Jewish Studies

Unit One: Exploring the Jewish Year
Students learn about the rhythm and flow of the year as they explore the Jewish calendar and experience the Jewish holidays and the cycle of seasons.

Unit Two: An Overview of Mitzvot
Students learn about the three different types of Mitzvot: ritual (saying blessings), gemilut chasadim (acts of love and kindness) and tzedakah (giving money). Each student will make a tzedakah box for use at home. The Jewish concept of being a mensch is introduced.

Unit Three: Let’s Explore God
Students begin to develop a relationship with God by exploring the concepts of talking to God, thanking God, and understanding that God is one. They are introduced to the primary concept of Shema—that God is one. They learn the Shema prayer and explore its meaning. Students will be able to identify a mezuzah and know that the Shema prayer is contained in a mezuzah.

Unit Four: Welcome to the Synagogue—An Exploration of Synagogue Life
Our students visit the sanctuary to learn about the Torah and ritual objects used in prayer. They are taught that Torah is very special to the Jewish people and that to show respect we dress a Torah in a special way. They are also taught to identify a kippah, tallit, and siddur. Students begin to understand the different roles of professionals who work in a synagogue.

Unit Five: Israel
Throughout the year, Kindergarten students learn about Israel. They will learn that the same prayers we say at Temple Shir Tikva are said in Israel. They will discuss the similarities/differences of Shabbat and holidays in Israel and in Wayland.

Ivrit (Hebrew Language Studies)

The goals for Kindergarten are letter and vowel recognition, and the association of sounds with the letters and vowels. Students develop a basic comfort and familiarity with the Hebrew alphabet, learning that Hebrew is written from right to left. From listening to their teachers and using picture aids, they also start to build a vocabulary of Hebrew words.

Tefillah (Prayer)

Students are introduced to the Shabbat blessings in a developmentally appropriate manner.  They will be exposed to the blessings for lighting the Chanukah candles, the Shema, the Kiddush and Motzi blessings for wine and bread, the blessing we say before eating a snack, and Oseh Shalom (a prayer for peace).


The tzedakah collected in the Kindergarten classes this year will benefit Friends of Alyn Hospital.  ALYN Hospital is Israel’s only comprehensive rehabilitation center for physically disabled children.  ALYN supports these children from birth to young adulthood. In a warm, friendly atmosphere, disabilities are magically transformed into abilities.

Family Education

Sunday Program: The Shema and Jewish Bedtime Rituals

Parents will study together with Cantor Schachner about the concept God is One; discuss how to speak with children about God; and how to make bedtime a Jewish moment.  Children working with their parents will make Shema Pillowcases and will study the Shema prayer.