Congregation Or Chadash believes in providing a curriculum and educational program in which all children create lifelong, joyous Jewish memories.
This program is designed for preschool children ages 3-5 years old. The group meets every Sunday for classes, field trips, and playtime.
Read more: Little Pishers
This class combines students ages Kindergarten through Second Grade. The theme focuses on developing Jewish identity. Through creative play, music, movement and the arts, students will explore the Jewish year, Shabbat and Holidays. Exploring the synagogue, the roles of the Rabbi and Cantor in it, its symbols, what can be found in it, and visiting a couple of close by synagogues will be an ongoing part of the year. Activities such as cooking, card making, reading books and using technology in the classroom, will aid in making connections with the students in this age group with the State of Israel.
Read more: Kindergarten through Second Grade
This class combines the students of third and fourth grade. The Jewish calendar is taught in greater detail: Jewish months, lunar vs. solar year, leap year, and the difference between the secular and Jewish calendars. Holiday celebration through more mature eyes will take place in the order that the holidays occur.
Read more: Third and Fourth Grade
The fifth grade will be learning about Jewish life cycle events and rituals, with a focus on a Jewish wedding. They will put together a mock wedding event, which will include their own interpretation of the various parts. The event will be open to the community. The students will also discover that our history is the story of a determined people with an emphasis of incorporating Jewish values in our daily lives. They will study the timeline of major historical milestones such as: exile in Babylon and the creation of the Talmud, the Roman domination of Judea, the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem - Tisha B’Av, the Sephardic Diaspora, and the Revolution and Emancipation. They will also learn about Mitzvot (commandments) throughout the year: Bikur Cholim (visiting the sick), Tzedakah (Charity), and Kashrut (dietary laws).
Read more: Fifth Grade
Sixth grade students will focus on the history of Jewish immigration to the United States and the experiences of the New Americans. Specifically, there will be a regional focus on Jews in the Southwest. Included in this unit is a study of each student’s personal family history and experience. Mitzvah Fair - the philanthropic curriculum will be presented to the Religious School by the sixth grade students. Jewish values and how they reflect on immigration will be the focus in the second semester. Questions such as who we are, where we came from past and present are going to be raised and discussed.
Read more: Sixth Grade
The Thursday Hebrew curriculum continues with the students reaching the highest level of Hebrew prayer reading competency, cantillation, and vocabulary. As well as practicing reading and chanting prayers, the students will come to understand the spiritual meaning of those prayers.
Read more: Seventh Grade
A Comparative Religions class has at its goal to understand that religion is interesting and that knowledge is good. Jewish religious values throughout history have been impacted by the culture and the religions that have surrounded a particular Jewish community. As a result, Judaism, by the twenty-first century, is an amalgamation of Jewish thought and practices with the thoughts and practices of others. The Judaism practiced three thousand years ago, during the biblical period, is far different than the Judaism we practice today in Tucson, Arizona. Certainly, part of this evolution is through internal dialogue with Jewish rabbis and scholars. On the other hand, we have adapted some of our prayers, rituals, and ideas from people of other cultures and religions.
Read more: Eighth Grade
Rabbi Louchheim and Cantor Cohen will teach the Confirmation class twice a month on Sunday afternoons. Students will engage in a comprehensive program of classroom study, group activities, experiential learning, and creative activities. The history and contemporary issues which influence Jewish life today will be discussed and analyzed. In addition, students will address the personal and social concerns which they face as young Jews, entering adulthood, getting ready to leave home and experience true independence.
Judaism affirms that every Jew is required to study Torah, whether rich or poor, healthy or ailing, young or old, strong or weak. The Torah does not define a typical student of Torah; rather, it acknowledges that people have weaknesses and strengths and that their relationship with God should be independent. We believe that it is our duty as a congregation and a community to provide a Jewish education for all children, regardless of their abilities.
Read more: Special Needs/Inclusion
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