5th/6th Grade

At this level, students tackle more mature material using small group discussions, teacher-led explorations, and in-class research.

Topics covered include:

  • Torah and Talmud
  • Timeline of Jewish history
  • Ancient history: Jesus, & his impact on the Jews.
  • Medieval period: the Inquisition, & anti-Semitism
  • Jewish communities all around the world [ Middle East, India, Ethiopia, etc.]
  • America : Jews who came before the 1880s
  • Eastern Europe : what life was really like in the shtetls?
  • America : waves of immigration (German Jews, then E. European Jews)
  • The Immigrant Experience
  • Jewish writers, artists, thinkers
  • The Holocaust
  • History of Zionism
  • Branches of Judaism: Orthodox, Reform, Conservative; Reconstructionist, Secular
    •  Also, Hasidism
  • History of Jewish activism
  • Field Trip: The Tenement Museum, Lower East Side
  • Ancient history: destruction of Temple, Babylonian exile, Diaspora
  • Ancient/medieval history
    • Hillel
    • Maimonides
  • History: the Ghettos of Europe
  • History: Anti-Semitism and the Dreyfus Affair
  • History: the rise of Nazism & anti-Semitism in Depression Europe
  • The founding of Israel
  • Israel , from 1948 to today
  • Soviet Jewry: a history
  • Jewish heroes: short profiles by the students.
  • Intro to Yiddish and Hebrew literature
  • Comparative religion
    • basic tenets of Christianity and Islam
    • differences between them and Judaism
    • also, Buddhism and Hinduism
  • Assimilation vs. tradition
  • Field Trip: Museum of Jewish Heritage
  • Secular Judaism