Students learn about Shabbat, Jewish holidays, and Jewish traditions through fun hands-on activities and through songs. They begin learning their Aleph-Bet letters, vowels and phonics. They enjoy singing Tefillot (prayers). They also discuss the weekly Parsha using drama, music, and art.
While mastering Hebrew reading, students also begin to study Torah (the book of Bereshit) through the Tal Am curriculum. The weekly Parsha (Torah portion) is studied so that students gain familiarity with the stories and the mitzvot of the Torah. Parsha is also a vehicle for learning about Jewish values such as Kibbud Av V’Em (honoring parents) and doing Chesed (acts of loving kindness). The Jewish Calendar is a major theme of the year, and students learn about Jewish holidays in the appropriate seasons. They also continue learning about Tefillot (prayers) and Brachot (blessings), and celebrate their Siddur party in January.
Students continue their Torah study using the skill based LeHavin U’LeHaskil curriculum for Parshiyot Lech Lecha and VaYera. They develop their Hebrew language skills, focusing on grammar, conversational Hebrew, and creative writing. They gain a deeper understanding of the stories and lessons of the weekly Parsha (Torah portion), and the Chagim (holidays) come alive as the children learn the special laws and customs of each Chag. As they increase the number of Tefillot (prayers) that they recite, they learn the meaning of many Tefillot including the Shemoneh Esrei, the 19 blessings of the Amidah. In addition, they begin to study basics of Halacha (Jewish law) such as Kashrut (Dietary Laws) and Brachot (blessings).
Students continue their study of Bereshit with Parshiyot Chayei Sarah, Toldot, and VaYeitzei. They continue developing their Chumash decoding skills and building their vocabulary as they begin learning how to read Rashi. Hebrew skills are developed further using the Tal Am Ivrit curriculum. In Parshat Hashavua, students learn how to share a Dvar Torah at their Shabbat table. They deepen their understanding of the Halachot of Chagim. They continue developing Middot (ethical characteristics) and increase the number of Tefillot.
Students culminate their study of Bereshit, learning Parshiyot VaYishlach, VaYeshev, Miketz, VaYigash, and VaYechi. They also begin learning Navi (Prophets), starting with the book of Yehoshua (Joshua). Emphasis is placed on reading comprehension and critical thinking. In Tefilla, the students begin to lead prayers as chazzan, increase their understanding of Tefilla, and the davening is less abridged. Middot are studied as they arise in the parshiyot studied.
Students begin learning Sefer Shemot (Exodus). In Navi, they continue with Sefer Shoftim (Judges). Students begin learning Mishna (Oral Law). Fifth graders further develop their spoken and written skills in Hebrew. A highlight of the 5th grade Hebrew curriculum is the International Festival, in which each student researches a country and presents their findings in Hebrew to parents and classmates.