Hebrew & Judaica

Hebrew & Judaica

The culture and climate of CJA reflects an unconditional love and joy of Judaism. Regardless of family affiliation or level of Jewish involvement, students develop a wholesome and meaningful awareness of their own Jewish identity and spirituality, as well as access to Hebrew print and conversation.


CJA students are introduced to the Hebrew alphabet in preschool. During their pre-kindergarten and kindergarten years, students are engaged in a variety of age appropriate pre-reading experiences. Through play and investigation, games and lessons, students become familiar with Hebrew print, letters and sounds. Hebrew vocabulary is introduced in context of daily life, school and holiday experiences.

Upon entering first grade at CJA students begin the TalAm program of Hebrew language instruction. It is a comprehensive program of language and culture which uses best researched practices in language instruction. The program includes music and technology, as well as a visual component. Children read Hebrew texts, starting in the first grade, and continue to develop skill and competency throughout their day school years.

In middle school traditional and contemporary texts and authors are introduced. By eighth grade the CJA student has enjoyed works by authors such as S. Agnon and L. Goldberg. Our graduates are well prepared in the area of Hebrew language arts to meet the challenges of the Jewish high school of their choice, including Israeli bagrut programs.

Prayer – Tefila

The students of CJA are afforded a guided and age appropriate opportunity for traditional Tefila from Nursery until graduation. The prayer is a joyous community experience, complete with song, and in the preschool, with dance. The prayer in preschool lasts about five minutes, in the early grades fifteen minutes, and in elementary school thirty minutes.

The middle school Tefila program takes place in the Shul (the synagogue). The students join the minyan and participate when appropriate. Their Tefila program is limited as well to thirty minutes.


The language, geography, and history of our holy land are taught from preschool through the eighth grade. Events of recent history are observed; contemporary Israeli culture is introduced. Whenever possible, our students visit Israel as their graduation trip, to see for themselves, and to be inspired by the miracle of our thriving homeland.

Nursery & Preschool

Hebrew music and song, various holiday taste and feel activities, Hebrew language and print are a major part of the nursery and preschool’s environment.

As early as age two, little ones enact the stories of the holidays and traditions through activities of movement and song. In the kindergarten Torah stories and personalities are discussed and Hebrew skills & vocabulary are expanded.

With parties and special events, holiday festivals and fairs, hands on holiday workshops and ceremonies, CJA Preschool and Kindergarten programs are rich in their joyful Judaic program.

Grade School

Grades 1-5 enjoy the integrated TaLAM curriculum along with many school holiday celebrations and hands on activities.

Parsha – the weekly Torah portion program, begins in the first grade.

Textual torah study – Chumash, begins in the second grade and continues seamlessly through the sixth grade. The content, themes and skills gradually become more demanding; challenging, but appropriate to each age group.

One of the TaLAM program’s highlights is the virtual characters and virtual classroom that decorate the wall posters and workbooks, and are part of the learning process at every step of the way. The characters grow along with the student through the elementary school. The virtual class characters deal with family and social issues of diverse nature including real life experiences and challenges of the student’s life.

The students at CJA think critically to examine life’s problems and dilemmas by applying values learned in the Torah and tradition to their everyday lives. Opinions are evaluated and compared, applied and criticized employing all levels of higher thinking.

Middle School

In middle school original texts and commentaries are employed in the studies of Torah and tradition. Students are engaged in independent study of these resources and are invited to respond to the sources on all levels. Values and life skills are integrated in the study. Prophets, History and Philosophy are added as well.

Students are invited to communicate about their developing identity and values in the context of the past present and future.

About TaLAM Hebrew and Judaica Curriculum

TaL AM and Tal Sela are a unique curriculums of Hebrew Language Arts and Jewish Studies geared to students in Grades 1 to 6.

Based on years of research on the principles of language development and learning patterns, these two programs are nurturing a generation of Jewish children around the world who are literate in the Hebrew language and equipped with the knowledge, skills and commitment they need to live vibrant Jewish lives.

This curriculum was developed by a dynamic team of writers and teachers in Montreal and in Israel, led by Covenant Award recipient Tova Shimon.

How does it work?

The entire structure of the TaL AM and Tal Sela programs is based on the notion that the best learning environment for children is one in which knowledge is acquired through a variety of activities, using each of the five senses. In addition to studying from textbooks, students use music, games and visual aids to learn the Hebrew language and to develop a keen understanding of Jewish concepts and values.

Students develop their Hebrew and heritage literacy in a gradual and spiraled process, building new ideas and concepts a top an expanding foundation of knowledge. The program gradually helps foster Jewish identity by allowing children to explore their Jewish roots and traditions in a fun and exciting manner. By making the study of Hebrew and Judaism relevant to the children’s everyday lives, the program enables them to develop a true appreciation of their heritage and understand the need for continued, lifelong Jewish study.

Who uses it?

Every year, a growing number of students enjoy the benefits of the TaL AM and Tal Sela programs. At last count, the program has been implemented in 420 schools around the world, enriching over 29,000 students in Canada, the United States, Europe, South Africa, South America, Australia and Asia.

For more information visit www.talam.org