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We know that many families join synagogues when the time comes to give their children a Jewish education. That’s one of the reasons we pay so much attention to our Religious School and why it continues to enjoy a reputation for excellence within the community. We are not the school whose goal is to create a child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah. We believe that is short-sighted and a sure short-changing of a child’s Jewish education. Our goal is to expose children to the richness of Jewish practice, the glories of Jewish history, and the depth of Jewish thought throughout the ages. We hope to both create and strengthen Jewish identity. And when we do that, we not only establish the conditions for a meaningful Bar or Bat Mitzvah, but we clear a path for life-long Jewish learning. That’s our real goal.

In the course of their years of schooling at Midway children will eventually read Hebrew, acquire a Hebrew vocabulary and use it appropriately, understand the gist of the prayers in the siddur (prayer book), become familiar with Biblical stories and major historical events, review the life cycle rituals that punctuate Jewish life, and grapple with the ethical standards of our 3000 year old Jewish heritage.  

The rabbis meet with the children each week to review prayers and prayer melodies. Our children gain a deeper appreciation of the holidays by actually making their own shofar, baking matzah, waving lulav & etrog, lighting the Hanukah menorah, celebrating the miracle of the modern State of Israel, and of course, eating all the right foods at the right times. We’re into good Jewish foods around here—all of it kosher and nut-free!

Finally, we involve families in their child’s Jewish education as we know that the ultimate Jewish educator in a child’s life is not us, but parents. Some of the most memorable experiences in our Religious School are those shared between parents and their children. As our rabbis teach us, there is no end to Jewish learning. We are proud to give you and your children a strong beginning.

Calendar

Click here for our 2019-2020 school calendar

Click here to sign up for a Core Shabbat Dinner!

What we teach our students

The Siddur

We emphasize prayer book literacy and synagogue skills as well as general understanding of prayers, not only preparing the students for his or her Bat/Bat Mitzvah ceremony, but also providing familiarity with services, synagogue life, basic customs and rituals.  Students are required to attend seven Junior Congregation services at Midway and five other services.  In grades four through seventh, students spend a minimum of ten minute prayer sessions in class daily.  In addition, they meet with Rabbi Rank weekly for a thirty minute prayer session.  (See attached prayer schedule) in grades K-3, Brakhot and prayers are taught by rote and by decoding.

Hebrew Reading

Our Hebrew reading program consists of letter recognition and reading readiness.  We concentrate on phonetic and a whol work approach.  The goal is to establish reading proficiency and fluency to enable our students to decode any given Hebrew test.

Hebrew Language

Our Hebrew Language is woven through prayer and related vocabulary in the Jewish tradition.  Students will become comfortable with the Hebrew words that evolve prayer around, Jewish life cycle events and holidays.  In addition, teachers will use “the Back Door Approach: to modern spoken language.  Teachers will refer to the most frequently used words in Hebrew so that our students will be able to hear, understand and, if they wish, to adopt and use these words.

Torah

Our children will be introduced to Biblical stories, from Abraham through Moses, and to early prophets from Joshua to Ezra and Nehemia. We would like to emphasize that the stories of the Torah come to teach us valuable lessons.  It is not important whether the story is true or not, the emphasis is, on what is the lesson that we learn from this story, and how does it apply to the present time.  In the 6th grade Book of Exodus is taught in depth in English.  (We prepare our children to participate in Hiddon HaTorah of United Synagogue).  In seventh grade, a weekly discussion of Parashat Hasharud is introduced. Check out our video on the 2012 Hidon team by clicking here.

History

As our curriculum is an integrated curriculum, we consider the biblical holidays as part of our ancient history.  In addition, our children will be discussing the Jewish history from the destruction of the temples through modern Israel. Special attentions will be paid to the pattern that developed in Jewish history and students will see the evolution in Jewish history.  We will try to bring history to life through comparing modern events and situations that the students can relate to.  Holocaust studies are introduced in the 7th grade current events discussion are worked into the curriculum Jewish concerns in the United States, around the world and Israel.

Jewish Life

Our older grades will study Lifecycle events in Jewish tradition.  They will explore important events in their own life and in the lives of their families.  They will examine all the Jewish ceremonies revolving around birth: Pidyon Haben, Brit Milah, Simchat Bat ( the celebration for the birth of a daughter), Shalom Zachar all the way through Bar/Bat Mitzvah, wedding and death.  Mitzvot and ethics are an essential part of Jewish life.  We will promote both of these through text studies, projects and encourage our children to incorporate these into their daily lives.  Kashrut (Jewish dietary laws) will be taught to our upper grades.  We will explore the biblical and modern reasoning as well as try to promote the practice of observing Kashrut.

Holidays

Our holidays come every year.  It is our obligation to study, review and examine them.  In the primary grades we will introduce our students to the story, customs, and blessings (K-3).  In our intermediate grades we will introduce the rituals and discuss the historical significance of each holiday.  We will also review the story line and the Brakhot.  In the upper grades we will examine the holidays using the original text (Rosh Hashanah-Mahazor and the book of Jonah, Purim-Megillah, Pesach-Haggadah).  We will discuss the historical influence of each holiday on our lives and how we respond to those influences (Hanukkah-Helenism).

Music 

Students in grades K-6 attend a music session once a week.  The program consists of modern popular Israeli songs as well as traditional Shabbat and holiday melodies.  Our music teacher works closely with our faculty and our cantor, so that songs will relate to, and supplement, the materials being taught in class.

Expectations

Upon graduating from our Religious School we expect our students will

  • Achieve fluency and general understanding of the Shabbat service, Shaharit, and Minha prayers and melodies

  • Knowledge of the Jewish holidays, customs and observances

  • Knowledge of Jewish Life Cycle events

  • Knowledge of central stories in the Torah and understanding of their applications to modern daily life

  • Knowledge, understanding and practice of Jewish ethics and values

  • Knowledge of Jewish History and its implications throughout the centuries

  • An understanding of the history, geography, and culture of the modern State of Israel

The aim of the curriculum is to provide students with positive and supportive learning experiences providing them with

  • The knowledge and practice of Jewish laws, customs and worship as interpreted by Conservative Judaism, their ramifications for the daily life of the individual and the uniqueness they establish for the Jewish people.

  • The ability to communicate in simple Hebrew and to comprehend elementary Hebrew texts and Hebrew of the “Siddur” (prayerbook).

  • A general knowledge of the content of classical Jewish texts with particular emphasis on Torah.

  • A knowledge of selected facts, trends, and movements in the history of the Jewish people from patriarchal to modern times.

  • A familiarity with Jewish ethical, moral and philosophical teachings and their various contemporary interpretations.

  • A familiarity with the history of the modern State of Israel and it social, political, economic and religious structure.

  • A knowledge of World Jewry and, in particular, the American Jewish community.

  • A familiarity with Jewish themes as presented in literature, the arts, and other media.

  • The fulfillment of one’s religious responsibility to help others and to contribute to the community.

  • An environment in which Jewish students can socialize.

  • A supportive atmosphere for positive Jewish living encouraging our students to the community.

  • The opportunity for individuals to serve Jewish causes and the Jewish community.

Questions and Registration

Contact our Religious School Principal Lisa Stein at 516-938-8390 or click here

Tue, November 19 2019 21 Cheshvan 5780