Early Childhood Center Curriculum
Our goal is to help children develop a Jewish identity by introducing them to Jewish culture and practice in developmentally appropriate ways. In school, we celebrate Kabbalat Shabbat and all Jewish holidays, and we strive to include family members in the preparation and celebration of these events. We teach Shabbat and holiday songs. We expose our children to Jewish and Torah stories. We teach a love of Eretz Israel. Our Judaic curriculum includes:
- God, Torah, mitzvot, prayer, Hebrew, Israel, Shabbat and festivals, Jewish identity, Jewish life cycle events, Jewish values, and Jewish community
- Holidays celebrated include: Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Simhat Torah, Hanukkah, Tu B’Shevat, Purim, Pesah, Yom Ha-atzmaut, Lag B’Omer, and Shavuot
- Immersion program introduces Hebrew through conversation, song, dance and stories
- We emphasize teaching the following Jewish mitzvot: Kibbud Av Va’aim - Honor your father and mother, Hakhnasat Orhim - welcoming guests, Bikkur holim - visiting the sick, Hashavat Avaydah - returning lost items to their owners, and Tzedakah - charity
- We say the following t'fillot and berahot: Modeh Ani, Shema, Adon Olam, Borei minei mezanot - blessing over snack, Ha-motzi - blessing over bread, Borei p’ri ha-etz - blessing over fruit, Birchat Ha-mazon - grace after meals, Le-hadlik ner - blessing over the Shabbat candles, Borei p’ri ha-gafen - blessing over wine (grape juice)
General Studies Curriculum
Our goal is to provide a safe and nurturing environment to meet the individual needs of our students. We make a strong commitment to respect the dignity, worth, and uniqueness of each child.
Hebrew Immersion in the Early Childhood Center
- We teach our children to think for themselves, to solve problems, and to get along well with others.
- We place a high value on play and its role in helping our children acquire the abilities that will ensure future academic success. Play, and the social interaction that occurs through play, is the child’s prime educator.
- We place great emphasis on developing pro-social behavior among the children. With the assistance of the teacher, children learn to resolve their conflicts verbally, share toys and materials, help others in need, and respect the rights of others.
- Helping children experience a sense of self-esteem, one of the main factors influencing future success, is a very important goal of our school. We want the children to feel proud of their heritage, stand up for their rights, and demonstrate increasing independence.
- We strive to help children develop physical skills, become more coordinated, master their environment, and develop a better self concept. Many activities are provided to enhance and refine gross and fine motor skills. Blocks, climbing equipment, tricycles, slides, painting, play dough, and cutting are some of the activities that help children develop physically.
- Cognitively, we want the children to acquire learning and problem solving skills and expand logical thinking skills so that they can classify objects, recall sequences, and recognize patterns and repeat them. We are constantly expanding verbal communication skills. Some children will develop beginning reading and writing skills.
The Early Childhood Center was originally chosen by The Jewish Theological Seminary's Melton Research Center for Jewish Education to participate in a program called Ma’alah. What began as a pilot program has now evolved into a new model of excellence in utilizing Hebrew language immersion techniques to create proficient young Hebrew speakers. In addition to our staff being trained in this method of education, continuing education is provided at various seminars throughout the year.
The research on language immersion has consistently shown that young learners exposed to a second language continuously and exclusively for a minimum of three hours daily, demonstrate enhanced intellectual prowess and general academic growth. As well, students will have the advantage of Hebrew fluency. From this foundation, we know that our students will be positioned to gain a more meaningful and powerful subsequent Jewish and general education.
Hebrew Immersion is available for children 3 – 4 years of age in September.