Judaic Curriculum

First Grade

nursery

  • The Abrams Hebrew Academy Judaic studies curriculum integrates Hebrew throughout the entire curriculum.  First graders are immersed in a Hebrew environment ( (סביבה עברית  based on the innovative Tal-Am Hebrew curriculum (http://www.talam.org that integrates the heritage and communicative aspects of the language.

Language Studies – Safah

  • The first grade Tal Am curriculum, which Abrams employs, encompasses language, holidays, and parshat haShavua פרשת השבוע (weekly Torah portion).
  • Through song, story, and demonstration the children are engaged in Hebrew for half of the school day. The immersive language instruction allows students to build a foundation of Hebrew grammar that they can use in spoken and written language.
  • First grade students will be able to read, write, (in cursive), comprehend and speak basic Hebrew.

Judaic Studies

  • Language skills are applied in a positive, supportive, and joyful manner as first graders learn about the holidays through studying laws and customs, creating holiday projects, and participating in special programs and trips.
  • Students also study Parshat HaSavuah-the weekly Torah portion, and become familiar with Bible stories, and the lessons of midot-values and mitzvoth-commandments rooted in these tales.
  • Berakhot-blessings are taught experientially through foods and activities that relate to upcoming holidays and the world around them.

Activities

The First Grade Siddur Play, presented each spring, gives first graders a chance to showcase their mastery of their Judaic studies. The students present a delightful and memorable performance, comprised of recitation, song, music, and dance, all in Hebrew.  The highlight of the event for parents is the unforgettable creative display of knowledge and love of learning showcased by their children.  The highlight of the event for the students is when they receive their own, personal siddurim-prayer books.

Second Grade

Overview

In second grade, students build upon the knowledge acquired in first grade, strengthening their reading, writing and conversational skills, building vocabulary, and gaining confidence in their acquisition and fluency of a second language.

Language Studies – Safah

  • Building on the first grade experience, the students continue to develop useful basic vocabulary for home, school and community based on the Tal Am Curriculum.
  • Students are encouraged to converse in Hebrew about their home and school surroundings.
  • In second grade, the concept of past tense is introduced and students begin to construct their understanding of grammar.
  • Students will be able to compose sentences and short written paragraphs to communicate ideas in a second language.

Judaic Studies

  • Judaic Studies curriculum for second grade focuses on the Chumash (Bible) and Dinim U’Minhagim (Laws and Customs).
  • Students are introduced to the study of the Bible through the story of Noah’s Ark, (Parshat Noach) and follow this parsha with Parshat Lech Lecha.
  • In conjunction with the biblical text, students use a beginner’s textbook to begin to develop biblical reading skills and to build their Biblical Hebrew vocabulary.
  • Students study laws and customs by focusing on the various Jewish holidays that take place throughout the school year, from Rosh HaShanah through Shavuot.
  • Students learn various berakhot-blessings, and study and perform acts of chesed-kindness, as their awareness of derekh eretz-proper respect is developed.
  • Weekly Shabbat parties imbue the students with a deep respect and anticipation of this most special holiday.
  • In addition to traditional religious holidays, students also learn about modern observances and holidays such as Tu B’Shevat–Festival of Trees, Yom Ha Shoah-Holocaust Remembrance Day, and Yom Ha’atzmaut-Israeli Independence Day.

Third Grade

Overview

Third graders continue to grow in their study of Chumash -Bible, and they add Rashi to their growing list of skills. In Ivrit, they broaden their reading and writing abilities. New Tefillot are introduced, including the Shemonah Esrei, Hallel, and Kiddush for Shabbat.  A strong emphasis placed on Midot-Values, and addressed topics include, the laws regarding proper speech, and respect for parents, teachers, and the elderly.

Language Studies — Safah

  • In third grade, the Hebrew language blossoms as the children expand their vocabulary to be able to communicate about themselves, their family and their friends.
  • Their command of the Hebrew language progresses.
  • Students will be able to incorporate more complex verbs and concepts in spoken and written language, through the Tal Am curriculum.

Judaic Studies

Chumash – Bible

  • Third grade students continue their studies in Sefer Bereshit with the stories of the “Avot” and “Imahot”   in the Parshiyot of Chayye Sarah, Toldot, Vayetze, and Vayishlach.
  • A reverence for the characters and the text itself is emphasized, as is the ability to apply the Torah’s events to present day life.
  • Students are taught to read Rashi, and understand Rashi’s methodology of how to analyze and explain the text.

Dinim U’Minhagim – Laws and Customs

  • Along with a review of the laws relating to the Chagim, students expand their knowledge of other areas of Jewish Law.
  • Among the topics that are studied are “The Beit Hakneset” where students get a familiarity with all the ins and outs of a synagogue, and Jewish Rituals such as Tzizit, Kiddush and Havdalah.

Tefillah – Prayer

  • Students regularly conduct the Shacharit Service.
  • The “Mainstays” of Tefillah are learned this year – the Sh’ma, in its entirety, and most of the Sh’moneh Esrei.
  • Special Tefillot are added on Chagim and Rosh Chodesh.
  • Students develop a fluency in their siddur reading, as well as a general comprehension of the Tefillot.

Derech Eretz – Proper Respect

  • Students continue their exploration of topics governing proper conduct among people.
  • Among the topics covered are “Bein Adam La-chavero”-interpersonal relationships and honoring parents, teachers and the elderly.

Fourth Grade

Overview

Fourth graders progress in their study of Chumash-Bible, and add the study of Navi-Prophets, as they continue to broaden their skills and knowledge base. They grow in their knowledge of and familiarity with Tefillah Prayer, and grow more comfortable with the siddur.

Language Studies — Safah

  • Abrams Hebrew Academy is delighted to participate as a pilot school in a new Orot אורות Hebrew curriculum developed by Dr. Amiel Sabari, a Hebrew language scholar.
  • The Orot אורות program includes higher level thinking as the students apply grammar concepts and new vocabulary in constructing their own sentences and short written works.
  • The literature contained in the program connects the students to the Jewish calendar and to Jewish values. The program is constructed in such a way that in each unit grammar concepts are reviewed and reinforced.
  • As a scoped and sequenced educational program, students will be introduced to new concepts which will be revisited in each unit and each grade.

Judaic Studies

Chumash and Navi – Bible and Prophets

  • Students study the stories of Jacob and Joseph and his brothers as they learn the parashiyot of Vayishlach, Vayeshev, Miketz, Vayiggash,  Vayechi.
  • Students build on their skills in reading commentaries and refine their ability to discuss concepts coherently.
  • Students begin their study of Navi-Prophets with the first ten and last ten chapters of the book of Joshua, learning about the conquest of the land of Israel. Following that, the Book of Shofetim-Judges, through the story of Shimshon is studied.
  • The students learn the vocabulary of the Navi and relate the narrative to the map of Israel.
  • They are encouraged to relate events in the Navi to previously studied Bible selections, and to develop pride in the sovereignty of the Jewish people.

Dinim U’Minhagim – Laws and Customs

  • Students add to their knowledge of the halakhot-religious laws of the various holidays, and progress toward a fondness for their heritage.
  • They learn the laws of Torah reading, details about the Written Torah and the Oral Torah.

Tefillah – Prayer

  • As students continue their daily Shacharit services, new tefillot are added to the repertoire, in addition to completing the Sh’monah Esrei.
  • Students become knowledgeable in the format of the daily siddur as well as the Shabbat siddur.

Derech Eretz – Proper Respect

  • In the next stage of their exploration of interpersonal conduct, students learn the laws of respect for peers as well as for property.
  • Students study the laws as well as their underlying social values, learning how to carry what they’ve learned into the “Real World”.

Fifth Grade

Overview

Fifth Grade is somewhat of a transitional year as the students get prepared for middle school. In Tefillah, students learn the ins and outs of, and how to take part in, “Tefillah Bitzibur”- Public Prayer (Minyan), which they will be attending in middle school. In Chumash -Bible, Dinim-Laws and Safah-Language, the students are given a deeper understanding of these subjects enabling them to make a smooth change to the higher intensity of middle school..

Language Studies – Safah

  • Fifth graders continue to hone the skills and knowledge learned in the previous years.
  • Goals for language skills include the ability to comprehend the text without the aid of translation; to use oral expression about daily topics, and to compose short essays on their own.
  • In fifth grade, the students also use the new pilot Orot אורות (see description of Orot program in Fourth Grade Hebrew Curriculum).

Judaic Studies

Chumash and Navi - Bible and Prophets

  • Chumash study begins with the book of Sh’mot-Exodus. The Parshiot of  Shmot through Be’shalach are covered.
  • In Navi-Prophets the students study Book of  Shmuel Alef and Bet (Book of Samuel 1 and 2) are studied.  Students learn how to read independently by identifying Biblical Hebrew roots to help determine the meaning of the new words.
  • Fifth graders perfect their reading of Rashi and learn to predict Rashi’s questions as they become more familiar with his style.

Halacha – Jewish Law

  • The fifth graders, study many of the laws that pertain to the Beit Hakneset-Synagogue.
  • Included in this are, Chazarat Hashatz, Kedushah, Kadish, and Kriat Hatorah, and other sections of the prayers, they will soon encounter when they move up to pray with a Minyan in the Middle School.

Tefillah – Prayer

  • The fifth graders fill in the “missing pieces” of the Shacharit prayers that they have yet to learn to complete the morning prayers. Pe’sukai Di’zimrah, Tachanun, and Ashrei – Uvah Le’tzion, and the full Hallel are examples of this.

Sixth Grade

For an overview of the Judaic Program and its goal, click here

Language Studies – Safah

  • The sixth grade Hebrew curriculum continues to build on the fifth grade curriculum, with a strong stress on reading and oral vocabulary.
  • An emphasis is placed on fluid natural conversation to be spoken confidently with feeling and expression. (see description of Orot program in Fourth Grade Hebrew Curriculum).
  • Mishnah/Talmud Overview

The Talmud curriculum is divided into two parts. Students in grade six study Mishnah. Students in grade seven and grade eight study Talmud. The curriculum seeks to teach the historical development of the Talmud, the relationships between the Torah she-bi-Khetav and the Torah she-be-al Peh, and the Talmudic method of learning through questions and answers. Students are taught how to read and translate the text, search for alternative meanings and to anticipate questions and answers. The program teaches students how to read and understand the Talmud on their own, as well as how to study with a chavruta and in a classroom. Students are encouraged to think analytically and to debate openly with their classmates and teachers. Students also learn many practical halakhot, aggadot and Talmudic morals and values.

  • The sixth grade begins to study Mishnah, with an emphasis on the relationship mitzvot bein adam la-chavero.
  • Tanach Overview
  • The Tanach curriculum seeks to teach students how to read and study the texts, study Rashi’s commentary, and learn Torah independently. Through the study of Tanach, students learn the values and Mitzvot of the Torah. The curriculum enables students to appreciate Torah values, incorporate such values in their daily lives, and enjoy the study of Tanach.
  • Sixth Grade students study the Parshiot that contain within them the bulk of the Mitzvot in the Torah.
    • This includes the Parshiot of Mishpatim, Kedoshim, and Ki Teitzei.
    • The students have the opportunity to see the synthesis between the Written (Sheh’ Bechtav) and the Oral (Shebeh’al Peh) Torah, as they begin with the simple P’sukim and gain a broader understanding through Mishna and Talmudic sources.
    • In Navi they study Melachim Alef and Bet (Book of Kings 1 and 2).
    • Students learn to become increasingly sensitive to the use of language in the Tanach. For instance, they are taught to identify and analyze additional words in the text, repetitive statements and unusual dialogue.
  • Halacha-Jewish Law
  • The Sixth grade Halacha curriculum compliments, and corresponds to the students’ study of Chumash this year. As mentioned, the sixth graders concentrate on the Parshiot in the Torah that have many of the Mitzvot.Some of the Mitzvot that are discussed in great detail are the Chagim-Holidays, the Mitzvot associated with the Land of Israel (i.e. Sh’mittah-Sabbatical Year, Bekurim-First Fruits, Terumah-Tithing of crops by the farmer, etc.) and Shabbat.
  • The Tanach curriculum seeks to teach students how to read and study the texts, study Rashi’s commentary, and learn Torah independently. Through the study of Tanach, students learn the values and Mitzvot of the Torah. The curriculum enables students to appreciate Torah values, incorporate such values in their daily lives, and enjoy the study of Tanach.

Seventh Grade

For an overview of the Judaic Program and its goal, click here

Safah-Language Studies

In seventh grade the students continue to progress in their facility with the Hebrew Language. Students can express themselves on a variety of topics, including biographies of their own family members and their own thoughts and feelings. Students learn to read and comprehend both literary texts and selections from newspapers. The Orot אורות Hebrew Program is continued in this grade.(see description of Orot program in Fourth Grade Hebrew Curriculum).

Mishnah/Talmud

The Talmud curriculum is divided into two parts. Students in grade six study Mishnah. Students in grade seven and grade eight study Talmud. The curriculum seeks to teach the historical development of the Talmud, the relationships between the Torah she-bi-Khetav and the Torah she-be-al Peh, and the Talmudic method of learning through questions and answers. Students are taught how to read and translate the text, search for alternative meanings and to anticipate questions and answers. The program teaches students how to read and understand the Talmud on their own, as well as how to study with a chavruta and in a classroom. Students are encouraged to think analytically and to debate openly with their classmates and teachers. Students also learn many practical halakhot, aggadot and Talmudic morals and values.

  • In seventh grade students begin the study of Talmud.
  • Students focus on selected chapters (which vary year to year) which discuss applicable every day Jewish Laws, while also building a foundation for all future Talmudic Study.
  • The texts include Perek Tefilat Hashachar (laws of prayer), and Perek Kaitzad Meh’vorchim (laws of B’rachot), among others.

Tanach

The Tanach curriculum seeks to teach students how to read and study the texts, study Rashi’s commentary, and learn Torah independently. Through the study of Tanach, students learn the values and Mitzvot of the Torah. The curriculum enables students to appreciate Torah values, incorporate such values in their daily lives, and enjoy the study of Tanach.

  • Seventh Grade students study the Book of Bamidbar – the Parshiot of Sh’lach through Balak.
  • Seventh graders learn to read individual Pesukim with the correct intonation.
  • They learn to figure out the basic point of a Pasuk without knowing the meaning of every word.

Halacha-Jewish Law

  • The seventh grade studies, some of the Halachot that are applicable on a daily basis.
  • The ins and outs of Kashrut are taught extensively, as are the Laws of Tzeddakah.

Jewish History

Unique to the seventh and eighth grades is a comprehensive study of Jewish History. A strong emphasis is put on this topic to give the students an appreciation of who they are and where they’ve come from. Students get an understanding of their vital role in being the next link in our unbroken chain of glorious history.

  • In seventh grade the Second Temple era is studied in detail from the end of the Babylonian exile through the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash and the dispersion throughout the Diaspora.

Eighth Grade

For an overview of the Judaic Program and its goal, click here

Safah-Language Studies

  • The Eighth Grade Hebrew curriculum gives students the ability and confidence that they will need to fully engage with Israelis during their culminating eighth grade trip to Israel.
  • Moreover, they are competently prepared to excel in high school Hebrew studies. Students become proficient in 5 of the 7 Hebrew Verb structures (בנינים).
  • Goals include the ability to read and understand stories, diaries, and articles, (from current Israeli papers such as Yediot Acharonot and Ma’ariv) and to compose creative writing including personal essays, their plans for the future and interviews with teachers. (see description of Orot program in Fourth Grade Hebrew Curriculum).

Mishnah/Talmud Overview

The Talmud curriculum is divided into two parts. Students in grade six study Mishnah. Students in grade seven and grade eight study Talmud. The curriculum seeks to teach the historical development of the Talmud, the relationships between the Torah she-bi-Khetav and the Torah she-be-al Peh, and the Talmudic method of learning through questions and answers. Students are taught how to read and translate the text, search for alternative meanings and to anticipate questions and answers. The program teaches students how to read and understand the Talmud on their own, as well as how to study with a chavruta and in a classroom. Students are encouraged to think analytically and to debate openly with their classmates and teachers. Students also learn many practical halakhot, aggadot and Talmudic morals and values.

  • Eighth Grade continues to study texts that teach basic fundamental understanding of the methodology of the dynamics of the Gemarah.
  • Attention is given to assure that the students will be amply prepared for any Talmudic Program in the various high schools that they will attend.

Tanach

The Tanach curriculum seeks to teach students how to read and study the texts, study Rashi’s commentary, and learn Torah independently. Through the study of Tanach, students learn the values and Mitzvot of the Torah. The curriculum enables students to appreciate Torah values, incorporate such values in their daily lives, and enjoy the study of Tanach.

Eighth grade students study selected topics in the Book of Devarim. Students continue to develop the skills they have learned and learn how to understand an unfamiliar word by its content or by knowing its familiar usage in other places in the Torah.

Halacha Jewish Law

Consistent with goals of an education that will last long beyond graduation from Abrams; the eighth graders study the Jewish Life Cycle. This important unit covers all stages of Jewish life, from birth, through death and bereavement.

Jewish History

Unique to the seventh and eighth grades is a comprehensive study of Jewish History. A strong emphasis is put on this topic to give the students an appreciation of who they are and where they’ve come from. Students get an understanding of their vital role in being the next link in our unbroken chain of glorious history.

In the eighth grade additional key events in the Diaspora over the last millennium are discussed in detail. The bulk of the year however, is dedicated to the two most significant events of the 20th Century – the Holocaust, and the birth of the State of Israel.

Other Academic Offerings

Middle School Judaic Program Overview

Middle school is where students begin to learn their obligations and place in the Jewish community at large. Students are given the tools to not only be committed members of Am Yisrael, but also the charge to one day become leaders in their communities. The students participate in a daily Minyanim (separate but equal for both boys and girls) where they gain hands on experience as the Ba’alei Tefilah, Ba’alei Kriah, and Gaba’im of the Minyan. The learning repertoire is expanded with the addition of Torah Shebeh’al Peh (Mishna and Talmud) in addition to their Tanach studies. The Hebrew language program takes on a new intensity as the students are given a deeper understanding and appreciation for Ivrit. The culmination of this well-rounded Jewish education is the yearly eighth grade trip to Israel where the students experience first hand all that they have been studying.

Mishnah/Talmud

The Talmud curriculum is divided into two parts. Students in grade six study Mishnah. Students in grade seven and grade eight study Talmud. The curriculum seeks to teach the historical development of the Talmud, the relationships between the Torah she-bi-Khetav and the Torah she-be-al Peh, and the Talmudic method of learning through questions and answers. Students are taught how to read and translate the text, search for alternative meanings and to anticipate questions and answers. The program teaches students how to read and understand the Talmud on their own, as well as how to study with a chavruta and in a classroom. Students are encouraged to think analytically and to debate openly with their classmates and teachers. Students also learn many practical halakhot, aggadot and Talmudic morals and values.

Tanach

The Tanach curriculum seeks to teach students how to read and study the texts, study Rashi’s commentary, and learn Torah independently. Through the study of Tanach, students learn the values and Mitzvot of the Torah. The curriculum enables students to appreciate Torah values, incorporate such values in their daily lives, and enjoy the study of Tanach.

Jewish History

Unique to the seventh and eighth grades is a comprehensive study of Jewish History. A strong emphasis is put on this topic to give the students an appreciation of who they are and where they’ve come from. Students get an understanding of their vital role in being the next link in our unbroken chain of glorious history.

Israel Trip

Since December of 1999, Abrams Hebrew Academy has been taking its 8th grade to Israel each year. Our belief is that our students should have a love and passion for Israel at an early age. We prepare our  8th grade all year for there trip, teaching them the fundamentals about the land. Once we take our trip, our students have an eye opening experience. They have a full understanding of the importance of the State of Israel and a meaning for the Jewish people to have a home.

We have also seen our students flourish and go on to study in Israel, post high school or even making Aaliyah. Many of our students have relayed to us that from their 8th grade Israel trip, they had become inspired and had an intense yearning to be in Israel.

We currently work with the tour company Live Israel Tours. If you would like to learn more about our trip and Live Israel Tours, please scroll down to our Israel section on the menu bar.

Check out the 2013 Israel trip here!

Secular Curriculum

To view the Secular Curriculum, click here