Welcome to Vassar Temple’s Hebrew School page!
Hebrew is the sacred language of the Jewish people. By learning to read Hebrew our children
not only connect to their Jewish heritage, but they also develop a bond with Jews worldwide.
Learning Hebrew enables our students to be full participants in Jewish worship in synagogue
and home rituals.
The Hebrew program at Vassar Temple is designed to promote fluency in reading and singing
prayers, the ability to decode key vocabulary, and an understanding of the concepts of the
Letter recognition and the learning of basic Hebrew terms begins in the primary grades as part
of Religious School as early as Kitah Aleph (Kindergarten). Our goal is that students will know
the Aleph Bet (Hebrew alphabet) by the end of Kitah Gimmel (3rd grade). In Kitah Dalet (4th
grade) students begin mid-week Hebrew school which currently meets on Wednesdays from
4:30 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. They will continue to have some Hebrew as part of Religious School on
Sunday mornings as well. From Kitah Dalet through Kitah Zayin (7th grade) students learn the
main prayers of the Shabbat worship service.
Classroom Hebrew learning is re-enforced in the weekly Tefillah (worship service) held during
Religious School on Sunday mornings. As students progress through the Hebrew program, they
have the opportunity to lead prayers during the service, either individually or in small groups.
This experience helps them gain more confidence, especially as they get closer to B’nei Mitzvah.
Attending Shabbat and holiday services of the congregation will only help to further
strengthen their skills and comfort level with the prayers and customs of the congregation.
During their Kitah Vov (6th grade) and Kitah Zayin (7th grade) years, students are expected to
attend a minimum of ten (10) Shabbat or holiday evening services and a minimum of three (3)
Shabbat or holiday morning services at Vassar Temple.
We use the Torah Aura curriculum provided by ShalomLearning. The online resources
enhance the classroom experience, providing interactive lessons and games. The curriculum
also offers ample enrichment activities that students can easily practice at home. Students
begin with the “Learn to Read” program which consists of 24 lessons including each letter and
vowel. In Kitah Dalet they advance to the Tefillah program that teaches the general and
literal meaning of the prayers. Students learn to connect to the prayers, read and chant
prayers, and understand the roots of keywords. There are video introductions and stories for
You can learn more about the Torah Aura curriculum and see samples of the lessons here:
https://www.shalomlearning.org/curriculum/hebrew-programs/torah-aura/. Students and
parents each receive login information to ShalomLearning that will give them access to both the
Judaic and Hebrew curricula so they can review all the materials at home. While homework is
generally not assigned, learning a foreign language requires regular practice, and student
progress will improve with practice at home between classes.
Students are required to attend a minimum of four (4) years of Hebrew school to become B’nei
Mitzvah at Vassar Temple. If a student enters our program from another religious school, the
rabbi will evaluate their Hebrew skills and determine the appropriate class. If a student is
unable to attend the mid-week Hebrew school, parents will need to hire a tutor to work with
their child using the Torah Aura curriculum. The rabbi can provide the names of suggested
tutors, but the parents make all the arrangements with and pay the tutor directly. The rabbi
will connect the tutor with the teacher so that the student will stay in alignment with the
progress of the class.
For More Information:
Rabbi Renni Altman directs the Hebrew program. For questions or more information, please