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What We Learn

 
Religious School ISJL Curriculum Overview
 
Learning is a full family endeavor at Congregation Rodeph Sholom Religious School designed to combine the passion and expertise of our teachers with our welcoming community.  With family programs during our school year and having families join their students at morning minyan, it is our goal to bring Judaism to life for every member of the house.
 
Our amazing staff works hard to create an environment of engaging, interactive learning for our students.  As a team, our Director of Lifelong Learning works with our faculty in following the ISJL curriculum which brings Judaism to life in ways that foster our students towards making informed Jewish decisions as they continue to grow.
 
Our curriculum content areas include:
  • Community - By being part of the religious school experience, students will feel a particular pride for their heritage as Southern Jews and will come to identify with the larger American and global Jewish community.
  • Culture and Symbols - The ISJL curriculum provides students with the opportunity to experience the colorful culture of Judaism and its symbols.  Students will develop a deeper understanding of Jewish culture as their religious school education builds.
  • God - Religious school is a place where students can openly discuss their thoughts and feelings about God.  Students will learn that throughout history, Jews have had an important relationship with God.
  • Hebrew and Prayer - Students will have the opportunity to participate in synagogue prayer services and find personal meaning in them, recognizing Jewish worship as an essential facet of Jewish life.  They will have the opportunity for self-discovery, self-assessment, and self-development.
  • Israel - Throughout the curriculum, students learn to identify with Israel as the Jewish homeland, understanding its history and recognizing their obligation to visit and support the State of Israel, hopefully motivating them to participate in an educational program there.
  • Jewish History - Students will develop a meaningful identification with Jews past and present through the study of Jewish history, culture, Hebrew language, liturgy, music, literature, arts, and texts.
  • Jewish Holidays - Whether it is with the entire religious school at an All-School Program or in each grade, students will familiarize themselves with the many rituals and traditions that are celebrated during Jewish holidays.
  • Jewish Lifecycle Events - The spiraled curriculum allows students to mark the passages of time and seasons through Jewish lifecycle ceremonies using the symbols, rituals, prayers and traditions of their Jewish heritage.
  • Mitz'vot and Jewish Values - The ISJL curriculum provides students with a chance to view mitz'vot - both ritual and ethical - as opportunities to build a relationship with God.
  • TaNakh, Torah, Prophets, and Writings/Hebrew Bible - Students will gain literacy and understanding of the various stories and commandments contained in the TaNaKh.  They will have basis knowledge of the main characters and events, as well as a sense of the values conveyed through this material.

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Pre-K and Kindergarten

At Rodeph, we welcome students as young as 3 years old, as long as they are potty trained, for a combined PreK/Kindergarten classes where our students explore introductions to Judaism and Hebrew. They learn the letters, vowels, colors, family members, basic counting, and so much more though hands-on activities (e.g. baking Hebrew letter cookies), Hebrew letter tracing, and interactive videos.

1st & 2nd Grade

Our combined 1st & 2nd grade class focuses on building on the foundation learned last year, while exploring your child's natural creativity through art projects, music, and beginning to develop a deeper connection to the Synagogue and our local Jewish Community and lay the foundation for their future learning.

3rd through 7th Grade

As we begin to prepare our students for their journey towards Jewish adulthood, we focus on more than preparation for their B'nei Mitzvah ceremony, but on creating well-rounded Jewish students. Students will learn the deeper meaning of prayers, Jewish values and they relate to their everyday choices, experience being part of the larger organized Jewish community, and connect to our past through Jewish History, life cycle events, Israel, and our people. They will engage with Hebrew as a living language through music, poetry, and stories, as well as liturgy.
 
Our students begin each day by reporting to their "homeroom teacher" and then, as a Rodeph community, join in our family-oriented Sunday morning minyan with our Congregation and Rabbi. Our goal is to have our students side by side with our congregants leading our service, which is not just a great experience being on the bima for their upcoming service, but bridges the generations through prayer and signing.

8th - 10th Grade Confirmation (Nachshonim)

The B'nei Mitzvah ceremony is a very important milestone in your child's Jewish journey, but it is only a stepping stone toward the rest of their lives.  
 
Named for Nachshon, a man who was the brother in law to Aaron and, according to a midrash was the first to step into the Red Sea, trusting that G-d would split the waters, our Post B'nei Mitzvah students are navigating what it means to be a Jew in the turbulent waters of today.
 
Our students will construct their own beliefs and values as they form the ever-evolving adult they want to be through discussion-based curriculum designed to challenge their perceptions on a wide range of Jewish topics and look at them through an adult lens. 
 
Another step on their Jewish journey is the Confirmation Service around Shavuot in their 10th-grade year. They will work with our Director of Lifelong Learning and Rabbi to lead a Shabbat morning service for our congregation where we all share in their celebration and commitment to their Jewish identity.

11th & 12th Grade Madrichim (Teaching Assistants)

After Confirmation, our students have the opportunity to work with our younger students. They support our teachers, assist with class activities, and, most importantly, act as role models for our younger students.  Those who choose to give back to Rodeph as Madrichim, will receive leadership training from our Director of Lifelong Learning, as well as community service hours needed for high school and scholarship requirements. Being a Madrich/a is a wonderful way to spend time with your friends while being a vital role in securing a Jewish future for our community.
Mon, July 22 2024 16 Tammuz 5784