Through Beth El’s Family Learning Programs parents and children explore Jewish identity together, through their own family history and stories, and using a unique curriculum geared to Jewish family life and concepts. Parents have the opportunity to learn as an adult community and then parents and children learn together, encouraging discussion between generations. The themes for the programs are tied to the students’ curriculum in each grade. Here’s a sampling of programs we have done in the past:
Kindergarten: Shalshelet Ha-Dorot – Linking Our Stories through the Generations
What is the substance that links one generation to the next? The key ingredient is stories, passed down from grandparents to parents to children. As the Kindergartners begin their formalized Jewish study, families will explore their personal and family stories as well as the foundational stories of Torah.
- My Story
- Hanukkat Banim (Consecration)
- Torah Stories
1st Grade: Bayti – My Jewish Home
The first grade family learning programs give families the chance to examine their own homes and what makes them distinctively Jewish. Families gain a deeper understanding of how rituals objects, observance of traditions, and the performance of mitzvot (commandments) help define the Jewish character of their homes.
- On the Doorposts of My Home
- Judaica in My Home
2nd Grade: Gifts of All Shapes and Sizes
In the Torah God gives the Jewish people many gifts, including the Land of Israel and multiple blessings. Our second grade family learning programs explore these gifts both in biblical times and in our lives today.
- The Gift of the Land of Israel
- The Gift of our Parents’ Blessing
- Siyyum Ha-Sefer (Completion of the Book) Celebration
3rd Grade: And You Shall Be a Blessing
What does it mean when, in Genesis 12, Abram (soon to be Abraham) is told by God “v’heye bracha” (you shall be a blessing)? As third grade students begin their formal study of Hebrew blessings, families explore what it means to be a blessing and the central role of blessings in Jewish practice.
- Shema and Her Blessings
- Acting as a Blessing
4th Grade: Conversations with God
Examples of conversations with God can be found in many places, including Torah, the prayer book, poetry, and song. The fourth grade family learning programs will take an in-depth look at two examples of conversations with God: biblical covenants and personal prayer. Through these programs we hope families find their own ways to start, or continue, conversations with God.
- Personal Conversations with God – The Tefillah (Prayer)
- Biblical Conversations with God – The Covenant
5th Grade: Journey to the Promised Land
For thousands of years the Jewish people have had a special connection with the Land of Israel. The fifth grade family learning programs explore Jews’ unique relationship with both the Promised Land of the Bible and the promise of the modern State of Israel.
- Layers of Connection to Israel
- Israel – Land of Promise