The Judaics/Jewish Studies Program is designed to foster an understanding and appreciation for the values, ethics, culture, and religious heritage of the Jewish people. We are a community Jewish Day School, respecting a wide variety of Jewish perspectives. Through tefillah (prayer) students develop their own spiritual path. Study of Jewish texts, Modern Hebrew, holidays, and the centrality of the state of Israel, develops students’ critical thinking skills, a connection to Israel and the Jewish community, and their voice. With All Your Heart: A Trans-Denominational Community Siddur/prayerbook, The Mensch Curriculum, Tal-Am.
In Judaics students develop their own voice and critical thinking skills through the study of sacred texts, Jewish history and traditions, and study of Israel – culminating in a milestone trip to Israel in the 8th grade. In 5-8th grade, students study the Holocaust – learning the history, remembering the victims and examining how the events of the Holocaust relate to them personally, in their lives and communities today. Throughout the Judaics program, project-based learning, group work and written and oral presentation of understanding cultivate important academic skills. The Tanakh: JPS translation.
Hebrew teaching responds to the wide ability range found in the middle school. Heritage learners read, write, and speak Hebrew with the goal of complete fluency. Strong native English speakers work on full conversational fluency, while transfer students and other developing Hebrew learners have the goal of basic conversational fluency and enjoyment of the language meant to create a positive foundation.
The teaching of the Holocaust to CCJDS’s 5-8th grade students holds three main objectives. First, students learn the history of the event. Second, they remember the victims (ZACHOR). Our third objective is to examine how the events of the Holocaust relate to the students personally, in their lives and communities today. We work to achieve all of these objectives by fostering interactive and dynamic cross-curricular study, including Judaic Studies, Language Arts and World History. The study culminates in our school wide observance of Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Memorial Day, student submissions to the Henry Ramek z”l Holocaust essay writing competition and the 8th grade trip to Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, in Jerusalem as part of their class trip to Israel.