The ISJL Education Curriculum is a spiraled curriculum, in which students revisit key content areas with increased sophistication as they progress through the curriculum. The ten key content areas are: Community, Culture and Symbols, God, Hebrew and Prayer, Israel, Jewish History, Jewish Holidays, Jewish Lifecycle Events, Mitzvot and Jewish Values, and Tanach (Torah, Prophets, and Writings). The curriculum is developmentally appropriate, nurturing students’ Jewish identity, equipping students to live rich and meaningful lives. Each grade has thirty, two hour, lessons including Hebrew. There are a variety of activities in each lesson that implement the idea that students have different learning styles. Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic learning activities are used throughout each lesson.
The ISJL curriculum provides class-by-class lesson plans for each grade, which include both the big picture (big ideas and the objectives) and the nitty-gritty (supplies and other things to prepare). We have even provided a script and a time allocation for teachers who want further guidance in the classroom.
Finally the curriculum has a delivery service. Our implementation component consists of traveling Education Fellows. Each community is assigned a fellow who visits 3 times a year providing programs such as teacher trainings, all school programs, service leading and anything else the community needs. The education program kicks off with our annual education conference, designed to train Jewish leaders and religious school educators from across the South to implement the curriculum and improve their schools.
Throughout the curriculum, students will continue to be exposed to these key content areas:
By being part of the religious school experience, students will feel a particular pride for their heritage as southern Jews and identify with the larger American and global Jewish community.
The ISJL curriculum provides students with the opportunity to experience the colorful culture of Judaism and the symbols. The students will develop a deeper understanding of Jewish culture as their religious school education builds.
Religious school is a place where students can openly discuss their thoughts and feelings about God. Students will learn that throughout history Jews have explored their relationship with God.
During religious school students will have the ability to participate in synagogue prayer services and find personal meaning in them, recognizing Jewish worship as an essential facet of Jewish life and as an opportunity for self-discovery, self-assessment, and self-development.
Throughout the curriculum, students learn to identify with Israel as the Jewish homeland, understanding its history and recognizing our obligation to visit and support the State of Israel, and consider participating in an educational program there.
Students will develop a meaningful identification with Jews past and present through the study of Jewish history, culture, Hebrew language, liturgy, music, literature, arts, and texts.
Whether it is with the entire religious school at an All School Program or in each grade, students will familiarize themselves with the many rituals and traditions that are celebrated during Jewish holidays.
The spiraled curriculum allows students to mark the passages of time and seasons through Jewish lifecycle ceremonies using the symbols, rituals, prayers and traditions of their Jewish heritage.
- Mitzvot and Jewish Values
The ISJL curriculum provides students with a chance to view mitzvot-both ritual and ethical-as opportunities to build a relationship with God.
- Tanach (Torah, Prophets, and Writings)
Through the religious school experience, students will recognize that Jewish education is a lifelong endeavor, one that involves a critical and inquiring approach, whereby the process of questioning is as valued and important as the quest for answers.