We are a school proudly aligned with the Conservative Movement. We adopt the guiding principles of our Movement for our
school's curriculum and program. As such we provide learning and experiences that encourage: development of a personal
relationship with God; centrality of Mitzvah and Torah Study; valuing and cherishing Jewish plurality and diversity,
both within our school and the larger world around us; and identity with Jews in Israel and the world.
As a Conservative Day School, we teach, experience, and celebrate mitzvah. All of the mitzvot are both taught and observed
throughout our school program. Much of the Mitzvah curriculum is implicit in all phases of our school program. This applies
both to mitzvot we traditionally call “ritual” (mitzvot bein Adam l’Makom) and those we sometimes refer to as “ethical” (mitzvot bein Adam l’chavero). For example, all children give tzedakah each week. So too, Kashrut is strictly observed throughout the school. At the same time, we teach respect for teachers through an emphasis on proper behavior. Children observe the mitzvah of kavod ha Brit through recognition of the differences among our students and teachers.
While we recognize the wide range of observances among our families, the school remains committed to the observance of
mitzvot for our children and families.
Tefillah is seen as the central way we express our thoughts, needs, and wishes as Jewish people. Tefillah teaches us the central categories of Jewish values and helps us communicate with G-d. Because the school sees Hebrew as the language of the Jewish people, tefillah is always done in Hebrew. Boys and girls participate equally in all aspects of the school‟s curriculum and Jewish experiences.
We teach tefillah to help children learn both the matbayah tefillah (the way the tefillot are recited in the synagogue services) and the ideas and aspirations the tefillah encompasses.
Tefillah is a sequential curriculum. Each year builds on the tefillot learned in the previous school years. By the end of their learning in the Elementary School, the children are capable of leading almost all of the daily and Shabbat tefillot.
Because we do not formally teach reading or writing of Hebrew in Kindergarten, tefillah is done orally as a class experience. The children master each of the tefillot through choral singing. In Kindergarten the children learn the central tefillah vocabulary such as tefillah, HaShem, siddur, Torah, Aron Kodesh.
Tefillah is a daily experience. On Monday, the children celebrate Havdalah. On Friday, the children anticipate the beginning of Shabbat through the Kabbalat Shabbat. An overt connection is made between our school celebration and home observances and celebrations. For example, families are welcome to join us on Friday afternoons for Kabbalat Shabbat.
By the end of Kindergarten, the expectation is that our students will be familiar with the following teflilot:
Modeh Ani; Mah Tovu; Shema; Amidah – Avot Bracha; Oseh Shalom; Torah Tzeva Lano Moshe; Adon Olam.
Through the weekly and monthly life of the school, the children see Shabbat and the Jewish holidays as special moments for
Jewish celebration. Connections are made between the mitzvot of the Torah, our Jewish life in school, and our lives as Jews at home and in the wider world.
Each week the children learn to celebrate Shabbat with a Kabbalat Shabbat program. The children learn to light the Shabbat
candles, say the brachot over the wine and challah, and learn many Shabbat songs. They also learn the mitzvah of hachnasat
orchim, inviting guests to our homes. The emphasis is on the beauty of the home Shabbat rituals.
The goal of Torah study is to fulfill the mitzvah of Talmud Torah. We study the Torah as the central unifying story of our people's understanding of the world and our relationship with God. By studying the Torah, we come to identify with our Jewish history and fulfill God's covenant with the Jewish people. Finally, we begin to appreciate God's commands and wishes for us as responsible and committed Jewish people.
The children in Kindergarten learn about the major story cycles of the Torah. Following the holiday of Simchat Torah, when we begin anew the reading of the Torah, the Kindergarten children learn about God's creation of the world, the story of Noach and the Flood, the major life events of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Ya'akov, Yosef, and the story of the Egyptian slavery and Exodus.
The learning is done through a wide variety of class lessons, ranging from crafts to dramatics, from story-telling to song. The design of the lessons is to engage each child in the wonder of the Torah stories and the holiness of Torah learning. While the majority of the lessons are conducted in English, the Hebrew names for people and places are exclusively used.
By the end of the year, the children will be familiar with the major stories of the Torah. They will also have acquired a
love for the study of Torah.
The school assumes that the children coming to our school do not necessarily bring any Hebrew background. The goal of
the Kindergarten year is to immerse the children in spoken Hebrew. By the end of the school year, the teacher is speaking in Hebrew approximately 75% of the time.
The children feel comfortable hearing the teacher speak in Hebrew and responding
in simple dialogues. While there is an exposure to written Hebrew, it is not a formal part of the program.
All children in the school learn about the State of Israel. Focusing primarily on modern-day Israel, the children daily
express their love of Medinat Yisrael by singing Hatikvah at the start of the school day. The children learn about the Flag of Israel.
Through our annual celebration of Yom Ha'Atzmaut (Israel Independence Day), the children learn about different aspects of
modern day life in Israel, ranging from Jerusalem to the Army, from the map of Israel to the joy of Israel‟s existence.
Finally, the children regularly engage in projects fostering their connection to the State of Israel and our responsibility
to Israeli Jews. These projects range from letter writing to tzedakah projects.