Our teachers and Rabbis are powerful role models and this is a key ingredient for successful Jewish education. The guidance and connection that they provide will have a positive impact and make a difference in our student’s lives. Our Judaic Program is deeply integrated into and is designed to support, enhance and parallel our general studies program.
Gesher Yehuda’s Hebrew curriculum covers all relevant subjects including Hebrew language arts, Bible studies, culture, and critical and analytical thinking. The Hebrew program is designed to enhance the secular curriculum and hone cognitive skills that are necessary for the acquisition of any language including English.
First and foremost our efforts are focused on developing the executive functioning and knowledge acquisition skills required by special education students.
The school utilizes the Tal Am Hebrew Language program where the differing tracks help develop Hebrew literacy and teach values and concepts congruently. It is an innovative and creative Hebrew studies curriculum for elementary school children, featuring diverse instructional strategies. The students learn through stories, songs and games for acquisition, mastery and creativity. Included in the program are workbooks and Smart Board lessons and activities to develop listening and comprehension skills. The classrooms are provided with interactive posters, flashcards, big books, guided readers and a library for reinforcement and enrichment.
Our goal is for students to achieve a level of competency in individual customs and culture needed for successful integration into their communities and healthy self esteem. Our Judaic Studies curriculum parallels the English curriculum as when we teach Hebrew we incorporate and reinforce skills and strategies that the students need to utilize throughout the day.
Through the use of technology and literacy centers students develop Hebrew literacy skills.
Under the guidance of a Hebrew reading specialist, students practice regular Hebrew reading with an instructor, isolating individualized areas of deficiency and focusing on reading fluency. Each center provides an opportunity for students to read, write, listen and/or speak while learning to complete their work independently emphasizing:
- Phonemic awareness
- Letter recognition
- Vowel sounds
- Combining letter and vowel sounds
- Reading open and closed syllables
- Reading fluency
Handwriting skills are developed through the “Handwriting without Tears” program, a specialized developmentally based method of teaching handwriting skills, formulated by a certified occupational therapist. Students learn and review proper letter formation of the Hebrew alphabet, focusing on spacing and transcribing from print to script. Students learn to copy words, phrases and sentences in a limited time as well as off a board in a set time.
Through the use of grammar workbooks, teacher made materials and Smart Board technology, students characterize hebrew words and are given exercises to complete for each of the following areas:
- discovering and learning the structure of words (i.e, roots, prefixes and suffixes)
- noticing and becoming aware of synonyms and antonyms
- classifying words (according to gender)
- noticing and becoming aware of parts of speech (i.e, verbs, nouns, adjectives)
- incorporating key prefixes and suffixes to manipulate the formation of a word, changing its contextual meaning
The school uses the renowned Tal Am Hebrew Language program, which features diverse instructional strategies. Language comprehension and sequencing skills are reinforced, to enable students to understand phrases and make logical connections. Words are reviewed in different ways using various modalities. Words from previous lessons are regularly reviewed to enable students to develop a core vocabulary. The students are taught and encouraged to translate new phrases, initially with some verbal prompts and finally independently. The students learn through activities, songs and concrete experiences facilitated through the Hebrew environment in the classroom.
The differing tracks help develop Hebrew literacy and teach values and concepts congruently. These tracks include:
- Daily life in class, at home, and outdoors
- Hebrew reading, writing, and language skills
- Culture and holidays
Through these thematic and interrelated tracks, the students learn and experience concepts, values, children’s literature, and develop Hebrew literacy and language skills.
Bible Studies/Analytical Thinking:
In Bible studies/Analytical Thinking, the primary goal is to teach the understanding and appreciation of the text. Besides translation, much time is devoted to teaching textual comprehension, which includes:
- Close reading of the text
- Absorbing the facts
- Finding the quotes
- Identifying main idea and details
- Noticing anomalies and deviations in the text
- Understanding what the question and answer is from the text
- How conflicts are resolved
The students learn to read, understand and become intimately familiar with the style of the text. Together, the teacher and students analyze the text; discuss how it might have been phrased differently; and what might be inferred from the particular choice of words and sentence structure.
Weekly Biblical Portion/Holidays:
Through the use of animated presentations and a multi sensory experience the students learn the Biblical portion of the week and about the different holidays that are celebrated throughout the year. Students are taught the storyline of the Weekly Biblical Portion/Holiday while focusing on values and concepts congruently using diverse instructional strategies. Language comprehension and sequencing skills are honed to enable students to understand and to make logical connections. They are taught through stories, songs and games for acquisition, mastery and creativity.
On Three Things the World Exists: Torah, service to Hashem and acts of kindness to others. Incorporating age-appropriate acts of kindness into the program syllabus is an integral component at Gesher Yehuda.
Each week our Rabbinic staff, and in honor of special occasions and chagim, our esteemed Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Mansour share insightful and family friendly commentaries on the Weekly Biblical Portion.
We believe in breaking down the obstacles that stand between students and achieving their fullest potential. Our unique in-house staff approach creates a team to best individualize strategies for each student.