Temple Beth Shalom

21 East Foster Street, Melrose, MA (781) 665-4520

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Curriculum

PreK and Kindergartensiddur page
This class meets approximately twice per month for children ages 4 and 5.  Students will learn about the Jewish holidays and synagogue symbols, Shabbat Blessings and how to recite the Shema, and will begin exposure to the Alef/Bet in a fun age appropriate way.  Students participate in a PreK–Grade 2 Friday evening Shabbat potluck.  

Grade 1/2
This is a weekly, two-hour Sunday morning class for children ages 6-7.  Students will build upon their knowledge of Hebrew letters and will learn Hebrew vowel recognition and how to vocalize two and three syllable words in Hebrew.  They will discover the meaning of Jewish Holiday Symbols, Blessings and Customs.  Students will work on projects including an alef-bet book; showcasing Shabbat in their home through the adventures of “Dov the Bear”, and creating their own book of prominent biblical characters.  Students participate in a K–Grade 2 Friday evening Shabbat potluck.  

Grade 3/4
Children, ages 8 to 9, meet twice a week, Sunday and Thursday, for two hours each session.  Students will learn how to read three syllable words and short Hebrew sentences.  Third graders will receive their own Siddur at the beginning of the year, will learn how to navigate the siddur as well as the components of the evening service.  Students will learn Kiddish, Shalom Aleichem, Mi Chamocha, and Lecha Dodi.  Students will study Moses: the major events of his life, his significance as a leader, and his relevance in a contemporary Jewish context.  Students participate in the “Shabbat Across America” program with the 4th grade.

Grade 5
Children, ages ten and eleven, meet twice a week on Sunday and Thursday, for two hours each session.  Students will learn the structure and content of a morning service.  They will add their own prayer interpretations to their personal siddur.  They will focus on "who Jews are as a people," including constructing a historical timeline of the Jewish people including the creation of the state Israel as a country, people, and culture.  They will learn about their ancestry, the history of Jewish practice in the United States, and will share their personal history with the rest of the class.  Students will help lead a Shabbat morning service with the sixth and seventh grade.

Grade 6
Children, ages eleven to twelve, meet twice a week on Sunday and Thursday for two hours each session.  Students will receive their own "Chumash" (Torah with commentary) at the beginning of the year.  On Sundays, they will focus on the make up of the Torah: the Torah portions, the books of the Bible, and interpretations of its content.  Students will learn how to read significant texts of the Bible in Hebrew.

On Thursdays, students will learn with the seventh grade class.  Students will continue practicing the content of the morning service as they will lead a Shabbat morning service in the Spring with the fifth and seventh grades.

Grade 7
Children, ages twelve to thirteen, the B’nai Mitzvah Class, meet for two hours on Thursday for classroom instruction and on Sunday for individual B’nai mitzvah tutoring.  In conjunction with the sixth grade class, the students will participate in the "Better Together" program.  Each month, the class will take a bus to and from Chelsea Jewish in Peabody to meet with residents and discover their experience of and the history of Jewish and American Holidays as American Jews.  Students will submit monthly blog posts, will contribute to a video yearbook, and will honor the residents with an end of the year celebration.  During the weeks that students are at Temple Beth Shalom, they will plan for and debrief their visits to Peabody.  They will also articulate their own thoughts about their Jewish identity as they prepare for B'nei Mitzvah.

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