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Our Curriculum

The Yavneh program is focused on creating opportunities for kids to explore the Jewish tradition to understand the role Judaism can play in their lives today and in the future.  Every class will spend time connecting to Jewish holidays as they occur.  Students will have opportunities for prayer with Rabbi Hannah, led by our musician in residence, Miss Ariel, and with our Rabbinic Intern.  Our program has a strong community-building element with intentional bonding moments built in throughout the day.  Over the course of their time at Yavneh, students will focus on the following themes:

 

PreK 3 - Our youngest students will engage in play-based learning activities that allow them to explore themes of Jewish holidays, symbols and values.  Teachers will focus on creating a loving environment where children will form a classroom community with each other as part of a larger whole school community.

 

PreK 4 -  The overarching value for our PreK 4 classes is Kol Yisrael Arevim Zeh BaZeh - All Israel is responsible for each other.  They will touch on each Jewish holiday through the lens of this value.  Students will build and explore Hebrew language utilizing Hebrew Through Movement a revolutionary program that helps kids develop a "vocabulary "of Hebrew words before they learn to decode to make learning Hebrew more like learning English.

 

Kindergarten - Students will delve into the Jewish value V'Ahavta l'reicha c'mocha, Love Your Neighbor As Yourself.  They will touch on each Jewish holiday through the lens of this value.  Students will build and explore Hebrew language utilizing Hebrew Through Movement a revolutionary program that helps kids develop a "vocabulary "of Hebrew words before they learn to decode to make learning Hebrew more like learning English.

 

First Grade - Our class will use the stories of Genesis and Exodus to think about families and how we treat each other.  Through dramatic retelling and exploration of these stories, students will learn more about how to build healthy relationships.  Holidays will be encountered through the Biblical text that are connected to them.  Students will build and explore Hebrew language utilizing Hebrew Through Movement a revolutionary program that helps kids develop a "vocabulary "of Hebrew words before they learn to decode to make learning Hebrew more like learning English.

 

Second Grade - Pack your suitcases!  Second grade is taking an imaginary trip to Israel.  They will "visit" important sights, learn about Israel's unique geography, meet Israelis from all walks of life and immerse in Israeli culture.  Students will explore Israeli holiday traditions.  Students will build and explore Hebrew language utilizing Hebrew Through Movement a revolutionary program that helps kids develop a "vocabulary "of Hebrew words before they learn to decode to make learning Hebrew more like learning English.

 

Third Grade - In popular culture, all Jews are Yiddish speaking, white people from New York but our third graders will be introduced to Jewish communities around the world and right here at home.  Students will explore their own family's Jewish story and think about what it means to them to be a link in the chain of Jewish history.  Third Grade students who stay for Bonus Yavneh will participate in a Hebrew Intensive.  They will build and explore Hebrew language utilizing Hebrew Through Movement a revolutionary program that helps kids develop a "vocabulary "of Hebrew words before they learn to decode to make learning Hebrew more like learning English.  They will be introduced to letters, Hebrew songs, games and more.

 

Fourth Grade - Judaism is a tradition grounded in values.  During this year, fourth grade students will explore biblical stories that exemplify the values of Talmud Torah - Learning the Text of our Tradition, Ometz Lev - Courage, Tzedek - Justice, Emet - Truth and Emunah - Faith.  For each value, students will create an artifact that will serve as a reminder of that value and how they can express it in their own lives.  Fourth graders are required to stay for the third hour when they will  learn to decode Hebrew through the use of a primer which will introduce them to Hebrew letters and vowels.  Students work in small groups that are matched based on level and speed so that each student can move through the material at their own pace.

 

Fifth Grade - Judaism uses ritual to mark the major transitions an individual will face in their lifetime.  Throughout this year of learning students will study the patterns and commonalities built into each lifecycle moment - action, food, words, objects.  In coming to learn about each transition, students will gain the ability to craft their own lifecycle moments that may not be traditionally recognized in Judaism but that they want to create a ceremony for.  In Hebrew, our fifth graders meet with Hebrew small groups that are matched based on level and speed.  Some begin or continue their work on learning letters and decoding.  Others will use their decoding skills to practice core prayers.  For each prayer, they will examine the story behind the prayer to develop a personal connection to the prayer.  

 

Sixth Grade - Our sixth grade program has several distinct units.  Students will begin with an exploration of theology that will use multiple modalities such as art, music and poetry to explore Jewish conceptions of God.  Through the unit, students will weave their personal narrative about God.  Students will also explore Tikkun Olam, social justice both as an element in their B Mitzvah ceremonies and as a group project in Yavneh, learning how to choose causes and identify our unique abilities to impact issues we care about.  In the middle of the year, students will begin learning about the Holocaust.  Using the Facing History and Ourselves curriculum, students will focus on inspiring stories of survival, understanding the roots of hatred and devoting themselves to being upstanders.  This unit will culminate in a trip to the US Holocaust Museum and Memorial for students and parents.  Finally, our students will participate in the Moving Traditions B Mitzvah program, which will continue in seventh grade.  This program prepares kids for the transition to adulthood that begins with their B Mitzvah ceremony.  A key component of this program are three sessions that bring parents and kids together to foster some great conversations as you begin this journey.    In Hebrew, our sixth graders will work in small groups that are matched based on level and speed.  Some begin or continue their work on learning letters and decoding.  Others will use their decoding skills to practice core prayers.  For each prayer, they will examine the story behind the prayer to develop a personal connection to the prayer.  

 

Seventh Grade - Our seventh graders are on the cusp of celebrating their B Mitzvah and will meet for two hours about twice a month.  The class features the second half of the Moving Traditions curriculum which focuses on using the B Mitzvah ceremony as a lens for exploring what it means to be a teenager and introduces students to the Jewish perspectives on the transition to adulthood.

 

Bonus Yavneh - The 11:30-12:30 hour of our program is required for all 4th-6th grade students who learn Hebrew during that hour.  Programming is also offered for our PreK 3-3rd grade students during that hour and is included in tuition.  However, we also recognize that some of our younger students might not have the stamina for a full morning and build an off ramp at 11:30.  PreK 3 and 4 students who stay for Bonus Yavneh will continue with deeper learning on topics related to their main lesson for the day.  Kindergarten through 2nd grade students will rotate through 4-5 week intensives where teachers will share their passions and talents.  Intensives may include Israeli Dance, Artistic Exploration of Hebrew Months, Purim Spiel Prep, Singing our Way Through Hanukkah and more.  Third graders who stay for Bonus Yavneh  will have the opportunity to further expand and develop their Hebrew skills with more vocabulary and introduction to the letters.

Hebrew on the Hill - Hebrew proficiency requires frequency and repetition.  We recommend all students in 4th-6th grades participate in Hebrew on the Hill.  This program offers private one-on-one virtual tutoring during the week at a time that is convenient for your family.  You can sign up for Hebrew on the Hill when you register for Yavneh and then will be contacted in October to set up your regular session.

Fri, June 21 2024 15 Sivan 5784