TBH’s Gan (Kindergarten) and Kitah Aleph (1st Grade) & Kitah Bet (2nd Grade) program is the child’s first experience in formal Jewish Education.
Our purpose is to build upon the child’s Torah Tots experience and by arousing the student’s interest and innate curiosity in his/her Jewish heritage through authentic Jewish experience, music, stories, games, and hands on projects. This year as well we introduce the Hebrew Aleph Bet and useful Hebrew words and phrases.
This is the first year that the child experiences the Synagogue and School as the gathering place of children of all ages to meet on a regular basis to study and participate as a community. The student in K-1/2 develops a sense of Jewish identity and community through the socialization, which occurs among classmates.
1) To introduce the Hebrew letters and their sounds.
2) To begin studying the weekly parshiyot (Torah portions), focusing on Bible characters, stories, and events.
3) To explore Jewish symbols and customs related to Shabbat and Jewish holidays.
4) To introduce the concepts of Mitzvot (commandments; good deeds), Israel, and Jews around the world.
In Kindergarten, students will learn about the basic elements of each Jewish holiday. Students will explore the concepts of Tzedakah and Mitzvot.
Their Family Education program will focus on holiday themes.
As students begin to identify Hebrew letters and their sounds, they will also learn to recite the Shema and the Shabbat blessings for the home (Motzi, Kiddush, and Candles).
Students will begin studying the weekly parshiyot as an integral part of the TBH curriculum in every grade. Our youngest students will focus on Bible personalities, stories, and events.
Introducing The Aleph-Bet Through Bible Stories
The students will be introduced to selected Bible stories that teach Jewish knowledge, values, and concepts, as well as the beautiful narrative itself. Integrated into this program is an introduction to the letters of the Aleph-bet, and key words of Jewish cultural and religious values, which begin with that letter. Activities such as dramatic play, singing, and creative movement are introduced to reinforce stories and new letters and words.
The students will learn the names and basic symbols for:
Shabbat and Festival names and basic symbols:
Candles, Kiddush, Motzi
Shofar, Teshuvah, Tashlich
Sukkah, Lulav, Etrog,
Simchat Torah: Flags, Torah
Hanukah: Candle blessings, Chanukiah
Tu B’ Shevat: planting, fruit, trees
Purim: Megillah, graggers, hamentaschen
Pesach: Seder, Hagaddah, plagues, matzah, Afikomen
Lag Ba’ Omer – Bonfire
Shavuot: 10 commandments
Biblical Knowledge: People, Places, Stories:
Moses and Pharaoh, Abraham & Sarah, Judah Maccabee, Esther, Haman, Mordechai, Students will also learn about the Temple in Jerusalem.
Genesis stories include: Creation, Adam & Eve, Noah, Exodus, King Solomon, Aaron, Miriam, Jacob & Esau, Mt. Sinai, Jacob’s ladder, Joseph’s dreams, 10 Commandments.
Learning Tools: Complementary materials for parent-child learning reinforcement: Let’s Discover the Holidays – Combined Fall and Spring set.
The students will be given opportunities to think about basic concepts of G-d, the individual, the Jew and the world.
- G-d is One
- G-d is the Creator of us and our world
- G-d has a covenant with the Jewish people
- We speak with G-d through prayer
- We strive to act “in G-d’s image”
Mitzvot and Mitzvah Awareness:
Jewish friendship skills
Caring & Sharing
Going to Temple
What is a Mitzvah?
Difference between good and bad (parental)
B’rachot and Tefilot (Blessings and Prayers):
The students will have opportunities to use and review the following Hebrew letters and vocabulary.
Prayer & Belief:
Learn the Motzi
Shema & Barchu
Hinei Ma Tov
Learn the Aleph-Bet song
Familiarity with letters
Learn numbers, colors, simple words, body parts, greetings,
Israel & Community:
Israel Independence Day
Israeli Songs: Am Yisrael Chai, David Melech, Zum Gali – Gali
Our Kitah Aleph/1st graders are ready and set to learn. We take full advantage of their enthusiasm and plunge them straight into the wonderful world of Jewish learning.
- To review the Hebrew letters and learn the Hebrew vowels.
- To identify major Bible figures and places.
- To introduce the sanctuary and its components.
- To introduce Israel and its importance to the Jewish people
In first grade, students continue their Hebrew studies by reviewing letters, learning the Hebrew vowels, and reading letter/vowel combinations. Students review the blessings of the home, and are introduced to simple holiday prayers, Hebrew body parts, and weather vocabulary.
Through their weekly study of Torah and Bible, students will be able to identify the major Bible figures and the places in which the stories occurred.
Students will act as “detectives”, searching out all of the symbols and objects found in the sanctuary. They will identify the ornaments and coverings on the Torah.
Students will begin to explore the land of Israel and its importance to the Jewish people, connecting the Bible stories and locations to the map of Israel. We will also weave the Seven Species of Israel into the calendar year, further solidifying the idea of the centrality of Israel to the Jewish people and religion.
With parents, we will join the 2nd grade on a trip to a farm for a study of agriculture, Israel, and Bible.
Hebrew Language Reading Readiness:
Letter Recognition and Formation
Children learn to name, print, and associate the sounds of all the letters of the Aleph Bet. Stories which personify the letters and link them to Jewish ideas and ideals are used to reinforce their learning.
In the spring, letters are sequenced and the vowels are introduced.
Hebrew Language Usage:
Common Hebrew words and phrases are used in the classroom routine as well as in lessons related to holidays and customs. Students learn patterned responses to situational and Jewish cultural, Israeli, and religious related commands and questions. Hatikvah and other Israel centered Hebrew songs are learned.
Spoken phrases and vocabulary words:
Shalom – hello/goodbye
Boker Tov – good morning
Bevakasha – please
Todah – thank you
Slicha – excuse me
Ken – yes
Lo – no
Eyfo – where is
Shalom L’hitraot – see you later
Chag Sameach – happy holidays
L’Shana Tova – happy new year
Mitz tapuach – apple juice
Beit ha Knesset – synaoguge
Beit HaSefer – school
Iparon – pencil
Sefer – book
Yesh li – I have
Ayn li – I don’t have
Chaver – Friend
Chesed – Kindness
Etrog – Citron
Chazzan – Cantor
Rav – Rabbi
Morah – teacher
Makhzor – holiday prayer book
Rikud – Dance
Sh’chach – Sukkah roof thatch
Lulav – palm branch & combine plants/Sukkot
Plus: ritual words Bimah, kipah, tzitzit, Torah, Ark, Rabbi Cantor.
The Cities of Israel
Utilizing complimentary materials and (suggested) 16 page pamphlet Israel: People and Places, students receive their own passports, simulate a flight to Israel, and “visit” major cities, with an emphasis on Jerusalem, Haifa, Tel Aviv, and Safed.
The People of Israel
Utilizing the suggested 16 page pamphlet Israel: People and Places, students are introduced to the flag of Israel, map of Israel, Israeli ethnic groups, and key sites that a young visitor to Israel would enjoy.
Israel & Community
Participate in Israel Independence Day
Israeli foods: dates, figs, falafel, oranges, hummus
Students deepen their knowledge of the Jewish holidays utilizing Let’s Discover the Holidays.
Chanukiah: Dreidel, the Story
New Year’s Wishes
Simchat Torah: Consecration
Ha Motzi Lechem Min HaAretz (bread and starting a meal with bread)
Borei Minei M’zonot (cake, cookies, crackers)
Borei Peri Ha Etz (fruit)
Borei Peri Ha Adamah (vegetables)
Borei Peri Ha Gafen (grape juice)
Le Hadlik Ner Shel Shabbat (Shabbat candles)
Le Hadlik Ner Shel Yom Tov (holiday candles)
Le Hadlik Ner Shel Chanukah
She hakol N’hiyeh bidvaro
Prayer as talking to G-d
Students visit the sanctuary, examine the various religious articles unique to the Synagogue, meet their Rabbi, Cantor and are introduced to the complex of Jewish happenings that the synagogue encompasses.
The booklet Lets Explore the Synagogue and complementary materials are used in class and as a parent education tools. Hands on activities include: making your own mosaic, synagogue mazes, connect the dots, and drawing.
Text: Let’s Explore the Synagogue, Behrman House
Using the book, Let’s Discover the Holidays, students will learn about Moses and Pharaoh, Abraham & Sarah, Judah Maccabee, Esther, Haman, Mordechai, Students will also learn about The Temple in Jerusalem, Genesis stories: Creation, Adam & Eve, Noah, Exodus
Sarah, Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob, Rachel, Leah, King David, Joseph, Exodus from Egypt, King Solomon, Aaron, Miriam, Jacob & Esau, Mt. Sinai, Jacob’s ladder, Joseph’s dreams.
Text: Let’s Discover the Holidays, Behrman House
Our Kitah Bet/ 2nd graders are actively engaged in exploring Judaism at its most fundamental level: songs, experiential activities, and desire to learn and grow.
- To explore the celebrations and observances of Shabbat.
- To learn about the Jewish holidays as a yearly cycle.
- To increase Hebrew reading fluency, including Hebrew exceptions and special rules.
- To continue the study of main characters and stories in the Bible.
- To introduce the Jewish concept of God.
In second grade, students continue their cyclical study of the Jewish holidays with a specific focus on the observance and customs of Shabbat. Students will also explore the concepts of Tzedakah and Mitzvot.
Students will begin to increase their Hebrew reading fluency, beginning to recognize common Hebrew prayer words and learning the exceptions and special rules of Hebrew reading.
Students continue their study of Bible, focusing on specific stories and characters.
Students will begin their exploration of the Jewish concept of God. As children yearn to achieve an understanding of God and find a higher meaning for the things that inhabit our world, we will help them explore goodness, morality, Jewish ritual, self-esteem, and holiness through a study of God within Judaism.
With parents, we will join the 1st grade on a trip to a Farm for a study of agriculture, Israel, and Bible.
Hebrew Language: Decoding
At first, children will build on Grade 1 skills to recognize, learn to name, identify and associate the sounds of all the letters of the Aleph-Bet. Hebrew reading skills include blending of consonants and vowels, right-left directional development, differentiation between masculine and feminine forms, singular and plural, developing correct letter formation, writing from right to left, and taking dictation of simple sentences and words used in class. Direct application is primarily reading of prayers for fluency. Each day’s Hebrew date is written on the board and students are being introduced to the Hebrew system of numerical values assigned to letters as well as being in tune with the Hebrew calendar.
Text: Shalom Aleph Bet, Behrman House
Common Hebrew words, phrases, commands, and responses are used in the classroom. Holiday and Mitzvot terminology are introduced and reinforced where appropriate. Hebrew songs and melodies provide direct application of skills learned.
Siddur and Prayer:
The following prayers are introduced in 2nd Grade for fluent reading and liturgical usage with varying levels of comprehension.
Daily and Shabbat
L’ Dor VaDor
LeHadlik Ner Shel Chanukah
LeHadlik Ner Shel Yom Tov
Al Achilat Maztza
The core Holiday and Mitzvot curriculum defined below places these prayers in context of the daily, weekly, and holiday cycle of Jewish experience.
Students learn the various stage of the life cycle as celebrated by all Jewish people and relate this to their own families.
Primarily, handouts, activities, and discussion pave the way for this introduction.
Birchot Nehenin – Blessing Appreciating G-d’s gifts
Students will utilize Hear O Israel: Book IV, published by UAHC, as a framework for discussing their thoughts and feelings about G-d.
Blessings for foods:
- LeHadlik Ner Shel Shabbat
Torah – Torah Tsivah
Shabbat – Shalom Aleichem
Chanukah – Lehadlik Ner Shell Chanukah
Shofar Calls, B’Rosh Hashanah, U’Tshuvah, Utfilah, U’Tzedakah,
Yom Kippur fast
Simchat Torah: Hakafot, Hoshanot, Ushpizim
Hanuakah; Al Hanisim, Mi Yimalel
Tu B’ Shevat – conservation
Pesach – Hagadah, Avadim Hayinu
- To discuss the idea that Israel is the home of the Jewish people
- To learn that for some Jews, Israel is their only home, while for others it is their second home.
- To learn that all Jews have the option of living in Israel and/or calling Israel their home.
- To realize that the Jewish people once lived in Israel, were exiled and returned to their land.
- To discuss the meaning of “independence”.
- To be able to identify Israel’s flag, map shape, emblem, language and typical foods.
- To become familiar with a few places in Israel.
- To compare and contrast the celebration of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Tu Bishvat, and Yom HaAtzmaut in Israel and the United States.
Yom Ha Atzmaut
Tu B’ Shevat
Additional Primary Music Repertoire
Siddur and Prayer
- Sibling stories
- David & Jonathan
- Jacob’s sons – tribes