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Our Kindergarten through Fifth Grade classes meet on Sundays from 9-11:30 AM. the morning begins with community connection.  The entire school participates in a music-filled service and learns with a story about the weekly Torah portion and/or a reflection on Jewish moral values.  From there, our students go to their classrooms where their morning is divided among Judaica studies, Hebrew Through Movement (a technique of teaching Hebrew through auditory learning and responding to Hebrew commands through movement), music, and time spent with our Rabbi and Cantor.


Our 6th to 12th grade students meet on Wednesday evenings from 4:30 – 7 PM. During this time, our students eat dinner together, which builds community in our upper school and allows our students time to socialize and bond with one another.  Our sixth and seventh grade begin with a brief communal prayer service which reflects modern events and interpretations of our prayers.

Class Descriptions


Our Gan/Aleph class is introduced to mitzvot, Jewish holidays and the Genesis stories with an emphasis on the story of Creation.  They learn the Hebrew prayer Sh’ma and the brachot (blessings) associated with Shabbat. Our Gan/Aleph students explore the Hebrew language through Hebrew Through Movement, an interactive program in which students are exposed to modern Hebrew through active listening and movement.  Sundays 9:00-11:30 AM.


Our Kitah Bet class places a special emphasis on learning about tzedakah (righteousness), exploring different charitable organizations and choosing a class tzedakah project. This unit culminates in a trip to the Pleasantville Food Pantry. Kitah Bet students learns Hebrew through Sam the Detective Stories and Hebrew Through Movement.  Our students build upon their knowledge of Genesis by learning about the matriarchs and patriarchs in the Book of Genesis and how we can emulate their positive characteristics today.  Sundays 9:00-11:30 AM.


For our Kitah Gimmel students, Shabbat experiential learning culminates in a Shabbat family program during which families come together to bake challah, sing, recite prayers in a Welcoming Shabbat family program on Sunday morning.  Our Hebrew Bible studies continue with learning about the ancestral stories of Jacob, Joseph and the story of the Exodus. Our goal is to have our students be able to blend Hebrew consonants and Hebrew vowels by the end of the year.   Sundays 9:00-11:30 AM.


Beginning in Kitah Dalet, the morning is divided between Judaica and Hebrew studies with two different teachers.  Our students gain Hebrew skills through a rotation of Hebrew game stations such as Hebrew twister and Hebrew football/basketball (depending on the season).  In Judaica studies, our students embark on a “Be a Mensch” campaign, learning Jewish values and how we can implement them and demonstrate them in our lives. As part of our exploration into our Jewish values curriculum, our students plan and then visit the elderly at a local nursing home.  In doing this, the students participate in the Jewish value of kibud zekaynim, honoring the elderly.  Sundays 9:00-11:30 AM.


Hebrew in Harmony is the digital-based curriculum core for our fifth and sixth grade students in which students learn Hebrew through learning traditional and contemporary melodies of Jewish prayers. As students delve into the history and meaning of our prayers, they also watch short videos of contemporary Jewish musicians and then students discuss the modern interpretations of these prayers.  In Judaica studies, our fifth graders also learn about Jewish life-cycle events which includes mock Jewish ceremonies such as a baby-naming and a mock wedding.  Watching our students come to CJL on a Sunday morning dressed up and excited for the mock wedding is truly memorable. Our fifth-grade students also are paired with an Israeli school and hold live video conferences with Israeli students of similar ages. Through regular correspondence with this school and students throughout the year, our students learn about Israel from their peers and how our Israeli brothers and sisters practice Judaism. They also learn how similar they are to one another as they embrace the same trends, widgets and iPhones! A highlight of the year is our field trip to the Eldridge Street Synagogue in NYC and learning about the Jewish history of the Lower East Side.  Also no trip would be complete without also a trip to a famous bagel/bialy and candy shop!  Sundays 9:00-11:30 AM.


Our sixth grade Judaica curriculum is a condensed study of the history of the Book of Judges to the mid 1880's.  Our students learn about famous Jewish heroes during this time and how we wish to model their values in our lives today.  Our sixth-grade students learn about the Jewish value of Bikur Cholim (visiting the sick) while supporting the Caring Committee here at TINW. Our students live out this Jewish value by visiting the residents of the Montrose VA Hospital. Hebrew in Harmony is the digital-based curriculum core for our sixth-grade students in which more advanced prayers such as L’cha Dodi, Kedusha, and Havdalah are explored through contemporary and traditional melodies. Our sixth-grade families come together for a student led Havdalah service in the spring.  During this service, our students receive their own Hebrew prayer book, symbolizing the commencement of their journey toward becoming b’nai mitzvah, children of the commandments.  Wednesdays 4:30-7:00 PM.


With bar/bat mitzvah on the forefront of their minds, our students spend time preparing by interpreting the weekly Torah portion. They also hone their Hebrew skills by practicing prayers for their upcoming b’nai mitzvah service. The core of the seventh grade Judaica curriculum is students planning and choosing their 18-hour community service / mitzvah project as part of their b’nai mitzvah journey.  The year culminates in a family Shabbat dinner and service during which our students present the highlights of his/her mitzvah project and which Jewish values the project represents.  An interactive unit on immigration to America, an examination of the Holocaust and World War II, and the establishment of the State of Israel are also covered during Kitah Zayin’s Judaica curriculum.  Wednesdays 4:30-7:00 PM.


This is a two-year rotating curriculum. The first year is an Exploration of Jewish Diversity during which students compare various forms of Jewish practice – different branches of Judaism, Judaism in Israel, and international Jewish communities.  The second year is a study of Comparative Religion focusing on Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Students will regularly examine what values these religions share and how they differ in practice and custom.  During a portion of the year, female students will participate in Rosh Chodesh and male students will participate in Shevet Achim.  Wednesdays 4:30-7:00 PM.


During the confirmation year, students explore and deepen their identity as young Jewish adults.  Rabbi Jaech teaches the students every week, and Rabbi Pein is also a regular teacher of these students.  Confirmation students learn to engage with Jewish texts and traditions on an adult level.  They also learn how to apply Jewish values to their daily lives, and to their role as citizens of our greater community and our nation.  The year includes a four-day trip to Washington DC to participate in the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism's L'Taken Social Justice Seminar for teens.  This trip culminates in a visit to Capitol Hill where the students make presentations to congressional staff.  At the end of the year, students lead a worship service in celebration of their confirmation.  During the service the students speak about what they value about being a young Jewish adult.  Temple Israel honors those who have been confirmed here by permanently displaying their class photographs in our downstairs hallway.  Wednesdays 4:30 - 7:00 PM. 


The 11th and 12th grade class focuses on addressing issues of connecting Judaism to our daily lives. In a relaxed atmosphere, students grapple with some challenging topics such as: What makes me Jewish? Do we believe in God? What type of God do we believe in? What is my role in the global refugee crisis? How do we connect our Jewish values to our actions? Why can/can’t Jews get tattoos? The 11th/12th grade includes a strong social action component – our students plan and participate in social action projects that reflect their concerns and passions. As the upper-class men/women of the CJL, students lead discussions and projects with the younger students and are role models and peer leaders for those students.   Wednesdays 4:30-7:00 PM.

Thu, April 9 2020 15 Nisan 5780