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  • Hillel Day School
Mind and Soul. Better together.
Grades K-4

K-4 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 God. 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 5 items.

  • Kindergarten

    In kindergarten, students learn how to live a Jewish life with joy and understanding. Jewish values infuse the classroom. Through stories and projects, students learn and experience derech eretz (respect), honesty, responsibility, hospitality, the basics of kashrut, and many other moral values.

    Hebrew
    Our Hebrew program is called Chalav u’Dvash. This program was designed for children in Jewish day schools in North America. It provides a basic knowledge of spoken Hebrew that will provide a foundation for future study of the language.

    In class, we connect Hebrew to everyday social situations related to the children's experiences in the home, at school, in encounters with friends and holiday celebrations.

    Chalav U'dvash focuses on communicative Hebrew, on the spoken language. We specifically do not teach the students in Kindergarten reading and writing. Nevertheless, we provide a foundation for Hebrew reading and writing skills through:
    • Games that emphasize left-right directionality
    • Exposure of the children to the written Hebrew word, through use of illustrated cards and flash cards that come with the program.
    • Games, songs and recitations that focus on sounds and forms of Hebrew.
    Torah
    Using the Torah Alive! Program, we will be exploring together many of the classic Torah stories, through music and drama, and art.

    Shabbat and Chagim

    The whole kindergarten will have a Kabbalat Shabbat experience every Friday afternoon. Learning about Shabbat and our wonderful Jewish holidays will be an exciting part of our class throughout the year. We will have special songs and dances, projects and a variety of activities.
      Prayer/Tefillah
      We begin each afternoon with tefillah. Over the year, we will learn together many tefillot, such as modeh ani, adon olam, the Shma, and parts of bircat hamazon.
    • First Grade

      Tal Am: Curriculum for Learning Hebrew and Heritage
       
      This curriculum is based on the principles of communicative-heritage language acquisition. It activates learning in all frames of mind by utilizing a wide range of activities for all modes of communication and integrates Hebrew language acquisition, the development of Jewish concepts and values, and reading and writing skills.

      The goal of Tal Am is expressed in the acronym LYMUD (learning).
      LeFateach: to develop
      Yeled Yehudi: a Jewish child
      Maskil: who is literate
      Umasur Bechol: committed and
      Drachav: skilled to live Jewishly
       
      Tal Am is organized along four inter-related tracks:
      1. Shalom (Daily life in class, at home and outdoors)
      2. Shabbat Shalom: (Shabbat and weekly Torah reading)
      3. Chag Sameach: - Jewish and Israeli holidays.
      4. Ariot Kore Ve Kotev: (Development of Hebrew reading, writing, and language skills)
       
      Prayer/Tefillah
      Every Day, first grade at Hillel begins with a tefillah experience. In the context of the school’s core value “Ve-Ahavta”—a personal relationship with God—students master the key elements of the daily morning service, and begin to make personal meaning from the prayers, a process that will continue throughout their Hillel years. Their achievements are consolidated and celebrated at the annual Siddur Party, a milestone first grade event.
       
      Torah
      Using primarily the Tal-Am materials students explore the stories and personalities of Braisheet and Shmot, the first two books of the Torah. At the weekly Kabbalat Shabbat experience on Fridays, themes from the weekly Torah portion are explored through music and stories.
       
      Materials
      Books, workbooks, audio discs, flash cards, games, smart board, mini library, and computers.
       
      Special Events
      Model Seder
      The Siddur Party
      Holiday Program (Chanukah, Purim)
       
      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.

      As your children grow up in the 21st century, we need to provide a strong academic program for them, as well as to encourage and teach them to become communicators, collaborators, problem solvers, and critical thinkers. At Hillel, we will build a strong foundation for these skills in first grade.
    • Second Grade

      Second grade classes are conducted exclusively in Hebrew and students begin to learn the skills necessary to become independent learners.

      Ivrit (Hebrew)
      Using the Tal-Am and Lookstein Center programs, students:
      • continue to expand their knowledge of Hebrew by learning cursive Hebrew writing and new vocabulary with emphasis on reading comprehension.
      • begin to form simple sentences and practice spelling.
      • expand their knowledge of modern Israel including major cities and key governmental leadership positions.
      • discuss, in a developmentally appropriate way, current events from Israel.
      • celebrate Israel Independence Day at Hillel and learn how it is observed in Israel.
      TaNaCh
      Students have a formal introduction to the Torah and transition into actual study of the text. 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.
      In second grade, students study selections of Braisheet and Noach.

      Shabbat
      and Chagim
      Through experiential approaches students explore the historical context, meaning and spirit of Shabbat and the Chagim
      • Students celebrate the coming of Shabbat with parshah review and singing, in the classroom and in grade-wide Kabbalat Shabbat assemblies.
      • Students learn about the Jewish calendar.
      Major events in second grade include participation in a Model Seder and a Torah Party, celebrating the beginning of the students’ systematic study of the Torah text in Ivrit.

      Tefillah

      Students review the prayers they learned in first grade and learn additional parts of the morning service, Friday night Kiddush, and prayers for Rosh Chodesh.

      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.
    • Third 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 third grade, students study selections of Lech-Lecha, Vayera and Chayei-Sarah.

      Ivrit (Hebrew)
      In grades 3-4, students develop their knowledge of and attachment to Ivrit through the integrated study of Hebrew language, grammar and literature; the primary curricular vehicle is the Chaverim B’Ivrit program.
      • Students work on the past tense of verbs.
      • Students continue to grow their vocabulary; the class is conducted exclusively in Hebrew.
      • Students continuously learn about the State of Israel through current events, connections in curriculum, songs, and personal stories.
      Shabbat and Chagim
      Through experiential approaches students explore the historical context, meaning and spirit of Shabbat and the Chagim
      • Students celebrate the coming of Shabbat with parshah review and in grade-wide Kabbalat Shabbat assemblies.
      • Students learn about Havdalah, culminating in a Havdalah service at school for family and friends.
      • Students expand their knowledge of the basic customs and mitzvot associated with each holiday through creative projects.
      • Students conduct a model Seder in their classrooms for Pesah.
      Tefillah
      Students learn the structure, skills and choreography of T'fillot.
      • Students learn the Amidah through Kedushah.
      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.
    • Fourth Grade

      Ivrit (Hebrew)
      In grades 3-4, students develop their knowledge of and attachment to Ivrit through the integrated study of Hebrew language, grammar and literature; the primary vehicle is the Chaverim B'Ivrit program.
      • Students work on the past tense of verbs.
      • Students continue to grow their vocabulary; the class is conducted exclusively in Hebrew.
      • Students continuously learn about the State of Israel through current events, connections in curriculum, songs, and personal stories.
      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 fourth grade, students study selections of Toldot, Vayeitzei, and Vayishlach.

      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 celebrate the coming of Shabbat, with parshah review and singing, in the classroom and in grade-wide Kabbalat Shabbat assemblies.
      • Students learn about Rosh Chodesh and the structure of the Torah service. They demonstrate their mastery by conducting a special Rosh Chodesh minyan at school, including the Torah reading, for family and friends.
      • Students participate in a Grade 1-4 Model Seder.
      Tefillah
      Students learn the structure, skills and choreography of T'fillot.
      • Students learn the entire Amidah, Aleinu, and Birkat HaMazon.
      • Students learn the key elements of the Friday night service.
    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