GRADES KINDERGARTEN-3rd Grade

The primary curriculum introduces Jewish life to students through hands-on learning experiences. Jewish music, Israeli folkdance, krav maga (Israeli self-defense), weekly Tefillah (services), arts and crafts, and storytelling are a central part of the program. Students are also exposed to Hebrew language through the use of whole words and phrases in the classroom. Various blessings and holiday prayers will also be taught. In addition to our classroom learning, the families of each student will be invited to participate in a family Shabbat dinner, a family day of learning, and a family field trip.

Kindergarten Emphasis: Holidays, Ritual, and Torah

Kindergarteners will experience an introduction to Jewish life through the realm of "Jewish time." They will explore the calendar cycle of Jewish holidays, as well as the ceremonies, symbols, and reasons for celebration. Students will delight in new sights, smells, and sounds as they investigate how we observe Judaism at home and in the synagogue. Through stories and discussions, students will learn how the Torah functions as the central focus of Jewish life and learning. A variety of creative learning experiences will bring Judaism to life in the classroom and beyond.

1st Grade Emphasis: Synagogue Symbols & Jewish Identity

During this year, students will discover the realm of "Jewish space." Throughout the year, students will explore how the synagogue functions as a place of prayer. They will learn about the symbols and characteristics of the Jewish home. Beginning with themselves, students will learn about the meaning of Jewish identity. Classroom discussions, projects, and special guest visitors will reinforce the holiness of God for the students. The students will continue to celebrate and learn about holidays as their knowledge about customs and ritual develops.

2nd Grade Emphasis: Mitzvot (commandments) & Israel

Students will be introduced to mitzvot (commandments) in a creative and fun manner as students learn about the responsibilities of being a mensch, or good Jewish person. Students will learn about our connection to the land and people of Israel thorough an imaginary visit to the Middle East. We will partner with students to expand their knowledge of and feelings for the Jewish people, including a study of local, national, and international community customs.

This year, the Hebrew letters are formally introduced to our students. Students will begin to understand that learning to read Hebrew involves knowing all of the Hebrew letters and that prayerful moments can be experienced anywhere. Among other skills, they will learn to identify all Hebrew letters by name and sound; point to the correct letter when the teacher identifies it by name; practice looking at words in the right-to-left style of Hebrew; pick out learned letters in familiar whole words; and identify and use several modern Hebrew words and phrases, including nouns and proper nouns.

3rd Grade Emphasis: Torah

In 3rd grade, new depth is added to Torah study. We bring the stories of our matriarchs and patriarchs alive, as well as our decline into slavery and eventual liberation under the leadership of Moses. Throughout the year, we will explore what it means to have a covenantal relationship with God. An emphasis will be placed on the weekly nature of Torah study and the transmission of Torah from generation to generation.

We will also focus on Hebrew this year. Students will master the ability to read Hebrew letters and vowels, focusing on their reading of one, two and three-syllable words with ease.

INTERMEDIATE DEPARTMENT: GRADES 4-6

An integrated program in Hebrew and Judaica is offered for our Intermediate students. Israeli dance, Jewish music, krav maga (Israeli self-defense), T'fillah (services) and Chuggim (weekly electives) supplement classroom learning. Hebrew studies focus on the reading and comprehension of prayer Hebrew, with a conversational component. An individualized tutoring program is available during Religious School hours. During services, every 5th Grader will have the chance to offer a d'var torah (a short speech about the Torah portion) and all 6th graders will have a chance to read from the Torah. The 4th-5th grade Retreat, a weekend of fun and learning with Temple Israel Day School students, is a highlight of the year. In addition to our classroom learning, the families of each student will be invited to participate in a family Shabbat dinner, a family day of learning, and a family field trip.

Our Hebrew classes are taught by Hebrew specialists in our specially designed Hebrew labs. During Hebrew, students learn key prayers and blessings, as well as modern Hebrew vocabulary and root words. Using the newly developed Kol Yisrael series, students learn Hebrew through games, songs, and interactive activities. Students have the opportunity to learn Hebrew using many forms of technology, such as the Brightlink systems, iPads, and laptops. At TIOH, Hebrew learning is always interactive, collaborative, and meaningful.

For detailed information about the 4th-6th grade Hebrew Curriculum, please contact Rabbi Jocee Hudson in the Religious School office ( .">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ).

4th Grade Emphasis: Partnership with God & Prophets of the Bible

Each generation of the Jewish people has continued to ask questions about God. In fourth grade, students will explore a variety of Jewish understandings of God, while engaging in meaningful discussions and activities.

Fourth Grade expands the boundaries of Jewish literature to include the rest of the Hebrew Bible---the Prophets and Writings. We will explore the famous personalities of Joshua, Deborah, Samson, Hannah and Samuel, the great Kings Saul, David, and Solomon, as well as the heroes and heroines of the Writings: Jonah, Ruth, and Esther. Students will grapple with the issues these leaders faced, including justice and mercy, strength and weakness, errors and repentance, and the role of the female prophet.

5th Grade Emphasis: Middot (Jewish Virtues)

Through hands-on activities, discussion, reflection, and exploratory learning, students will come to consider the role of middot (Jewish virtues) in their lives. The selection of virtues in this curriculum reflects the progressive, diverse urban community of Temple Israel of Hollywood. Each of the virtues is examined through the lens of Jewish history, tradition, or practice. Additionally, participants will study the Jewish practice of mussar, a way of life inherently connected to personal virtues. The students' will look at virtues through curricular units that focus on the individual, the family, the community, and the world. Embedded in the curriculum, will be a study of Jewish lifecycles in which students will study the observances and meanings behind Jewish life cycle events and ceremonies.

6th Grade Emphasis: Jewish History; Jewish Fund for Justice Tzedek Partner Program

Where have we come from? What is the historical journey of the Jewish people? What can we learn from our past? Through our unique Time Travelers' curriculum, students will jump through time to experience the many times and places of Jewish history, exploring everything from Ancient Israel to our arrival in the United States. Using a variety of media and activities, students will re-enact our journey as a people, religion and culture, and discover the highs and lows of Jewish history and peoplehood.

During the second semester, students will engage in the study of poverty through a Jewish lens, using the highly regarded Tzedek Partner Program, a curriculum created by Bend the Arc (formerly Jewish Funds for Justice). As they describe, "The Tzedek Partner Program for middle school students in synagogue religious schools and Jewish day schools provides an avenue for Jewish youth to critique the world around them, work on solutions to the problems of poverty, and explore their role and responsibility as Jews in creating social change."