Beth Tikvah has a dedicated group of teachers working in our school, many of whom are also members of our congregation. These wonderful teachers continually work to provide enriching opportunities for Jewish learning and religious exploration. Jewish values are integrated into the curriculum and studied at every age through library, music and Jewish holiday observances.
Every class participates in services so that we can teach our students to become functional and comfortable in the synagogue. Holidays and celebrations are taught according to individual grade curricula, and are integrated with the students’ general course of study.
Religious School Curriculum
Kehillat Bonim Curriculum (Parent-Tot through 6th grade)
Our Parent-Tot class has a holiday-based curriculum that uses
story, song, and craft to teach 2½- to 4-year-olds about Jewish holiday observances. The class meets monthly on Sunday mornings, from 9:30 a.m. -11:30 a.m. A parent or other significant adult must accompany the child to class. Parent-Tot is taught by Jodi Collins. Parent-Tot is also open to non-member families for a fee of $250.
The core for Gan (Pre-K and Kindergarten) is “Me, You, Jew & Jew” from the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland. This experience-based curriculum teaches values, and holidays and emphasizes Tikkun Olam. The Gan curriculum also includes selections from Jewish children’s literature. Gan has music every Sunday, in addition to arts and crafts.
Grades 1 & 2 have music every Sunday. Grades 3-6 participate in 30 minutes of Hebrew instruction on Sundays.
Grades 1-6 use the Union for Reform Judaism’s CHAI Curriculum, in addition to supplementary texts and experiences selected by their instructors. The CHAI curriculum is broken down into three sections: Torah, Avodah, and G’milut Chasadim. The main themes by grade level are:
- 1st Grade: “Discovering Myself in the Jewish Story”
- 2nd Grade: “I Am Part of the Jewish People”
- 3rd Grade: “K’dushah – Holiness”
- 4th Grade: “Being a Part of the Community”
- 5th Grade: Reform Judaism & The Prophets
- 6th Grade: Revelation
Students in our Teen Program, Kehillat No’ar, meet for one hour in their grade level “core” classes, followed by a 15-minute hafsakah(break, snack, and social time). Their afternoon concludes with 45-minute chuggim (electives), which rotate on a 4-6 week basis.
7th Grade: B’nai Mitzvah Learning Lab:
The goals of the B’nai Mitzvah Learning Lab are:
- To provide students with the historical context of B’nai Mitzvah.
- To empower students to take ownership over their Bar or Bat Mitzvah service through the creation of personal readings.
- To strengthen Jewish identity in preparation for B’nai Mitzvah.
- To enable students to create meaningful mitzvah projects.
- Semester I: Comparative Judaism & Religion
- Semester II: Modern Israel
9th Grade: “Answering Our Prophetic Power”
This curriculum is delivered in three different stages:
- Stage 1: Team Building
Through a trained team building facilitator to work on team initiatives our teens will learn the importance of team work.
- Stage 2: Field Work and Problem Assessing
Our 9th grade class will meet with representatives through site visits to various organizations to witness their work and to help understand how they meet some of the challenges of the population they serve. They will also be required to work the organizational representatives to identify other challenges or gaps. (Organizations we will visit may include: Community Shelter Board, Mid-Ohio Food Bank or Worthington Food Bank, Life Care Alliance; organizational visits will be determined prior to start of the program.) In this stage, the students will also study Jewish texts related to the sites they are visiting. Students will work with teacher and other technically savvy members of our congregation to develop technological solutions to these problems which will bring about broad based change. (e.g. In meeting with the Worthington Food Pantry an identified problem could be that they have trouble spreading the word about pantry needs, students could work to create an app that will reach out to donors to identify needs and update other donors regarding needs met.)
- Stage 3: Identifying Problems and Creating Solutions
- Stage 1: Team Building
The primary goal of the Confirmation class is for students to examine the ways in which Jews have understood God over time and to construct for themselves their own perspective on God, Judaism, and the role each will assume in their lives.
Confirmation students also explore Social Justice advocacy and participate in the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism’s L’Taken Social Justice Seminar in Washington, D.C. Some attention is also given to Israel and current events. Rabbi Rick teaches one session per month and prepares students for their Confirmation Service.
11th & 12th Grade—Post Confirmation:
Post-Confirmation is a unique opportunity for our 11th and 12th graders to study, discuss and debate significant Jewish questions and topics with Rabbi Rick. Class discussions are geared towards issues requested by the students.
Post-Confirmation meets once a month.
ALEF (3rd grade)
Ot La-Ba’ot : A Better Hebrew Primer
Some of the key features of the Ot La-Ba’ot, that make it very “user friendly” are:
- Home Workbook: Ot la-Ba’ot has been designed with its own home workbook. Each class lesson is paired with a two-sided page to be completed at home and returned to the classroom. Each exercise, which should take no more than 15 minutes, can be completed by parent and child together and enable parents (even those parents who have not learned to read Hebrew previously) to be successful.
- Home Review App: “Ot la-Ba’ot at Home” is an app for both Apple and Android, which complements each lesson. Students use interactive game based learning to review what was covered in class. Once completed, the app sends the results of each game/assignment to the teacher.
- Family Website: The website has the answers to exercises for children to correct their homework, as well as a user-friendly audio program that sounds out words and phrases.
- Parent Introduction: This sixteen-page booklet for parents includes a full vocabulary list, a Hebrew letter chart and a short introduction to help parents understand how best to help their children with the homework assignments.
BET (4th grade)
Mitkadem Ramah 3: Names & Attributes of God
Mitkadem Ramah 4: Short Blessings
Mitkadem Ramah 9: Sh’ma, V’ahavta
Mitkadem Ramah 21: HaTikvah
Mitkadem Ramah 22: Havdalah Blessings
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GIMEL (5th grade)
Mitkadem Ramah 6: Torah blessings
Mitkadem Ramah 7: Barchu, Yotzer, Ma’ariv Aravim
Mitkadem Ramah 8: Ahavat Olam, Ahavah Rabbah
Mitkadem Ramah 10: Mi Chamocha
Mitkadem Ramah 11: Avot V’Imahot
Mitkadem Ramah 12: G’vurot
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DALET (6th Grade)
Mitkadem Ramah 15: Amidah overview
Mitkadem Ramah 16: Aleinu
Mitkadem Ramah 17: Kaddish, Chatzi Kaddish
Mitkadem Ramah 18: Torah service
Mitkadem Ramah 19: Haftarah blessings
Mitkadem Ramah 20: Reading from the Torah: Genesis 1:1-8
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