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Shoresh program and curriculum

Shoresh guides students to become curious, engaged, and skillful Reform Jewish adults who live meaningful Jewish lives.

Experiential and project based, Shoresh provides Jewish learning for Kindergarteners through 10th graders. Our Shabbat-based model supports learners as they develop their Jewish identities and senses belonging to the KAM Isaiah Israel community through developmentally appropriate projects and discussions. See more details from our curriculum designed exclusively for Shoresh.

Shoresh learning priorities

  1. Jewish identity: At Shoresh, we grow and get to know ourselves, our congregational family, and our Judaism.
  2. Community: Each of us is an important member of the worldwide Jewish community with responsibility for others, just as they have responsibility for us.
  3. Prayer: We express our hopes, wishes, needs, and thanks through prayer, spirituality, awareness, and exploration of God.
  4. Social justice: All Jews are responsible in the work for social justice and equality among all people.
  5. Study: We gain meaning and guidance for our daily lives through learning about Torah and Judaism.
  6. Israel: Israel is the homeland of the Jewish people. Our relationship with the modern state of Israel can be complex; knowledge of and engagement with Israel is an important part of modern Jewish identity.
  7. B’nei mitzvah and confirmation: Becoming bar/bat mitzvah and participating in confirmation are rituals that put the other six learning priorities into action and allow students to experience a taste of adult Judaism.


Kindergarten-7th grade

Learners meet Friday afternoons 4:00–6:30 pm, culminating in our weekly Family Shabbat service. Kindergarten–7th grade learners take active roles with their teachers in determining projects at Shoresh. Units are structured around Jewish concepts and Hebrew, and they incorporate learner interests and teacher skills.

Grade level learning priorities this year
  • Kindergarten-1st grade: “I experience the world through a Jewish lens in my daily living and rituals, celebrations and commemorations, and through my relationships in my community.” The group focuses on Jewish communities and homes, life cycle events, and prayer and hoildays this year.
  • 2nd-3rd grade: “Marking sacred time and keeping Jewish holidays informs the unique way the Jewish people view and behave in the world. The soul of the Jewish people is forever bound with our spiritual, biblical, and modern homeland, Israel.” The group focuses on Jewish holidays and Israel with a unique multinarrative approach to help learners understand the complexities of Israel.
  • 4th-5th grade: “The community of Israel is connected and enriched by a variety of customs that have emerged from our experience as we carry on our covenant with God.” The group focuses on Jewish communities around the world and the Jewish people's covenant with God.
  • 6th-7th grade: “Despite the devastation of hundreds of years of anti-Semitism, I am part of a thriving and diverse Judaism and world Jewish community today.” The group focuses on Jewish identity, antisemitism and the Holocaust, and learner's b'nei mitzvah Six Points Projects.

2nd–7th grade learners have Hebrew instruction twice a week. In addition to Friday Shoresh sessions, learners participate in Hebrew@Home, weekly online sessions with their teachers that allows instruction to be completely individualized. Learners participate as a group with their teachers on Fridays in levels, rather than in grade-based groups, to help learners build confidence and progress according to their abilities. Friday Hebrew focuses on prayer and spirituality, including the meaning of prayers, rather than rote recitation. Teachers track progress through regular one-on-one interactions during class and at Hebrew@Home, and other educators like our clergy and Religious School Director participate in individual student assessments. Students work individually with teachers and clergy to prepare for b'nei mitzvah.

Kadima (8th–9th grade)

Kadima is designed for post-b'nei mitzvah teens who are capable of more thorough and mature discussions and topics. The curriculum cycles through intriguing and relevant topics to provide students with a full suite of learning and experiences leading up to Confirmation and Jewish adulthood. This year, Kadima will focus on our interactions with the larger community, including our experience of being a minority in a majority culture, civil rights, gender issues, and current events. Each year includes interaction with Jewish texts, discussion of Jewish practice and spirituality, and conversations about modern issues (e.g., gender or kashrut ethics) and more adult topics (e.g., the Israel conflict or adult concepts of spirituality). Kadima also includes experiences within each unit, such as the B'reishit bike trip from KAM Isaiah Israel to the Adler Planetarium, and trips, such as an Adventure Judaism camping trip.  

Confirmation (10th grade)

Students meet weekly with the rabbi and educator, discussing topics such as adult God concepts and how to consciously live Jewishly in their adult lives. Students focus on developing their own God concept, learning about advocating for social change they believe in, and learning about what being a part of a community is all about. They learn about their responsibility to identify and find their own Judaism that is meaningful to them.
The class travels to Washington, D.C. to participate in the Religious Action Center's L'Taken program, designed for high school students to explore public policy issues and their Jewish values, create a persuasive argument on a topic of their choice, and lobby Congress. Each spring, the Confirmation class puts together and then leads a Shabbat morning service to culminate their Confirmation year and mark the end of their formal Jewish education.
Mon, April 19 2021 7 Iyar 5781