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Bet Sefer School Curriculum

This page provides a class-by-class breakdown of the school curriculum. For more general and thematic information about Or Shalom's Bet Sefer, please click here.

2nd GRADE 


Symbols – Customs – Values and Jewish Stories


Our students will encounter the ceremonial and ritual objects of our heritage. Students will begin to learn the Torah stories, particularly through the study of the holidays.

Students will become familiar with the Shabbat traditions and rituals and will:

  • Know what is on the Shabbat table: candles, challah, wine
  • Recognize the elements of the Havdalah ceremony
  • Sing Shabbat songs and share stories
  • Make all of the Shabbat ceremonial objects

Students will become familiar with:

  • The value of Tzedakah, helping to make the world a more just place.
  • The value of Hachnasat Orchim, welcoming guests.
  • Hiddur Mitzvah (beautifying the mitzvah) and will make ritual items for different holidays

Hebrew -  Move and groove to Hebrew songs and games. Students will learn the letters and the vowels of the Hebrew alphabet. They will learn the names of the letters, the sounds that they make, and how we read from right to left. All class teaching will be done through visual, hands-on activities and art projects and games.

Torah: Book of Genesis/Beresheet Students will be focusing on the themes in the Torah portions from the book of Genesis/Beresheet.


Family Program - A visit to the Contemporary Jewish Museum.


3rd and 4th GRADE (combined class for a two-year curriculum)


Heroes and Role Models


Every hero or role model must make choices – many difficult, some seemingly impossible. These choices, and a person’s actions that follow, make a hero. In this curriculum, we will explore many heroes—from American history, Jewish history, the Bible, comic books and other pop culture sources, and from common everyday life. We will decide who are our heroes. What makes a Jewish hero? What makes a superhero? Students will gain an understanding of heroes’ common values. Heroes don’t have to perfect either—that makes them human.

Through the curriculum, students will learn a cultural literacy about their heritage and role models to whom they can look when confronted with difficult issues in their lives.

Each week we will look at a different role model in our history and the impact they had on the Jewish people and the entire world.

Students will be able to gain a greater understanding of our past and how these people relate to our daily lives. From each personality, students will learn valuable lessons and qualities to incorporate into their Jewish lives.  


In the alternate year, the students study the Jewish life cycle and Jewish literature, including the Bible, Midrash and contemporary stories.


Hebrew - Students will continue learning Hebrew through Jewish concepts, and acquire skills necessary to decode Hebrew accurately and with some fluency. 

Hebrew Online - The students will have an online access to practice reading Hebrew at home. 

Family Program - A visit to Contemporary Jewish Museum. 


5th and 6th GRADE (combined class)



My Family Story


The students are about to embark on a journey to the past, an exploration of roots, a project that goes beyond the usual family tree. It is a journey that connects students to their personal stories, to their family stories, and to their story within the greater story of their Jewish community

  • Students will understand how the objects they and their classmates chose represent their story.
  • Students will learn how to conduct an interview.
  • The class will have the opportunity to relate to Jewish leaders from the past
  • Students will see that the stories from their own past should be treated with the same respect as the stories of Jewish leaders from the past: both are part of the greater Jewish story.


  • Engage students in prayer meaning/intention of the words.
  • Guide students in making connections between their Jewish traditions and their day-to-day lives by showing how Jewish values are rooted in prayers and in their actions.
  • Drash workshop with Rabbi Katie.

JEWISH LIFE CYCLE: The Bar Bat Mitzvah as a milestone (Part of Shema B’nai Mitzvah family cohort)

  • "At age 13, one becomes subject to the commandments”
  • For many centuries, Jewish tradition has marked a rite of passage on the early edge of adolescence. At this point a young person is seen to be morally responsible for his or her choices, and able to participate fully in the ritual and ethical life of the community.
  • At Or Shalom, we strive to make the Bar Mitzvah experience one which offers students challenge – to think for themselves, to encounter Judaism more deeply in relationship with a mentor, to put Jewish values into action through community service and participation in Jewish practice.

Family Program: A visit to Contemporary Jewish Museum. 




American and European Jewry and the Holocaust


The 7th-grade curriculum presents the history of American Jewry as a dynamic, evolving, and pluralistic civilization, whose core spiritual values advance the Jewish mission of tikkun olam--the betterment of our world. The experience and growth of Judaism during its 4,000-year history shows the wisdom of its values and the importance of its mission.

Our curriculum presents a history of Jewish experience, and includes an in-depth unit on the Holocaust experience:

The curriculum includes a multi-faceted yet easy-to-understand view of American Jewry history years of Jews in Europe before and during the Holocaust. The program emphasizes:

  • Continual growth and evolution of Judaism
  • Important Jewish spiritual values and their relationship to the Jewish mission of tikkun olam
  • Unique Jewish contributions to communities they lived and were part of
  • Reconstructionist Movement and Drash Writing Workshop with Rabbi Katie

The curriculum presents in-depth perspectives on the Holocaust experience

The curriculum culminates with the recovery and regeneration after the Holocaust which testifies to Judaism’s enduring resilience and continuing evolution.


Thu, March 30 2023 8 Nisan 5783