Our Hebrew instruction is designed to reach three overarching goals:
• Reading mastery: We strive for our students’ to master the decoding of Hebrew texts as appears in prayers, and build fluency for reciting, chanting and ultimately leading prayer as part of a Shabbat service. We do this by building a firm foundation of decoding skills (meaning: the ability to read 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 study of interpretations.
• 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.
Grades 3-6 meet for an hour during the week with a small group of peers to study and improve their reading and decoding skills as well as learn to chant the prayers. We call these small groups “madorim” (Hebrew for sections, ‘mador’ is the singular form of this word).
Madorim are scheduled on Tuesday or Wednesday afternoons at a time slot that is selected by the parents. This maximizes convenience for the families, and allows each family to work within their schedule. One of the benefits of the madorim model is that students in a small group are better able to move at the pace that makes sense for them – and not on a predetermined schedule.
Our Hebrew Curriculum is prayer-based and is a two-year revolving curriculum so that students can be grouped across grade levels (grade 3 & 4 students and grade 5 & 6 students).
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.
Teacher Call in Number
Julie Howard 508-565-8160
Nancy Peel 508-565-8991
David Rothberg 508-565-8135
Ann Slovin 508-565-8120