The overall goals of the Bet Sefer Avraham religious school are to: provide and nurture Hebrew and ritual skills; foster a love of Jewish learning and practice; create and build upon a foundation of knowledge that will allow students to continue their studies through confirmation, as well as throughout adulthood; create and nurture a feeling of Jewish community within the school; and bring families together around the learning of their children in a Jewish environment.
FOCUS: Jewish holidays, basic prayers, Hebrew letters, mitzvot, ethics
GOALS: Basic familiarity with the Jewish holidays, bible stories, basic prayers (Shema, candles, wine and challah) and Jewish mitzvot and ethics (feeding the hungry, welcoming strangers, celebrating Shabbat and holidays, kindness to one another, empathy), and exposure to the Alef Bet.
Methodology: Students learn through art projects, classroom discussions, Jewish stories, Torah stories, exploration of Jewish holidays, and participation in the Good Cents program designed to teach them about hunger in our community. Students are taught the Alef Bet through song and letter game.
FOCUS: Hebrew decoding readiness, Jewish holidays, Israel, the First Family and other Torah stories
GOALS: Beginning understanding of decoding of the Hebrew language; understanding and identification of Torah stories from Bereishit and Shemot (Genesis and Exodus), primarily dealing with the First Family; further identification with the land and people of Israel; more advanced understanding of the meaning of holidays; and continued development in their concepts about mitzvot.
FOCUS: Hebrew decoding, Jewish holidays, Israel, Torah stories
GOALS: More advanced recognition of Hebrew letters and decoding skills, including vowels and basic vocabulary; deeper exploration of the holidays and Israel.
FOCUS: Hebrew decoding and word recognition; increased Hebrew comprehension through study of vocabulary; more sophisticated understanding of Torah text
GOALS: By the end of Kitah Gimmel, students should be able to decode any Hebrew word. Focus turns to prayer book Hebrew vocabulary. Students should begin building a basic set of vocabulary words that will lead to comprehension of common prayers. Students will have a deeper understanding of Torah stories as they relate to their own lives. Students understand more about the meaning of holidays and mitzvot.
FOCUS: Hebrew decoding, vocabulary expansion, study of selected prophets through a value-focused lens
GOALS: Students will have an increased prayer book vocabulary to aid with comprehension of basic prayers. Students will have a more skilled ability to decode biblical Hebrew. Students will have an understanding of the shoresh (root) system of Hebrew words to aid in comprehension. Shabbat home rituals will be reinforced and understood on different levels. Students will learn about selected prophets, the values that they embody, and the relevance of their stories to today.
FOCUS: Mastery of the Kabbalat Shabbat and Friday evening services; Jewish Midrash and bibliodrama; kashrut; Pirke Avot; Jewish ethical dilemmas; Israel; introduction to the Holocaust.
GOALS: Students will be able to individually chant almost all of the Friday night Shabbat service. Students will have an increased Hebrew vocabulary and comprehension. Students will be involved in creating Jewish Midrash; learn the rules of kashrut and create their own kosher dinner for their families; study selections from Pirke Avot, learning how these sayings are still relevant in our modern lives; explore modern ethical dilemmas through a Jewish text lens; and expand their knowledge of the modern state of Israel.
FOCUS: Mastery of the Shabbat morning Torah and Musaf services; introduction to Talmud, Tanakh, life cycle (including mikvah, birth, brit milah, brit bat, b’nai mitzvah, wedding, death and dying, shalom bayit, Jewish funeral customs); learning to navigate a siddur and chumash.
GOALS: Students will be able to individually chant almost all of the Saturday morning Torah and Musaf services. Students will have an increased Hebrew vocabulary and comprehension. Students will have a very basic understanding of and familiarity with some of the holy books of Judaism, including the Siddur, the Chumash, the Tanakh and the Talmud. Students will know the basics of Jewish customs as they relate to common life cycle events, understanding the practices that Conservative Jews follow and the meanings behind them. Students will be introduced to text study analysis and will practice using primary sources (Torah and commentary) to think critically.
FOCUS: Public speaking, Holocaust, Israel
GOALS: Students will develop better public speaking skills in preparation for delivering a d’var Torah (Torah commentary) during their b’nai mitzvah ceremonies, using their own Torah portions as the basis. Students will understand ancient and modern concepts of friendship through both modern and ancient text lenses, including Pirke Avot. Students will understand factors leading up to the Holocaust from a historical perspective and will interact with survivors in our own community. Students will have deeper knowledge of the creation of the state of Israel and its importance to modern Jewish communities.