Hebrew Education

Temple Beth-El believes children must be equipped with the knowledge of the Hebrew language, which is indispensable for a full appreciation of the spirit of the Jewish people and Israel.  Our curriculum enables students to:

  • Develop familiarity with the sound of the Hebrew language through listening, speaking, singing and decoding
  • Recognize that Hebrew is the language of prayer and the Bible, and is therefore, a holy language
  • Recognize that Hebrew is also a living language spoken every day in the land of Israel
  • Develop the ability to decode Hebrew accurately
  • Develop a basic sight word vocabulary of words used most commonly in Shabbat and holiday worship
  • Develop an understanding of the connection between the knowledge gained in Hebrew studies and the application of that knowledge, not only for b’nei mitzvah, but for a lifetime as a Jewish adult
  • Participate proficiently and comfortably in a synagogue setting

Students in kindergarten through 7th grades attend music sessions weekly.

Hebrew education by grade level includes:

Kindergarten to First Grade

Children are exposed to a “Hebrew letter of the Week” every time they come to religious school. Coloring pages, which are thematically linked to the lesson of the week, are available when students walk in the classroom each morning. Students might learn the letter shin when learning about Shabbat or the letter lamed when learning about the lulav shaken on the holiday of Sukkot.

Second Grade

Children are also exposed to a Hebrew letter each week, this time connected to one of the biblical characters they are studying. It may be a resh for Rachel or a mem for Moses.  The 2nd grade textbook is one of three corresponding books, the other two are used in our third grade classroom.

Third Grade to Sixth Grade

Classrooms use an integrated approach to Hebrew learning. Through participating in the Hebrew Through Movement program, students learn to respond to basic commands in Hebrew. Additionally, by integrating Jewish Life Vocabulary into our regular religious school day, students form a positive relationship with the Hebrew language and learn to appreciate it as a living language which is integrated into their daily lives.

  • In the Third Grade, students learn to decode using the Hebrew letters and vowel sounds they acquire this year. By the end of this year, students are able to read simple Hebrew prayers such as the sh’ma and Shabbat table blessings.
  • Fourth Grade to Sixth Grade are devoted to mastering the prayer service –both its words and melodies, and its meaning. In 6th grade students also learn trope –the musical notations used for chanting Torah and haftarah.




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