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2nd Grade: Judaics & Hebrew Overview

Hebrew עברית

Why do we study Hebrew?

Hebrew is the language of the Jewish people, reflecting our identity and heritage. The study of Hebrew facilitates access to traditional Jewish texts while connecting the student to the culture and literature of the modern State of Israel, and to Jews around the world.

Educational studies suggest additional benefits of early foreign language education including:

  • Improving cognitive skills(problem solving, critical thinking) and listening skills
  • Building a greater sensitivity to language and awareness of cultural diversity  
  • Promoting creative whole-brain development

How do we study Hebrew?

Hebrew instruction at SJCS is learner-centered, engaging students interests and learning styles. Teachers build curricula from a wide range of sources to provide the best language acquisition for students. Hebrew education is focused on communication – listening, speaking, reading and writing. We learn Hebrew in conjunction with our cultural exploration of Judaism, learning about holidays, Israel, and ourselves in the Hebrew language.


  • Total Physical Response (TPR)
  • Hebrew Through Movement (HTM)
  • TaL-AM
  • A large eclectic variety of Hebrew literature and curricular materials


  • Reading and Writing
  • Speaking and Listening
  • Arts: Music, Drama, Visual Art
  • Games: action-based and problem-solving


  • Students will strengthen reading fluency through reading Hebrew texts including TaL AM library books
  • Students will master phonetic reading of any text and begin to read with comprehension and fluency
  • Students will read and write the Aleph-Bet in “cursive” script
  • Students will participate in and lead conversations on daily life (topics include: weather, the home, the supermarket and news)
  • Students will understand and complete complex multi-step directions in Hebrew
  • Students will begin to  communicate in the present and past tense and will use masculine/feminine and singular/plural.verb/noun/adjective agreement with greater frequency
  • Students will engage in casual Hebrew conversation outside of the structured classroom lessons.

Resources:  Using Tal-AM Curriculum  

Tov Bakita Sheli Veshelanu, Vetov Babait, Shana Yehudit – Daily life in the class, at home and outdoors, The Jewish Year

I-TaL-AM  – A digital interactive blended Interactive Learning Environment , Provides personalized, adaptive, and differentiated instruction and Teaches Hebrew though engaging multi-media content

Torah תורה

Students at SJCS study TaNaKh (Bible) in order to engage in thoughtful inquiry, develop a connection to others, and explore who they are. Torah study provides opportunities for students to connect deeply with their Jewish identity. They develop a love of text, our shared heritage, and language that informs their values, moral obligations, and ways of engaging with the world. Our students engage with the text in Hebrew and English, and understand and analyze the text through asking deep questions, grappling with big ideas, and wrestling with the text. “Talmud Torah k’neged kulam,” The study of Torah leads us to fulfil the sacred obligations inspired by the text that make the world a better place.

In 2nd grade, we will study the following topics:

  1. Jonah (Teshuvah) Repentance
  2. The Family Tree of Genesis (Abraham & Sarah , Isaac & Rebecca Jacob & Rachel & Leah)
  3. The stories of Jacob and Esau

In our study of Torah, we are guided by the following standards and benchmarks:

Students will be engaged in the learning of ancient, rabbinic and modern modes of interpretation of the biblical text and will see themselves as a link in this ongoing chain of interpretation.

To meet this standard, students will achieve the following benchmarks:

  • Gives examples of rabbis, teachers and other people who help explain the Torah.
  • Contributes personal ideas about the narrative.
  • Raises questions about the stories of the Torah.
  • Knows there are special stories— Midrashim—that help explain and teach lessons based on the Torah’s words and narratives.

Students will view the TaNaKH as the formative narrative of the Jewish people – past, present and future.

To meet this standard, students will achieve the following benchmarks:

  • Recognizes central themes of the Torah narratives.
  • Draws connections between themes and biblical characters.
  • Connects relevant holiday or celebration to the biblical narrative.
  • Explains that the Jewish people read Torah portions regularly as part of a weekly (or triennial cycle).

Students will develop a love of Torah study for its own sake and embrace it as an inspiring resource, informing their values, moral commitments and ways of experiencing the world.

To meet this standard, students will achieve the following benchmarks:

  • Links specific value behaviors with biblical personalities in narrative settings.
  • Applies values into personal Jewish practice.
  • Compares dilemmas in one’s own personal life with dilemmas explored in biblical narrative.

Jewish Culture and Values  לימודי יהדות :תרבות וערכים   

We are blessed to be part of a multi-faceted tradition. Culture, values, history, prayer, and beliefs weave together like the strands of a rope. Braided together, they are stronger than any individual strand and create the vibrancy of Jewish life we know today. At SJCS we strive to braid a strong rope to anchor our students to Jewish heritage , connect them with Jewish traditions around the world, and guide them toward creating a stronger, brighter world. These topics are taught both through text and action, living the concepts we learn in the classroom.

  • Students will explore T’filah תפילה (Prayer) through song, poem, and meditation.
    • Students will be able to recite prayers from the morning (Shaharit) service and learn blessings for food and for special occasions.
    • Students will practice leadership skills in prayer as a hazan/hazanit.( prayer leader)
  • Students will follow the Jewish calendar, understanding the role of Shabbat and Holidays (שבת וחגים) and the laws and customs that make them special.
  • Students will develop a connection with Israel ישראל – the land, people, and culture.
  • Students will explore their personal Jewish identity and relationship with God.

Our Values: The Ideals We Live By ערכים

Learning at Seattle Jewish Community School is guided by values and ideals rooted in Jewish tradition, molded by modern pedagogic practices, and enriched through the love of our faculty and support staff.

Jewish Identity זהות יהודית | Our students develop a strong Jewish identity, built on the richness of our collective history and tradition, and our commitment to the principles of dereh eretz דרך ארץ , tikkun olam תיקון עולם , and gemilut hasadim גמילות חסדים .

Intellectual Rigor יסודיות אינטלקטואלית | from mathematics to Torah study, we encourage our students to delve deeply into diverse and complex subject matter.

Thoughtful Inquiry חקירה מתוך מלאכת מחשבת  | We inspire intellectual curiosity by offering rich content and encouraging a dialogue where asking questions is as important as finding answers.

Sense of Self מודעות עצמית  | We foster in our students a strong sense of self along with the confidence and resilience to stand behind their beliefs.

Connection to Others מודעות לאחר  | Our students engage respectfully and generously with each other and the world developing a sense of responsibility and commitment to service.

Inclusive Community קהילה שמקרבת מגוון רחב של אנשים | We provide a warm and nurturing atmosphere where all students and families are welcomed and supported and where relationships flourish, even after graduation.

Our students learn Middot (Character Traits) based on the values of the school.

דרך ארץ Dereh Eretz Citizenship
חסד Hesed Kindness
סקרנות Sak’rnut Curiosity
התמדה Hatmadah Perseverance
צדק Tzedek Justice
רחמים Rahamim Compassion
הכרת הטוב Hakarat Hatov Gratitude