CAARS Curriculum Goals

Pre-K

Learners discover Jewish values and community by participating in fun, age-appropriate activities and games. 

Each week focuses on how to live a Jewish life, whether developing an understanding of how to help a friend in need, the importance of respect, or what it means to celebrate the holiday of Passover. 

Learners engage with their teachers and parents to read stories, create art projects, and sing the songs of our tradition.


Kindergarten

Learners explore Jewish holidays and stories from the Torah. 

They are introduced to מִצְווֹת (mitzvot, commandments) as related to Torah stories and holidays. Kindergarten is interactive and hands-on. 

Learners engage with their teachers and parents to read stories, create art projects, and sing the songs of our tradition.


1st Grade

Learners learn more about Jewish values, מִצְווֹת (mitzvot, commandments), and how they impact everyday life.

 Learners will begin to explore the concept of God along with a continued exploration of holidays. 

We also begin with an introduction to the Hebrew alphabet through both activities and games.


2nd Grade

Learners explore Jewish community and values. They do this through the celebration of lifecycle events, and learning about Jewish symbols, prayers, and holidays. 

Through art, movement, song and stories,  learners will become “Jewish Detectives,” exploring different ritual objects, spaces, places, and celebrations. They will discover what occurs within Jewish spaces, what ritual objects are, the meaning behind them and most importantly how to use them for themselves.  

Students also begin their exploration of Israel as the Jewish homeland. Their connection to Israel will be forged through learning about Israel’s unique culture, history, language, people, institutions and Jewish life, as well as the physical make-up of the land. 

Second graders continue their exposure to Hebrew, learning the letters through games and other activities.



3rd – 6th Hebrew Pods

Beginning in 3rd Grade, our students take off on a journey of learning to read and understand Hebrew prayer. Although they are given a solid foundation is recognizing Hebrew letters in the year before, at this point we start with separate direct Hebrew learning time.

Students will be grouped in Hebrew Pods, small groups based on student ability and needs. These groups will consist of up to only one 5 students per pod. Our curriculum for Hebrew is based on a progression of goals that each pod will move through at their own pace lead by a teacher. Our weekday afternoon Hebrew Pods meet for 1 hour per pod both online and in person.


3rd Grade

Learners further explore the Torah and its value in a more insightful way. This year takes a deep dive into the Torah stories that permeate our tradition, specifically focusing on how these Torah stories teach values and ethics, us how to be mensches, better people. Through art, drama, and other creative avenues, students explore the Torah, focused on Genesis and Exodus. 

Through learning about the concepts of spirituality and prayer, and their relationship with God, students develop their social emotion learning while deepening their connection to the holidays. This curriculum explores the idea of God explicitly, interweaving Torah and other Jewish sources with personal discovery to help elicit individual connections.

Hebrew is an integral part of the year, the focus of our first year of Hebrew is learning how to decode the Hebrew language, starting with learning each letter and vowel and then moving to reading words! As students move through learning the letters, they begin to read longer word and even start to read multiple words together. By the time they finish the Golden Aleph, students should be comfortable reading (sounding out) new words that are put in front of them and be able to read short sentences. Our goal for this year will be learning the Shabbat evening blessings as well as other blessing by ear.


4th Grade

As learners continue to develop and grow in their Judaism, they will be guided to think critically about concepts including holidays, Jewish texts, Jewish values, and spirituality/God. This curriculum focuses on the prophetic texts found in the TaNaKh – תַּנַּ”ךְ (TaNaKh, Torah, Prophets and Writings/Hebrew Bible) by giving an overview of their actions and impact on Judaism and Jewish values. Through the lens of different Jewish holidays, students will explore conceptions of God and the role that spirituality can play in their lives. Holidays will be explored to build on knowledge from previous years with increased sophistication; we will learn the history of different Jewish holidays and the values holidays express.

The focus of our second year of Hebrew is learning the basics of prayer language through easy brachot, blessings. Students will move out of reading individual words to reading sentences. Through each lesson the students will gain confidence in reading the bracha formula and also learn specific roots that coordinate with brachot in general or with specific brachot. After mastering brachot, we will move onto easier and more well-known tefillot, prayers, that the students will learn to decode and read (and not just chant from memory). Some students will learn the Shema, Barchu, and even V’ahavta.


5th Grade

Learners take a “Jewish Journey” through the lens of eight Jewish values. These values are associated with different lifecycle events.  Jews believe wholeheartedly in the value of participation in lifecycle events throughout our lives: Birth, B’nai mitzvah, Confirmation, Marriage and Death. These five moments in our lives form the foundation of this experiential curriculum, and students will bring them to life for themselves. Students will explore their own connection to different life cycles and have the opportunity to question what they can personally take out of each one. These “Jewish Journey” values are also associated with cities in Israel throughout the year for students to gain a deeper understanding of Israel. We guide learners to discover what it means to have a uniquely Jewish love for Israel as an idea and a physical reality in the world.

The focus of our third year of Hebrew is the building blocks of a typical tefillah (prayer) service, students will be able to read and chant the major prayers of a service. These prayers are at an intermediate level of difficulty. Many with be familiar with the prayers from saying them in our weekly tefillah sessions, but we will be focusing on reading each word correctly and learning to understand the meaning of the prayer. Learners will discover specific roots and important words in each prayer. They will review the prayers learned in previous years and will learn the V’ahavta and Amidah, specifically the Avot V’Imahot, G’vurot and Kedusha.


6th Grade

Learners explore various portions of the Torah and identify five main themes found throughout each portion as they prepare to become b’nei mitzvah. Through this they will further develop their concept of God. They also learn about the Prophets found throughout the תַּנַּ”ךְ (TaNaKh, Torah, Prophets and Writings/Hebrew Bible) in relation to various social justice issues. This enables learners to visualize their role—and Judaism’s role—in the greater community. 

The focus of our fourth year of Hebrew is the Torah service, Musaf service, concluding prayers, and the most complicated prayers. Many of these prayers will be ones students are less familiar with from our weekly tefillah sessions, but are tefillot of Shabbat morning that they will be leading at their B’nai Mitzvah. Those approaching B’nai Mitzvah will also begin to learn chanting Torah trope.


Did you know that in order to make our religious school more exciting, connected, and enriched, we partner with a regional organization? It’s true! We’re proud to partner with the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life (ISJL) to ensure our children an excellent Jewish education. The ISJL is a regional, trans-denominational Jewish organization serving a thirteen-state southern territory. Our school is one of 70 religious schools across this region sharing in the ISJL’s Curriculum, coming together each summer for the ISJL Education Conference, and getting visits from our ISJL Education Fellow.