What can you tell me about your school’s curriculum as a whole?
I hope that you will enjoy reading about our school curriculum on each class’s home page. Much thought and preparation has gone into making sure that it is scoped and sequenced in a way where the students ability to learn, comprehend, apply, analyze, synthesize and evaluate is built on prior learning. The pillars that form the foundation of our curriculum are based on Jewish values found in an examination and better understanding of God, Torah and Israel.
What is at the core of everything you teach?
As taken from our guiding principles of the school: “Virtues and values are of central importance to everything we do at our school. The way we act; who we are; what we stand for; how we respond; how we view life and the world around us; our personal qualities, attributes and traits—all these reflect the degree to which we embrace our Jewish values.”
We have learned from our time on screens during the toughest stretch of the pandemic that the kesher (connection) between each class community and our school as a whole is the heart of what we teach. The teachers are the facilitators of the learning and we teach our students where they are at in their Jewish and personal journeys.
It is also essential that we help our students learn the importance of God, Torah and Israel. These are truly the pillars of our religion. We help our students chart out their Jewish identities through our celebration of Jewish holidays, participation in Tefillah (Prayer), participation in Chugim (Elective Classes) and involvement in Social Action Tikkun Olam, trying to bring more justice to the world we live in.
What can you tell me about your teaching team?
We are proud of our teaching staff, coming to us with a wealth of diverse knowledge, backgrounds and experiences. The curriculum was built in collaboration with them, based on their strengths. It was also built with the needs of the 21st-century learner in mind.
How does technology fit into your curriculum?
We show poignant short video clips in class to get across some points we are trying to teach. We also learned from the pandemic that personal interactions are the heart of the learning process. We all spent far too much time looking at screens and are actually moving away from technology as a primary teaching tool. With that stated, we utilize the Google suite to share materials with our students and madrichim (teenage assistants) and have found some top notch curricula that use some technology and we leverage it when we find that it benefits our students.
What is Rabbi Newman Kamin’s role in the school?
Family Education is a major part of our school. We see the teaching process as collaboration between home and synagogue/school. Rabbi Newman Kamin meets with each class individually throughout the year, focusing on topics related to what the classes are learning. When she meets with the classes, a Sunday morning brunch accompanies the learning process to further create a sense of class community.
In addition, Rabbi Newman Kamin helps our students craft a D’var Torah teaching for B’nai Mitzvah. The words our students share and the concepts they study with the Rabbi bring forward many important take home messages.
Updated 9-18-2022, 22 Elul 5782