THE ELEMENTARY YEARS

Welcome to new wave of Jewish education for children in the elementary years!

At Temple Sinai, we seek to enrich the Jewish lives of our students and build meaningful Jewish connections to family, friends, Temple, the larger Canadian Jewish community and Israel. We nurture a sense of curiosity through learning and celebrate living Jewishly by embracing Jewish values and social justice.

Thanks to the generosity of Bev & Laurie Fein, a roll out of a new, enriched curriculum is planned over the next three years, starting in the fall of 2018-2019 with JK to Grade 3, and including new pilot learning experiences in our Hebrew program. Informed by working with parents, key stakeholders at Temple and experts in the field of Jewish education, we are shaping the future of Jewish learning and engagement for our children

It is an exciting time to be a part of Temple Sinai’s learning community!

Temple Sinai’s School programs are governed by the following thought-provoking concepts that will guide all learning interactions for students:

  • How can learning about Jewish peoplehood create meaningful connections to our family and the larger Jewish community, locally and globally?
  • How can learning Hebrew and about Israel create a sense of belonging to the Jewish people?
  • What does it mean to be a Canadian Jew, and how does this inform our sense of social justice and Jewish values?
  • In what ways does inquiry-based learning provide deep, meaningful and value-rich experiences for students and parents?

In the early years, the core of Jewish learning engages students with Jewish values, stories from the Torah and Jewish celebrations and traditions. Children explore how they belong to a global Jewish family starting with their family, synagogue, Canadian Jewish community and how this creates meaningful connections to Jews around the world. The learning in kindergarten to grade 2 is guided by the following concepts:

  • My Jewish story starts with the stories in our Torah, so those stories are about me, too.
  • The Jewish festivals weave together Jewish memories, Jewish values and Jewish commandments, mitzvot, which connect me to my family, my community, and God.
  • Jewish values, middot, teach me how to act in the world, with my family, my friends, and everyone I meet. They guide me to make the world a better place and make me a better person.

In grades 3 and 4, students explore lifecycle events and the ways in which Jews are part of their local and global Jewish community. Students connect with their worldwide Jewish family and learn about Israeli culture, geography, history and language. In grade 3, students start their formal Hebrew learning and join a small group (four to six students) at flexible times during the week in addition to their Sunday morning program. The Hebrew learning prepares them for participating in prayers at Temple and for b’nei mitzvah. The learning in grades 3 and 4 is guided by the following concepts:

  • When I engage in tefillot, celebrate festivals and lifecycle events, I am part of my Temple community
  • Tikkun olam teaches me how to be a better person and how to make the world a better place, which connects me to my peers, my Temple, my family and those in need in my local community.
  • My relationship with Israel requires me to know what it looks like, a familiarity with its geography and people and its historical, emotional, physical and spiritual connection to the Jewish people.
  • When I learn the Hebrew language, I am able to connect to Jewish culture and the state of Israel, its past, present and future.
  • Peace is one of the most important values in Judaism. When I learn about Israel, I strive to understand the complexity of achieving peace as more than one people consider Israel to be their homeland.

School Program

In the senior grades, our students take on a leadership role in the school mentoring younger students through modeling and teaching. Student learning focuses on connecting to the Canadian and Toronto Jewish experience through personal, family immigration stories to build a better understanding of who we are as a community.

Students in grades 5 and 6 also focus on the stories of the prophets, learning about the layers of social justice and participating in tikkun olam. Through project-based learning, students take initiative, working together and forming a tight-knit peer group for each grade. In grades 5 and 6 major festivals are revisited with a new twist, where students work in project-based teams to develop a holiday experience for students in the younger grades.

Grade 6 Torah Chanting Class

Youth are inducted into the Jedi Trope Academy on Sunday mornings. Under the leadership of Cantor Katie and a team of recent b’nei mitzvah youth,  Jedi Trope Masters, creatively acquire the chanting skills they will utilize when they begin preparing for their b’nei mitzvah.

Lech Lecha — Temple Sinai’s Travel Experience

When Abraham leaves his home to set out on a journey of discovery, he is told lech lecha, go forth. Temple Sinai encourages our youth to set out on their own journey of Jewish discovery by offering unforgettable travel experiences.

Staycation is the first opportunity for youth of Temple Sinai to experience the magic of travel. The trip is created and led by teen travel alumni. They work hard to create a fun-filled experience as we explore the Jewish stories of Toronto. We take to the streetcars, subways and buses of Toronto to experience all the fun this city has to offer. After 24 amazing hours, we celebrate the community we have created. Those relationships endure as youth grow and continue to travel.

About Our Jewish Learning Program

Listening to the parents of our school-aged children has played a big part in creating a flexible and enriched  school program. From kindergarten to Grade 6, we hope to inspire our student’s commitment to Reform Judaism through creative, critical thinking and interactive educational programming.

The Hebrew language is one of the unifying forces within Judaism, crossing the boundaries of history, time and place. Learning Hebrew connects our children to the Jewish people through song, prayer and conversation. It is a vital component of the Jewish learning at Temple Sinai.

Hebrew learning at Temple Sinai begins in kindergarten with Hebrew words integrated into the classroom, and in music, dance, art and cooking. Hebrew learning is a requirement in grade 3. Five years of continuous Hebrew study is required for bar/bat mitzvah.

Our educational program has been created to help parents find time for Reform Jewish learning that is aligned with their busy lives. We offer 1.5 hours each week of Hebrew learning at your families’ convenience, which is available Sunday to Wednesday nights — or add it on to the end of  school and create a one-day program for your child.

Immersive Hebrew Language Camp — in partnership with Centre Camp

Grade 5 Hebrew Pilot Program — iHebrew Curriculum from Ulpan Or

Exciting new technology-based Hebrew program!

Our grade 5 students will be participating in a revolutionary method for learning Hebrew online in their Hebrew groups this year. This method called Rapid Language Acquisition (RLA) from Ulpan Or, the largest language school based in Israel, allows students to learn Hebrew rapidly, while making the ancient language of Hebrew come alive today in a fun and welcoming environment.

Grade 5 will be using materials that are engaging and fun and customized for North American students. This program makes Hebrew come alive and engages students through different learning styles.

The goal of this pilot program is to see an increase in acquisition of the Hebrew language for grade 5 students through an engaging technology-based format. Our teachers will be provided with new training to ensure success in this pilot program for our students.

Family participation is an integral part of each child’s learning at Temple Sinai. Opportunities for parent involvement are varied and available at all grade levels. The Family Learning Program actively involves families with children in grades 3 through 6. Hands-on activities further solidify the partnership in Jewish education and living. Parent and teen programs are offered in grades 7 through 10. These programs explore the bar/bat mitzvah experience, Reform Jewish practice in the world today, modern social issues confronting the Jewish community and modern Jewish living.

 

Meeting the challenges of children with special needs is an important and ongoing process. We approach each child with the assumption that there is a future that includes Jewish learning. Bar/bat mitzvah is the goal at the forefront of our minds as we attempt to match each child with the best and most appropriate learning atmosphere. With input from the parents, the director of congrgational learning, the principal, and the special education consultant, we look to find the right placement and assistance for all our children.

Resources

Mitkadem’s self-paced and child-centered approach allows each student to achieve according to his/her own ability, identifes those students who need additional help early on, and gives the learner the ability to move more quickly through the material. 

The program consists of 23 ramot, or levels. Students may work independently, with another student at a similar level, or with another student in a “tutorial” relationship. In a Mitkadem classroom, the teacher becomes more of a resource and facilitator for students’ self-directed Hebrew learning.

Ramot (PDF)
Alef Bet and VowelsRamah 6Ramah 12Ramah 18
Prayer MapRamah 7Ramah 13Ramah 19
Ramah 2Ramah 8Ramah 14Ramah 20
Ramah 3Ramah 9Ramah 15Ramah 21
Ramah 4Ramah 10Ramah 16Ramah 22
Ramah 5Ramah 11Ramah 17
Prayers for Ramot
Ramah 4Ramah 6
First Candle Chanukkah – ChantingTorah Blessings – Chanting
Second Candle Chanukkah – ChantingTorah Blessings – Reading
Candle Blessings for Shabbat and Holy Days
Shehechiyanu for ChanukkahRamah 7
Food Blessings – ChantingYotzer – Reading
Food Blessings – ReadingMa’ariv Aravim
Ramah 8 Ramah 9
Ahavah Rabbah – ReadingShema – Chanting
Ahavat Olam – ReadingShema – Reading
Ve’ahavta – Chanting
Ve’ahavta – Reading
Ramah 10Ramah 11
Ge’ulah Evening – ReadingAvot Chanting
Ge’ulah Morning – ReadingAvot Reading
Mi Chamochah Evening – Chanting
Mi Chamochah Morning – Chanting
Ramah 12Ramah 13
Gvurot Summer Meitim ReadingOseh Shalom – Chanting
Gvurot Winter Hakol ReadingOseh Shalom – Reading
Gvorut Winter Hakol ReadingShalom Rav – Chanting
Shalom Rav – Reading
Sim Shalom – Chanting
Sim Shalom – Reading
Ramah 14Ramah 15
Kedushah – ChantingAdonai Sfatai – Chanting
Kedushah – ReadingAdonai Sfatai – Reading
V’shamru – ChantingElohai N’tzor – Chanting
V’shamru – Reading
Ramah 16Ramah 17
Aleinu – ChantingChatzi Kaddish – Friday Night
Aleinu – ReadingChatzi Kaddish – Reading
Chatzi Kaddish – Saturday Morning
Kaddish Yatom
Ramah 19
After Haftarah – Long Chant
After Haftarah – Long Reading
After Haftarah – Short Chant
After Haftarah – Short Reading
Before Haftarah – Chanting
Before Haftarah – Reading

Kita Dalet students will be tested by one of the rabbis, cantors, or director of congregational learning. The prayer project testing will be done from the end of April to May. If a student requires more Hebrew enrichment, they will be required to attend Wednesday classes during the fall semester.

To maintain siddur proficiency, a prayer service will be conducted once a month on Tuesdays before religious school. This service will be held at 6.30 p.m. Attendance is expected for at least six of those services in their grade 7 year for those who have passed the proficiency test.

To download the readings, please click here.

Hebrew Readings
BarchuPeaceDivine PowerHatikvah
Ma’ariv AravimSim ShalomMah TovuEin Keiloheinu
ShemaAleinuElu D’varim
Va’yomerKiddush for Shabbat MorningMorning Blessings
Reader’s KaddishGod of our AncestorsSource of Love

Religious School Policies

Our Temple parking lot is a very busy place during school hours. In order to ensure the safety of your children, we ask your cooperation in adhering to the following rules:

  • Do not stop in the driveway when dropping off or picking up your children. Please pull into the parking lot. Each car that stops for just half a minute causes a backup and a potential accident.
  • On Sundays, please pull into the cordoned-off “drop-off zone” at the rear of the building before dropping off your children. Do not stop in the driveway or the area on the side of the building. Please follow the directions of the traffic control staff monitor on duty.
  • Please do not park in the handicapped parking spots when picking up your children.
  • At no time is it permissible to park your car on a Temple sidewalk. If you are asked to move your vehicle, please be courteous. Remember, we only have the safety of our children in mind.

We maintain a scent-free environment within our school community to ensure the comfort and safety of all.

Members of our student body and faculty have notified us of a condition they live with called multiple chemical sensitivity. This condition causes severe headaches, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, breathing and/or perceptual difficulties. These symptoms are reactions to such things as pesticides, cleaning fluids and scented products such as perfume and cologne.

Because we offer an arts-based learning program, please send your children to school in clothes that won’t be ruined by arts and crafts media such as ink, paint or glue.

Temple Sinai makes every effort to keep school open. In the event of inclement weather or an emergency closing, please consider one of the following:

  1. Check our Web site for up-to-date news.
  2. Listen to 680 News or check their website (www.680news.com).
  3. Call the school at 416.487.3281 during normal office hours.

We ask that parents send their children with a healthy snack (i.g., a drink and a piece of fruit). Please do not send anything that contains sesame and nuts.

We encourage students to bring a bottle/thermos of water. Please do not bring any non-kosher “fast food” into our building.

Thank you for your cooperation in keeping our school safe for all students.

Temple Sinai’s 2018 Staycation

Our Jewish Learning Program takes place on Sunday mornings from 9.00 a.m. to 12.00 p.m. from mid-September to May for JK to Grade 6.

For more information please contact Carrie Swartz, Director of Congregational learning.

Our Team

Carrie A. Swartz

Director of Congregational Learning

carrie@templesinai.net
416.487.4161

Ilana Mansharov

Coordinator, Camp and School Programs

ilana@templesinai.net
416.487.4161

BobbieLynn Brass

Administrative Assistant

education@templesinai.net
416.487.4161

What our members say...
As a Saturday Library volunteer, I have rekindled so many “old” friendships from school, politics and the community. Temple Sinai has become dynamic this past twenty years—diverse opinions, challenges for our younger members, shared programs that delight young and older members and a rabbi who is “with it”. On their way to the sanctuary, members pass the library, where meeting and greeting is much fun. It’s been over 30 years of just saying “hello”.

Patricia Starr, Lewis David Katzman Library

Temple Sinai Congregation of Toronto
2020-07-03T15:44:37-04:00

Patricia Starr, Lewis David Katzman Library

As a Saturday Library volunteer, I have rekindled so many “old” friendships from school, politics and the community. Temple Sinai has become dynamic this past twenty years—diverse opinions, challenges for our younger members, shared programs that delight young and older members and a rabbi who is “with it”. On their way to the sanctuary, members pass the library, where meeting and greeting is much fun. It’s been over 30 years of just saying “hello”.
After hearing about the positive experiences of some friends and family with the ShinShinim program, we decided to respond to Temple’s call for volunteer families and take advantage of the opportunity to host a shinshin. I would strongly encourage anyone who is interested in taking part in this program to do so. It was a very rewarding experience for both us and our children.

Adit Margaliot & Jason Atlas

Temple Sinai Congregation of Toronto
2020-07-03T15:59:39-04:00

Adit Margaliot & Jason Atlas

After hearing about the positive experiences of some friends and family with the ShinShinim program, we decided to respond to Temple’s call for volunteer families and take advantage of the opportunity to host a shinshin. I would strongly encourage anyone who is interested in taking part in this program to do so. It was a very rewarding experience for both us and our children.
My experience with three-year-old Sulha, at Save A Child’s Heart, was amazing. Even though she was not Jewish and did not speak English, we still had an incredible time together. It helps children around the world get the needed heart surgery that they cannot receive in their home country.

Jaclyn

Temple Sinai Congregation of Toronto
2020-07-03T16:16:56-04:00

Jaclyn

My experience with three-year-old Sulha, at Save A Child’s Heart, was amazing. Even though she was not Jewish and did not speak English, we still had an incredible time together. It helps children around the world get the needed heart surgery that they cannot receive in their home country.
Spanish Connections gave me the opportunity to meet a variety of terrific people. I feel part of a community that resonates with me and my family. It has led me to become more involved in the synagogue’s many events.

Alex Israel, Spanish Connections

Temple Sinai Congregation of Toronto
2020-07-03T15:45:22-04:00

Alex Israel, Spanish Connections

Spanish Connections gave me the opportunity to meet a variety of terrific people. I feel part of a community that resonates with me and my family. It has led me to become more involved in the synagogue’s many events.
At Temple Sinai, I have met a lot of amazing people and made many new friends. Temple provides a great learning experience, whether it is learning about Jewish life, volunteering or working.

Aaron, Grade 9

Temple Sinai Congregation of Toronto
2020-07-03T16:00:53-04:00

Aaron, Grade 9

At Temple Sinai, I have met a lot of amazing people and made many new friends. Temple provides a great learning experience, whether it is learning about Jewish life, volunteering or working.
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Temple Sinai Congregation of Toronto