Temple Emanu-El Youth and Family Education Curriculum

Core Curriculum by Grade Level

Weekday Torah Hebrew Program

Parallel Track for Grades 3, 4,and 5: Beyachad

Welcome, Pedagogy and Process

Parallel Track for Grade 7: The Rabbis’ Torah Class

Preschool         Sunday 9:00 - 11:45 am

Our youngest students are introduced to Judaism and Jewish learning by listening to stories, singing songs, making and tasting holiday foods, touching and making art, meeting the beloved heroes of our heritage, learning about Hebrew—our special language-and sharing these experiences with new friends.

  • Judaica:  Olam Yehudi – My Jewish World
  • Torah:  Introduction to Core Genesis Narratives
  • Holidays:  Introduction to Jewish Holidays and Celebrations
  • Hebrew:  Recognizing Hebrew Letters and Sounds

Suggested resources for parents:

  • How to Raise a Jewish Child: A Practical Handbook for Family Life by Anita Diamant and Karen Kushner
  • Jewish Literacy by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin
  • Because Nothing Looks Like God by Lawrence Kushner, Karen Kushner and Dawn Majewski

Kindergarten        Sunday 9:00 - 11:45 am

Kindergarten is a year filled with joyful celebration, art, music, and games as the children discover significant times in Jewish life. We learn the meaning of and how to celebrate the holidays as we move through the calendar year.

  • Judaica:  Z’manim – Jewish Times and Seasons
  • Torah:  Continuation of Core Torah Narratives
  • Holidays:  Continuation of Jewish Holidays and Celebrations
  • Hebrew:  Alef Bet - The Hebrew Alphabet

Suggested resources for parents:

  • The Jewish Holidays by Michael Strassfeld
  • Settings of Silver: An Introduction to Judaism by Stephen M. Wylen
  • How to Read the Bible: A Guide to Scripture, Then and Now by James L. Kugel
  • Biblical Literacy by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin

Grade 1        Sunday 9:00 - 11:45 am OR Wednesday 4:00 - 6:30 pm

Our students encounter the ceremonial and ritual objects that make the Temple a sacred place as we explore our own Temple Emanu-El. Students engage in conversations with our rabbis and cantor in their offices. Field trips include communal institutions such as the Jewish Community Library and the Contemporary Jewish Museum. In our Torah studies we discover the early narratives found in the book of Genesis: Creation, Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah and the Flood, and the Tower of Babel.

  • Judaica:  Kehilah – The Jewish Community
  • Torah:  The Patriarchs and Matriarchs of the Jewish People
  • Holidays: Continuation of Jewish Holidays and Celebrations
  • Hebrew: The Hebrew Alphabet – making sounds and basic words

Suggested resources for parents:

  • A History of the Jews by Paul Johnson
  • These are the Words: A Vocabulary of Jewish Spiritual Life by Rabbi Arthur Green
  • Cosmopolitans: A Social and Cultural History of the Jews of the San Francisco Bay Area by Fred Rosenbaum
  • Visions of Reform: Congregation Emanu-El and the Jews of San Francisco, 1849-1999 by Fred Rosenbaum
  • The Art of Biblical Narrative by Robert Alter

Grade 2         Sunday 9:00 - 11:45 am OR Wednesday 4:00 - 6:30 pm

Our second grade students extend their encounter with the book of Genesis: they meet Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob, Leah, Rachel, and Joseph and his brothers. Students explore the idea of weekly Torah readings and the importance of Torah in our lives. Our students also discover the meaning and importance of Jewish values and ethics through learning about the specific mitzvot of feeding the hungry, tzedakah, visiting the sick and caring for the earth.

  • Judaica:  Mitzvot - Commandments
  • Torah:  Deepening our Understanding of Core Genesis Narratives
  • Holidays:  Continuation of Jewish Holidays and Celebrations
  • Hebrew:  Basic Hebrew Phonetics and Reading

Suggested resources for parents:

  • The Mitzvot by Abraham Chill
  • Understanding Genesis: The Heritage of Biblical Israel by Nahum Sarna
  • The Beginning of Desire: Reflection on Genesis by Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg
  • Covenant and Conversation: A Weekly Reading of the Jewish Bible – Genesis by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
  • Living a Jewish Life: Jewish Tradition, Customs and Values for Today’s Families by Anita Diamant
  • A Living Covenant: The Innovative Spirit in Traditional Judaism by Rabbi David Hartman

Grade 3        Sunday 9:00 - 11:45 am OR Wednesday 4:00 - 6:30 pm OR Beyachad, (see below)

Our third grade core curriculum revolves around the Jewish concept of God.  As our students mature, we challenge them to consider the various ideas for the identity of God as posed by Jewish tradition.  Most of all, we seek to expand the idea of God beyond the monolithic portrayal as a bearded man on a cloud.  We further explore the identity of God by learning about God’s dynamic relationship with the Jewish people as given in the latter sections of the Torah, from Exodus through Deuteronomy.  Ultimately, our students begin their personal search for knowledge of God and a life rooted in Jewish spirituality.

While continuing to learn about all Jewish holidays, we pay special attention to the shalosh regalim – the three traditional pilgrimage holidays of Sukkot, Passover and Shavuot.  In ancient days, our people would travel to Jerusalem to bring their first offerings to God and renew their relationship with the divine.  We will explore these holidays within the context of our modern theology.  Additionally, our students move through a systematic reading skills program designed to enable them to read Hebrew with confidence and fluency.

  • Judaica:  HaShem - God
  • Torah:  The Narratives of Exodus through Deuteronomy
  • Holidays:  All Holidays with Special Focus on Sukkot, Passover and Shavuot
  • Hebrew:  Hebrew reading and basic liturgy

Suggested resources for parents:

  • Where Does God Live? Questions and Answers for Parents and Children by Rabbi Marc Gellman, Monsignor Thomas Hartman and William Zdinak
  • When Children ask about God: A Guide for Parents Who Don't Always Have All the Answers by Rabbi Harold S. Kushner
  • Exploring Exodus by Nahum Sarna
  • The Particulars of Rapture: Reflections on Exodus by Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg
  • Covenant and Conversation: A Weekly Reading of the Jewish Bible – Exodus by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
  • Great Jewish Thinkers: Their Lives and Work by Naomi E. Pasachoff
  • A Heart of Many Rooms: Celebrating the Many Voices Within Judaism by Rabbi David Hartman

Grade 4     Sunday 9:00 - 11:45 am OR Wednesday 4:00 - 6:30 pm OR Beyachad, (see below)

Our students tour the Land of Israel, meeting her people, tasting her foods, singing her songs, and discussing her challenges, potentials, gifts, hopes, and opportunities.  They will explore the amazing social experiment of bringing together a people separated for two millennia by geography, language and custom but united through a common peoplehood.  Torah studies will take our students into the books of the early prophets, beginning with the Israelites being led into the land of Israel by Joshua in around 1300 BCE.  From there, they will learn about Deborah, Kings Saul, David and Solomon and the prophet Elisha and their exploits within Eretz Yisrael as they defined the nation’s borders and history.     

  • Judaica:  Yisrael - Israel
  • Torah:  The Early Prophets (Joshua through Kings)
  • Holidays:  High Holidays, Tu B’Shevat (connected to nature in Israel), Purim (the diasporic existence which led to the hope for sovereignty)
  • Hebrew:  See Weekday Torah, Below

Suggested resources for parents:

  • Exodus by Leon Uris
  • From Beirut to Jerusalem by Thomas Friedman
  • The Case for Israel by Alan Dershowitz
  • The Crisis of Zionism by Peter Beinart
  • Startup Nation by Dan Senor
  • Walking the Bible: A Journey by Land Through the Five Books of Moses by Bruce Feiler
  • A Tale of Light and Darkness by Amos Oz
  • The Life of David by Robert Pinsky

Hebrew Program - Grade 4

Students in grade 4 enroll in an additional day of Weekday Torah studies where they develop Hebrew reading skills in preparation for their B’nei Mitzvah.  Our fourth grade Hebrew curriculum prepares our students for Hebrew reading and comprehension while delving into basic segments of our liturgy.

Grade 5     Sunday 9:00 - 11:45 am OR Wednesday 4:00 - 6:30 pm OR Beyachad, (see below)

5th grade students explore the history of the prophetic period, from roughly 1000 through 586 BCE, when the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed and the people were forced into Babylonian exile.  This history is covered in the later books of Prophets, which are often read as haftarot on Shabbat morning.  Therefore, the curriculum prepares our students towards B’nei Mitzvah in terms of perspective, history and liturgy.  Here, our students will meet models of social justice and righteousness such as Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel.  Together we will discuss the balance between kevah (routine) and kavanah (intention), and learn to approach the world with awe and wonder.  

  • Judaica:  Tzedek and Kavanah – Prophetic calls for Righteousness and Intention
  • Torah:  The Later Prophets (Isaiah through Malachi)
  • Holidays:  Channukah, High Holidays, Tishah B'Av
  • Hebrew:  See Weekday Torah, Below

Suggested resources for parents:

  • The Prophets by Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel
  • The Hebrew Prophets: Selections Annotated & Explained by Rami M. Shapiro and Zalman M. Schachter-Shalomi
  • God in Search of Man by Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel
  • God Was in This Place & I Did Not Know It: Finding Self, Spirituality, and Ultimate Meaning by Rabbi Lawrence Kushner
  • The JPS Bible Commentary: Haftarot by Michael Fishbane

Hebrew Program - Grade 5

Students will work in small classes centers on specific pieces of liturgy.  When reading and comprehension of a given prayer are mastered, the students will move on to the next prayer. In addition, our 5th and 6th grade Weekday Torah program will focus specifically on B’nei Mitzvah liturgy as we seek to establish a core fluency in the basic Hebrew which will allow our students to explore Jewish prayer as they mature.    By the end of the year, all 5th graders are expected to demonstrate a mastery of basic Hebrew reading and fluency in the prayers of Barchu, Sh’ma, Ve’ahavta and the Torah blessings.

All B’nei Mitzvah prayers, in Hebrew and English, with mp3 recordings, may be found at http://www.emanuelsf.org/mechina

Grade 6     4 Shabbaton Weekends at Camp Newman 

We are excited to introduce an entirely new approach to the sixth grade year of Youth and Family Education. Our first goal is to lessen the number of times per week in which our B’nei Mitzvah students are expected in the building. Our second is to bring the entire sixth grade class together in order to create community and a sense of connection before the individual Bar and Bat Mitzvah studies begin. Therefore, we are moving to a three-pronged approach to the sixth grade year:
Quarterly – 6th graders are invited to attend four weekend Shabbaton retreats at URJ Camp Newman in Santa Rosa. These retreats will include opportunities for study, worship, community building and reflection. We will offer bus pickup on Friday afternoons both at Temple Emanu-El and Mill Valley and will return the students to both locations by Sunday early afternoon.  Participation in at least three of these weekends is mandatory.
October 18 – 20          November 1 – 3          February 28 – March 2            May 2 – 4

Monthly – As our students and families prepare for B’nei Mitzvah, it is crucial that they understand Jewish prayer so that they will be able to act as shichei tzibur – leaders of worship in the synagogue.  “Shabbat Exchange” will move to monthly Shabbat morning family learning opportunities for the entire grade. Parents and students will come together to meet one another and to learn about the structure of the Shabbat morning liturgy with members of our clergy team. Following the one hour class, our families are then encouraged to attend our 10:30am Shabbat Morning service, so they may become comfortable with our style of worship here at Emanu-El.

6th Grade Shabbat Exchange Dates : Saturday 9:15 – 10:15 am
Sept 28                  Jan 25                     April 26
Oct 26                     Feb 15                    May 10
Nov 23                    March 15                
Dec 7

Weekly – Hebrew Program will continue as currently structured.
Given our sixth grade students’ B’nei Mitzvah preparation, including meetings with Hebrew Reading Coaches, Guide Rabbis and Cantors, we feel as though this streamlined approach will prove to be less stressful for our students (and the parents who drive them!). At the same time, by bringing the entire grade together at regular intervals, we hope to instill a sense of belonging and camaraderie for our students as they go through this meaningful process.

Hebrew Program - Grade 6

Students will work in small classes centers on specific pieces of liturgy.  When reading and comprehension of a given prayer are mastered, the students will move on to the next prayer. In addition, our 5th and 6th grade Weekday Torah program will focus specifically on B’nei Mitzvah liturgy as we seek to establish a core fluency in the basic Hebrew which will allow our students to explore Jewish prayer as they mature.  By the end of the year, all 6th graders are expected to demonstrate a mastery of basic Hebrew reading and fluency in the Haftarah blessings, the Avot Ve’Imahot and Gevurot as well as the Friday evening Kiddush.  Students who complete all assignments before the end of the year are encouraged to learn additional liturgy which they may then lead at their B’nei Mitzvah as well.

Grades 3, 4, and 5    BEYACHAD   (This class meets 15 total times over the year.)

10 Sunday mornings, 9 – 11:45 am
Sept 29                      Nov 10, 24               Jan 26                     March 23
Oct 13,                       Dec 8                       Feb 9, 23                 Apr 6

2 Saturday Evenings, 4:00 – 6:00 pm:    Sept 21 and April 26
1 Saturday Morning, 9:30 – 12:00 am:    Jan 11
2 Friday Evenings      Oct 25, 5:30-8pm  and  Mar 14, 6-8pm

The Beyachad (together) program allows parents and children in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades to learn as a family.  While fewer sessions are scheduled, families come together for both learning and periodic communal events such as Shabbat dinners. In all, the program aims to empower parents to acts as their children’s primary educators through a shared learning experience.  At times parents and children study side by side; at other times they will separate and learn at their appropriate levels.  The Beyachad program replaces the core 5th and 6th grade curriculum (Sunday/Wednesday) Program. 

Families are expected to attend Shabbat Exchange sessions and students also enroll in Weekday Torah in order to prepare for their B’nei MitzvahBeyachad families attend opening Tefilah in the Martin Meyer Sanctuary with families enrolled in the core program.  After Tefillah, Beyachad families will walk across the street to Claire Lilienthal Elementary School, where sessions will be held.  The program will end in time for families to pick up younger siblings in the Martin Meyer Sanctuary.  Therefore, families may enroll siblings in different programs.  The Beyachad program features a distinct theme each year.  This way, a 5th grade student may continue with Beyachad or return to the core program in 6th grade.  Eventually, we believe the Beyachad program will extend to younger grades as well as a continuing parallel track.

Beyachad is in place of the standard 3rd, 4th or 5th grade program. However, students are still expected to enroll in Weekday Torah in order to prepare for their B’nei Mitzvah. We are piloting an online Hebrew program that will accept 3rd grade Beyachad students as well as 4th graders.

In 2013 – 2014, Beyachad families will be studying Eilu Devarim: Jewish Values in Our Lives. We will explore the core values and behaviors that nurture Jewish life and community. The curriculum will include field trips and opportunities to study with the Emanu-El clergy and other talented Jewish educators.
The weekly topics are:

  • Visiting the sick
  • Honoring one’s parents
  • Accompanying the dead for burial
  • Arriving early for study morning and evening
  • Dealing graciously with guests
  • Engaging in deeds of compassion
  • Providing for the wedding couple
  • Being devoted in prayer
  • Study of Torah encompasses them all
  • Making peace among people

The Beyachad curriculum changes each year. In 2012 – 2013, we studied 350 years of Jewish American life with a particular focus on Bay Area Jewish history. In 2014 – 2015, we will be spending the year studying Israel.

Please note: there is no tuition difference for the Beyachad program. If you have any further questions regarding Beyachad, please contact Heather Erez at herez@emanuelsf.org or Rabbi Carla Fenves at cfenves@emanuelsf.org.

Welcome, Pedagogy and Process

The Temple Emanu-El Youth and Family Education Program strives to create a solid foundation of Jewish identity and a passion for Jewish living and learning for our students and families. As our mission statement reads, we are dedicated to “providing life-long innovative, high quality Jewish education and cultural activities that reinforce positive, empowering elements of Jewish life and history”.  In 2010, a task force of Emanu-El parents was brought together to evaluate our current curricular offerings.  The task force was faced with three goals:

  • Evaluate Current Programs
  • Bring Programs into Alignment with 5-year Strategic Plan
  • Advance Temple Emanu-El Educational Mission

The evaluation process followed a one year timeline:

  • Early Interested Congregants Meeting (Fall ‘10)
  • Establishment of Education Strategic Planning Sub-Task Force (Winter ‘11)
  • Subsequent Congregant and Teacher Focus Group Conversations—over 100 congregants through ten neighborhood meetings (Winter ’11)
  • Convergence with TEE Strategic Planning Process (Winter-Spring ‘11)
  • Iterative conversations with Focus Group Leaders, Ed. Staff (Spring ‘11)

By the Spring of 2011, the task force had condensed the feedback into 10 key areas of focus:

  1. Overall Time/Space Commitment – How to utilize time to greatest return
  2. Appreciation for Community Building
  3. Curriculum Mapping – Greater transparency, structure desired
  4. Access to Clergy
  5. Increased Staff and Teen Teacher Education and Professional Development
  6. Emulation of Rabbi’s Torah Class Model – Parallel student/parent learning opportunities
  7. Communication – Less clutter of emails/letters
  8. Hebrew Component – Clearly defined goal of B’nei Mitzvah preparatory Hebrew
  9. Portals for entering the Congregation and Community
  10. Better Engagement of Parents

Once these findings were gathered by the task force, our educational team was challenged with creating appropriate solutions.  Over the year and a half from the Spring of 2011 through the Fall of 2012, we researched best practices by leading congregations and recent research on religious supplemental pedagogy.  In the Fall of 2012, we are introducing a series of updates to our curricular offerings.  Firstly, our curriculum has been simplified to focus upon four core areas of Jewish education:

  • Judaica: The religious practices, literature, customs, culture, etc., of the Jewish people
  • Torah: The story of the Jewish people from ancient times to present
  • Holidays: Jewish communal moments of celebration or solemnity
  • Hebrew: The language of the Jewish people and Jewish liturgy

This structure flows through our core program from Preschool through 6th grade as follows:

Grade Core Concept Torah Holidays
 PreS Olam Yehudi - My Jewish World Intro to All + Shabbat Intro to All 1
 K Zmanim - Jewish Holidays Intro to Torah Stories Intro to All 2
 1  Kehilah - Community Patriarchs/Matriarchs  Intro to All 3
 2  Mitzvot - Commandments  Genesis  Intro to All 4 + HHDs
 3  HaShem - God  Exodus-Deuteronomy  Sukkot, Passover, Shavuot
 4 Yisrael - Israel  Narrative Prophets HHDs, Tu B'Shevat, Purim 
 5  Tzedek and Kavanah – Righteousness  Personal Prophets  Channukah, HHDs, Tisha B'Av
 6  Klal Yisrael - Jewish Peoplehood  Commentary/ Talmud  Sukkot, Passover, Channukah
 7  Mitzvah Corps  Assorted Texts  n/a


Emanu-El Fellowship Program                                   

 8 Big Questions Jews Ask, Jewish Values, Ethics, Responsa
 9 Holocaust: Weimar Republic, Dehumanization, Resistance and Rescue
 10 Israel: Zionist History, Conflicts, The Modern Teen Experience
 11 An Active Jewish Life / The 5 Megillot
 12 Senior Seminar: Personal Jewish Journey and Religious Expression


A significant portion of our parents seek to gain the tools necessary to better educate their own children (bullet point #6). While our current program offers multiple family days a year, in which parents and students first study in tandem and then together, our task force decided to create a parallel option for our older grades in which parents and students study together throughout the year. The Beyachad (together) program allows parents and children in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades to learn as a family. Our 6th graders will be heading to camp Newman for at least 3 Shabbatons over the year. The 7th grade Rabbis’ Torah Class, with Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, continues this path. Therefore 3rd – 7th grade families may select the educational track which best meets their needs:

Grade Family Education Alternate Track
 3,4,5 Beyachad
 7 Rabbis’ Torah Class


More information on these individual tracks is included below. These alternate options take the place of our core program.  However, students in either Beyachad or the Rabbis’ Torah Class will also enroll in our Weekday Torah B’nei Mitzvah Hebrew preparation weekly class.  6th grade students and families also participate in a single trimester of Shabbat Exchange, in which the student and a parent/guardian “exchanges” their Sunday or Wednesday class for Saturday mornings from 9:15-10:15am, during which students learn about the liturgy of the Shabbat morning service which they will lead at their bar or bat mitzvah.  Families are strongly encouraged to attend our 10:30am Shabbat morning worship to gain comfort and familiarity with the service.  Further information on all program are included below.

Finally, the Hebrew program, Weekday Torah, has been streamlined to focus on preparing our students for their bar or bat mitzvahs and allowing them to enter into the world of Jewish prayer.  The curriculum by grade is:

Grade Hebrew Curriculum
 4 Hebrew reading and comprehension
 5 Barchu, shema, veahavta and the Torah blessings

Haftarah blessings, the Avot and Gevurot and the Friday evening Kiddush
              - Advanced students may continue with additional liturgy


5th and 6th grade Weekday Torah will be taught in a “pod” system in which students will rotate between learning stations, each assigned with a piece of liturgy.  Once a student demonstrates comprehension and fluency with the prayer, they move to the next station.  This system will allow our students to work at their own pace rather than grade level.  Of course, additional instruction is available on a one on one basis and students who struggle to stay on pace will be offered tutoring.  

In all, these updates to the Temple Emanu-El Youth and Family Education Program seek to build upon the creative and dynamic program which has educated our children and families for years.  We hope to preserve our dedication to the creative expression of Jewish identity through the arts, music and food.  At the same time, we have updated our curricular offerings to best fit our community as it currently stands at this point in its history.  Of course, this is a work in progress and change will remain a constant as our community continues to grow and change itself.  As you, the congregant will dictate the direction and vision of our program for years to come, we sincerely hope that you will share your observations, questions and even complaints so that we may offer an optimal program in support of our children, the future leaders of the Jewish community.

Grade 7

7th Grade students attend a full year of Weekday Torah classes (Brandeis Hillel Day School Students are exempt), participate in three Family Education Programs and embark upon a full year of Mitzvah Corps which takes the place of the Sunday Core program.

Seventh Grade at GlideIn addition to spending time reviewing the aforementioned liturgy in preparation for their B’nei Mitzvah, 7th grade students embark upon a full year of Jewish Service Learning (JSL).  JSL is a three part programmatic structure that incorporates learning, hands-on service/action, and thoughtful reflection. We want all of our students to understand the community need behind each of the mitzvot they are working on, as well as the Jewish perspective(s) and ancient text sources that are the foundation of our tradition. In Weekday Torah, 7th grade students will learn the origins, meanings, and modern social justice implications and applications of our 613 mitzvot.

Mitzvah Corps is the Jewish Service Learning (JSL) portion and key component of the 7th grade year. JSL is a three part programmatic structure that incorporates learning, hands-on service, and thoughtful reflection. We want all of our students to understand the community need behind each of the mitzvot they are working on, as well as the Jewish perspective(s) and ancient text sources that are the foundation of our tradition. Following each Mitzvah Corps program, a Mitzvah Corps supervisor leads a brief discussion with the students to reflect on their knowledge and the service they just participated in. The goal is to create a community of service providers. With this formula (learn, serve, reflect) the impact is much greater than a one-shot community service project.

7th grade students participate in one Mitzvah Major and five Mitzvah Minors. A Mitzvah Major is a single project that becomes the focus of your Mitzvah Corps experience. Mitzvah Majors focus on the mitzvot of Me’Achil Re’evim (Feeding the Hungry) and Haknasat Orchim (Welcoming the Stranger). Mitzvah Majors meet on Sundays.

Mitzvah Minors are individual events and projects that enable students to explore many different mitzvah opportunities. Students choose five separate Mitzvah Minors, distinct from their Major and from each other.

7th Grade students attend a full year of Weekday Torah classes (Brandeis Hillel Students are exempt), participate in three Family Education Days and embark upon a full year of Mitzvah Corps.

Weekday Torah classes complement and enhance the Mitzvah Corps experience as students learn about the origins, meanings, and modern applications of mitzvot. They also spend a portion of their class time reviewing the liturgy they will be leading at their Bar/Bat Mitzvah . The three Family Education Days are on Tuesday evenings from 5:45 - 7:30pm. Every program consists of “Dinner and A Movie;” exploring issues of tzedakah, community responsibility and t’shuvah.  During the evening, students will share some of their Mitzvah Corps experiences.

  • Judaica:  Mitzvot
  • Torah:  Classical and Modern Commentary
  • Hebrew:  Reading Jewish Texts on Mitzvot

Suggested resources for parents:

  • The Mitzvot: The Commandments and Their Rationale by Abraham Chill
  • Sefer haHinnuch (The Book of Mitzvah Education) translated and edited by Charles Wengrov (Five volume set)
  • The Mitzvah Project Book by Liz Suneby and Diane Heiman
  • Tell Me a Mitzvah: Little and Big Ways to Repair the World by Rabbi Danny Siegel and Judith Friedman

Grade 7 – Rabbis’ Torah Class

The Rabbis' Torah Class (RTC) is an alternative program to Weekday Torah for 7th grade students. Students participating in RTC must also participate in Mitzvah Corps. RTC brings parents and pre- B’nei Mitzvah children together to engage in serious study of sacred texts guided primarily by Emanu-El Scholar Rabbi Lawrence Kushner.  It is a learning environment designed for families seeking deeper connections with our texts, with each other and with other committed families.  

The Rabbis' Torah Class consists of monthly Sunday morning sessions for students and parents, a Friday night Shabbat dinner at Temple Emanu-El and a mandatory weekend retreat. Families must commit to attending all Sunday sessions, the dinner and the retreat.  The same parent-child combination must be able to attend whenever the Rabbis’ Torah Class meets.  A second parent is always welcome to join as well. 

Rabbis’ Torah Class Calendar 2013-2014:

October 20 - Opening Session at Temple  9:30-11:45 am

November 15 - At Temple - 5:30-8:30 pm (Shabbat Service followed by catered dinner)

December 15- At Temple  9:30 – 11:45 am

January 5 - At Temple  9:30-11:45 am

February 2 - At Temple 9:30-11:45 am

March 2- At Temple  9:30-11:45 am

April 6 - At Temple   9:30-11:45 am

May 2-4 - Marconi Retreat Center in Tomalas Bay (Friday 4:30 pm – Sunday 1:00 pm)

Suggested resources for parents:

  • The Way of Man by Martin Buber
  • Ten Rungs by Martin Buber
  • Eyes Remade for Wonder by Rabbi Lawrence Kushner

For more information on the 7th grade programs, please contact our Director of Adolescent Education, Ariana Estoque, at 415-751-2541 x307 or at aestoque@emanuelsf.org

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Fax: (415) 751-2511