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As a backdrop, Neshamah staff are given formulated curriculum (called the URJ CHAI Curriculum) designed by expert Jewish educators. This comprehensive curriculum provides the learning goals and suggestions for content of instruction. Our teachers have been trained to make us of the themes from this series and adapt them to create highly interactive, child-centred programs.  

This curriculum is divided into 3 cycles:
•    Cycle 1: Torah/bible stories
•    Cycle 2: Avodah/Worship - blessings, prayers and Jewish lifecycle
•    Cycle 3: Gemilut Chasadim-  tzedakah, tikun olam, ethics and acts of loving kindness

Our Learning Matrix

Torah             Topic                   Themes                                                                
Genesis            Creation                Miracle of creation; B’tzelem elolhim, what it means
                                                          to be made in God’s image and the uniqueness of each
                                                          person on earth. We will explore ways in which we relate
                                                          to and ask questions about God.
                           Adam and Eve    Choices and consequences of actions
                           Noah                     Covenant; Preservation of the earth and inhabitants
                           Matriarchs/Patriarchs         Leadership; Community; Sacrifice; Family
                            Jacob/Esau         Peace; Sibling rivalry
                            Joseph                  Feelings and actions affect how we lead; Forgiveness

Exodus              The story of Egypt        Jewish peoplehood; Slavery and modern day oppression;
                                                                     Treating people with respect; Being chosen; Finding God;
                                                                     Laws and rules

Deuteronomy   The Desert            Nomadic life; Applying the rules; 12 tribes of Israel and
                                                            membership in community; Land of Israel

Avodah            Topic                         Themes                                                                
                             Jewish Lifecycle        How do we make the most out of Jewish time; Jewish
                                                                   time denoted by it own rhythms: the lunar calendar sets
                                                                   its pace, but traditions, customs, ritual and laws as
                                                                   prescribed in sacred texts shape how we understand
                                                                   and undertake their practice.
                              Worship, Blessings        Keva and kavanah, the fixed order of worship
                              and Prayer                       and the personal intention we bring to prayer; To thank,
                                                                         praise and extol in Judaism for the abundances in our
                                                                         lives and for the awe of creation.
                              Ritual/Symbols        The identifiers, shapes that shape our lives.
                              Jewish Symbols:
                              Shabbat                      Making the ordinary holy; Tying into the theme of Holiness,
                                                                   we will experience how Shabbat can be different things
                                                                   for different people.

Gemilut Chasadim/Ethics                                                                                                        

    Caring for the homeless
    Caring for the environment/do not destroy
    Caring for the elderly
    Caring for animals
    Honouring Parents
    Honouring those who came before you
    Love your neighbour
    Helping others
    Welcoming guests

Concepts: How we behave
    Being slow to anger
    Idle gossip
    Not shaming
    Providing access/ not placing stumbling blocks

Wed, June 20 2018 7 Tammuz 5778