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Grades 5-8

5-8 Judaic Studies

The goal of Hillel's Judaic Studies program is to teach students how to live a Jewish life with joy and understanding. Students are taught the Hebrew language so they are able to read, understand, and participate in synagogue, learn independently from the Torah and Rabbinic texts, form a bond with Israel and communicate with other Jews. The love of learning and the love of Torah underlie everything students are taught.

Students explore the significance of ritual in daily and family life, in personal relationships and as a means of connecting to and communicating with G-d. They learn to think critically, make inferences and interpret symbolism. Students ask questions and challenge accepted thought as they learn about themselves and develop their Jewish identity.

The creation of the State of Israel is one of the seminal events in Jewish history. Recognizing the significance of the State and its national institutions, we seek to instill in our students an attachment to the State of Israel and its people as well as a sense of responsibility for their welfare.

Judaic Studies at Hillel Day School gives students the tools to begin the process of becoming knowledgeable, compassionate, involved and committed Jewish people.

List of 4 items.

  • Fifth Grade

    Ivrit (Hebrew)
    Fifth graders further develop their knowledge of and attachment to Ivrit through the integrated study of Hebrew language, grammar and literature. Students work to master all the key skills of second language acquisition through the 21st century NETA Ivrit curriculum.
    • Students know and use the present, past and future tenses of whole, simple verbs. They conjugate pronouns and correctly use the feminine and masculine forms of nouns and adjectives.
    • Students speak Ivrit exclusively.
    • Students learn Ivrit through scenarios of daily life, as well as literary themes relevant and interesting to early adolescents.
    • Students strengthen their personal connection to Israel through exploration and discussion of modern Israeli politics and culture.
    TaNaCh
    TaNaCh (Bible) study at Hillel is guided by our active participation in the national Jewish Day School TaNaCh Standards and Benchmarks Project. The two standards which focus TanaCh instruction at Hillel throughout grades 2-8 are:
    • Students will become independent and literarily astute readers of the biblical text in Hebrew.
    • Students will develop a love of torah study for its own sake and come to embrace it as an inspiring resource, informing their values, sense of moral commitments, and ways of experiencing the world.
    In fifth grade, students study selections of Shmot, Vaera, Bo, B’shalach and Yitro.

    Rabbinics
    In fifth grade, Hillel students begin a four year sequence of studying Rabbinics, the texts of the oral tradition. These studies will help our students understand the sources of our values and practices, and how Judaism adapts to the modern world. In fifth-sixth grades, students encounter the great personalities, structure and methods of the Mishnah, as well as units relating to blessings, the Amidah, chagim, property damage and other topics. The V’Shinantam curriculum provides a multitude of materials and suggestions for age appropriate Mishnah study that corresponds to the students’ interests and cognitive abilities.

    Israel
    In addition to other programs and studies which are infused with Zionism and Israel, Hillel first-eighth graders experience an eight year sequence of Israel lessons and activities, developed specifically for Diaspora Jewish Day Schools by our partners at the Lookstein Center at Bar-Ilan University. This provides the students the opportunity to become familiar with many great personalities, places and events central to the story of Israel.


    Shabbat and Chagim
    Through experiential approaches students explore the historical context, meaning and spirit of Shabbat and the Chagim
    • Students experience their first Hillel Shabbat together at an in-school Shabbaton.
    • Students learn the Torah and Rabbinic sources for the holidays.
    • Students read Megillat Esther for the Hillel community and a Jewish senior residence.
    Tefillah
    Students learn the structure, skills and choreography of T'fillot.
    • Students lead weekly and Rosh Chodesh minyanim for third and fourth grades.
    • Students participate in a fifth and sixth grade minyan on Torah reading days.
    • Students are introduced into our “Choice Minyan” program, which allows them to choose among different thematic creative minyanim several times during the year.
  • Sixth Grade

    TaNaCh
    TaNaCh (Bible) study at Hillel is guided by our active participation in the national Jewish Day School TaNaCh Standards and Benchmarks Project. The two standards which focus TanaCh instruction at Hillel throughout grades 2-8 are:
    • Students will become independent and literarily astute readers of the biblical text in Hebrew
    • Students will develop a love of torah study for its own sake and come to embrace it as an inspiring resource, informing their values, sense of moral commitments, and ways of experiencing the world.
    In sixth grade, students study selections of Ki Tissa, Sefer Bamidbar, and selections that highlight the transition of Am Yisrael into Eretz Yisrael.

    Ivrit (Hebrew)
    Sixth graders further develop their knowledge of and attachment to Ivrit through the integrated study of Hebrew language, grammar and literature.
    • Students know and use the present, past and future tenses of whole, simple verbs. They conjugate pronouns and correctly use the feminine and masculine forms of nouns and adjectives.
    • Students speak Ivrit exclusively.
    • Students learn Ivrit through scenarios of daily life, as well as literary themes relevant and interesting to early adolescents.
    • Students strengthen their personal connection to Israel through exploration and discussion of modern Israeli politics and culture.
    Rabbinics
    In sixth grade, Hillel students continue their four year sequence of studying Rabbinics, the texts of the oral tradition. These studies will help our students understand the sources of our values and practices, and how Judaism adapts to the modern world. In fifth-sixth grades, students encounter the great personalities, structure and methods of the Mishnah, as well as units relating to blessings, the Amidah, chagim, property damage and other topics. The V’Shinantam curriculum provides a multitude of materials and suggestions for age appropriate Mishnah study that corresponds to the students’ interests and cognitive abilities.

    Israel
    In addition to other programs and studies which are infused with Zionism and Israel, Hillel first-eighth graders experience an eight year sequence of Israel lessons and activities, developed specifically for Diaspora Jewish Day Schools by our partners at the Lookstein Center at Bar-Ilan University. This provides the students the opportunity to become familiar with many great personalities, places and events central to the story of Israel.

    Minyan
    Students benefit from a comprehensive minyan enrichment program, dedicated to helping develop their spirituality and bring our school’s Jewish Core values to life.
    Students also participate in the Choice Minyanim. They periodically choose one of more than ten types of minyanim. Options include creative writing, discussion, movement, meditation, parshat hashavua, art, chazzan skills, tefillah meaning, sing-along, "Minyan Rox!", tefillah games, and an outdoor minyan! Additionally, students prepare and lead many tefillah and Torah-based activities at their shabbaton at Tamarack.
  • Seventh Grade

    TaNaCh
    TaNaCh (Bible) study at Hillel is guided by our active participation in the national Jewish Day School TaNaCh Standards and Benchmarks Project. The two standards which focus TanaCh instruction at Hillel throughout grades 2-8 are:
    • Students will become independent and literarily astute readers of the biblical text in Hebrew
    • Students will develop a love of torah study for its own sake and come to embrace it as an inspiring resource, informing their values, sense of moral commitments, and ways of experiencing the world.
    In seventh grade, students study the books of Jonah and Ruth, and selections of Joshua, Shoftim (Judges), and selections of Shmuel Aleph and Shmuel Bet. The overarching theme is different manifestations of leadership; students:
    • learn about alternative ways to manage personal struggles.
    • connect Biblical themes of self-reflection and personal responsibility to the high holiday season, and their own self-development.
    • explore the origin and effects of the civil war between the supporters of David and Saul.
    • analyze the political, religious and interpersonal implications of the development of the Davidic dynasty.
    Additionally, TaNach study of Jerusalem is part of an integrated Social Studies unit on capital cities, and is part of the students’ preparation for their Washington, D.C. trip.

    Ivrit (Hebrew Language)

    Seventh graders further develop their knowledge of and attachment to Ivrit through the integrated study of Hebrew language, grammar and literature.
    • Students learn how to conjugate five types of verbs into past, present, and future tense.
    • Students study how to conjugate prepositions, learn the feminine and masculine forms of numbers, and continue to strengthen their writing skills.
    • Students speak Ivrit exclusively.
    • Students explore both classical and modern literary texts relevant and interesting to middle school age children.
    Israel
    Students deepen their personal connection to Israel through study, discussion, and activities based on the geography, current events and culture of the State of Israel.

    Life-cycle
    Students relate to the major Jewish life-cycle events through the study of the rituals and customs, and the key concepts embedded in them.

    Jewish History
    Seventh graders trace the events in Jewish history from the Biblical Age through the Rabbinic Age.
    • Students explore the concept of leadership and its many forms.
    • Students read and talk about the development of post-biblical Judaism.
    • Students assess Israel's interaction with the Roman Empire, and learn about factionalism and its consequences.
    • Students draw parallels between the lack of unity among peoples throughout history and struggles around the world today.
    Rabbinics
    Seventh graders continue to develop their knowledge of Oral Torah through further study of Mishnah and introductory Talmud/Gemara access skills. A wide range of topics are explored, all with a focus on helping students understand, “How can I be modern, American and Jewish?” Students also have experiential holiday-themed programs.

    Minyan
    Students participate in a variety of minyan experiences throughout the week. These include middle school-wide services on Torah reading days, small advisory minyanim, and classroom and grade level services. Students benefit from a comprehensive minyan enrichment program, dedicated to enhancing their spirituality and bringing our school’s Jewish Core values to life. Additionally students have the opportunity to develop their synagogue and leadership skills by serving as chazzanin and organizing the 7-8 minyan as gabbaim.

    Students also participate in the Choice Minyanim. They periodically choose one of more than ten types of minyanim. Options include creative writing, discussion, movement, meditation, parshat hashavua, art, chazzan skills, tefillah meaning, sing-along, "Minyan Rox!", tefillah games, and an outdoor minyan! Additionally, students prepare and lead many tefillah and Torah-based activities at their shabbaton at Tamarack.
  • Eighth Grade

    TaNaCh
    Beginning in second grade, TaNaCh (Bible) study at Hillel is guided by our active participation in the national Jewish Day School TaNaCh Standards and Benchmarks Project. The two standards which focus TanaCh instruction at Hillel throughout grades 2-8 are:
    • Students will become independent and literarily astute readers of the biblical text in Hebrew
    • Students will develop a love of torah study for its own sake and come to embrace it as an inspiring resource, informing their values, sense of moral commitments, and ways of experiencing the world.
    Eighth graders culminate their TaNaCh study at Hillel through intensive study of the Joseph story from the book of Braisheet (Genesis).
    • Students regularly implement and strengthen their independent TaNaCh study skills.
    • Students use classical and original commentaries to explore the themes of Jewish identity, leadership, and family dynamics.
    • Students analyze the text by continually distinguishing between its literal and symbolic meanings.
    • Students write their own midrashim.
    Ivrit (Hebrew Language)
    Eighth graders further develop their knowledge of and attachment to Ivrit through the integrated study of Hebrew language, grammar and literature. Students work to master all the key skills of second language acquisition through the 21st century NETA Ivrit curriculum.
    • Students learn all of the tenses of the exceptional verbs, and to distinguish between passive and active verbs.
    • Students master conjunctions and contractions, and write compound sentences.
    • Students speak Hebrew exclusively.
    • Students explore both classical and modern literary texts relevant and interesting to middle school children.
    Rabbinics
    Eighth graders continue to build upon their study of rabbinic texts and process. The theme of the course is Mishnah L’Maaseh, putting their four years of Rabbinics learning into action. Students continue to develop their Talmud skills and explore further topical units. This culminates with group Jewish Social Action Projects, efforts addressing a range of community needs that are rooted in Rabbinic texts and Hillel’s Core Jewish Values.

    Jewish History II-Shoah (Holocaust)
    Eighth graders study the history and issues of the Holocaust.
    • Students become sensitive to the richness of Jewish life in prewar Europe, and study the conditions that facilitated the Nazi rise to power.
    • Students learn about different aspects of the Holocaust experience, and distinguish between spiritual and physical resistance.
    • Students visit the Detroit Holocaust Memorial Center.
    • Students interview a Holocaust survivor, and prepare a record for presentation to the class and the Hillel library.
    Israel
    In addition to other programs and studies which are infused with Zionism and Israel, Hillel first-eighth graders experience an eight year sequence of Israel lessons and activities, developed specifically for Diaspora Jewish Day Schools by our partners at the Lookstein Center at Bar-Ilan University. This provides the students the opportunity to become familiar with many great personalities, places and events central to the story of Israel. The culmination of all of these efforts is an unforgettable eighth grade trip to Israel!

    Minyan

    Students participate in a variety of minyan experiences throughout the week. These include middle school-wide services on Torah reading days, small advisory minyanim, and classroom and grade level services. Students benefit from a comprehensive minyan enrichment program, dedicated to enhancing their spirituality and bringing our school’s Jewish Core values to life. Additionally students have the opportunity to develop their synagogue and leadership skills by serving as chazzanin and organizing the 7-8 minyan as gabbaim.

    Students also participate in the Choice Minyanim. They periodically choose one of more than ten types of minyanim. Options include creative writing, discussion, movement, meditation, parshat hashavua, art, chazzan skills, tefillah meaning, sing-along, "Minyan Rox!", tefillah games, and an outdoor minyan! Additionally, students prepare and lead many tefillah and Torah-based activities at their shabbaton at Tamarack.
Critical Thinking חשיבה ביקורתית
Creativity יצירתיות
COLLABORATION שיתוף פעולה
COMMUNICATION תיקשורת
CHARACTER אישיות
COMMUNITY קהילה
CORE JEWISH VALUES ערכים יהודיים עיקריים
Welcome to Hillel Day School of Metropolitan Detroit, a vibrant community Jewish day school filled with joy, rooted in core Jewish values, committed to halakhah, and devoted to academic excellence. Our families are diverse in their beliefs, affiliations and observances; we work together to create a welcoming community based upon mutual respect and shared values.
Early Childhood Center, Ages 2-5 | Day School, Grades K-8 | 248-851-3220 | 32200 Middlebelt Rd. | Farmington Hills, MI 48334