a wedding and a get (divorce). Each of the aforementioned events are staged for the benefit of the parents and/or the CJEG community. Death is discussed when the appropriate time arises; inevitably a student mentions a death in the family or their attendance at a funeral or unveiling.

The Jewish calendar is compared to the calendar that the children use daily. Each child also maintains a “Jewish Words Dictionary” throughout the year, in which s/he writes all Hebrew, Yiddish and words relating to Judaism which arise. Each week before snack, we say the blessings over the candles, the Kiddush and Motzi. CDs are played during the year, including songs from Fiddler on the Roof and Circle of Life from The Lion King.

There are many projects, games and puzzles all year long.

Project Examples

  • Rosh Hashanah – calendar
  • Yom Kippor – Book of Life
  • Sukkot – fruit mobile
  • Simchat Torah – Torahs
  • Tu B’Shevat – food tasting and planting
  • Purim – Shaloch Manot baskets
  • Passover – Seder plates
  • Baby naming and Brit – name origins, invitations
  • B’nai Mitzvah – invitations, yarmulkes
  • edding – invitations, chuppah

 
Back to Top
 

Fourth Grade Curriculum

Overall Theme

Jewish Heroes

Texts Used

  • Mystery of the Coins, And God Cried Too
  • Derech Binah: The Hebrew Primer (Behrman House Publishers)

Highlights

The concept of “What is a hero, who is a hero, why are heroes so important?” is a year-long topic of study and discussion. There are class debates among the students about the characteristics of a hero and specific heroes. Role models such as Moses, Noah, Abraham, and Joseph, as well as Holocaust survivors and more modern heroes are studied. As a culminating project, the students discuss what they have learned about themselves during the school year, what they plan to improve upon, and present their choice of a hero at the moving ahead ceremony.

The holiday customs and symbols are also reviewed in an age-appropriate way.

Project Examples

  • Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippor – mitzvah quilt
  • Sukkot – presentation of four seasons
  • Chanukah – handcrafted menorah project

 
Back to Top
 

Fifth Grade Curriculum

Overall Theme

Jewish Values

Texts Used

  • A Kid’s Mensch Handbook (Behrman House Publishers)
  • Derech Binah: The Hebrew Primer (Behrman House Publishers)

Highlights

As youngsters on the cusp of adolescence, 5th graders are well situated to examine their values. As a class, we will focus on 15 different Jewish values. We will begin by examining values that focus on ourselves as individuals, and work through values whose focus is on our relationships with our friends and family, and finally we will explore the values regarding our community and the world at large. We will study these values, learn their meanings, and decide how we can apply these values to our own lives. We hope to tie these values to the appropriate holiday celebrations that we will participate in with all of CJEG throughout the year.

Topics include

Me

  • Shmirat Habriyut: Watching Your Health
  • Talmud Torah: Learning
  • Nedarim: Keeping Commitments
  • Shmirat Halashon: Watching What You Say

My Familiy and Friends

  • Shalom Bayit/Kibbud Av Vem: Peace in the House/Honoring Parents
  • Hacnast Orchim: Welcoming Guests
  • Dibbuk Haverim: Joining of Friends
  • Lo Takem: Don’t Take Revenge
  • To Tachmod: Don’t Covet/Be Jealous

My Community and World

  • Tzar Baalei Chaim: Treatment of Animals
  • Viahavta Larecha Kmocha: Love Your Neighbor As Yourself
  • Lev Tov/Tzedakah: Generosity/Giving Charity
  • Bal Tashchit: Not Wasting
  • Bikur Holim: Visiting the Sick
  • Tikkun Olam: Repairing the World

General Topics

  • The 39 avoth melacha (rules) of Shabbat
    • Explanation of Shabbat going back tothe building of the temple.
    • What can we or can’t we do on Shabbat.
    • Discussion about applying the 39 rules to modern life.
  • Shabbat Shira – “Shabbat of Song” which falls on Tu B’Shevat.
  • All of the Jewish holidays are discussed and traditional customs and symbols are reviewed at an age-appropriate level as they occur throughout the year.

 
Back to Top
 

Sixth Grade Curriculum

Overall Theme

History and Survival of Judaism and Jewish Culture

Texts Used

  • Jewish Literacy
  • Judaism for Dummies
  • Children’s Bible
  • What Shall I Do?
  • Torah.org

Highlights

The 6th grade curriculum begins with asking the class what they would like to learn during the school year, and the class effectively designs their curriculum. The curriculum is viewed through the lens of the history and survival of Jewish culture, and how that history and culture informs our behavior in the modern world.

Topics include

  • Jewish expulsion and diaspora
  • Spanish Inquisition
  • Comparative religion
  • Jewish writers
  • The Holocaust
  • Yiddish expressions
  • Being Kosher
  • History of Israel
  • Holiday customs and symbols (the 6th grade performs original skits/raps/songs for most holidays)
  • Jews and the Civil Rights Movement

 
Back to Top
 

Seventh Grade Curriculum

Overall Theme

Jewish Values

Texts Used

  • Basic Judaism For Young People Choosing to be Chosen

Highlights

The holiday customs and symbols are also reviewed in an age-appropriate way. Students take on the role of facilitators at school holiday celebrations, and lead the entire assembly in the recitation of the appropriate prayers.

In the spring, the class is encouraged to collaborate in selecting (and sometimes writing or adapting) a play or appropriate presentation for the graduation ceremony held in May. The graduates are also asked to write a short biographical essay for the yearbook.

Topics include

  • Emunah – trust and trust exercises
  • Emmet – truth and truth exercises
  • Kavanah – sharing of special interests
  • Tikkun Olam -making the world better
  • Intergenerational discussion of values and ideas – parents are invited
  • Web of Sin Day – special activity for Yom Kippur
  • Simchat Torah demonstration – students share what their Torah portions are about
  • Yetser Hara – the good and evil in us all
  • Justice – tempered with mercy
  • Being Jewish at Christmas – special issues for mixed families
  • Defining Judaism – through process of elimination