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Hebrew Academy of Five Towns & Rockaway
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Judaic Studies Curriculum

As a modern Orthodox Religious Zionist Yeshiva Day School, it is our goal to foster a deeper understanding of our mitzvot and minhagim, a love of Israel, and a connection to our past.  Starting in kindergarten, students are introduced to the themes and stories of Parshat Hashavua through storytelling, songs and hands on activities that help students connect to the stories of our avot.  Students continue to study Parshat Hashavua through fifth grade.  Each year, they delve deeper into the parsha and its important messages.  Starting in second grade after receiving their first Chumash, students begin their textual study of Chumash Bereishit.  
 
As the students' Hebrew language skills develop, they are taught crucial skills necessary for independent study of Chumash, Navi and Mishna.  In Chumash, the curriculum is skill based with a focus on decoding skills that depend on knowledge of shorashim, prefixes and suffixes.  In third grade, students are taught to read Rashi script and begin to use the Rashi commentary to enhance their study of Chumash.  Navi is introduced in fourth grade when students learn Yehoshua and Shoftim.  The students can apply their Chumash skills
while studying the Navi storyline.  Mishna is incorporated into the curriculum in fifth grade, learning the structure and content of select mishnayot.
 
In addition to textual study, the study of Tefillah, Chagim and Yediyot Klaliot play an integral part in the strong foundation that is fostered in the lower school.  Each morning, our students begin their day with Tefillah.  Students are taught the meaning of Tefillah and are familiarized with the organization and format of a siddur.  They are taught both the technical an spiritual aspects of communicating with Hashem.  Prior to the Chagim, students learn in an age appropriate manner the relevant halachot and minhagim related to the chag.  When appropriate, there are cross curricular components to help enhance the connection to the given chag.  The Yediyot Klaliot curriculum is another way to ensure that students in second through fifth grade develop and maintain a strong foundation in Jewish knowledge and connection to our mesorah.  
 
There are special milestones that the students celebrate throughout their time in the lower school that help create a sense of excitement about Limudei Kodesh, including Chagigat Siddur, Chagigat Chumash, and the Fifth Grade Melava Malkah.  We hope to capture and nurture that same sense of excitement and awe that a student has the first time he/she looks into that first siddur or sefer.