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Temple Sinai’s education program for kindergarten - 7th grade

JQuest is an exciting journey of Jewish learning and discovery for children and families and an opportunity to develop and strengthen Jewish identity, knowledge and community.

In JQuest, we seek to instill in our children and families a sense of commitment to and excitement about Jewish life and Jewish peoplehood. We strive to enable our children and families to understand the Jewish past, while being inspired and empowered to create a Jewish life in the present that is committed to tikkun olam. The philosophy and atmosphere of JQuest invites our students to develop a love of Jewish tradition and the study of Torah, along with the questioning that our tradition encourages. Overall our goal for children and families in JQuest is to be challenged, inspired, and energized by the power of Jewish ideas and traditions.

At Temple Sinai we strive to provide our students and their families with tools to understand the Jewish past, connect to the Jewish present, and become an integral part of the Jewish future.  Our primary goal is to create educational programs that enable all children and families to be challenged, exhilarated, and energized by the power of Jewish ideas, community, and tradition. 

In creating curricula for JQuest that will be aligned with these goals, we acknowledge – and celebrate – that there are many different ways to connect to Judaism and Jewish life. Some adults connect to Judaism through prayer; others connect through Torah study, or social action, or singing in the choir. Historically, religious school has been a one-size-fits-all model. Like adults, children connect to Judaism in different ways, and we are delighted to offer a variety of paths of Jewish learning to match the various learning styles and passions of the children and families in our community.

Our K-2 program meets weekly and seeks to connect children with the ongoing creative life of the Jewish people through music, art, dance, stories, Hebrew, prayer, and discussion. They will move from class to class for 2 periods in the morning: Hebrew/Prayer/Tefillah and Quests (Kadima or Tzofim)

Kindergarten  - Kadimah! (Let’s go!)  

For kindergarten  students

In this exciting JQuest program for Kindergarten children, students will go on a Jewish “quest” to explore Jewish holidays, values, traditions, prayers, and Torah stories by using all five of their senses. Kadimah students will engage in cooking, building, art, games, outdoor activities, music, and more – in order to bring Judaism to life in multiple and exciting ways! It includes two required family programs per year, along with opportunities for parents to volunteer for projects such as cooking and games.

1st and 2nd Grade - Tzofim (Scouts) 

 

Calling all 2nd graders!  A year of scavenger hunts and adventures awaits, as Tzofim (2nd grade “scouts”) will go on journeys to discover what it means to be Jewish in the world.  Tzofim includes quests related to Israel, synagogues, and Jewish values, and “ Junior Mitzvah Corps,” in which students learn about a mitzvah and then go out into the world to perform that mitzvah through social action/community service projects.  This is a year of JQuest you don’t want to miss!

3rd-6th Grade

They will have 2 periods on Sundays - one for Tefilah/Hebrew/Prayer and one for JQuest Track.  Sixth Grade will be engaged in The Moving Traditions Bnai Mitzvah program for the first session. 

Philosophy of JQuest “Tracks”

At Temple Sinai, we acknowledge – and celebrate – that there are many different ways to connect to Judaism and Jewish life. Historically, religious schools followed a one-size-fits-all model. Like adults, children connect to Judaism in different ways, and we are delighted to offer a variety of paths of Jewish learning in JQuest to match the various learning styles and passions of the children in our community. Please note that all 3rd through 6th grade tracks include our comprehensive Hebrew & prayer curriculum. 

Curricular themes: God, Torah, Israel

Teva - Nature  

   

Teva (teh-vah) is our nature program. You will get to explore God, Torah, and Israel through the lens of nature and the outdoors. While usually classroom-based, this program includes opportunities for outdoor learning (as weather permits) around the Temple Sinai campus and local parks, as we celebrate and learn about seasonal, eco, and wilderness-based traditions of the Jewish people. For example, we might have discussions around a fire in an outdoor classroom/ “campground” on the Sinai campus, take a short hike in order to connect with the experience of Moses climbing Mt. Sinai to get the 10 commandments, or participate in a vegetable garden project connecting with Israel and the holidays. Join us in Teva, where we will make connections between Jewish life and the natural world! 

Bonim – Builders  

       

Bonim (boh-neem) is for students who like to build things! In this track you will have the opportunity to learn about God, Torah, and Israel through the experience of construction and building projects both big and small. Activities may include model projects such as building a ‘mini Israel’ as well as full-size projects such as building a sukkah. A wide variety of materials will be used – everything from Legos to clay to wood and more! This class has an additional Supply Fee. 

Omanut – Art  

   

Omanut (oh-mah-noot) is our art program in which you get to explore the topics of God, Torah, and Israel through the lens and modality of art. In Omanut you will have the opportunity to spend time immersed in Jewish art, deepen your artistic skills and your spirituality, learn about many of the great Jewish artists and Jewish art-forms, and create your own works of art based on Jewish topics. For example, students in Omanut have studied different Jewish views about God, and then created art pieces in the style of Israeli artist Yaakov Agam to reflect their differing relationships with God. This class has an additional Supply Fee. Some examples of the art this year will be tie dye, jewelry making, and knitting! 

Curricular themes: Jewish History and Ethics

BISHUL - cooking 

    

Bishul (Bee-shool) is a culinary journey around the world. Students will get their hands dirty while traveling through Jewish history!  In this exciting track for students to learn about Jews around the world by making food (cooking) that have been part of different Jewish communities.  For example, students might learn about Moroccan Jews by making and tasting Moroccan dishes. It will be a tasty, fun, hands-on cultural adventure you don’t want to miss! This class has an additional Supply Fee. 

Shira- Music  

  

Shira is an exciting exploration of Jewish ethics, traditions and history through the lens of music, as well as audio/visual media and video production.  Students in Shira go on a Jewish journey using technological and online resources. The students use video, film and sound technology to learn about and express their connection to their Jewish heritage. Shira students write their own songs, create Jewish parodies of popular music, and even produce their own music video!  Shira is all about Judaism, music, hands-on video production and being creative, so join Shira for a fun-filled musical Jewish learning adventure!

 

Shalom yoga and smoothies

     

30 minutes Yoga, 20 minutes food, and 10 minutes introspection and journaling

Shalom Yoga is a pathway back to unifying the great wisdom of the Torah and specifically Jewish wisdom with the body. It is yoga practice – meaning asana (postures), prana yama (breathing exercises), and meditation, just as you would do in any modern yoga studio – seen through a Jewish lens. For more information:  Jewish Yoga Network 

When the children are finished their Yoga practice they will engage in Jewish healthy nutritious snacks ie. Tu B'Shevat smoothies, Purim Charcuterie boards, etc. 

Each child needs their own Yoga mat. This class has an additional Supply Fee.

JQuest 7th Grade Program   

 At Temple Sinai, we believe that the seventh-grade year is all about building community. They will begin their mornings with Tefilah and then move into Bnai Mitzvah Hebrew, then they continue with Moving Traditions, Mitzvah Corp, and Holocaust Education. 

SUNDAY MITZVAH CORPS teams (i.e. Sunday JQuest classes) go off site every other session beginning in December to give students the opportunity to engage in social action projects throughout the Sarasota Area. The week before going on a community service project, students study the specific mitzvah that they will be fulfilling with that project.

 Hebrew/Prayer     

    

In JQuest. our educational program aims to enable our children to cherish and use Hebrew, the language of the Jewish people, and to value and engage in tefillah (prayer) as two significant ways to connect to contemporary Jewish life. Our multi-faceted approach to learning Hebrew and prayer is designed to touch the whole person: body, heart, mind, and soul.

We use a philosophy of teaching from #ONWARDHEBREW. We infuse Hebrew into everything we do with vocabulary, prayers, songs, and language.  

For Grades 3 - 7 we offer 2 midweek Hebrew options:

  • Wednesday in person 5:00pm - 6:00pm is a multi aged group, split into 1:1 and small groups based on level/needs. The hour consists of Tefillah, direct Hebrew/prayer instruction, and Games/Gaga
  • Thursdays on line (zoom) 4:30pm - 6:30pm - 1:1 20 minute Hebrew tutor session of Hebrew/prayer instruction with trained instructors - sign up for your session here: Midweek Hebrew Sign Up

Your child’s Jewish journey awaits!

Register your child!  Click here

For Financial Assistance - Click here

For a copy of the Youth Education Program Calendar - Click here

Have any questions? Email Bethany Leinweber, Director of Youth Education and Family Engagment: bleinweber@templesinai-sarasota.org

                                                             

Sat, May 25 2024 17 Iyar 5784