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Kulanu Learning Curriculum Overview (K-6th)

Welcome

We look forward to welcoming your child into our Kindergarten through 6th-grade Kulanu Learning program, which is on Sunday mornings from 9:30a.m. to noon. Contact Rabbi Walden for more information.

Our Schedule

Every Sunday during Kulanu Learning, the 2023-2024 timing will be:

  • 9:30am-10am: Community Time on the Patio and/or Oneg depending on the weather, to chat, socialize, enjoy snacks, coffee, and a variety of games set out for the kids. We know that making friends is a priority for families, and attending this time will help build those connections! 
  • 10am-10:30am: T'filah in the Sanctuary - parents are encouraged to stay and sing with their child(ren) during T'filah.
  • 10:30am-Noon: Learning Time. It is a top priority to provide an engaging combination of hands-on experiential programs for our students, as well as dynamic discussions and class projects. This year we will pilot a new model for our Electives, and for eight sessions spread across the year there will be a special Chugim (elective) during this learning time led by subject-matter experts (such as artists, cooks, yoga teachers, drama teachers, etc). For the other sessions there will be classroom activities such as stories, discussion, projects, and learning.

Our Curriculum

SESAME SHUL with PJ Library (Babies - Pre-K)

We're excited to have a new project in the works for our babies to pre-k age little ones. We will release dates soon for a collaboration between Shir Hadash and PJ Library to host occasional "Sesame Shul with PJ Library" sessions throughout the school year, along with other story-time sessions. All of the Sesame Shul with PJ Library events will be free and open to the entire community.  

Kindergarten-FIRST Grade

Our curriculum for Kindergarten and 1st Grade focuses on Jewish symbols. We want our students to have tangible representations of Jewish expression that are linked to profound values.  Some of these objects aim to create, enhance or facilitate a connection with God, while others bring to life our biblical stories, and all can enrich our relationship with Judaism. Whatever the reason, symbols give shape to our Jewish identity. 

With these guiding principles in mind, we will aim to explore each symbol through a different lens.   We will strive to create a space that facilitates opportunities for each student to find their own connection to each symbol, we will encourage them to ask, engage, wonder, and reflect.

second grade

Our curriculum for 2nd Grade focuses on Jewish Heroes.   You will be inspired, you will travel, you will explore, and you will experience!   Every hero must make choices—many difficult, some seemingly impossible. These choices, and a person’s actions that follow, make a hero. Students explore the many Jewish heroes from our sacred texts, stories, and history.   Students decide who are their heroes. What makes a Jewish hero? What makes a superhero? Does a hero have to be perfect?  Students gain an understanding of heroes’ common values. 

THIRD GRADE

The curriculum for 3rd grade is based on Mitzvot. Mitzvah (singular for Mitzvot) literally means “commandment.”  In fact, Jewish tradition understands exactly 613  (“tariag”) mitzvot to be derived from the Bible. The common usage of the word Mitzvah often means “good deed”, however, It is not simply a “good deed,” for example, to refrain from murdering or stealing.  And similarly, the mitzvot which deal with feeding the poor, acting kindly to the stranger, or observing the Shabbat are  links to connect with ourselves, with our society and with the entire world.  Traditionally, Mitzvot are understood as God commandments other way to look at this is thinking about an ethical code that help us as individuals and as communities to find the divine.  Our sages thought about this as a guide for a better expression of our humanity,  “The mitzvot were given only in order to purify human beings" (Genesis Rabbah 44).

FOURTH Grade

The curriculum for 4th grade is Stories from the Bible (Torah).  Children love stories, and each of the stories from our Torah embodies examples of things that children, and adults, deal with on a daily basis: environmental responsibility, social responsibility, jealousy between siblings, forgiveness, good and bad judgment, defying our parents/guardians, and many other topics and values. These stories are an invitation  to a deeper reflection about our own lives and a link to connect ourselves to Jewish tradition through “folklore” and values, and of course our personal connection. That’s the power of a good story!

Through Bible stories we will also learn  about the history of the Jewish people.  We will discover who the first Jew was, our heroes and their beliefs, and even about non Jews who risked their own lives to save Jewish lives.  We will exercise the muscle of the memory. We understand memory as the collective experience, and the individual experience that our people lived. 

FIFTH Grade

The curriculum for 5th grade focuses on Deciphering  Prophets and Writings.  It seeks to introduce 5th graders to a wide variety of stories and characters that many times receive less attention, but that offer a rich and inspiring world of narrative, feelings, values and emotions that children at this age can easily relate to. They will explore the idea of being a prophet, how can we be modern prophets today, and how can we take a part in shaping a world of peace, respect, acceptance , and doing our part in Tikkun Olam. 

SIXTH GRADE

The curriculum for 6th grade focuses on the Talmud.  Diving into Talmudic stories is an invitation for us to actively participate in Jewish dialogue.  They will take a part in shaping their own Jewish identity while discussing matters that might concern the whole community,  their group of peers, or themselves. The Talmud is a fascinating compilation of books. The people we encounter, both in the stories and in the commentary are (were) intelligent, articulate, and dedicated to the remarkable project of the continuity of an ancient tradition. The arguments are stimulating, their language gives pleasure, and the immensity of their achievement provokes awe. The Talmud has a touch of humor and wit too. 

Class Havurah Program

The intention of the Class Havurah is to create greater connections between families going through the stages of life together with children of the same age. The children will create bonds and support each other throughout their Jewish education. We understand some families will be in multiple Class Havurah clusters and encourage the entire family to participate in each Class Havurah. This will deepen your child’s connection to Judaism and their Jewish community while developing their Jewish identity.

Each Class Havurah will have a Lead who is responsible for:

  • Connecting with the group and establishing a mode of class communication: WhatsApp, Email List, etc.
  • Help to schedule the four Class Havurah activities for the year.
  • Suggested Class Havurah Activities:
    • 1 Shabbat Dinner: This can be at Shir Hadash or in someone’s backyard, picnic or potluck - make it easy and enjoy each other’s company!
    • 1 Holiday Gathering: Pick a favorite holiday and gather together to celebrate.
    • 2 additional gatherings: This could be a meet up at a park, an afternoon hike, a game night - you decide what works best for your class!

Interested in signing up to be a Class Havurah Lead? Reach out to rabbiwalden@shirhadash.org

FAMILY EDUCATION

Our programs facilitate Jewish experiences and inspire families from all backgrounds to seek out and create their own points of Jewish connection, both individually and together as a family.   Family education programs empower parents to be Jewish role models for their children by helping them attain the tools, props, skills, and information for Jewish living. Further, it gives a Jewish perspective to activities of everyday life. View our Parent Handbook.

Tuition

See tuition and fee details for the Kulanu Learning program.

Attendance

Regular attendance is the foundation of every educational program and is essential in building a spirit of community. It is the policy of Kulanu Learning that all students attend at least 2/3 of the class sessions. Special arrangements for independent study can be made with the educator if there are special circumstances.

Special Needs

My child has special learning needs. Can I enroll him/her? Yes. Please be certain to complete the special needs section of the registration application. We will make every attempt to meet your child’s needs. If we are not able to accommodate your child, we will work with you to find alternative ways to strengthen your child’s Jewish identity. Please contact Rabbi Walden for more information.

Thu, June 13 2024 7 Sivan 5784