Unit One: Exploring the Jewish Year
Students learn about the rhythm and flow of the year as they explore the Jewish calendar and experience the Jewish holidays and the cycle of seasons.
Unit Two: An Overview of Mitzvot
Students learn about the three different types of Mitzvot: ritual (saying blessings), gemilut chasadim (acts of love and kindness) and tzedakah (giving money). Each student will make a tzedakah box for use at home. The Jewish concept of being a mensch is introduced.
Unit Three: Let’s Explore God
Students begin to develop a relationship with God by exploring the concepts of talking to God, thanking God, and understanding that God is one. They are introduced to the primary concept of Shema—that God is one. They learn the Shema prayer and explore its meaning. Students will be able to identify a mezuzah and know that the Shema prayer is contained in a mezuzah.
Unit Four: Welcome to the Synagogue—An Exploration of Synagogue Life
Our students visit the sanctuary to learn about the Torah and ritual objects used in prayer. They are taught that Torah is very special to the Jewish people and that to show respect we dress a Torah in a special way. They are also taught to identify a kippah, tallit, and siddur. Students begin to understand the different roles of professionals who work in a synagogue.
Unit Five: Israel
Throughout the year, Kindergarten students learn about Israel. They will learn that the same prayers we say at Temple Shir Tikva are said in Israel. They will discuss the similarities/differences of Shabbat and holidays in Israel and in Wayland.
Hebrew Language Studies
The goals for Kindergarten are letter and vowel recognition, and the association of sounds with the letters and vowels. Students develop a basic comfort and familiarity with the Hebrew alphabet, learning that Hebrew is written from right to left. From listening to their teachers and using picture aids, they also start to build a vocabulary of Hebrew words.
Students are introduced to the Shabbat blessings in a developmentally appropriate manner and participate in two Shabbat Yeladim (Children’s) Services during the year.
Kindergarten students support two different organizations for their Tzedakah Initiative. House to House Israel is a people-oriented and people-caring resource available to individuals that desire to attend to the needs of people living in Israel who are struggling. Project Happy Feet provides shoes for school children whose parents do not have the means to provide them. Warm winter footwear is especially important at the onset of the rain and cold in the fall.
#1: The Keeping Quilt: Creating Life-long Memories
In this first family education session, parents are introduced to the goals of the Kindergarten program and the model of learning at Temple Shir Tikva. Parents read “The Keeping Quilt” by Patricia Polacco. The book will be used as a jumping off point for discussing Jewish identity, Jewish parenting and Jewish role models. This program introduces The Jewish Memory Book project, which will be used in the Kindergarten class year-round.
#2: Challah Baking
Parents and children work together to learn how to make challah while simulating an erev Shabbat experience.
#3: The Shema and Jewish Bedtime Rituals
Parents study the concept of “God is One,” how to speak with their children about God and how to make bedtime a Jewish moment. Children and parents make bedtime Shema pillowcases together.
#4: Passover: An In-Depth Look at the Plagues
Children learn about the plagues at a developmentally-appropriate level and leave the program with tools that help them participate in the seder. Parents have an opportunity to prepare for the upcoming seder in an adult fashion, exploring why the plagues are essential to the seder, and how to present them to their children.
Kindergarteners are offered the option of participating in the Kef Lanu program. Kef Lanu, translated as “Our Fun,” provides an opportunity for all students to have fun, socialize with friends, and learn more about Judaism in an innovative, experiential manner. The program is offered three times per year, immediately following Sunday classes from 11-12:30.
The Kindergarten & Grade 1 Family Meet-and-Greet provides families and students an opportunity to socialize, have a festive lunch and get to know each other. The Family Meet-and-Greet takes place at the start of the year on a Sunday, immediately following religious school.