Hey (5th-grade) Curriculum Overview

Updated: Oct 21, 2021

HEY 1 & 2: Sunday/Wednesday

Dear Kitah Hey 1 & 2 (5th-grade) Families,

It is so wonderful having your children in my IN PERSON Talmud Torah class.

They are so happy to be together and I share in their happiness with them.

Below is an overview of my curriculum for Hebrew, Life Cycle, and History .

Hey 1 & 2 Curriculum Overview

Mary Baumgarten


  • Textbook: The New Siddur Program, Book 2

  • Reading: focus on prayers and short stories

  • Vocabulary: prayer-related and modern Hebrew

  • Grammar: present tense, root words, prefixes, suffixes, possessives

  • Speaking: simple Hebrew sentences with basic verbs and vocabulary

Life Cycle

  • Text: Make, Create, Celebrate

  • Study of Holidays

  • Basic knowledge

  • Historical background

  • Rituals

  • How we celebrate today

  • Relevance in today’s world


  • Timeline of Jewish History (mostly through the holidays)

  • Historical context

  • Where do holidays fit into the timeline

It is a privilege having your children in my class.

Thank you for partnering with us.

Please feel free to reach me at any time (mbaumgarten@talmudtorahmpls.org)



Hey 1 & 2 Curriculum Overview

Susie Chalom

Now that classes have started and we are all In person, I wanted to give you an overview of the four main goals of my Torah class in 5th grade. I will strive to:

  1. Transform the class into a “Kehilla Kedosha (a holy community) where we are kind and supportive of each other, where we enjoy each other’s talents, we help each other, and we always respect each other. We will play games and sing songs that will be fun.

  2. Start to teach students the basics of serious Torah study through the study of B’reisheet (The Book of Genesis). We will be using the JPS translation of B’Resheet, and Parasha - a book on B’Resheet by J.L.Grishaber.

  3. Work on learning and interpreting key prayers of the Shabbat Liturgy.

  4. Learn about the land of Israel—its geography, its people, and its culture.


When we start Torah Study this year, I convey to the students that, for the first time in their lives, they will be learning Torah like adults who study Torah. This requires careful, slow reading of the text. The method we use is a variation of Biblical Inquiry called PaRDeS:

a) Pshat – What does the text say? In simple words.

b) Remez – Are there hints to meaning, recurring words, echoes of previous words, and stories?

c) Drash – What does the text actually mean? Does it feel like there is missing dialogue?

What are some interpretations—midrashim that our sages have thought about for this text? What are some interpretations your imagination can fill in and expand the meaning even further?

d) Sod is the secret meaning – what hidden meanings are embedded in the text that will help you relate to it today, in your life?

I hope to engage our students in discussions that will make them think critically, sometimes change their minds and always help them understand the importance of their inheritance as Jews.

Showing respect for the study of holy text is one reason we wear a kippa. I have asked the students to bring a kippa to class and that includes girls as well, since we are an egalitarian school. Please help your child find a kippa to keep in class.

T’fillah (Prayer)

The emphasis will be on deepening our students’ knowledge of the Shabbat services in this important year as they start their studies at their Shabbat synagogue programs. While they work on the correct chanting of the prayers at the synagogue and with their TT tutors, we will work in class on their understanding of the concepts behind the different prayers.


Students will learn about Israel in a variety of ways. Our goal is to develop an understanding and an appreciation of the diversity of the Jewish people and the merging of the different cultures.

God Talk

I want our students to feel comfortable talking about God. It is important for children to feel that the world is a safe place. When kids this age ask us questions about God, what they are really trying to do is to make sense of the world they live in. Their questions about God are an attempt to construct a world that makes sense and that is loving—not random or cruel. So I strive to lay a foundation of a good world so they feel secure in a loving community where God watches over us.