Berkman Mercaz Limud (K-7th Grade)


Berkman Mercaz Limud (Hebrew for “Learning Center”) is the Religious School at Congregation Rodeph Shalom. The program focuses on both Judaic and Hebrew studies, as well as the formation of friendships and a sense of belonging in the Jewish community.  Our school is in session on Sunday mornings from 9:30am-12:30pm, with an optional enrichment program, Mid-Week Hebrew on Wednesdays from 4pm-6pm. Please reach out to the Education Office at [email protected] for more information!

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JUDAIC Curriculum

  • Torah/Values - K-4th Grades: Our youngest children learn the Torah stories that influence our Jewish Values.  Teachers incorporate these values into their lessons through read-alouds, art projects and other fun activities to enable the students to connect these ancient texts to their own lives.
  • Jewish Home - PreK-1st & 3rd Grades: Learn about the full calendar of Jewish holidays, including Shabbat and Havdalah.  Explore Jewish ritual objects and traditions. Students learn what makes a Jewish home different than other homes. The classroom becomes an extension of the homes as the children begin to create their own Jewish Identities.
  • Jewish Life - 2nd & 4th-6th Grades: Students will learn about the Jewish Life Cycle: Birth, B’nai Mitzvah, Confirmation, Marriage and Death, and the customs that we practice within each of those.
  • Israel - 3rd-6th Grades: In our Israel classes, students learn about the land and the people who live there, as well as why Israel is so important to the Jewish people.
  • Social Action - 3rd, 4th, 6th & 7th Grades: Social Action (Tikkun Olam) is a driving force at Rodeph Shalom, and for that reason, our students delve into the over arching values and also get hands-on experience in changing our world.
  • Nevi’im & Ketuvim - 5th Grades: Students will learn about the rest of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible): Nevi’im (The Prophets) and Ketuvim (The Writings). The Torah is just the beginning!
  • History - 5th & 6th Grades:  In order to create a better future, we must learn from our past – that is why our students learn about European Jewish History, anti-Semitism, and the great Jewish heroes of our past.
  • Shoah (Holocaust) - 7th Grades: 7th Graders study the Holocaust in a manner which provides them with the knowledge they need to combat hate and create justice in the world today.
  • Art - K-5th Grades: Students enhance their learning about holiday traditions, Torah stories and Jewish Values through correlating art projects.  Everyone enjoys the opportunity to get creative!  
  • Music - PreK-4th Grades: In addition to helping lead our three T’filah Services on Sunday mornings, our Songleader will teach students Jewish prayers, traditional and modern holiday music and camp songs.

HEBREW Curriculum

  • T’filah (Prayer Services): We hold three different T’filah services on Sunday mornings for our students.  From 9:30-10:10am our PreK-4th Grades learn the prayers and become familiar with how a service is structured.  Our 5th & 6th grade students have their service with Cantor Frankel at the end of the day from 12-12:30pm to delve into the prayers and their meanings in preparation for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah.  Our 7th Graders  work together to lead a Torah Service as practice for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah.
  • Hebrew Through Movement: PreK-1st Grades:“Hebrew through Movement” is a language acquisition strategy in which students learn Hebrew by hearing and responding to Hebrew commands. It is based on ways that children learn naturally: by moving about and doing, through songs, chants and rhythmic activities.  
  • Decoding Hebrew: 2nd-3rd Grades- Students are introduced to the full Hebrew alphabet and vowels and learn to decode simple Hebrew words.
  • New Student Beginners Class: 3rd-6th Grades: New students will work at a faster pace to learn the Aleph Bet, how to decode and the Bar/Bat Mitzvah prayers.
  • Modern Hebrew with Prayer: 4th - 6th Grades Students who can already decode Hebrew words, will learn to read and understand modern Hebrew using Shalom Ivrit and its Prayer Companion to be able to participate in prayer. Students encounter Hebrew as a living language by building on their everyday and holiday experiences, at home and in school. Basic grammar — including the present tense, masculine and feminine nouns, and adjectives in the singular and plural — are presented simply and clearly. A variety of comprehension activities — including puzzles, sentence completion, true and false, and word/picture matches — reinforce instruction and provide practice, as do additional stories and poems, dialogues, blessings, songs, and riddles.
  • B’nai Mitzvah: 7th Grade: Our 7th Graders will focus on the blessings to ensure they are ready for their Bar or Bat Mitzvah.  They will also work together weekly to lead a condensed Torah Service.

Mid-Week Hebrew:
Mid-Week Hebrew is a Hebrew Enrichment program for students in 2nd-7th Grades, adapted to meet individual needs.  This program meets on Wednesdays from 4pm-6pm and is FREE (included in BML tuition).

  • Beginner: Students who are still learning the Aleph Bet and learning to decode will enhance their learning and vocabulary with an extra hour of Hebrew on Wednesday nights.
  • Intermediate: We are piloting a new program, Hebrew in Harmony, which encourages students to create meaning from personal prayer and make emotional connections through communal prayer.
  • B’nai Mitzvah Prep: Help students learn the prayers and the meanings behind those prayers for the Bar or Bat Mitzvah.
  • Advanced: Students who have mastered the B’nai Mitzvah prayers will have a chance to go deeper into Modern Hebrew in preparation to visit Israel.
  • Enrichment Class: a NEW class for students to delve deeper.. This class will run from both 4pm-5pm and 5pm-6pm.  Students will learn about Judaism and deepen their Hebrew skills through art, cooking, drama and music!  A major goal of this class is FUN!  


Hebrew Workbook