Shedding New Light on Jewish Traditions

School Curriculum

A Grade by Grade overview of the Or Hadash curriculum: 

Pre-K/Kindergarten and 1st Grades (Gan): Gan meets from 9:00-11:15 on Sunday mornings.  The focus is on Jewish Holidays, Basic Blessings, An Introduction to Torah, Beginning Hebrew Letter Recognition, Ethics and Values and Basic Facts about Israel, our Jewish homeland. 

2nd-6th graders focus on Prayer Hebrew in an experiential manner.  Note that we begin our Hebrew program in 2nd grade to allow for students to have the maximum time to gain Hebrew proficiency.  Students are encouraged to assist with leading services in order to become comfortable on the bimah.  Each class also hosts a Shabbat evening service.  

2nd Grade-6th grade: These grades meet from 9:00-12:30 on Sundays.  A Multi-aged experiential approach with the focus on Jewish Holidays, Ethics and Values, Life Cycle, Bible Stories, Israel, and strengthening Jewish Identity in a variety of ways including:

  • Cooking
  • Art
  • Music
  • Theater
  • Discussion
  • Creative Writing

Special for 6th Grade: Study of Parshat Hashavua-the Torah Portion of the week, Holocaust Study, Torah Cantillation, Ethics and Values.  There is a place for individualization as a situation warrants. 

Our engaging teen program:

Meets on Sundays from 11:15-1:00 during the year. The curriculum is based on the concept that students are ready for adult conversation about important issues that affect their daily lives. The teen programs include informative trips and tzedakah projects in the community.  

7th - 8th-9th grade

  • In 7th grade, the Bnai Mitzvah year, students will focus on Ethics and Values, current events and Torah study with Rabbi Josh
  • 8th-9th graders will be learning with students from neighboring synagogues, churches, meeting houses and mosques about shared values in an effort to become more aware about the similarities we share with other types of Jews and other religions. 
  • Social action trips and engaging speakers will round out our school year.

10th grade

Taking action in our communities and in our world: Using Jewish values to make  the world a better place. (Tikkun Olam)

  • Empowering all, including the elderly, the homeless, abused women and children and people with disabilities
  • Life and death issues: abortion, euthanasia, medical ethics, capital punishment
  • Israeli Government/Israeli People
  • World Peace
  • Jewish environmental ethics
  • Jewish mourning customs
  • Learning the skills to plan and lead a creative confirmation service
  • The students take a trip out into the world to explore social justice and public policy through a  Jewish lens in an effort to voice their Jewish values.  We have taken part in organized trips and also created our own curriculum in order to give our teens this experience.  It is an integral part of our confirmation program.