We have had a busy semester so far integrating the three big areas of study: Torah, Avodah and Gemilut Hasadim. Each year builds on the previous years foundation to strengthen the students faith in G_d, love of Torah, develop a bond with Israel, Tikkun Olam, and identification with the Jewish people, community and language. The student develops his/her sense of their world view through a Jewish lens and upon graduation from high school he/she will be able to: 

1.Actively celebrate and participate in the observance of  Shabbat, Holidays, rituals and Jewish ceremonies as a meaningful opportunity to bring holiness into their life

2. Have a strong positive sense of Jewish identity

3. Know their heritage, history and its significance today  

4. Express their connection and bond with K'lal Yistrael

5 Understand the history, concepts, customs and rituals of Jewish observance including holidays

6. Have a basic understanding of Torah and its application to their world today

7. Understand and feel a commitment to Jewish ethics and values

8. Be able to be an active participant in religious services

9. Have competency in liturgical Hebrew, comprehension of prayers, Erev Shabbat Service, Shabbat morning service, holiday services and festival services

This fall our early learners preschool though second have studied fall holidays - Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippor, Sukkot, Simchat Torah and the weekly recurring holiday of Shabbat. Tzedakah, Mitzvah Teshuvah (forgiveness), caring for the sick, animals and welcoming guests were also taught. Teach me Torah and Let's Discover the Bible are taught in the K/1 and grade 2.  Hebrew is integrated as they learn words associated with Shabbat, holidays, family, blessings, numbers, colors and for fun - animals. The students saw a shofar being made with Rabbi Lapine, celebrated Simchat Torah and have library each week. Learning is done through discussion, reading of text, games, music, story time and projects.  Some of the projects that have been made are tzedakah boxes, sukkah decorations, challah covers and animals that they have learned in Hebrew. When they arrive in their classroom thereis a worksheet on their table to engage in learning while they wait for their peers to arrive. 

Grades 3-7 Hebrew classes have been working varying levels of Hebrew study. The Hebrew curriculum is tefilah (prayer) based and each week they lead a tefilah service on Wednesday evenings.  The students have become familiar with both the Kol Ha'Neshemah and the Gates of Prayer for Young People siddureem. Grades 6 & 7 spent time before Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippor studying from the High Holy Days machzor.  These students also co -lead the Erev Sukkot services with Rabbi Feintuch.  They also had the opportunity to learn from the Sofer when he came to repair the Torah. 

Grades 3-7 Religious studies have been working on the fall holidays with deeper meaning and understanding of the history, customs and what the observance means to them. Grade three has had an additional focus area on Torah studies, translation of the story to a situation today along with application ethics and values. They also have a classical yiddish literature study with Lisa Schwartz.  Grades 4/5 have been studying Israel - the text is Experience Modern Israel and it has an on line companion.  These students also spend 30 minutes each week with Rabbi Feintuch learning ethics and values through Jewish stories. Grade 6&7 have had several debates, actively teach each other such as last week they they read from the Chumash the destruction of the world in Noah, debated collective punishment, the rise of Hitler and Sodom and Gemorrah. This group of students studies Torah each week for 30 minutes with Rabbi Feintuch.  

The high school students have elected their NFTY board - Raya Aberbach is president, Eli Davis is vice president of membership and Will Kupferer is vice president of programming.  These students blend a mix of study, social activities and social action programs. The high school  years are learner directed.  A couple of the students went to the fall Chavurah that was held in October.  Winter Chavurah is in St Louis over MLK weekend. 

The curriculum used and lesson plans are those that have been developed by professional Jewish educators from Behrman House and Torah Aura publishers. Both of these publishers also have free on line Hebrew learning games, tefilah and Apps.   Congregation Beth Shalom's webpage is being updated with the schedule. Teacher list, daily schedule for Sunday and Wednesday and curriculum. 

From Linda Lowenberg and Stella Reed - check your houses for library books and bags

For those who are interested I will keep you posted on an in service with the Chief Safety office Mr White from Columbia Public Schools 

Thank you for the opportunity to work with your children. If you have any questions or concerns please call or email me,  573-673-2371 


Debbie Kaplan