2013-2014 ELEMENTARY CURRICULUM INFORMATION (Bet-Hey, 2nd - 5th Grade)
In these young years, when your child is eager to learn, Talmud Torah takes full advantage of this opportunity. Through inter-active classes, computer lab, music, group assemblies, school-wide celebrations, field trips, and other varieties of experiences, our Elementary program assists our students in creating a meaningful Jewish identity, as well as forging a strong connection to Jewish peers and community. It also lays the necessary foundation for preparing to become a Bar or Bat Mitzvah.
Students develop much pride in being Jewish as they journey through the Elementary curriculum. They read Hebrew well and understand and speak in short Hebrew sentences. As they begin to investigate the time line of Jewish history, students discover the narratives and moral lessons found in the texts of the Torah and the Prophets. They experience Jewish holidays, values and ethics, and integrate the fundamentals of living a Jewish life. They engage in the study of liturgy in the Siddur (prayer book), and learn the deeper concepts beneath the important prayers. Students explore Israel through its geography, people, and diverse cultures. Individualized and creative projects bring knowledge to life!
WHAT IS THE CURRICULUM FOR THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL?
Students focus on six areas of curriculum: Hebrew, Israel, Jewish History, Jewish Living, Tanach (Bible) and T’fillah (Prayers). We use a “spiraling” approach, each year reviewing previously learned content intersected with new learning to make for meaningful, real-world connections.
2013-2014 MIDDLE SCHOOL CURRICULUM INFORMATION (Vav-Het, 6th-8th Grade)
Students in our Middle School Program will be celebrating one of the biggest and most defining milestones of their Jewish lives: they will become B’nai Mitzvah. As they enter our program in 6th grade (Vav), they have already begun their preparations for this major event. By the time they graduate from our program in 8th grade (Het), they will all be Jewish “adults,” responsible for their own Jewish lives, actions, and obligations. During these years, Talmud Torah recognizes the importance of making their learning relevant and helpful in achieving this important milestone, and in transitioning into Jewish “adulthood.”
WHAT IS THE CURRICULUM FOR THE MIDDLE SCHOOL?
In Middle School, students continue to build on the curricular areas introduced in the younger grades, but at a more complex level. Students develop a deeper connection to Israel through learning about the history, achievements and challenges of modern Israel. Students better understand the roles of Jews in American History. They gain deeper insight into our holidays, lifecycle events and the importance of Tikkun Olam (Repairing the World). Prayer study focuses on Shabbat morning prayers and Torah service to enhance congregational participation. The Hebrew language program exposes students to modern conversational Hebrew and using online resources. Students engage in learning through meaningful classes, values-based discussions, group assemblies, school-wide celebrations and field trips.
WHAT IS THE CURRICULUM FOR BET MIDRASH
Talmud Torah’s Bet Midrash program offers a variety of Jewish educational experiences for students in 9th-12th grades. In the critical adolescent years, teens may begin seeking the answers to the important “big questions” of life. Despite maturing into unique individuals, many teens seek the comfort of being part of a large community or a smaller group of friends. Many have already developed an interest in a vast range of Jewish topics while for some this may be the first time learning about Judaism. Because Bet Midrash does not have any pre-requisites to enroll and welcomes learners of all backgrounds, teens know they can turn to Talmud Torah for guidance in their evolving Jewish identity.
In Bet Midrash you begin your journey meeting with our Student Services Coordinator to develop your own learning plan based on your interests. This Individual Jewish Educational and Experiential Plan (I-JEEP) connects you to courses in Hebrew, Ethics, Jewish Texts, History, Theology, Philosophy, Israel and the Arts, and learning experiences in the broader Jewish community such as volunteering with kids with disabilities, history projects and social justice events, all for graduation credit
Bet Midrash prides itself on our nationally recognized Hebrew language programs offering you choices in advancing your Hebrew language studies. All programs are open to all students as elective credit, but not required for graduation.
Our College in the Schools (CIS) Program, affiliated with the University of Minnesota, earns university credit upon successful completion of the requirements. This rigorous course of studies typically requires students to enroll in 3 hours per week and complete all assignments and assessments.
Our Ulpan program is also popular among teens who want to learn conversational Hebrew, but without the homework and pressure of enrolling in college level courses. Students enroll in 2 hours per week.
While most classes are a mixture of grade levels, the Kehilla program is an opportunity for you to build lasting social connections to other teens in your grade. Each grade level adopts a unique theme around identity building each year. By your senior year, you’ve spent four years in Kehilla together creating life-long relationships.
WHEN ARE CLASSES OFFERED?
Elementary students attend classes three times a week (6 hours total) either: Mon/Wed/Sun OR Tue/Thu/Sun depending on registration. Classes are about two hours per session involving a variety of dynamic learning activities with a short break in the middle.
Middle School students attend two-three days a week depending on their age. Vav students who choose not to pursue Hebrew language studies have the option of a one day program in the evenings. Synagogues hold their B'nai Mitzvah educational program on Shabbat mornings, which replaces our Sunday morning classes at Talmud Torah.
Bet Midrash classes are offered on Wednesday nights from 6:00-9:00 PM, and on Sunday mornings from 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM. Students attending the full (6 hours/week) or half
(3 hours/week) program are honored with a graduation ceremony at the end of their 12th grade academic year. There are also off-site and on-line options.