Tanach (Bible)

The study of Tanach (Hebrew Bible) at Solomon Schechter Day School roots students in their history and heritage, as Jews of the 21st century. Students become familiar with the figures and narratives of the Tanach. They also explore Jews' 3000-year-long individual and national relationship with God. The deep engagement of biblical dilemmas and choices builds moral decision-makers who integrate traditional values into their contemporary lives.

K through 2nd grade

Students in our early elementary grades are introduced to the study of Tanach through learning about the major figures and narratives in the Chumash, and begin to learn the structure and order of the parashot through their study in the TalAm curricular materials.

Third through Eighth Grades

All Bible programs in these grades are guided by a standards-based approach (the Jewish Day School Standards and Benchmarks Project) for the teaching of TaNaKH. The approach was developed by the Jewish Theological Seminary's Melton Research Center for Jewish Education.

The two primary standards chosen by Solomon Schechter Day School are:

  • Students will become independent and literarily astute readers of the biblical text in Hebrew.
  • Students will develop an appreciation for the sacredness of Tanakh as the primary record of the meeting between God and the people of Israel and as an essential text through which Jews continue to grapple with theological, spiritual, and existential questions.

These standards are scoped and sequenced to support grade-level-appropriate acquisition of skills that are components of the standard. The approach also incorporates assessments that synthesize student knowledge effectively in showing students' "big picture" enduring knowledge.

Third through Sixth Grades

Students in these grades use textbooks produced by the MaToK Program, the joint Torah Curriculum Development Project of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism's Department of Education and the Jewish Theological Seminary's Melton Research Center. The program aims to instill in children the view that the Bible is a text different in kind, and not only in degree, from every other type of text. It is sacred text which they are encountering, and, hence, the approach they take to reading it is deeper, more inquiring, and more reverent than the way they read other books. From the beginning of their Biblical studies students are engaged in the making of meaning through the interpretation of Biblical texts. Students study major narratives in the book of Bereshit (Genesis) in third and fourth grades, in the book of Shemot (Exodus) in fifth grade, and in major narrative sections of the remainder of the Chumash in sixth grade.

Seventh and Eighth Grades

In these grades, our students engage in a deep thematic study of key narratives related to individual journeys and Eretz Yisrael. They also continue to develop their independent reading skills. Students move from Torah study to the study of The Book of Prophets, beginning with Yehoshua (Joshua). Eighth graders study the literary art of the Tanach in Yonah (Jonah) and Shmuel I (Samuel), where they learn about the social transformation in Israel's shift to a monarchy.

 

Thank You Schechter

Our son and his friends were sitting on the floor at the JCC waiting for their basketball game to start. They were telling a teammate that they get to practice Hebrew every day. Then the boys started talking about their Torah portions, which they had received a few days earlier. Each boy was SO excited and they all started chanting their portions. It was awesome to see how proud and excited the boys were about their basketball game and their Torah portions! Thank you Schechter.

 

- Dina Shiner

From Generation to Generation

I loved being a Schechter student, and I treasure my Schechter friends to this day. Now, as a parent, I have a deeper understanding of the gift my parents gave to me and my brother and sisters. We want our children to experience what I had as a child -- a strong foundation of knowledge guided by Jewish history, tradition, and values. No other school can do this like Schechter.

 

- Ellen Dorfman Nathan

 

Only At Schechter

Unlike other schools, only at Schechter do general studies and Judaic Studies come together as one. Some people say it's like two worlds where there is no contact between the two worlds. I'm telling you -- there is a connection! We are part of the American culture, but at the same time, we keep our Jewish identity. We have learned from two worlds which appear to us as one. It was all a part of our daily schedule. We learned to be good citizens and also proud Jews. This only happens at Schechter....

 

- A Schechter Student

Our Schechter Community

For my Bat Mitzvah, I've decided to do a chesed project. With inspiration from a friend, I am making bracelets out of buttons called "button bracelets" that I am currently selling for $5 each. The money I am raising will go to my grade for our Israel trip fund. It is my hope that everyone will be able to go on the trip, because to me our Schechter community isn't the same without everyone included.

 

- A Schechter Student

A Love of Jewish Life

When I think about Schechter, I realize that Schechter not only provides a strong foundation of Jewish knowledge, it also fosters a love of Jewish life. As I get older, I realize the huge impact that Schechter has had on my life - who I am as a person and who I am as a Jew. Many of my closest friends are still my Schechter friends. It's great to see so many students today having the chance to experience what I had as a Schechter student.

Josh (Class of 2004) is pictured with one of his favorite teachers, Dr. Lena Kushnir, who is now principal of the Sager Elementary School.

 

- Josh Warshawsky

Our Community at Schechter

Our community here at Schechter is created by our connection to each other and to Judaism. At Schechter, we do not have all the same viewpoints or opinions about how to live life, practice Judaism, or affiliate politically. But community is not about sharing the exact same perspective as everyone else. Community is about having a safe environment in which everyone is able to share his or her own ideas without the fear that they will be judged or ridiculed.

 

- A Schechter Student

When I Think Of Schechter

When I think of Schechter, I think of my home, a place I feel comfortable and secure, a place where I feel accepted and understood, a place where I feel educated, and I place where I feel loved. Nothing can compare to the feeling that Schechter provides.

 

- A Schechter Student

A Strong Academic Foundation

As a Schechter graduate, I wanted my children to have the same intimate, nurturing environment that I had as a child at Schechter, as well as the strong academic foundation, connection to Israel, and love of Jewish life. It's wonderful to see how our children have thrived at Schechter and how well-prepared they are for high school. We are also proud of the people they have become -- their connection to Judaism and their values.

 

- Dr. Arica Feldman Hirsch

A Gift To Families

A Schechter education is more than a gift to our children, it is a gift to our family. The school provides a top of the line education in both general and Jewish studies. Every day students are challenged academically, and the nurturing atmosphere provides them with a sense of security and the confidence to excel.

 

- Susan Harris

Why I Love Schechter

In three words, Schechter is community, learning, and Judaism. Schechter is the type of community that promotes friendship, leadershipship, learning, fun, and most of all the love of being Jewish. Each day when I walk into school, I am greeted. Whether it's a security guard, a parent, a teacher, and sometimes even a student, I know that I'm starting my day in a community way.

 

- A Schechter Student

The Friendships Are Everlasting

The frienships that I have developed individually and as an entire grade have created bonds that are everlasting. Together we have shared life events -- receiving our first siddur, reading Torah, births, deaths, becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, and many others. The love and support of my classmates has helped to mold me into the person I am today. Schechter is like a second home to me. All the memories I have made and the lessons I have learned here will stick with me forever.

 

- A Schechter Student

Seems Like Yesterday

It was such a special moment when we witnessed our twins read from the Torah for the first time, along with their third grade classmates. It seems like only yesterday that they all were in kindergarten. It's been wonderful watching them develop these skills and to see their love for reading Torah.

 

- A Schechter Student

 

Community | Kehillah

SSDS is a community of students, families, educators, donors, and volunteer leaders who support
each other through times of joy and sorrow, forging life-long bonds of friendship
based on a shared commitment to each other and to Jewish life and learning.

Responsibility | Achrayut

As Jews, we are all responsible for one another. This sense of responsibility begins with, and extends
beyond, our SSDS community and includes giving tzedakah and improving our world.

Joy | Simcha

A Jewish life is a joyous life. SSDS provides a joyful learning environment for children,
families, and educators. Jewish holidays and life cycle events are an opportunity for everyone
to come together to celebrate and experience the richness of Jewish life.

Israel | Yisrael

Through Hebrew language education and immersion in Israeli culture, SSDS personalizes for its students
the American Jewish connection to Israel, instilling a passionate, lasting commitment to, and a sense of responsibility
for, the State of Israel.

Journey | Masa

SSDS welcomes and partners with parents to encourage and support their children and families
throughout their Schechter journey. We also promote a love of learning in our students, and create
opportunities for children, parents, families, educators, and volunteers to engage in life-long learning and growth.

In the Image of God | Btzelem Elohim

SSDS values the uniqueness and worth of every individual. Our school emphasizes respect, dignity,
inclusiveness, and compassion. We nurture the health, safety, and well-being of every member of our community.

Exemplary | Dugma

SSDS is committed to providing an education that weaves the best of General studies and Judaic
studies in an integrated program that is the benchmark against which Jewish day school programs are measured.

A partner with the Jewish United Fund in serving our community. We appreciate the generous assistance provided by the Bernard Heerey Family Foundation Seventh Grade Scholarship Program for our Schechter families. Solomon Schechter Day School accepts students and parents of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, sexual orientation or gender identity.

 

Administrative Office: 3210 Dundee Road, Northbrook, IL 60062 | 847.498.2100
©2014, Solomon Schechter Day School of Metropolitan Chicago