Curriculum: 4th Grade


The objectives of the 4th grade curriculum are to understand the connection between the secular calendar and the Jewish calendar, and to understand the meaning of the Jewish Holidays and Life Cycle Events.


Texts: The Book of Jewish Holidays (Behrman House)

Goals & Objectives for Each Unit:

  • Understand each of the holidays covered, add layers to understanding
  • Utilize library and share stories for the holidays
  • Use music and art to enhance learning
  • Connect Hebrew vocabulary to the unit
  • Learn appropriate blessings for the holidays
  • Understand the mitzvot connected with the holidays
  • Learn how to add to home observance of the holiday
  • Discuss the special foods associated with holiday

– Jewish Year:

  • Understand the idea of the lunar calendar
  • Construct their own Jewish Calendar
  • Understand the idea of Hebrew dates vs. secular dates
  • Learn that there is a Torah Portion assigned to each week of the year

– Rosh HaShannah and Yom Kippur topics and concepts:

  • New Years cards
  • “I’m sorry.”
  • Shofar, Book of Life, tashlich, fasting, Days of Awe, T’shuvah
  • Attending services

– Sukkot and Simchat Torah

  • Our agricultural history, tie in with environment today
  • Relationship to water
  • Concept of Ushpizin, and inviting guests
  • Lulav and etrog
  • Mitzvah of feeding the hungry
  • Consecration
  • Torah Cycle
  • Hakafah/Hakafot, Torah, Parsha,
  • First and last letters of Torah = Heart

– Shabbat

  • Shabbat observances
  • Blessings, challah, candles, wine
  • Havdallah
  • Most important Jewish holiday

– Hanukkah

  • Hanukkah story
  • Blessings
  • Hanukkiah, Nerot, Nes Gadol Haya Sham/Po
  • Dreidel, Latkes, gelt, gift giving

– Tu B’Shevat

  • Emphasis on Environment, trees!
  • Meaning of Tu B’Shevat
  • Reasons to honor trees
  • Blessings
  • Planting trees here, Israel
  • Need for water

– Purim

  • The story: Megillat Esther
  • Rituals and Mitzvot of Purim (4 commandments of holiday)
  • Anti-Semitism (at appropriate level)
  • Shlach Manot, masks, groggers, hammentaschen

– Pesah

  • Concept of slavery and freedom
  • The story of our Exodus
  • The Seder, the Haggadah
  • The Four Questions
  • The Mi Chamocha
  • Counting of the Omer, Matzah, Maror, etc.

– Yom HaShoah

  • Introduction to Holocaust
  • Introduction to the Kaddish prayer

– Yom HaAtzamaut

  • Modern state of Israel
  • Independence, Celebration of Israel

– Yom Yerushalyim, Yom HaZikaron

– Lag B’Omer

– Shavuot

  • The Ten Commandments
  • Confirmation

– Tisha B’Av

– Rosh Hodesh


Texts: Life Cycle Journey Workbook, Circle of Jewish Life


  • Students will learn about Life cycle events in a Jewish person’s life.
  • Students will understand what it means to become a Bar Mitzvah
  • Students will discuss how observances differ from other religions
  • Understand each of the life cycle event, add layers to understanding
  • Utilize library and share stories for each life cycle event
  • Use music and art to enhance learning
  • Connect Hebrew vocabulary to the unit
  • Understand the mitzvot connected with the events
  • Learn how to add to home observance of life cycle events

– Jewish Identity

  • What makes us Jewish
  • Blessings
  • Names

– Birth

  • Brit Milah, Brit Bat
  • Elijah, Naming (again)
  • Covenant
  • Encourage family discussion
  • Pidyon HaBen
  • Hiddur Mitzvah
  • Invite Mohel to speak

– Childhood

  • Learning about Judaism

– Bar/Bat Mitzvah

  • Encourage attendance at TBT Bar/t Mitzvah
  • What it really means
  • Invite Rabbi and Cantor to speak in the class

– Confirmation and Being a Jewish Young Adult

  • What is Confirmation?
  • What does it mean to be a member of our community?
  • Choosing Judaism
  • Deciding on a life long partner

– Marriage and starting a family

  • Adoption
  • Divorce

– Adulthood

  • Honoring the parents, honoring the children

– Older Adults

  • Visiting the sick, honoring the aged

– Death and Mourning

Texts for the students:

  • The Book of Jewish Holidays (Behrman House)
  • The Life Cycle Journey Workbook
  • Circle of Jewish Life

Resources for the Teacher:

  • The Book of Jewish Holidays, Teacher’s Edition (Behrman House)
  • The Jewish Holiday Home Companion (Behrman House)
  • Teaching Jewish Life Cycle (A.R.E.)
  • The Book of Jewish Life, and Teacher’s Guide
  • Jewish Family and Life (Abramowitz and Silverman)
  • Kids’ Catalog of the Jewish Holidays (Adler)
  • Poems for the Jewish Holidays (Livingston)
  • Life Cycle Journey: Leaders Guide
  • Circle of Jewish Life
  • Teaching Jewish Holidays (A.R.E.)

Grade 4 Hebrew Curriculum

Text: Hineni I (Behrman House), and Independent Study Packets


  • Review all letters and the sounds they make
  • Continue and improve reading phonetically by combining letters and vowels
  • Write in block and script
  • Learn to READ the following prayers using independent study packets:
    • Shema/Barchu
    • Shabbat B’rachot
    • The Four Questions
    • Torah Study
    • Mi Chamocha
    • V’shamru
    • Oseh Shalom
    • Yih’yu L’ratzon
    • Tallit Blessing
    • Chanukah Brachot
    • Shalom Rav
    • Torah Brachot