Religious & Hebrew School
Preparing our children through building skills, understanding, confidence, a love of learning and a motivation to continue their learning.
Children engage in religious and cultural instruction through our Religious School beginning in our Preschool Class and continuing through our Seventh Grade Class. Religious School meets on Sunday mornings from 9:30 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. Hebrew language instruction occurs primarily in our Hebrew School for students in third through sixth grade. Hebrew School meets on Wednesday afternoons from 2:00-4:00 p.m.
Religious School meets on Sunday mornings, from September through May, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and is a prerequisite for children wanting to celebrate a bar or bat mitzvah at Congregation Bet Haverim. Enrollment in our Religious School requires Synagogue Partnership. You may view the Religious & Hebrew School Calendar (link) or download as a PDF (link) for details.
The Religious School Preschool Class is for our three and four-year old children and meets approximately twice each month.
The curriculum follows the calendar of Jewish holidays and learning experiences include circle time, stories, crafts, cooking, nature activities, songs, blessings, and rituals.
During the two-year rotation, children and parents also learn about and experience Shabbat and Havdalah. Torah is introduced using age-appropriate stories from Breisheet (Genesis) and Shemot (Exodus) as well as stories related to Jewish holidays such as Jonah (Yom Kippur), Esther (Purim), and Ruth (Shavuot).
Hebrew learning includes an introduction to the shapes and sounds of some Hebrew letters as well as simple Hebrew vocabulary through music, movement, story, and play. Vocabulary is related to Jewish holidays or classroom concepts such as numbers, colors, and items in the classroom or synagogue.
The curriculum for our combined Kindergarten & First Grade Class includes Jewish holidays, Torah Stories, and an introduction to Hebrew.
Jewish holiday experiences include more in-depth learning through circle time, stories, crafts, cooking, nature activities, and songs. Children will be introduced to the appropriate blessings and rituals for each holiday to enhance home celebrations.
One of the highlights of our Kindergarten & First Grade Class is the Torah Alive program. Through a two-year rotation, the children learn the stories of Breisheet (Genesis) and Shemot (Exodus) as they step into the world of Torah using costumes, simple narratives, and theatre. After each story is introduced, the children create a panel for our Wall of Torah in order to review their learning. The Torah Alive year one unit includes stories from Creation through Jacob & Esau; year two continues with the Joseph narratives, Moses, the Burning Bush, Ten Plagues, and Miriam.
Over the course of the two years, Hebrew learning focuses on the Alef Bet and uses Let’s Discover the Alef Bet from Behrman House. In this curriculum, young children learn the names and sounds of the 22 letters of the alef bet using a series of developmentally appropriate packets. Each folder introduces one letter and includes a key Hebrew word, engaging strategies to recognize the shape and sound of each letter, playful activities, additional Hebrew vocabulary, and optional activities to bring the learning home.
Hebrew learning is also included in a weekly music & movement session focusing on songs for Jewish holidays as well as Hebrew vocabulary such as colors, numbers, classroom items, animals, parts of the body, and food.
The foundation for the curriculum of our Second Grade Class is the Shalom Learning Program. Shalom Learning provides values-based lessons that help children to develop a positive Jewish identity and engage with overarching concepts such as gratitude, caring for others, inner strength, welcoming guests, creating peace, and being created in God’s image.
Through the Shalom Learning curriculum, students are also introduced to Jewish artists and authors as they engage in art projects and literature experiences related to the lessons. The Torah curriculum utilizes The Bible from Alef to Tav as students review stories from Breisheet (Genesis) and Shemot (Exodus) as well as beloved stories from Tanach including Hannah, Ruth, King David, King Solomon, and Esther.
As the children review these Torah and Tanach stories, they continue to enhance their understanding of the alef bet and learn Torah related vocabulary.
Preparation for Jewish holidays continues to focus on stories, rituals, blessings, and traditions. During second grade, students are introduced to all Hebrew letters (not including final consonants), simple use of vowels, and expand their Hebrew vocabulary.
The curriculum for our Third Grade Class includes Jewish holidays, Ten Commandments (Torah), and an Israel STEM unit.
While the learning and preparations for each Jewish holiday will continue to include stories, blessings, and rituals, one of the highlights of the third-grade experience is Jewish holiday cooking (and eating, of course). We invite families to share their favorite holiday recipes and some classes may decide to create a class cookbook.
Another highlight of third grade is an Israel unit from the ROZZY Learning Company. This curriculum uses problem solving activities to introduce different STEM careers in Israel and allow students to appreciate Israel’s geography, people, innovations, and contributions.
The Torah curriculum in third grade uses The Ten Commandments from Behrman House and focuses on the moral lessons of theses teachings with timeless stories from the Bible, Talmud, and Jewish folklore.
The curriculum for our Fourth Grade Class includes units on Prophets as Messengers of God as well as Min Ha’Aretz, Making Meaning from our Food.
In the Prophets unit, students will learn about men and women such as Moses, Joshua, Isaiah, Deborah, and Miriam who brought messages from God to the Jewish people in order to create social action and justice for the world. Students will engage in simplified text study from the Tanach (Torah, Prophets, Writings) and enjoy creative opportunities such as drama, writing, and art to understand the prophets’ contributions.
Using the curriculum Min Ha’Aretz from Behrman House, students will utilize project based learning to explore themes related to growing and harvesting food, reducing food waste and food insecurity, and supporting care of animals.
The curriculum for our Fifth Grade Class includes units on God, Jewish Lifecycle, and Jewish holidays.
Children of all ages want to talk about God and have many questions. Throughout the year, we will use stories and discussions from I Have Some Questions About God by Joel Lurie Grishaver to create a sacred space and engage in these important topics.
In the Jewish Lifecycle unit, students will learn about rituals and traditions related to birth, naming, bar and bat mitzvah, conversion, growing old, and marriage.
One of the highlights of the fifth-grade year is the mock wedding, usually held on the final day of Religious School. The focus for Jewish holidays will be blessings and traditions as well as themes related to the God curriculum.
The curriculum for our Sixth Grade Class includes units on Israel and the Holocaust.
Holiday preparations and celebrations are integrated throughout the year, with a focus on how the holidays are observed in Israel.
The Israel curriculum includes both teacher-created materials as well as lessons from the LINK Israel Program from StandWithUS. The Holocaust is taught through a literature approach using teacher created materials, the book Four Perfect Pebbles, and resources from The Butterfly Project.
Strong parent communication and collaboration throughout the year supports our students in navigating these sensitive but important topics.
The foundation for the curriculum of our Seventh Grade Class is the Seventh Grade Tzedakah Project. As part of this learning experience, students engage in a variety of activities throughout the year to learn about tzedakah and tikkun olam.
As part of the Seventh Grade Tzedakah Project, the students select a social action focus area, direct a charitable campaign, and act as a board of directors making decisions about where to allocate funds. In the past, focus areas have included homelessness, animal welfare, and literacy.
As part of this transformative curriculum, parents of these students are asked to make a contribution to the Seventh Grade Tzedakah Project in lieu of gifts for bar and bat mitzvah celebrations.
During seventh grade, learning about Jewish holidays focuses on mitzvot as well as opportunities for social action.
The Torah curriculum includes an introduction to midrash, both the rabbinic stories that enhance the Torah text as well as the opportunity to create personal midrash. Using Make a Midrash Out of Me, the students use simple drama to study Torah, step into the characters of Breisheet (Genesis), learn some famous traditional midrashim, and create their own midrashic responses.
Hebrew School meets on Wednesday afternoons, from September through May, from 2:00-4:00 p.m. and is a prerequisite for children wanting to celebrate a bar or bat mitzvah at Congregation Bet Haverim. Enrollment in our Hebrew School requires Synagogue Partnership. You may view the Religious & Hebrew School Calendar (link) or download as a PDF (link) for details.
Hebrew Curriculum; Grade Level Overview
Children in our Preschool Class are introduced to simple Hebrew vocabulary through music, movement, story, and play. Vocabulary is related to Jewish holidays or classroom concepts such as numbers, colors, items in the classroom or synagogue.
Children in our Kindergarten and First Grade Class use Let’s Discover the Alef Bet from Behrman House. In this curriculum, young children learn the names and sounds of the 22 letters of the alef bet using a series of developmentally appropriate packets.
Each folder introduces one letter and includes a key Hebrew word, engaging strategies to recognize the shape and sound of each letter, playful activities, additional Hebrew vocabulary, and optional activities to bring the learning home.
Children in our Second Grade Class learn Hebrew using the integrated Hebrew curriculum from the Shalom Learning program.
In this picture-based approach, children will become familiar with the Hebrew alphabet’s letters and introduced to a few simple vowels. Students will learn that Hebrew is read from right to left. They will practice simple single letter reading as well as an introduction to single letter vowel combinations. In addition, they will be introduced to basic vocabulary.
Beginning in Third Grade, students also begin attending Hebrew School on Wednesday afternoon.
During Hebrew School, children in our Third Grade Class use Hebrew Step-By-Step, a newly created curriculum from Rae Antonoff. This innovative curriculum introduces Hebrew letters (including final letters) and vowels. The primary focus is Hebrew decoding beginning with simple combinations and progressing as the curriculum continues.
Hebrew Step-By-Step introduces each letter with a “silly Hebrew trick”, utilizes sound pedagogical strategies for reading, and includes handwriting. The series of eight packets allows children to feel a sense of excitement as they complete each level.
In addition, students in Kitah Alef also participate in Hebrew through Movement, a play based Hebrew immersion program introducing action, classroom, and holiday related vocabulary.
The curriculum for our students in Kitah Bet (fourth grade), Kitah Gimmel (fifth grade), and Kitah Dalet (sixth grade) includes an integrated approach blending materials from Hebrew in Harmony, from Behrman House, Beit Midrash Prayer Curriculum, from Rae Antonoff, and original teacher created materials.
This combination allows our students to build a foundation of Hebrew reading skills while also experiencing creativity through music, art, and critical thinking.
Throughout these grades, students are introduced to a variety of high-quality music to support their learning. Specific information about each grade level prayer sequence is found below.
In addition, students in Kitah Bet continue their learning with Hebrew through Movement. Students in Kitah Gimmel and Kitah Dalet are introduced to Hebrew cursive (script) writing using Handwriting Without Tears (K’tav B’kalut) followed by K’tiv Nachon.
Beit Midrash Prayer Curriculum (JLearn Hub);
Hebrew In Harmony (Behrman House);
Hebrew Through Movement (Jewish Education Center of Cleveland)
Hinei Ma Tov Beit Midrash Prayer Curriculum Ma Tovu Beit Midrash Prayer Curriculum
Neirot, Kiddush (short), Motzei
Beit Midrash Prayer Curriculum
Brachot, Hebrew In Harmony
Barchu Beit Midrash Prayer Curriculum; Hebrew In Harmony Shema Beit Midrash Prayer Curriculum; Hebrew In Harmony V’Ahavta (two paragraphs) Beit Midrash Prayer Curriculum; Hebrew In Harmony
Ner, Nisim, Shehecheyanu
Beit Midrash Prayer Curriculum Ma Nishtanah Beit Midrash Prayer Curriculum; Hebrew In Harmony Yotzer Or (short version, p’techah only) Beit Midrash Prayer Curriculum
Mi Chamocha (evening and morning versions)
Beit Midrash Prayer Curriculum; Hebrew In Harmony
Beit Midrash Prayer Curriculum (JLearn Hub); Hebrew In Harmony (Behrman House);
Hebrew Script Handwriting (Handwriting Without Tears, K’tav B’Kalut)
Shalom Aleichem Hebrew in Harmony L’cha Dodi Hebrew in Harmony Kiddush (long version) Hebrew in Harmony Havdalah Hebrew in Harmony
Mi Chamocha (if not completed in Kitah Bet)
Beit Midrash Prayer Curriculum; Hebrew In Harmony
Maariv Aravim & Yotzer Or (long version)
Hebrew In Harmony Ma Nishtanah (review) Beit Midrash Prayer Curriculum; Hebrew in Harmony Avot V’Imahot Beit Midrash Prayer Curriculum; Hebrew In Harmony Gevurot Beit Midrash Prayer Curriculum; Hebrew in Harmony Kedushah Beit Midrash Prayer Curriculum; Hebrew In Harmony V’Shamru Beit Midrash Prayer Curriculum Oseh Shalom Beit Midrash Prayer Curriculum
Birchot Shalom, Hebrew In Harmony
Beit Midrash Prayer Curriculum (JLearn Hub); Hebrew In Harmony (Behrman House);
Gates of Prayer (introduction to siddur);
Hebrew Script Handwriting (review, K’tiv Nachon)
Kabbalat Shabbat review
Shalom Aleichem, L’cha Dodi
Hebrew in Harmony Torah Service: Ayn Kamocha Beit Midrash Prayer Curriculum; Hebrew In Harmony Torah Service: Av Harachamin Beit Midrash Prayer Curriculum; Hebrew In Harmony Torah Service: Ki Mitziyon Beit Midrash Prayer Curriculum; Hebrew In Harmony Torah Blessings Beit Midrash Prayer Curriculum; Hebrew In Harmony Haftarah Blessings; Etz Hayim He Hebrew In Harmony Aleinu Beit Midrash Prayer Curriculum; Hebrew in Harmony Ein K’Eloheinu, Adon Olam Hebrew In Harmony Mourner’s Kaddish Hebrew in Harmony Introduction to Torah Trope Teacher-created materials
Registration is open for the 2019-2020 school year. Current school year payment options include full, quarterly, or monthly payments. Please refer to the Tuition Assistance Policy for more information.
A minimum payment of 50% of the unpaid balance from a previous school year is required before you can register your child for the upcoming school year. A payment plan needs to be in place for the remainder of the balance.
Please contact the CBH office at email@example.com regarding any registration questions. For questions about the Religious School program, please contact Ardyth Sokoler, Director of Education & Youth.