Lower School School (PreK-6)

  • Students in grades Prek-6 participate in our Religious School Program on Sunday mornings via Zoom. Grades PreK/K, 1, 3 and 5 meet 9:30 AM-10:15 AM. All grades join together for T’filah (prayer service) 10:15-10:45 AM. Following T’filah, grades 2, 4, and 6 meet 10:45-11:30 AM. Students in grades PreK/K also have music classes.
  • Students in grades 2-6 also participate in our Hebrew School Program. Students in these grades study Hebrew and Judaic Studies. In addition to Sundays, students also attend Zoom classes on Wednesdays from either 4:30-5:15 PM or 5:30-6:15 PM. Students in sixth grade join together from 5:15-5:30 for a Torah Trope (cantillation) Session. Hebrew teachers also meet with students individually or in small groups for 20-minutes of Hebrew tutoring each week.
  • Students in grades 3-6 have the opportunity to participate in Shabbatonim (Overnight Retreats during Shabbat), Youth Groups, and Choir.

Judaic Studies

Our Judaic Studies curriculum is built on the foundational concepts of Torah (study), Avodah (worship), and Gemilut Chasadim (acts of loving kindness). While all grades learn within these three areas, each grade’s curriculum emphasizes a specific topic and has a few values and holidays that tie into this topic and are studied more in depth.

Pre-K

Our PreK/K class provides four and five-year-old children with an active, imaginative and friendly environment at the synagogue. The teacher will provide a cooperative classroom atmosphere that is warm, nurturing and sensitive to our rich Jewish heritage. Students in PreK/K learn about the cycles of the Jewish year and focus on the symbols of the Jewish Holidays. Students learn Hebrew words and phrases and are made to feel at home here at Mount Zion. The PreK/K class also has music classes. Students in PreK/K are expected to attend at least one Shabbat service per year.

Kindergarten

Our PreK/K class provides four and five-year-old children with an active, imaginative and friendly environment at the synagogue. The teacher will provide a cooperative classroom atmosphere that is warm, nurturing and sensitive to our rich Jewish heritage. Students in PreK/K learn about the cycles of the Jewish year and focus on the symbols of the Jewish Holidays. Students learn Hebrew words and phrases and are made to feel at home here at Mount Zion. The PreK/K class also has music classes. Students in PreK/K are expected to attend at least one Shabbat service per year.

1st Grade

Our 1st grade class provides six-year-old children with an active, imaginative and friendly environment at the synagogue. Students in first grade continue to learn about the cycles of the Jewish year and focus on the symbols of the Jewish Holidays. Students learn about the values of Hachnasat Orchim/Welcoming the Guest and Derech Eretz/Doing Good. Additionally, students in first grade learn about the history and heritage of Mount Zion Temple through our Mount Zion coloring book. The first grade class also has tzedakah lessons and music classes. Students in 1st grade are expected to attend at least one Shabbat service per year.

2nd Grade

Judaic Studies

Students in second grade read stories from the Book of Sh’mot/Exodus and understand how the Torah teaches how to be a part of the Jewish people. Students begin to understand how the Torah itself is different from other books and how its stories help us in our everyday lives. Students learn about the values and mitzvot identified in the Ten Commandments. They will also focus on the holidays of Passover and Shavuot.

Hebrew Studies

Mechina Hebrew students will learn how to read and write in Hebrew. Students will build a vocabulary of words common to Jewish rituals, as well as an introduction to classroom Hebrew vocabulary.  Students will use the Behrman House series Shalom Uvrachah: The New Hebrew Primer as their guide. This curriculum teaches decoding skills from key cultural words and concepts. Students will be given a weekly homework packet, including written, reading, and on-line workbook assignments.

Students in second grade are expected to attend at least two Shabbat services per year, including one on Shabbat morning.

3rd Grade

Judaic Studies

Students in third grade read stories about the Prophets and they learn how the prophets were focused on reminding the Jewish people how God wants us to live. The messages of the Prophets are at the heart of Reform Judaism. Students learn about the values of Ometz Lev/Courage and Tikkun Olam/Repairing the World. They will also focus on the holidays of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Purim.

Hebrew Studies

Students in third grade are introduced to the Reform movement’s Hebrew Curriculum, Mitkadem. The first Ramah (level) they will complete is Ramah 4. During this Ramah students are introduced to the concepts of the Mitkadem Program, including how the Ramot system is set-up and how the program works. Students in the Mount Zion Hebrew Program are expected to complete three Ramot (levels) per year. Students in third grade should complete the Mitkadem Welcome Back Review, Ramah 4 (Short Blessings) & Ramah 5 (Shabbat Kiddush).

Students in third grade are expected to attend at least three Shabbat services per year, including one on Shabbat morning.

4th Grade

Judaic Studies

Students in fourth grade learn about the Jewish life cycle. By grounding our practices and beliefs in events throughout one’s life, students understand that Judaism plays a role in many things we do and they build a lifetime of Jewish learning and living. Students learn about the values of Hiddur Mitzvah/Beautifying a Mitzvah and Kibbud Zakenim/Honoring the Elderly.

Hebrew Studies

Students in fourth grade continue their learning in the Reform movement’s Hebrew Curriculum, Mitkadem. Students will continue their learning wherever they left off at the end of the year. Students in the Mount Zion Hebrew Program are expected to complete three Ramot (levels) per year. Students in fourth grade should complete Ramot 7 (Barchu, Yotzer Or, Ma’ariv Aravim), 9 (Sh’ma, V’ahavta) & 10 (Mi Chamocha).

Students in fourth grade are expected to attend at least four Shabbat services per year, including one on Shabbat morning.

5th Grade

Judaic Studies

Students in fifth grade learn the story of the Jewish people after settling in Caanan thru the mid-19th century. By learning the history of our people, students begin to understand and contextualize modern practices, holidays, and values. Students learn about the values of Rodeif Shalom/Seeking Peace and Klal Yisrael/Community of Israel. They will also focus on the holidays of Chanukah and Tu BiSh’vat.

Hebrew Studies

Students in Fifth grade continue their learning in the Reform movement’s Hebrew Curriculum, Mitkadem. Students will continue their learning wherever they left off at the end of the year. Students in the Mount Zion Hebrew Program are expected to complete three Ramot (levels) per year. Students in fifth grade should complete Ramot 11 (Avot V’Imahot), 12 (G’vurot) & 6 (Torah Blessings).

Students in fifth grade are expected to attend at least five Shabbat services per year, including one on Shabbat morning.

6th Grade

The goals for our students as they complete the sixth grade year of our religious school program are rooted in our understanding of bar/bat mitzvah as a transitional moment in Jewish life. While a successful bar/bat Mitzvah ceremony is a rich part of a person’s Jewish experience, preparation for the ceremony itself is only part of our program. Even more important is preparing students for lifelong Jewish living and learning. Our goals during sixth grade are:

  • To prepare our young people for comfortable participation and leadership in our Shabbat worship service.
  • To prepare our youth to lead each other in teen services during grades 7-12.
  • To provide students with the tools for reading and understanding Torah.
  • To use Jewish sources and terminology as a framework for thinking about our world and for translating thought into action.
  • To acknowledge a change in status in the eyes of the Jewish community for students entering seventh grade, many of who will publicly celebrate a Bar/Bat Mitzvah during the course of the school year.
  • To foster a sense of community among students.
  • To deepen the relationships between students, Mount Zion and the larger community.

Judaic Studies

Students in sixth grade learn the story of the modern Jewish people from the mid-19th century thru today, including the formation of the Reform Movement. By learning the recent history of our people, students begin to understand decisions about their own Judaism and the reasons behind rituals and beliefs.   Students learn about the values of Tzedek/Justice and Rodeif Shalom/Seeking Peace. They will also focus on the holidays of Sukkot, Yom Ha’atzmaut, Yom HaShoah, and Yom Ha’Zikaron.

Hebrew Studies

Students in Sixth grade continue their learning in the Reform movement’s Hebrew Curriculum, Mitkadem. Students will continue their learning wherever they left off at the end of the year. Students in the Mount Zion Hebrew Program are expected to complete three Ramot (levels) per year. Students in sixth grade should complete Ramot 19 (Haftarah Blessings), 18 (Torah Service) & 17 (Kaddish).

Special in Sixth Grade

  • Students in sixth grade are expected to attend at least five Shabbat services per year, including two on Shabbat morning.
  • Students in the sixth grade have a variety of unique programs to prepare them for B’nei Mitzvah (B’nei Mitzvah Orientation, Sixth Grade Family Retreat (Saturday-Sunday), D’var Torah Workshop, Tallit Workshop, Family Workshop- Putting God on the Guest List).