Grades K-5

Sunday- First Session
Kinder – 5th Grade

On Sunday, students learn about the Jewish Holidays, lessons & stories from the Torah, our connection to Israel, and Jewish values such as Gimilut Chasadim (Acts of Loving Kindness).  Each grade explores our school-wide theme at a different angle which enables siblings and family members to learn from one another.  

In addition to spending class time on core curricular topics, teachers place a strong emphasis on community-building throughout the year. Team building exercises, name games, and positive classroom management techniques are used so that students create friendships, and feel connected in positive ways to their teachers and peers. Our favorite way to start class is with a quick share of “Joys & Oys” from the week!

    • Click Here to learn more about our Torah Tots program for 2.5 – 4 year-olds!
    • The Kindergarten classes use a curriculum that focuses on the Jewish Holidays, Torah, Israel, and Gimilut Chasadim (acts of loving kindness) through the lens of the seminal Jewish teaching “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18). For example: when we learn about Sukkot, we talk about the value of teamwork and working together to build a Sukkah! The interactive curriculum features story books, art activities, and music as it familiarizes students with the most important aspects of Jewish life such as important people and places in our synagogue, Jews around the world, and being Jewish at home. 
  • The subjects of Torah, Israel, and Gimilut Chasadim (acts of loving kindness) are taught using the Union for Reform Judaism’s Chai Curriculum.

    • First grade learns all about stories in the first book of the Torah, Bereshit (Genesis). Adam & Eve, Noah’s Ark, and stories about our Avot V’Imahot (Patriarchs & Matriarchs) are a few examples. They learn about various acts of kindness such as giving Tzedakah (charity), Tikkun Olam (repairing the world), and Bikur Holim (visiting the sick). What does a country have? Our first graders learn the answer to this question when we talk about Israel!
    • Second grade learns from the book of Shemot (Exodus). They explore how the Israelites’ relationship with God, and within the Jewish community, is transformed as they are brought out of the desert and into Eretz Yisrael (the land of Israel). Second graders learn how acts of kindness can always strengthen a community. In Israel, people take care of the Earth by planting trees for Tu B’Shevat, a Jewish holiday which celebrates the birthday of the trees!
    • Third grade learns about how to live a “Holy Life” through the mitzvot (commandments) that are included in the third book of the Torah, Vayikra (Leviticus). Mitzvot help us build a connection with God through our actions. Celebrating Shabbat, and keeping Kosher are a couple examples. Third graders learn about the power each person has to make the world a better place. 8.5 million people live in the state of Israel! Our classes will learn about 3 major cities in Israel and the geography that surrounds them!
    • Fourth grade learns about the terms, Am Yisrael (The People of Israel), Eretz Yisrael (The Land of Israel), and Brit (Covenant). They will focus on how to use acts of kindness to improve their relationships with others. When fourth graders study Israel, they will research to diversity of Israel’s population and society.
    • Fifth grade learns about N’Viim, The Books of the Prophets. Fifth graders will read texts and find how these stories relate to their everyday lives. As Jews, and human beings, we all have the responsibility to speak out against injustice. This theme ties in to the Israel lessons by discussing the laws imposed on people living in Israel.
  • Jewish holidays are taught to all classes, but with different learning objectives in each grade.  While all teachers review the basic story, lesson, and vocabulary of each holiday, every grade focuses on a different aspect:

    • First Grade: Holiday Symbols
    • Second Grade: The Story of the Holiday
    • Third Grade: How we Celebrate the Holiday
    • Fourth Grade: Holiday Cooking
    • Fifth Grade: Holidays in our Sacred Texts

    Parents: Be on the look-out for our Sunday Adult Learning sessions, Doing Jewish 101, to learn about bringing holidays into your home!

  • Hebrew Through Movement
    Sundays during religious school
    Kinder – 2nd Grade
    Students in Kindergarten – 2nd grade participate in our Hebrew Through Movement (HTM) program, a curriculum of the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland.  For 15 minutes each Sunday, an HTM specialist visits the classroom and teaches basic verbs and nouns in Hebrew by asking the class to respond to Hebrew commands. Over time, students can understand and respond to complicated sentences in Hebrew such as “Walk to the table, pick up the menorah, and place it on the table.”  The system mimics natural language acquisition, in which babies first hear, then speak, then read, then write their native languages.  Our specialists undergo 10 hours of training in the program, in addition to being fluent or native speakers.  Hebrew Through Movement is active and fun, and becomes something the children look forward to immensely. 

    Hebrew Through Movement
    Wednesdays during Midrasha
    3rd Grade & 4th Grade
    3rd & 4th graders participate in HTM during Midrasha classes on Wednesday afternoons.

    Let’s Learn Hebrew Side-by-Side
    Sundays, 11:15am-12:15pm
    5th Graders enrolled in Midrasha
    For 5th graders enrolled in our Midrasha program, we offer an exciting, innovative, and effective approach for learning to read the Hebrew letters and vowel signs (decoding). Let’s Learn Hebrew Side-by-Side pairs volunteer mentors with individuals or pairs of students to learn decoding through a series of online lessons followed by hands-on reinforcement activities.  Mentors are retirees, empty-nesters, older teens, and parents of students who are excited to build positive relationships with students as they learn to decode Hebrew. 

    • Click Here to learn about our B’nei Mitzvah Preparation Program for 6th & 7th graders.

Midrasha (Wednesday) Program
for 3rd-6th Graders

Our Midrasha program enables students to expand their connection with peers, teachers, and rabbis, while providing an opportunity to deepen their engagement with the Hebrew language, gain knowledge on important Jewish skills, and participate in thought-provoking prayer study. The Wednesday program provides exciting and nurturing experiences for students!

**Students who wish to celebrate their B’nei Mitzvah at CBI are required to attend Sunday religious school and Wednesday Midrasha classes (3rd-6th). In the event that Midrasha is truly not possible for your family, please contact Carly Cera to discuss private tutoring and other options.**


Please contact Carly Cera, Director of Education and Engagement, at, or 512 454-6806 to set up a time to talk on the phone or in person. We look forward to getting to know you and your kids!

You do not have to become a member of Congregation Beth Israel to attend our youth education program, although membership is strongly encouraged and welcomed.

Upcoming Youth Education Events

  1. Wed 24

    Midrasha (3rd-6th)

    Apr 24 @ 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
  2. Sun 28

    Religious School (Torah Tot 4s-5th Grade)

    Apr 28 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am
  3. Sun 28

    B’nei Mitzvah Prayer Class

    Apr 28 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am
  4. Sun 28

    Hebrew Side by Side End-of-Year Celebration!

    Apr 28 @ 11:15 am - 12:15 pm
  5. Sun 28

    Religious School (6th-10th)

    Apr 28 @ 11:30 am - 1:30 pm
  6. Sun 28

    6th / 7th Grade

    Apr 28 @ 11:30 am - 11:50 am