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Curriculum Overview

Identity • Community • Caring • Diversity

Children learn about their Jewish background through a range of classroom experiences, so they can create for themselves an identity as humanistic Jews.

Through integrated experiences in Sunday School and the larger KB community, the children develop a sense of community and shared goals, working together to strengthen their classroom and the KB community.

Children learn about and act upon the Jewish tradition of caring and concern for others through cooperation, respect for others, and active social service.

Children learn to create a Jewish identity in a multi-cultural world, which respects the diversity of Jewish and non-Jewish backgrounds within our community. Our curriculum builds positive Jewish identity without rejecting other traditions. 

Humanistic Jewish Values
Our teachers and curriculum seek to model respect for our humanistic Jewish values: rationality, decision-making, courage, creativity, generosity, trust, hope, and tikun olam.

Pre-K/Kindergarten/Grade 1

Jewish Holidays & Symbols

Colorful celebrations of the Jewish holidays enable our children to explore their identity in a fun and positive way. We explore the Jewish calendar, introducing kids to poetry, music and legend as ways of connecting the changes of nature with events in the Jewish past. 

We emphasize Jewish symbols which provide concrete visual expression and are intended to enable the children to feel a sense of group identity. Children will learn about Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Shabbat, Hanukkah, Tu B’shvat, Purim , Passover and Yom Ha’atzmaut from a Humanistic Jewish perspective. Students will learn through group projects, stories, dramatic play, arts and craft, cooking, games and songs.

Grade 2/Grade 3: Heroes & the Qualities of a Community Leader

This curriculum alternates between early and late biblical figures and modern Jewish leaders, so that students discuss different figures each year. 

Jewish Leaders In Biblical & Modern Times

This curriculum will focus on the study of Bible characters. We will discuss what heroic qualities we see in biblical personalities, and explore what Humanistic Jewish values make a strong leader and community member. We will learn with games, arts and crafts, music, cooking, group projects, and reading of children’s books. We will create artwork and assemble a booklet recording our learning and discussions about biblical stories, mitzvot and Humanistic values. 

Grade 4/Grade 5: Jewish History

These curriculum are alternating, so that students get one each year.

The Many Faces of Judaism

This class explores some historical snapshots and ethical dilemmas that shaped the history of Jewish people in the United States – from the first coming of Sephardic Jews to the New World, up to the present day. As a community we’ll focus less on facts and dates, and more on the people who shaped this story. We’ll weave some review and discussion of the key Jewish holidays throughout the year. We will learn with games, small group conversations, projects, and films, and music. 

Turning Points in Jewish History

The Jewish people are much more than “survivors” or “victims” of history: at each turning point, Jews have contributed to and been influenced by the cultures around them. As we look at key moments in Jewish history, we will discuss how Jewish and Humanistic values have been present throughout our history and how we live those values in our everyday lives. We will get to know each other’s stories and we will learn what it means to be a Humanist Jew in the context of this 5,000 year journey. 

Grade 6/Grade 7: Humanistic Judaism in the Wider Jewish Context

These curriculum are alternating, so that students get one each year.

What Is Judaism?

This year will be focused on answering big questions about Judaism, and answering the question “What is Judaism?” Students will explore different Jewish movements and theology, including humanism. Students will also explore cultural Judaism – Jewish literature, language, music, food, and activism. We will include opportunities to explore the meaning and history behind a B Mitzvah ceremony, and invite students to participate in our B Mitzvah program outside of Sunday school. 

Identity And Ethics

Our theme for the coming year centers on identity and ethics. Along with contemporary texts and media, we will use traditional texts from the Torah, Talmud and rabbinic commentaries to explore and connect rabbinic traditions and ways of knowing with contemporary voices and approaches to age-old conversations about Jewish values. What does it mean to be a Humanistic Jew in a contemporary society? What are our responsibilities as Humanists? How do we fit into the broader story of Judaism?

Teen Club

Kahal B’raira’s Teen Club provides an opportunity for teens in 8th grade to 12th grade to spend time together, have fun, and contribute to KB and the greater community. Teen Club unpacks issues of social justice and tikkun olam, working with the Teen Club teacher to develop a curriculum that reflects their interests. Many members of Teen Club choose to lead services for our adult community throughout the year, and to participate in Conclave, a movement-wide retreat for teens.

Wed, 4 October 2023