Kindergarten – 3rd Grade
Sunday, 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Welcome to the Mensch Lab! Our early elementary grades (K-3) focus on an engaging and interactive introduction into Jewish ritual, Hebrew, Holidays, and Jewish values. Through a blend of formal and informal education the students benefit from Master Educators, a cutting edge Resource Center, and individualized attention for all students.
The Judy and Julian Weinstein Family Education Program brings students together in learning with their parents during Mensch Lab sessions. This is an interactive,fun and informal experience for the family.
Kindergarten: Our kindergarten class is designed to help students begin to explore Judaism on a personal level. Students are introduced to the Jewish holidays and symbols. Students participate in “Hebrew Through Movement”, music and Tefillah (prayer) sessions to help acquaint them with the Hebrew language, rituals of Judaism and the synagogue. Through stories, art, music, movement and play, students feel good about being part of the school and synagogue community. They enjoy interacting with Jewish peers. This first year of our Mensch Lab provides a foundation for the strong Jewish identity we strive to build for all our children.
We make a special effort to respond to the developmental needs and interests of these youngest of our Mensch Lab students.
First Grade: Our first grade class naturally follows kindergarten, extending the learning attained during that first, important year. Students look at Judaism and Jewish identity through the lens of Brachot or Blessings. As they learn about and participate in the holidays of Chanukah and Tu B’Shevat, they will understand how the brachot of these holidays connect them to each other, K’lal Yisrael and God. The observance of Chanukah gives students an opportunity to explore the place of Judaism in their own homes. Students also explore the concepts of brachot and Tefillah (prayer) as a particular way Jews interrelate with each other and the sacred.
2nd Grade: Our second grade program is framed by the concept of mitzvot, the sacred obligations of Judaism. The mitzvot form one of the foundational elements of our B’rit (covenant) with God and K’lal Yisrael. Specifically, students explore the mitzvot bein adam l’havero, the obligations we have toward each other as expressed in the stories of Bereishit/Genesis and the holiday of Purim.
Students also continue their study of the Hebrew language, learning the letters and vowel sounds, decoding words, and exploring relevant vocabulary.
3rd Grade: In third grade, our students delve into the story of our people, centering their study around the book of Shemot/Exodus and the story of Pesach/Passover. As they uncover our people’s journey to freedom, they will discover how the former Hebrew slaves became K’lal Yisrael and began to live a life of brit and mitzvot. As our ancient ancestors recognized God in their lives, so will our students recognize and learn about what our story and relationship with God can mean to them.
Students will continue to master their Hebrew decoding skills and develop a prayer and values based vocabulary.