At the Charlotte Jewish Preschool, Judaism is the foundation for the curriculum in each classroom, and serves as a road map for our teachers to develop their lessons, Jewish values are at the heart of our monthly themes, and drive the activities that teachers plan for their students. In addition to a Judaic-infused classroom curriculum, each class has Judaica once a week with our Judaica specialist. Students explore all of the chagim (Jewish holidays) from Rosh Hashana through Shavout, while learning about the Judaic values that influence our day-to-day behavior. Dramatic play, science, math, blocks, and fine motor are just some of the avenues students use to explore each holiday and value in Judaica. From shaking the lulav and etrog at Sukkot, to planting seeds on Tu B'Shevat, our students are learning by doing.
Our Fours and TK classes get extra time with our Judaica specialist each with in Israel Explorers class. We use STEAM curriculum for students to explore modern Israel, and discover the arts and culture of the Jewish homeland. Israel Explorers gives students the opportunity to be agriculturists in the Negev Desert as they experiment with Israel's drip irrigation system, or the artists in Tzfat as they use mosaic art to tell a story. Through Israel Explorers, our students are expanding their relationship with Israle from Eretz Yisrael (biblical Israel) to Medinat Yisrael (modern Israel).
When there is not a Jewish holiday forthcoming, students delve into the Torah stories and Jewish folk tales that inspire the five Judaic values at the heart of our school: B'tzelem Elohim, kavod, kehillah, limud, and tikkun olam. These values are at the core of every interaction among all of our stakeholders, from the youngest student to the most seasoned teacher.
Every Friday, the entire school gathers for a Shabbat service led by our Judaica specialist and our music specialist. we model a traditional Shabbat service by lighting the candles and singing the brachot together, followed by Kiddush, hamotzi, and lively Shabbat music and songs. A Rabbi or Cantor from our partner synagogues, Temple Israel, and Temple Beth El join us for a brief story before students return to their classrooms for challah and grape juice.
- Rosh Hashana is a time of new beginnings
- Symbols and traditions of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year
- Yom Kippur is a time to say "sorry" for our mistakes and work to improve ourselves
- Rituals of Yom Kippur
- Customs of Sukkot including building and decorating a Sukkah
- Sitting and eating the Sukkah
- Holiday marks the end and the beginning of reading the Torah
- The Torah is a collection of stories about the Jewish People
- The Torah teaches us how to be good people through mitzvoth
- We light the Chanukiyah to remember the miracles of Chanukah
- Miracle of the victory
- Miracle of the oil
- It is a New Year for the trees
- Reinforcing ties to Israel by eating fruits associated with the land
- Planting trees in Israel
- We read the story of Esther from the Megillah
- Purim is a festive holiday celebrated with food and costumes for disguise
- We were slaves
- We were feed by God with the help of Moses
- Students will learn Dayeinu, the Four Questions, and other age-appropriate songs/blessings for the sedar
- Students will recognize the symbols on a seder plate and explain their significance
Counting of the Omer
- This is the time that the Jewish people waited to receive the Torah
- Israel's birthday
- Israel is the homeland for the Jewish people and is a special place for us
- Students will identify the Israeli flag and use dramatic play to visit special places in Israel
- An outdoor celebration of a day to rejoice!
- The Jewish people received the Torah at Mount Sinai and became God's chosen people