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Curriculum

Curriculum

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Curricular Description 
 

At Jewish After-School Enrichment, we focus on identifying with Judaism’s unique values system and its wide range of knowledge and skills. Our goal is that every student should attain a strong feeling of identity with Jewish heritage and to develop a sense of love and pride in being Jewish. To make this a reality, our academic program is designed around five "courses" which serve as lenses through which we can impart these important goals.

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WHY WE STUDY PRAYER:
In the ‘busyness’ of everyday life, prayer gives us the opportunity for introspection. It is a quiet time in which we retreat into our inner-selves and develop a personal relationship with our core Jewishness. These touchstone moments allow us to evaluate our spiritual growth and reaffirm our connection to our deeper self.

HOW WE STUDY PRAYER:
Beginning with the youngest class, we introduce prayers and songs - increasing both the amounts of prayers and the depth of their meanings, as the students progress. Ultimately, our goal is for our students to attain a familiarity with the words of the prayers, the mechanics that attach to those prayers (ie: when to stand, etc.), and its deeper messages.

 

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WHY WE STUDY HEBREW READING:
There is great value to Hebrew literacy. Ideally, Hebrew reading should be more than just about learning a series of letters and vowels. Attaining the skill of reading Hebrew, accessing our common language, enables our students to identify with their common identity and imparts a sense of belonging. By studying to read Hebrew, our students can - eventually - read from original texts, and explore the roots of Jewish practice. They begin to see the Hebrew language holistically, rather than just as a splinter skill. They concurrently begin to acquire a basic Hebrew vocabulary allowing them to connect to Jews all around the world and in Israel. 

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WHY WE STUDY JEWISH HOLIDAYS:
As human beings living on Earth we all live in a natural system, a system framed by time and space. Because time seems to be in life’s background, just ‘framing’ our lives, it’s easy to lose sight of each moment’s special character.

The Jewish calendar helps us with that. The cycle of holidays stimulates our sensitivity to time, and grants us the opportunity to celebrate its uniqueness. With mindful awareness of these special moments, we have the power to propel our backdrop onto life’s center stage.

HOW WE STUDY THE JEWISH HOLIDAY:
We see the Jewish calendar operating as a complete unit. In this framework, the Jewish holidays spiral on one another and build on similar concepts. Our holiday curriculum builds not only previously studied holidays, but on the information covered in preceding years. In this way the material grows with the students and expands their holiday knowledge, depth and skills. 

THE CORE IDEA OF EACH HOLIDAY:

High Holidays are a time for us to take a serious look at ourselves, (re)connecting with our deepest potential and launching a new beginning toward a ‘Better Me’.

Sukkot we move out of the serious, contemplative mode. We feel and express the palpable joy that comes from integrating our deepest values into our everyday lives.

Simchat Torah is the time we celebrate the ‘map’ which G‑d gave us (the Torah), and which provides access an integrated, meaningful life.

Chanukah is a time when we connect with the idea of firm commitment to identity and values, and recognize the incredible inner strength we can unlock in ourselves through maintaining that commitment. 

Purim is the time to recognize that life is more than it appears to be; looking beneath the veneer, we can find beauty and meaning.

Pesach, The Festival of Liberation, celebrates our individual freedom from our personal ‘Egypts’, soaring above our limitations to actualize our inner selves.

Sefirat Ha'Omer - During the Sefirah period, we focus on self-refinement period in preparation for receiving the Torah.

Shavuot - In the revolution at Sinai, Hashem presented us with a Torah, a program through which life in its entirety could be imbued with meaning.




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WHY WE STUDY JEWISH HISTORY:
Approximately 6,000 years ago a story began…Our Story. It is intrinsic to our identity as a people that we learn the stories of our ancestors. But stories are much more than a memorization of names and places. Stories are the threads that bind us together and to our past, present and future.

Sometimes it is only through the stories of others that we can best understand ourselves. We can engage with the personalities of the past, applying the lessons gleaned from their struggles and triumphs to our own lives.

HOW WE STUDY JEWISH HISTORY:
Throughout the year(s) your children will be learning Jewish History to give them a sense of Jewish pride and identity. Your children (by the end of primary school) can expect to cover from the creation of the world continuing with the forefathers and the Jewish Exodus from Egypt and culminating with the return of our nation to the land of Israel. History will be taught in a story form as well through games, projects, dramatisations and contests. Because of its immense scope, this program captures the child's own unfolding identity and discovery process. Learning this six-thousand-year-old story in such an intimate fashion allows our students to see themselves as writers of history and begin enabling the next chapter of our nation's development.

 

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WHY WE STUDY ‘MITZVOT’:
Mitzvot give us the opportunity to anchor lofty concepts in daily life. By performing good deeds, we implement our knowledge in a real and meaningful way. Connecting learning with doing enables us to transform the world. Mitzvot honor our relationships with G‑d, with each other, and with the world.

HOW WE STUDY ‘MITZVOT’:

We study Mitzvot through 'live' experiences, (mezuzah scribe, shofar factory, etc.) and through various courses such as:  My Jewish home-This course is designed to discuss the mitzvot involved in creating a Jewish home, such as Mezuzah, hospitality, honoring parents and more. The students grasp that the home is the center of Jewish life - home is where the soul is. Marvelous Midos & Manners- This course covers a selection of 12 human-to-human Mitzvot, including respect, gratitude and Tzedakah. The students learn the importance of our inter-personal relationships.

 

 JAE-You and the Community

Throughout the year, we plan for our students to get involved and bring the mitzvot they learn to action. We hope to visit the elderly and bring the holidays to them, pack presents for Israeli soldiers, pack Chanukah gifts for the disadvantaged & more. All these activities take place in an age-appropriate way. To suggest areas for community involvement, please contact us at jae@jewishmelbourne.com.au.  We value your input and look forward to getting to know your family.

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What our parents say?

My son has been involved with the JAE program at L’Chaim Chabad Kingston in Moorabbin for the past 2 years. He loves it! As a parent, it is wonderful hearing about all the different programs and seeing how much he is learning each week. And now he is teaching me how to read Hebrew! My son looks forward to going each week, which is a testament in and of itself!

Davina Cheetrit

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April 2016-March 2017
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