Beit Binah for Kids in Pre-K through 6th Grade
A human being is a spark of the divine. Nowhere do we witness this more than with our children. Jewish wisdom teaches that this spark must be nurtured and developed through study, acts of kindness, and relationships with trusted mentors. Such is the spirit of Beit Binah at Kol Shofar, literally, “The place of understanding.”
Our program for students in grades K-6 is designed to instill a foundational knowledge of Torah, prayer oriented Hebrew, and Jewish virtues that will serve as an inspiration for a further Jewish intellectual and spiritual development to last a lifetime. We are an egalitarian, inclusive program that blends traditional and contemporary learning through the lenses of relevant Torah learning, prayerful reflection, deeds of loving-kindness, and community.
Parent Student Guide
Students in Pre-K through 6th grade attend Sundays, while students in 3rd through 6th grade attend both Sundays and Wednesdays. Critical to full family-engagement is that parents are encouraged to participate at either the start of the day of the end of the day, during prayer services or community circle. These are often the most impactful moments in the program. Note the areas where parents are encouraged to be involved in the daily schedule.
A typical Beit Binah week looks like:
Sundays: 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
8:30 a.m.: Community bagel nosh (parents welcome!)
9:00 a.m.: Tefilah prayer services (parents welcome!)
9:30 a.m.: Perek Alef (1st period of classroom learning)
10:25 a.m.: Hafsakah (recess)
10:35 a.m.: Perek Bet (2nd period of classroom learning)
11:40 a.m.: Kehillah community circle (parents welcome!)
Wednesdays: 4:00 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.
4:00 p.m.: Perek Alef (1st period of classroom learning)
4:40 p.m.: Hafsakah (recess)
4:50 p.m.: Perek Bet (2nd period of classroom learning)
5:30 p.m.: Tefilah prayer services (parents welcome!)
5:45 p.m.: Dismissal
The world depends upon three things: Torah, Avodah (service of the heart), and Gemilut Hasadim (acts of loving kindness).
– Mishnah, Avot 1:2
We employ a project-based curriculum guided essential questions and understandings, as well as identifiable units of knowledge and skills. Our curriculum is divided into three threads which interweave throughout the course of the year: Torah, Avodah (prayer and meaning), and Gemilut Hasadim (acts of loving kindness). The following includes a condensed overview of the curricular goals for each grade level, which spiral forward from year to year.
Kitah Gan – Prek/Kindergarten
- The story of creation and how Shabbat is an important Jewish concept
- The synagogue’s role in Jewish life.
- What is a mitzvah?
- Prayer is an important part of spiritual life, focusing on the prayer of gratitude.
- Identify essential Hebrew letters.
Kitah Alef – 1st grade
- How do the stories from the Torah relate to me?
- What kind of mitzvot apply to my life?
- What is the benefit of praying in a group? The Shema is a central Jewish prayer.
- The Jewish holidays make the year much more interesting.
- Expand upon basic Hebrew letters and usage.
Kitah Bet – 2nd grade
- What is the Torah exactly and who is the first Jewish family (Abraham and Sarah)?
- Prayer as a method of relationship with ancestors, such as Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekkah.
- How do we welcome people, such as in the story of Abraham and the angels?
- Hebrew prayer skills, including the central prayer of Abraham.
Kitah Gimmel – 3rd grade
- Stories of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob teach us the importance of family commitment.
- The Shema is a prayer about commitment to the Jewish people and God.
- How we treat those who are sick, as well as animals is a demonstration of our commitment to values.
- Hebrew decoding and essential vocabulary.
Kitah Dalet – 4th grade
- The story of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs lends to a physical and spiritual journey.
- The concept of holiness is in prayer, people, God, and land.
- How do we honor our parents?
- Chanting and decoding basic Hebrew prayers.
Kitah Heh – 5th grade
- The identity as slaves and Moses as a leader offers a paradigm of Jewish ethics and thought.
- What is the difference between intention and structure (keva and kavannah) in prayer and meditation?
- Having the power to choose and destroy is exemplified in the holiday of Tu B’Shevat regarding wanton destruction.
- Hebrew prayers such as Ashrei, the Amidah, and Shema and its blessings are emphasized.
Kitah Vav – 6th grade
- Independent use of the chumash (bible book) to evaluate the role of Moses and the people.
- Taking care of the people also means taking care of ourselves with health and exercise (shemirat ha-guf).
- Hebrew prayers according to the Bar/t Mitzvah are emphasized for leadership and proficiency.