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Learning Hebrew
Kindergarten Through Bar/Bat Mitzvah

Our religious school has adopted the philosophy of the #OnwardHebrew program. It is comprised of several components that culminate with a students’ bar or bat mitzvah.  Each aspect of this program builds Hebrew and Judaic knowledge in an accessible, age- appropriate way that gradually prepares our students for their b’nai mitzvah and Jewish life beyond.

Kindergarten Through 5th Grade

Temple Beth El of Boca Raton Religious School class doing "Hebrew Through Movement"

Hebrew Through Movement

Hebrew Through Movement

Every Sunday, small groups of students work with native Hebrew speakers to learn to understand and speak Modern Hebrew words and phrases. By listening and speaking, students are able to build a foundation of familiarity with the sounds and flow of the language, creating an easy onramp to reading Hebrew as they follow along in T’fillah to the prayers.

T'Fillah

T'Fillah

Every Sunday, our clergy lead us through prayers in Hebrew that students need to know to participate in services, which lasts them a lifetime. Our students lead these same prayers at their Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony. In addition to hearing and following along with the Hebrew, we teach the prayers in developmentally appropriate way so students are able to grasp the melody and overall flow of a service. We talk about sanctuary behavior and about the spiritual components of prayer as a community and as individuals.

Weekly Participation

Weekly Participation

Regular participation and exposure to Friday night or Saturday morning Shabbat services, starting in kindergarten, is the best way to help our students learn and feel comfortable with our liturgy and flow of the services. Families are able to access services in person or online on our website. In addition to celebrating Shabbat together, we also teach students Hebrew within the Religious School program.

Jewish Life Vocabulary

Jewish Life Vocabulary

Every week, new Hebrew or Yiddish phrases that can be heard as part of our Jewish communal lexicon, are introduced to our students. These phrases enhance their Hebrew and tie them to our ancestors and the larger global community.
Temple Beth El of Boca Raton Religious School class doing "Hebrew Through Movement"

Decoding

Decoding

Starting in spring of 5th grade, our students start to learn to recognize the Hebrew letters and vowels so they can sound them out to make Hebrew words. The goal is to be able to read words that will help them as they learn their prayers and Torah and Haftarah portions. With student’s bar and bat mitzvah on the horizon, we delay decoding until this point in our curriculum because the students are motivated to learn- and retain- Hebrew decoding fundamentals.
Temple Beth El of Boca Raton Religious School class doing "Hebrew Through Movement"

Hebrew Through Movement

Every Sunday, small groups of students work with native Hebrew speakers to learn to understand and speak Modern Hebrew words and phrases. By listening and speaking, students are able to build a foundation of familiarity with the sounds and flow of the language, creating an easy onramp to reading Hebrew as they follow along in T’fillah to the prayers.

T'Fillah

Every Sunday, our clergy lead us through prayers in Hebrew that students need to know to participate in services, which lasts them a lifetime. Our students lead these same prayers at their Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony. In addition to hearing and following along with the Hebrew, we teach the prayers in developmentally appropriate way so students are able to grasp the melody and overall flow of a service. We talk about sanctuary behavior and about the spiritual components of prayer as a community and as individuals.

Weekly Participation

Regular participation and exposure to Friday night or Saturday morning Shabbat services, starting in kindergarten, is the best way to help our students learn and feel comfortable with our liturgy and flow of the services. Families are able to access services in person or online on our website. In addition to celebrating Shabbat together, we also teach students Hebrew within the Religious School program.

Jewish Life Vocabulary

Every week, new Hebrew or Yiddish phrases that can be heard as part of our Jewish communal lexicon, are introduced to our students. These phrases enhance their Hebrew and tie them to our ancestors and the larger global community.
Temple Beth El of Boca Raton Religious School class doing "Hebrew Through Movement"
Decoding
Starting in spring of 5th grade, our students start to learn to recognize the Hebrew letters and vowels so they can sound them out to make Hebrew words. The goal is to be able to read words that will help them as they learn their prayers and Torah and Haftarah portions. With student’s bar and bat mitzvah on the horizon, we delay decoding until this point in our curriculum because the students are motivated to learn- and retain- Hebrew decoding fundamentals.

Bar/Bat Mitzvah Preparation

Decoding Boot Camp

Decoding
Boot Camp

Students will work in small groups online with a Hebrew coach to refresh their decoding skills. This class is 30 minutes long and lasts about 5 weeks.

One-on-One Hebrew Coaching

One-on-One Hebrew Coaching

Once students are assessed that they are able to decode, they will be assigned to a Hebrew coach to work one on one for 30 sessions of a half hour. During these sessions they will be taught new prayer and Torah material which they will need to practice independently to master before the next session. By the end of the sessions, students should be ready to lead services and read from the Torah for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony. All of our prayers are available on our website to assist in their practicing and our Hebrew coaches are available for additional sessions if parents choose to hire them individually.

Decoding
Boot Camp

Students will work in small groups online with a Hebrew coach to refresh their decoding skills. This class is 30 minutes long and lasts about 5 weeks.

One-on-One
Hebrew Coaching

Once students are assessed that they are able to decode, they will be assigned to a Hebrew coach to work one on one for 30 sessions of a half hour. During these sessions they will be taught new prayer and Torah material which they will need to practice independently to master before the next session. By the end of the sessions, students should be ready to lead services and read from the Torah for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony. All of our prayers are available on our website to assist in their practicing and our Hebrew coaches are available for additional sessions if parents choose to hire them individually.
Our goal is that we integrate Hebrew into every aspect of our program, starting in Kindergarten. Our students start learning modern speaking Hebrew in Kindergarten with a program called Hebrew Through Movement with a native Israeli Hebrew speaker.

Once the children really get a handle on speaking and the Hebrew sounds familiar to them and they can converse in short conversations and sentences, only then do we bring in what is called Decoding, which is reading Hebrew, where we make sure that they know what every letter is and how they sound when they're put together.
Director of Youth Education and Engagement of Temple Beth El, Heather Erez
Heather Erez
Director of Youth Education and Engagement