Hebrew Instruction CURRICULUM
- Reading mastery: We strive for our students to master the decoding of Hebrew texts as they appear in prayers, and build fluency for reciting, chanting, and, ultimately, leading prayer as part of a Shabbat service. We do this by building a strong foundation of decoding skills (meaning: the ability to pronounce a word based on consonants, vowels, and syllables), followed by the practice of reading and chanting prayers.
- Context: What do the words mean? When is the prayer recited? (Evening, morning, Shabbat, weekday, holiday, etc.) What is the background of this prayer? These are explored through conversation and studying interpretations of the prayer.
- Relevance: Through discussion and reflection, students develop a personal connection to the prayer to generate a more meaningful and relevant experience when chanting it.
Formal Hebrew instruction begins at Temple Chayai Shalom in 2nd grade. Students learn the letters and vowels of the Hebrew alphabet and gain essential decoding skills to build fluency in reading. We use a mnemonic system that uses not only words, but also body motions, to aid in remembering letter and vowel sounds.
Grade 3 begins the year with a review of the Hebrew letters and vowels, followed by reading and chanting prayers at an increasing skill level. They begin with blessings and end the year with Shabbat prayers from our TCS Shabbat service liturgy.
Grades 4-5 study in small groups to improve their reading and decoding skills, as well as learning to chant more complex prayers. The small group model allows students to receive the support they need and advance at a pace that is right for them.
Grade 6 continues to develop mastery and comprehension of our service liturgy, as well as understanding of the structure and design of the service.
We have provided recordings of the prayers we teach in Madorim to help our students learn at home. We recommend that students practice with these recordings to make sure that they remember the melody correctly. Just click on the play button to hear the prayer. To see the text of each prayer in Hebrew or transliteration click on the appropriate link:
As part of our Hebrew program we ask the students to call their Hebrew teacher between lessons and record themselves reading/ chanting the prayer they are working on.