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Beit Binah

Kinder-6th Grade

A human being is a spark of the divine. Nowhere do we witness this more than with our children. Jewish wisdom teaches that this spark must be nurtured and developed through study, acts of kindness, and relationships with trusted mentors. Such is the spirit of Beit Binah, at Kol Shofar, literally, "The place of understanding."

Our program for students in grades K-6 is designed to instill a foundational knowledge of Torah, prayer oriented Hebrew, and Jewish virtues that will serve as an inspiration for a further Jewish intellectual and spiritual development to last a lifetime. We are an egalitarian, inclusive program that blends traditional and contemporary learning through the lenses of relevant Torah learning, prayerful reflection, deeds of loving-kindness, and community. 

The Learning

The world depends upon three things:

Torah, Avodah (service of the heart) and Gemilut Hasadim

(acts of loving kindness)

- Mishnah, Avot 1:2

We employ a project-based curriculum guided essential questions and understandings, as well as identifiable units of knowledge and skills. Our curriculum is divided into three threads which interweave throughout the course of the year: Torah, Avodah, (prayer and meaning), and Gemilut Hasadim (acts of loving kindness). The following includes a condensed overview of the curricular goals for each grade level, which spiral forward from year to year. 

Kitah Gan – Prek/Kindergarten
Teacher – Rachel Berman

Rachel is a natural caregiver and a compassionate and patient mentor. Rachel believes in a holistic approach to education and growth in a nurturing environment. A former Mommy and Me teacher, Rachel moved from Florida to Tiburon, CA, to teach preschool at the Osher Marin JCC Tiburon in 2017. In 2020, Rachel became the owner of Ark Row Kids, a Preschool Enrichment Center in Downtown Tiburon.

The story of creation and how Shabbat is an important Jewish concept
The synagogue’s role in Jewish life.
What is a mitzvah?
Prayer is an important part of spiritual life, focusing on the prayer of gratitude.
Identify essential Hebrew letters.

Kitah Alef – 1st grade
Teacher – Joan Levison

Joan Levison has been a member of Kol Shofar since 1998. Joan enjoyed her substitute teaching at Kol Shofar so much that she is teaching first grade this year. She hopes to help introduce her first graders to the joy and community of Judaism. Joan is the Executive Director of Menorah Park, a HUD Section 8 building in San Francisco for low-income seniors. She is a past board president of Kol Shofar. She received her BA from Stanford University in Religious Studies and her MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

How do the stories from the Torah relate to me?
What kind of mitzvot apply to my life?
What is the benefit of praying in a group? The Shema is a central Jewish prayer.
The Jewish holidays make the year much more interesting.
Expand upon basic Hebrew letters and usage.

Kitah Bet – 2nd grade
Teacher – Sivan Oyserman

Sivan, her husband Michael, and their children have been members of Kol Shofar since 2014. Growing up in Israel, Sivan loved having Judaism wrapped around her in all aspects of life. As an Ema, she strives to raise her children with the same enthusiasm and love for their religion and culture. Her goal in the 2nd-grade classroom is to help students see how Judaism/Sunday School connects to their everyday life through crafts, activities, and learning the basics of the Hebrew language.

By day Sivan is the founder of Sivan.Made.Spaces a home/business organization group. Sivan also teaches with the American Heart Association in their BetterU program and is an elected board member of the Marinwood Community Services District. Sivan received her MBA from Drexel University and her BS in Cell Molecular and Developmental Biology from the University of Michigan.

What is the Torah exactly and who is the first Jewish family (Abraham and Sarah)?
Prayer as a method of relationship with ancestors, such as Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekkah.
How do we welcome people, such as in the story of Abraham and the angels?
Hebrew prayer skills, including the central prayer of Abraham.

Kitah Gimmel – 3rd grade

Stories of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob teach us the importance of family commitment.
The Shema is a prayer about commitment to the Jewish people and God.
How we treat those who are sick, as well as animals is a demonstration of our commitment to values.
Hebrew decoding and essential vocabulary.

Kitah Dalet – 4th grade
Teacher – sophia bloom/alona rafael

The story of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs lends to a physical and spiritual journey.
The concept of holiness is in prayer, people, God, and land.
How do we honor our parents?
Chanting and decoding basic Hebrew prayers.

Kitah Heh – 5th grade
Teacher – Todd Silverstein

Todd Silverstein served as High Holiday chazan at Kol Shofar from 1982 to 2016. He was born and raised north of New York City and attended UC Berkeley. He spent summers working at Camp Ramah and taught Jewish education classes for both young students and adults for many years. He became a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Willamette University. He retired in 2017 and moved back to the Bay Area with his partner, Rosalie. Todd is an accomplished musician, guitar, mandolin, bouzouki, penny whistle, and saxophone.

The identity as slaves and Moses as a leader offers a paradigm of Jewish ethics and thought.
What is the difference between intention and structure (keva and kavannah) in prayer and meditation?
Having the power to choose and destroy is exemplified in the holiday of Tu B’Shevat regarding wanton destruction.
Hebrew prayers such as Ashrei, the Amidah, and Shema and its blessings are emphasized.

Kitah Vav – 6th grade
Teacher – Marilyn Goodman

Marilyn, her husband David, and their family have been members of Kol Shofar since 1991. In addition to teaching 6th-grade at Kol Shofar, she is a Bar/Bat Mitzvah tutor. Marilyn has been a religious school educator for almost 20 years. In her professional life, she is a brand strategist and a marketing professor at City College of San Francisco. She finds inspiration in using Jewish values to guide her work with students and their families. Marilyn received her MBA in Marketing from the University of San Francisco and her BS in Business from UC Berkeley.

Independent use of the chumash (bible book) to evaluate the role of Moses and the people.
Taking care of the people also means taking care of ourselves with health and exercise (shemirat ha-guf).
Hebrew prayers according to the Bar/t Mitzvah are emphasized for leadership and proficiency.

Beit Binah Sunday Schedule

8:30 AM-12:00 PM

8:30 AM

Community bagel nosh
parents welcome!

9:00 - 9:30 AM

Tefilah prayer services
parents welcome!

9:30 - 11:40 AM

Classroom learning

11:40 AM - NOON

Kehillah prayer services
parents welcome!

 

Beit Binah Wednesday Schedule

4:00 PM-5:45 PM

4:00 PM

Perek Alef
1st period of classroom learning

4:40 PM

Hafsakah
recess

4:50 PM

Perek Bet
2nd period of classroom learning

5:30 PM

Tefilah prayer services
parents welcome!

5:45 PM

Dismissal

 

Sat, February 4 2023 13 Shevat 5783