5th Grade Jewish History and Tanakh

Curriculum created by Jennifer James, Congregation Rodeph Shalom Director of Youth Education


Enduring Understandings

  • History illuminates our present.
  • Jewish literature and literacy


Unit 1: Setting the Stage Creates a Foundation for Making Informed Choices about Living a Jewish Life 

  • Why study history?
  • The architecture of the Tanakh
  • Tradition, Fact, and History

Unit 2: Origins

  • Understanding history vs. tradition
  • Origin stories of the Jewish people: Avot v’Imahot
  • Origin stories of the Jewish people: Exodus


Unit 3: Kingdoms

  • The first kings of Israel
  • The First Temple
  • Divided kingdoms of Judah and Israel
  • Prophets
  • Assyrian conquest
  • Babylonian conquest


Unit 4: Exile

  • Exile in Babylonia
  • The first diaspora
  • The choice to return


Unit 5: Rebuilding

  • Return to Jerusalem
  • The Second Temple


Unit 6: Rebellion

  • Maccabees and Hasmonean dynasty
  • Roman domination
  • Challenging Roman rule
  • Rise of Rabbinic Judaism


Unit 7: Diaspora

  • Diaspora in Christian Europe
  • Diaspora in Muslim lands