Grades 3 – 6 @ SCJLL

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Temple Aliyah’s Sevran Center for Jewish Learning & Living (SCJLL) Kitah Gimmel (3rd Grade) – Kitah Vav (6th Grade) model is built upon five proven educational experiences:


Jewish Learning & Living (JLL)

Students in Kitah Gimel (3rd Grade) – Kitah Vav (6th Grade)  attend a JLL class once a week. Families may choose either:

Tuesdays 4:00 – 6:15 pm or Wednesdays 4:00 – 6:15 pm

JLL classes meet once a week for engaging, experiential classes on Jewish holidays, lifecycle events, texts, stories, current events, Israel, Jewish culture and music, and so much more!


Ability-Based Hebrew Pods

Students in Kitah Gimel (3rd Grade) – Kitah Vav (6th Grade)  attend once a week to learn Hebrew in small, ability-based “pods,” which run for 60 minutes. Pods are offered either at Temple Aliyah or in neighborhood homes. All research shows that students learn languages at different paces, so these small group classes are designed to teach students Hebrew based on their current ability and aptitude rather than just their age. The hope is that this system allows our students more individual attention and the help that they need learn and to succeed. Hebrew pods will be offered:

  • Mondays at 4:00 pm and 5:15 pm
  • Tuesdays at 2:45 pm
  • Wednesdays at 2:45 pm
  • Sundays at 9:00 am and 10:00 am

Weekend Experiences

Our students are invited to attend a special Shabbat-based program or a Jewish community-based experience, these programs happen periodically throughout the year on Friday nights, Shabbats, and Sundays. These weekend programs are designed to take the ideas taught in the classroom and bring them to life.

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Annual Retreat – Ramah Shabbaton

Once a year, all of our students in Kitah Gimel (3rd Grade) – Kitah Vav (6th Grade) will participate in a fantastic weekend retreat at Camp Ramah in Ojai where they will experience a Shabbat weekend full of fun, spirit and community building with their classmates and community members. 


Learning Labs

Learning Labs are optional classes that give our Upper School (3rd – 6th grade) students a chance to explore activities they love and acquire skills beyond what their Hebrew pods and JLL classes can give them. Learning labs will take place Mondays 5:15 – 6:15 pm and Thursdays 5:00-6:00 pm. This coming year we will offer:

  • Rikudei Am: Israeli Dance [Monday]
  • “Not Your Grandma’s Jewish Cooking” [Monday]
  • (For 6th and 7th graders only) Torah Trope: Learning How to Chant Torah [Thursdays 5:00-6:00pm]
  • (For 7th graders only) B’nai Mitzvah Boot Camp [Thursdays 5:00-6:00pm]

Grades 3- 6 Overview

Kitah Gimel (3rd Grade)

JLL: Kitah Gimel (3rd Grade) students spend the year learning about and experiencing the history, land, and culture of Israel, the Jewish homeland. This year is also their first as a part of our upper school, where they participate in Tefillah (prayer) each week and have focused class time on learning the basics of tefillot.

  • Kitah Gimel Family Program: Siddur Cover Making -When they complete their Gimel year, students will receive their own personal siddur to use through their years at the SCJLL.  At this special day, parents and children come together to make a cover that will both personalize and protect their new prized possession.
  • Kith Gimmel Siddur Ceremony – At this special ceremony, our Kitah Gimel students show us how much they have learned by presenting a weekday tefillah (prayer service) and officially receiving their very own siddur (prayerbook) — complete with the siddur covers they designed with their families. These siddurim contain the prayers and passages that have been passed down by Jewish people through the generations.  Our sons and daughters will be studying those prayers for their B’nai Mitzvah and reciting them for many years beyond!

Hebrew: The main goal of Hebrew in Kitah Gimel (3rd grade) is  to learn to decode Hebrew and read fluidly.  When presented with a word of up to three syllables, a student will be able to read that word smoothly (i.e. without having to sound out each individual syllable). Students may also begin to read short sentences as well as learn some conversational Hebrew words.

Kitah Daled (4th Grade)

JLL: Kitah Daled (4th Grade) students focus on middot (values) and mitzvot (commandments) from our Jewish tradition as they relate to their modern lives.  They first learn the Hebrew names of the middot and mitzvot and their basis in Jewish tradition.   As the year progresses, the students participate in tikkun olam (social justice) projects that demonstrate the values that they have absorbed. They also participate in a Jewish Heroes project, where a child learns about a Jewish person who embodies important Jewish values and who serves as a role model from whom we can learn.

  • Kitah Daled Jewish Heroes Museum – A high point of our Kitah Daled year, spent learning about the middot (values) and miztvot (commandment) of our Jewish tradition. Our Kitah Daled students each make a presentation to their families (and the SCJLL community) about the life a Jewish hero and the values that person embodied.

Hebrew: The main goal of Hebrew in Kitah Daled (4th grade) is making students comfortable reading beginning prayer Hebrew.  When students are presented with a beginner’s level sentence from the siddur, a student will be able to read that sentence smoothly (i.e. without having to sound out each individual syllable). Prayers in focus in Kitah Daled: B’rachot (over food, Shabbat, and Holidays), Mah Nishtanah, Barchu, and Shema.

Kitah Hei (5th Grade)

JLL: Kitah Hei (5th Grade) students take a journey through the texts of our people. They begin with the Torah, exploring and discovering what all five books have to offer.  They learn the skills to analyze, question, and challenge our central texts.  The goal is to help students begin to find their own voice in the text — both what the text says to them and what they have to say about the tex.  As the year progresses, our students continue to learn from the books that follow Torah, Nevi’im (Prophets) and Ketuvim (Writings).

  • Kitah Hei Parasha Quest – As our 5th grade students begin to enter into young adulthood, we begin to prepare them to interpret the texts they will be reading at their B’nai Mitzvah ceremonies. Over the course of the year, the students use the reading and interpreting skills they learn in class to create a project about their B’nai Mitzvah Torah portions.

Hebrew: The main goal of Hebrew in Kitah Hei (5th grade) is making students comfortable reading intermediate prayers from the siddur.  When students are presented with a intermediate level sentence from the siddur, a student will be able to read that sentence smoothly (i.e. without having to sound out each individual syllable). Prayers in focus in Kitah Hei: Sh’ma and her Blessings (Sh’ma, V’ahavta, Yotzer Or/Ma’Ariv Aravim, Mi Chamocha, and Hashkiveinu) and The Amidah (Avot V’imahot, Gevurot, and Kedushah).

Kitah Vav (6th Grade)

JLL: Kitah Vav (6th Grade) students are given the opportunity to struggle with and some of the biggest questions of the Jewish tradition: Who/What is God? Why do we pray?  What is prayer?  With the guidance of our teachers and clergy, Kitah Vav students explore these questions and more.

  • Kitah Vav B’nai Mitzvah Experience – This two-part program is designed to help our 6th grade families prepare for the start of the B’nai Mitzvah process here at Temple Aliyah. Students and their families spend the morning deepening their understanding of the significance of this milestone event.
  • Moving Traditions
    • On the “Third Thursday” of the month, students will take part in our Moving Traditions program.  Moving Traditions is a national organization that aims to inspire Jewish teens to live fuller lives and work for a better world for all.  Moving Traditions groups use Jewish texts and values as their guiding framework as they help teens navigate the challenging waters of adolescence.
    • The primary Moving Traditions programs are called “Rosh Hodesh: It’s a Girl Thing!” (for girls) and “Shevet Achim: The Brotherhood” (for boys).  These intimate groups give our teens a safe space to share and to build community.  The main goal is to instill our teens with specific Jewish values that will help them make the best decisions as they go forward into their teenage years (and beyond).

Hebrew: The main goal of Hebrew in Kitah Vav is making students comfortable reading complex prayers from the siddur.  When students are presented with a complex sentence from the siddur, a student will be able to read that sentence smoothly (i.e. without having to sound out each individual syllable). Prayers in focus in Kitah Vav: Review the tefillot learned in Kitot Daled and Hei, The Torah Service, the Aleinu, the Kaddish, and the Ashrei (for advanced students).

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