Welcome to Sixth Grade Hebrew at Or Chadash Religious School!
Teacher – Rabbi Joe Forman
Students will learn the key prayers in the Torah service, the concluding prayers in the Shabbat morning service and the prayers for sleeping and waking. The curriculum covers many key prayer words and roots, prefixes, and suffixes. The students will refine their basic grammar skills and hone their prayer-reading skills.
Students are also challenged to think deeply about the meaning of the prayers and the prayers’ connection to ancient sources and sacred text. In Sixth grade Hebrew our students’ are beginning to understand the Jewish values underlying the prayers. We continue to explore the meanings of roots — the basis of understanding the meanings of our prayers.
Welcome to Sixth Grade Jewish Studies at Or Chadash Religious School.
Teacher – Wendy Solomon
Just as the baking of a delicious challah requires the proper proportion of yeast, water, and flour, so the nurturing of a good Jew requires a balance of ingredients. The sages called these “ingredients” torah, avodah, and gemilut chasadim – study, worship, and righteous deeds. And so it is appropriate that our religious school curriculum is built around these three broad themes. First we learn a particular lesson (study) then we integrate that learning into a network of values that we “rehearse” regularly (worship – what Mordecai Kaplan called the “catechism of Jewish life”). And then having evaluated, not alone – but significantly, with our community – what we have learned, we apply that learning to tikun olam, the thoughtful and measured work of repairing the world we live in.
This year we will focus much attention on how the Jewish people was created, how our ancestors interpreted the reason for our coming into being, and what this understanding of our history means in terms of Jewish philosophy and practice today. To help us along we will have the expertise of one of American Judaism’s foremost historians, Jonathan Sarna, whose new text is directed at just this age group and speaks of “tradition and change” – a good handle on Reform Judaism as well. Our core curriculum also includes an examination of the deeper meaning of the prayers the children are learning to read in Hebrew. To this educational cholent we will also include the weekly collection of tzedaka, activities involving drama and debate, regular sessions with student cantor Kathy Gohr, and participation in Religious School assemblies and holiday programs.
But we teachers can only succeed in this if we are agents of your own expectations. It is thus crucial that our curriculum reflects your own values. For this reason I encourage you to meet with me, to become fluent in what I will be teaching your child, and to show your support for this teaching by the words and deeds of your own lives.
I look forward to this and to all that the year ahead will bring.