6th Grade God and Torah

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

Enduring Understandings

  • The rich, complex, and varied understandings of Adonai Echad (One God) in Judaism help us make meaning of Adonai Eloheinu (Our God).
  • When young Jews are given the freedom to form their own relationships with Adonai Eloheinu, then they have the tools and capacity to makeAdonai Echad meaningful for themselves.
  • Understanding the tradition of Torah in Judaism, and the prayer, rituals, and objects of the Torah service, helps Torah be meaningful and present in our lives.

Unit 1: God

  • Intro to God: Learners explore the God of parashat N’tzavim, and what the parasha has to say about the accessibility of Torah; and explore their own feelings about talking/thinking/learning about God.
  • God Shopping: Learners articulate their personal beliefs or understandings of God and are introduced to a wide variety of God understandings.
  • Four Thinkers: Learners are introduced to the theological thinking of Maimonides, Buber, Heschel, and Kaplan.
  • Questions and Answers: Learners will pose their big questions about God, and consider some answers before formulating their own.

Unit 2: Torah

  • God’s Gift to Us: Learners are introduced to the Torah as a living document
  • Torah Reading: A History: Learners encounter the origins of public Torah readings, look into a Torah using a yad and then design their own yad for them to read Torah throughout their lives.
  • Seder K’riat HaTorah L’Shabbat: Learners will run through a weekday Torah service.
  • Dressing Up for Prayer: Learners will learn about tallit and tzitzit
  • D’var Writer’s Workshop: Learners will experience the process of analyzing and interpreting text, finding a message in text, relating the message to their own lives, and writing a d’var that expresses the messages, interpretations, and personal meaning.