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Student Education

Beit Sefer (Religious School K - 7th grade)

Practicing the leadership role is an important part of B’nai Mitzvah preparation and delivers life-long learning skills. Our school curriculum is a balance between Hebrew, liturgy study and Judaica. We currently follow the Mitkadem Hebrew program which is a widely used, self-paced language and liturgy program that teaches and challenges children in all age groups.The Chai Judaica curriculum offers our students interesting and fun learning opportunities in life-cycle events, holidays, the books of Judaism and Jewish history. On Sundays, we also incorporate a music and multi-generational story-telling component with the rabbi teaching Jewish folksongs and adult members of the congregation reading Jewish stories to the children. Our teachers in each class also prepare a once-a-year Mishpacha (family program) offering parents the opportunity to learn and have fun with their children in their classrooms.

Students in kindergarten through grade 3 attend Sunday mornings from 9:30 to noon. Our children in 4th through 7th grades also attend Sunday mornings plus Tuesdays from 4 to 6 pm. All students gather at 11:30 Sunday mornings for an intergenerational learners’ minyan (service) led by our Kitah Zayin 7th grade class. A healthy and nutritious snack is served each day and good attendance is essential.

Midrashah (Sinai Youth Teen program for 8th and 9th grade students)

This post-b’nai mitzvah program is an exciting component of our children’s Jewish education which leads to 10th grade confirmation. The schoolyear-long program is led by a variety of experienced teachers and includes modules covering conversational Hebrew and Israel, an introduction to Kaballah, Jewish cooking, Jewish ethics, current events, the human body in the modern day and in Jewish tradition, and storytelling.

  • Conversational Hebrew and Israel: These classes will focus on giving students tools to prepare for a future Birthrite trip. Basic conversational Hebrew will be taught along with government, politics and culture in the land of Israel. 8 classes from September 15 through November 17
  • Introduction to Kaballah: Students explore the ancient Jewish tradition of mystical interpretation of the Bible through Kaballah. 2 classes, December 8 and 15
  • Jewish Cooking: Using the Jerusalem cookbook and other resources, the teens will learn about and cook Jewish foods from all over the world. 3 classes, December 1, March 15 and May 17
  • Jewish Ethics: Teens will explore Jewish values and how they might affect the choices they make. 3 classes, January 5, 12, and 26
  • Current Events: This class will focus on headlines in the news and how they affect the Jewish community. 3 classes, February 2, 9, and 23
  • Ha Guf (the Body) part 1: The first classes in this series cover bullying and helping teens find their way, in and out of school. 2 classes March 1 and 8
  • Ha Guf (the Body) part 2: This second series of classes covers tattoos, piercings, the “me-too” movement and other issues surrounding personal boundaries and choices concerning the body. 2 classes, March 22 and 29
  • Storytelling: Members of the Sinai community share their Jewish stories with the teens. 3 classes, April 19, 26 and May 3

In addition to the educational aspects of the classes, the program allows our teens to continue building friendships with their Jewish contemporaries from across the Coachella Valley.

Confirmation

In 10th grade our students continue their Jewish journey as they prepare to be confirmands. The course of study includes Mussar, the Ten Commandments and the Book of Ruth.

Mussar is a Jewish spiritual practice that guides our teens on how to live a meaningful and ethical life. Students study the Middot, the 48 values that were identified by the rabbis to guide a balanced life, such as emet (truth), hakarat hatov (recognizing the good), and salvanut (patience).

The study of the 10 commandments involves finding modern-day practical relevance in each commandment as students wrestle with ideas that may seem obvious at first but which provoke deeper reflection as the concepts are explored.

In preparation for confirmation, the students work together to write an original teaching on The Book of Ruth.

As the program culminates in May, the students write sermons, chant the Ten Commandments, and lead a creative confirmation / Shavuot erev Shabbat service in front of the congregation.

Mon, December 9 2019 11 Kislev 5780