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Gan (Kindergarten)

Our religious school starts in Kindergarten, engaging our young learners at an age-appropriate level.

Goals:
  • To teach the symbols, practices, and importance of the Jewish holidays, with a special focus on Shabbat.
  • To provide an understanding of basic Torah stories.
  • To introduce the use of basic prayers, blessings, and Hebrew words into students' lives.
  • To promote a feeling of comfort at Temple Beth Shalom and an understanding of its Jewish symbols.
Subjects Covered:
  • Holidays: Learners begin with an introductory study of the Jewish calendar, with a special focus on Shabbat. Hands-on learning is essential to their studies. Arts and crafts, Jewish stories, Hebrew, and music reinforce their studies of the Jewish holidays.
  • Torah: Upon entering kindergarten, learners are introduced to the Torah stories that help shape Jewish life. Arts and crafts, literature, and music supplement their Torah studies.
  • Blessings: Providing a Jewish atmosphere is central to our early childhood program. One way to reach this goal is to teach students to recite Hebrew blessings before daily activities. Hamotzi (blessing over bread) and Kiddush (blessing over wine/grape juice) are taught in the kindergarten program.
  • Liturgy: In addition to learning basic blessings, students are also introduced to some basic prayers. Ma Tovu, Barchu, Shema, Mi Chamocha and Oseh Shalom are recited regularly in their daily t'filah (prayer). To prepare for consecration, students focus on learning the Shema with sign language.
  • Jewish Life: Learners in our Gan program are introduced to many other aspects of Jewish life, such as synagogue life, Jewish symbols, and building a relationship with Israel.
Additional Specialties and Programs:
  • A family program entitled "Shab-Boxing" as a culmination of our intensive Shabbat study.
  • Consecration ceremony and a welcoming Consecration Breakfast
  • Mitzvah Project: making teddy bears for SafePlace/Austin Children's Shelter
  • Weekly family t'filah
  • Weekly visits to the music specialist
  • Visits from the Temple Beth Shalom clergy
Sun, May 26 2019 21 Iyar 5779