Students in Rishonim and Gesher are exposed to Hebrew at a young age during Kindergarten through second grades.
In our Hebrew program, students develop Hebrew decoding skills and an understanding of core
Hebrew grammatical concepts. Students gain proficiency in reading prayers from the Shabbat
service as they prepare to become Bar/Bat Mitzvah and knowledgeable Jewish young adults. Students
begin to make connections between key prayer vocabulary and themes that reflect Jewish life. Each
grade has specific learning and prayer goals. Hebrew is taught through a variety of formats including
textbooks, Jewish texts, games, computer programs, conversation, art, music and participation in prayer services. Students are expected to practice Hebrew reading at home.
The goals of our Hebrew Education Program are:
- To connect students with the language of the Jewish People, both ancient and modern
- To help students gain a working knowledge of our siddur (prayer book) and the order of our prayer services
- To become proficient pray-ers, able to participate in t'filah and ultimately lead prayer services.
- For students to understand key words and themes from our prayer tradition and derive personal meaning and connections to prayer.
We understand that students learn Hebrew in different ways. Our Hebrew education program aims to be inclusive of different kinds of students and diverse approaches to learning. All 3rd to 5th grade students have a choice between Hebrew Kitah (Class) OR Hebrew Chevruta (Tutoring).
Hebrew Kitah (Class) is according to grade. 3rd to 5th graders participate in a weekly 65 minute class (class size of about 10 students) at PTBE on Sundays, Tuesdays OR Wednesdays. (Some classes may be held on Thursdays, depending on enrollment.)
Hebrew Chevruta (Tutoring) includes a choice between 1:1 tutoring or 2:1 (paired) tutoring. Tutoring is scheduled weekly for 40 minute sessions that take place at the synagogue. If choosing Chevruta (Tutoring) 2:1, you must coordinate your own partner (same grade).
6th Grade students take Hebrew class as part of the Middle School Wednesday Night program. Students are assessed at the beginning of the year in order to take Hebrew in small classes at the appropriate level. In class, students have the opportunity to engage more deeply with the prayers of our tradition, to learn about prayer meaning and to prepare more intentionally for becoming bar/bat mitzvah. Additionally, during WNP, 6th Grade students participate in t'filah (prayer services). Led by the clergy, prayer services help students use their Hebrew in context, gain familiarity with the B'nai Mitzvah service, and gain confidence on the bimah. Finally, our 6th grade program builds purposeful relationships between students and clergy as well as between our students.