HALACHA | הלכה

Our daily lives as Jews are governed by laws and customs. Preparing our students to appreciate and properly fulfill these practices is a key component of Jewish education. In the early grades, halachot associated with Shabbat and holidays are emphasized alongside Mitzvot Bein Adam L’Chaveiro – the mitzvot between man and his fellow man that guide us on how to treat others. In fourth grade, while marking their first foray into rabbinic texts, students study Pirkei Avot, the principal Jewish text dealing with interpersonal relationships and ethics.

As students mature, more topics in halacha are explored. There is also an added emphasis on understanding the process through which halacha is developed and continues to respond to modernity and the changing world around us. All halacha study aims to cultivate a more meaningful and fulfilling engagement with Jewish law, custom, and practice.

Curricular Goals

Grade 1

Halachot and customs are taught before each Jewish holiday. This enables the students to participate and practice the rituals of the holidays with their families. For example, students learn about shaking Lulav and Etrog before Sukkot or how to light the Chanukiyah before Chanukah, and do in-depth preparation surrounding the Pesach Seder before Passover. Through experiential learning, projects, and songs are also taught to reinforce the meanings values of the holidays. This is done through pictures, songs, and games.

Grade 2

Second graders review the laws and customs of each Jewish holiday as well the holidays related to the State of Israel, going into greater depth and detail. This is done through writing activities, songs, and projects. The iTalam curriculum is used to enhance their Hebrew Language skills related to the holiday that is being learned.

Students also learn about the proper brachot (blessings) that are said before and after eating. While students already recited brachot in previous years, second graders learn the various brachot said over different foods, including some that may seem tricky! Second graders begin to appreciate the relevance of halacha in every aspect of their daily lives. They learn that many of the kind, caring behaviors that have been encouraged throughout their lives also have a basis in Jewish law. They discuss halachot of interpersonal relationships (bein adam l’chaveiro) such as proper speech, respect, and honesty.

Grade 3

Over the course of the year, students also learn some basic laws of Kashrut, Shabbat, and chagim, along with an introduction to the deeper meaning behind their customs and halachot. A study of Yediyot Klaliyot (general Jewish knowledge) enriches and broadens students’ knowledge of the Jewish calendar as well as the Parshiyot of the Torah and other basic fundamental ideas and concepts within Judaism.

Grade 4

Study of Halacha in the fourth grade focuses upon the holidays and observances through the cycle of the Jewish year. Core skills gained are understanding the laws and customs relating to relevant Jewish Holiday and the relevance and application of Halacha in our daily lives. Reflecting their growing cWrite Divrei Torah based on texts learned in class.

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