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3rd 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.

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

  • Improving problem-solving 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.



  • 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 as a class and weekly independent reading of a Hebrew book from our class library.  
  • Students will participate in and lead conversations on daily life (topics include: social interactions, Israeli culture and history, and holidays).
  • Students will be able to communicate verbal and written directions in Hebrew, both as a leader and responder.
  • Students will write and perform an original Hebrew play.
  • Students will communicate in the present and past tense using complex sentence structure and time indicators.

Resources:  Using TaL-AM Curriculum  

Behatzlacha Etzlenu Bakita– Daily life in the class, how we learn in a successful way

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 3rd grade, we will study the following topics:

  1. The stories of Joseph
  2. The scroll of Esther

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:

  • Contributes personal ideas about the narrative.
  • Raises questions about the stories of the Torah.
  • Distinguishes between midrash and Torah text.

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:

  • Explores the themes of various biblical narratives and empathizes with the biblical characters involved.
  • Identifies recurring central themes in unfamiliar texts.
  • Compares and contrasts central personalities of Torah narratives.
  • Relates the familial connection of the personalities of the TaNaKh.
  • Connects Modern Hebrew words to biblical verses containing those same words or roots.

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:

  • Expresses empathy for the biblical characters.
  • Compares dilemmas in one’s own personal life with dilemmas explored in the biblical narrative.
  • Interprets a TaNaKh text in a way that is specifically personally meaningful.

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 participate in daily prayer opportunities, gaining fluency in and comprehension of the weekday and Shabbat prayers.
  • Students will develop leadership skills as hazanim (prayer leaders) and be counted on as role models and leaders in t’fillah (prayer) and holiday programming at SJCS.
  • Students will increase their understanding of the annual Torah cycle through the study of  parashat hashavu’a (Weekly Torah Portion).
  • Students will deepen their understanding of Holidays, exploring the philosophical and practical elements that guide our celebrations and observances.
  • Students will explore their personal connection with Israel ישראל – the land, people, and culture, and their Jewish identities.
  • Students will practice communication skills through writing and delivering reports on topics including famous Israelis and Shabbat traditions.

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) that are 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