Our Religious School curriculum combines Judaic studies, Hebrew, assemblies, prayer services, Mitzvah projects, and experiential learning inside and outside the classroom to develop and nurture our students’ Jewish identity.
All students in our Religious School spend half their class time in an immersive Hebrew environment. Students put what they are learning into practice during their weekly music classes and our school Tefillah (worship services). Our Hebrew program builds on itself each year. Students begin by learning the aleph-bet and work their way through a progressive curriculum that will prepare them for their B’nai Mitzvah.
Kindergarten Through Second Grade Program
Our youngest students’ Jewish education gives them a solid foundation for all further study. Students will develop a thorough understanding of Jewish holidays, Torah, and Jewish values through the stories, music, games, and art. They will discover themselves in the unfolding Jewish story and what it means to be part of the Jewish people. Each grade will engage in several mitzvah projects, including our new “Challah for Hunger” program where they will bake and sell challah to raise money for our partner, the Ardmore Food Pantry.
Hebrew through Movement is a language acquisition strategy in which students learn Hebrew by hearing and responding to Hebrew commands. This curriculum starts with a foundation in modern, spoken Hebrew but has as its goal making the prayers in our siddur, as well as synagogue and Jewish vocabulary, more easily accessible to those with limited learning time. Hebrew through Movement introduces Hebrew in a playful and meaningful way, creating a positive first link for children with Hebrew.
Third Through Fifth Grade Program
Our new, “ShalomLearning” Judaic Studies curriculum will focus on applying Jewish Values, called Middot, to our daily lives. In each of the seven units, students will learn about a different value through the lens of themselves, their families, their community, and their world. Units of study will culminate in experiential learning programs, putting what they’ve learned into practice.
During Hebrew, students will progress through a curriculum that begins with teaching the skills of identifying the sounds that Hebrew letters and vowels make (decoding) and blending multi-syllable words together. These skills are taught in third grade and reviewed at the beginning of fourth and fifth grade to ensure competence and build confidence. Students then move into our prayer curriculum which teaches them to read, chant, and understand the prayers that are recited at home during holidays (Shabbat and Chanukah Blessings and the Four Questions), as well as those that are sung each week during Shabbat services.
Sixth Grade Program
The focus of sixth grade is the theme, “Becoming B’nai Mitzvah.” Throughout the fall, the students participate in a number of programs that highlight this important moment in their Jewish journey. The sixth grade retreat culminates in a family mitzvah project in which 10,000 meals are packed and sent to the world’s most vulnerable citizens and a discussion on identifying students’ individual mitzvah projects for their B’nai Mitzvah. During the second half of the year students contextualize B’nai Mitzvah in terms of the full Jewish life cycle by learning about baby naming rituals, weddings, and funeral services.
Our sixth grade Hebrew curriculum is designed to prepare students for their B’nai Mitzvah. In addition to reviewing prayers learned in fourth and fifth grade, sixth graders learn to read and chant the prayers contained in the Torah service.
Seventh Grade Program
The seventh grade program is an integral part of Jewish education at MLRT. The lessons are not based on B’nai Mitzvah, but on how we engage with the world around us. Throughout the course of the year, the students will enjoy Chugim (electives), which are experiential educational programs on topics such as Jewish Identity, Israel, American Jewry, Social Justice and the Holocaust. We will engage with outside Social Justice Organizations as well as guest speakers and facilitators in order to enhance the educational experience. The students will also participate in trips throughout the year that enhance their studies.
There are no assigned classrooms in 7th grade because learning groups and teacher pairings vary depending on the weekly programs. Some weeks, we will meet as an entire group, while other weeks we will break into smaller groups depending on choice of topic. The goal of the 7th grade program is to enhance the student experience and break away from the normal classroom lecture style of teaching. The 7th grade students are asked to be active participants in learning, while addressing the needs of teens to engage with their peers.
THETRIBE (8th-12th Grade)
Get ready for the next episode in your discovery of Jewish identity. TheTribe is MLRT’s High School program for 8th – 12th grade students that aims to combine a deeper understanding of Judaism with the desire for students to customize the subject matter. Students will learn from clergy and teachers who have developed Jewish content around your interests, passions, and hobbies. You and your friends will be able to learn and play together each week at MLRT in a program built by YOU!
Our year will be made of up of four 8 week sessions. First, we study together for three weeks in CORE, a grade level curriculum aimed to open our minds and focus on life through a Jewish perspective. Then we spend the next five weeks of the quarter immersed in an ELECTIVE chosen by you based in art, music, Israel, technology, video editing, sports, drama, and more. This cycle of education allows you to learn from multiple teachers throughout the year and engage in a learn-with-intention program.