Children learn best when they are directly involved in activities that engage them completely. In order to do that, we must make a shift away from traditional teaching methods and experiment with new manners to share information with our students. The best learning happens in an environment which employs all of the five senses and, frankly, does not look or feel like the “school” they are used to. This year students will be utilizing technology and documenting their journey in a way that will take some creativity and experimentation. This will promote growth and engagement in our community while developing their Jewish identity and deepening their connection to Judaism.
At Abraham Ratner Torah School, all students from Kindergarten through 7th grade will attend in person on Sundays (unless a prior arrangement has been made) from 9 am to 12 noon. During this time students will be broken up by grade to study tefillah, vocabulary, Judaica, holiday and Israel curriculum. During the week we have changed things up this year and all students in 2nd through 7th will be assigned a 30 min tutoring meeting with an average of only one other child at their Hebrew level. The focus of our midweek curriculum is on Hebrew and decoding. All students are evaluated at the beginning of the year to place in the appropriate text book and group. Additionally, we will have a monthly speaker series for the students in grades 2nd through 7th. The speakers will be chosen with the students, their needs and interests in mind. Of course all with a Jewish thread tying it all together.
All of these components together aim to create an all inclusive curriculum to provide the best learning experiences and opportunities for the students at our school.
Our curriculum includes:
Hebrew- At each grade level, students are exposed to a variety of components including decoding, prayer study and conversational Hebrew. While we utilize the Aleph Champ Curriculum, we are excited to explore new engaging methods of teaching. New technology and apps will be introduced to each classroom to enhance the curriculum while also offering a way to demonstrate abilities and progress. Our teachers will continue to incorporate their passions, expertise and creativity to bring each lesson to life through a combination of games, art, and music, multi-sensory and multi-disciplinary techniques.
Judaica- Exploring and connecting to our Jewish identity is one of the main goals of religious education. We want children to not only be Jewish on Sundays and Wednesdays, we want to make Judaism portable and something they access and utilize regularly. Education will be hands on and revolve around four basic pillars, each of which will be investigated in a developmentally appropriate, meaningful and enriching manner.
- Bein Adam l'Chavero Jewish Values
- Bein Adam l'Makom Jewish Rituals
- Talmud Torah Jewish TextsAhavat
- Yisrael The Love of Israel
Tefillah (Prayer)- All students will come together once a month for Kehillah Tefillah with Rabbi Dorsch in the Sanctuary. Parents and families are also invited to stay, daven, and schmooze with other parents after this short morning program. Students will also continue to practice various blessings and songs each week in music with song leader, Bar Dahan.
Chuggim (Enrichments)- On Wednesdays, all students in Kitah Bet through Zayin will be given the opportunity to explore this year’s exciting chuggim. The year will be broke up into a trimester schedule that will give each grade a chance to experience each chug. This year I am excited to offer Cooking, Theatre and Jewish Jam session and am sure the students will be thrilled with the new options. Children in Gan and Alef routinely incorporate these activities into their weekly lesson plans.
Connection to Israel- Throughout their experience in religious school, children are exposed to the history of Israel from creation to the receiving of the Torah to modern day events through discussion, art, cooking, plays and more. We will celebrate Israeli culture, history and identity through exciting experiences all year long, not just at Yom HaAtzmaut.
B’Nai Mitzvah Institute- Kitah Vav (6th) grade will be the first class to experience this exciting program that will meet five times over the course of the year. We will dive into what it means to become a Bar/Bar Mitzvah and discuss everything that goes into the meaningful process. This experience will create a cohort and offer a community for families traveling the same path together.
Kitah Zayin- The year is going to be much different for our Kitah Zayin (7th grade) class as we will be planning a number of field trips, social action projects and mitzvah moments to enhance their last year in religious school. They will get to participate in a number of meaningful experiences separate from the rest of the school as well as beginning to act as leaders for the younger religious school students.
Schedule of Classes
Kindergarten and First Grade
- Sundays 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Second through Seventh Grade
- Sundays 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
- Small Group Online Weekly Tutoring
- Monthly Speaker Series