When many parents think of the concept of curriculum, they focus on units of study that include shapes, colors, transportation, the seasons or bugs. Here at Bet Torah topics like those are included in our secular curriculum while the study of Jewish holidays, customs and traditions also are components of our Judaic curriculum. Woven together these two strands of our curriculum fill each day with wonder, discovery and learning. The early years in your child’s education are also pivotal in developing moral behavior and life-long Jewish values, another vital strand in the Bet Torah Nursery School curriculum.
Each day our teachers impart and model good values and practices, laying the ground work for children learning and “living the learning.” This year in particular, we are focusing school wide on threeearly childhood Jewish values: Gemilut Hasadim, doing kind and righteous deeds, Kibbud Horim u'Morim, honoring parents and teachers, and Talmud Torah, the study and telling of Bible and holiday stories.
The most familiar of these values for most families is tzedakah or charity. We encourage our children to bring in coins for the class tzedakah box on Friday.
But did you know that the shoresh or root of this Hebrew word has a wider connotation? Tzedek means justice and righteousness. Giving tzedakah is the just and right thing to do. It’s giving back. It can include giving money, clothing, food or time in doing good deeds.
Last fall, the Nursery School donated our former tables and chairs to an area preschool center in dire need of furniture. Recently Nursery school families helped collect juice boxes for Midnight Run while students decorated the lunch bags in which the meals would be distributed. Many of you recently contributed items to the rummage sale which provided an inexpensive means for many less fortunate in the community to purchase clothing and housewares.
In May, we highlight nursery school “mitzvah makers” and focus on good deeds done that month. This year (throughout the year), make a point of showing your children that tzedakah is more than pennies in a pushka. Make mitzvah month, every month and share the good news with us. We’re happy to highlight your acts of kindness on our bulletin board and in our newsletter.
Jewish values and the mitzvot and behaviors that result all help to make us kadosh (holy and special). As we teach these values to our children we forge a foundation that will remain for the rest of their lives.