Judaic Curriculum

Early Childhood

Hebrew immersion begins in the Early Childhood division. The children learn the language organically through conversation and holistically through writing, speaking and listening.

Beginning in Gan (4 year olds), half the school day is dedicated to Hebrew Studies which are taught in Hebrew- עברית בעברית (ivrit b’ivrit). This continues in Mechinah (5 year olds), in addition to the students learning the language one-on-one with the Rav Mechinah. Proficiency in the language is developed on each child's individual level and letters, vowels, words and sentences are taught in preparation for elementary school.

Gan and Mechinah sing תפילה (prayer) and פזמונים (songs and melodies) daily with Rav Shelomo Levi. This is consistent with the Aleppian tradition. All early childhood students participate in a weekly kabbalat shabbat program which incorporates both Hebrew and English songs to celebrate shabbat.

Lower School

Barkai implements a system of Torah learning that is sequential and comprehensive. The חומש בפשט – the simple meaning of the Torah, is completed in the following order:

1st Grade - Students become acquainted with the Humash (התמצאות בחומש). They complete Parashiyot Beresheet and Noah.
2nd Grade - פר בראשית ס(Beresheet)
3rd Grade - שמות (Shemot)
4th Grade - ויקרא (Vayikrah)
5th Grade - במדבר (Bemidbar)
6th grade - דברים (Debareem) Each students has completed the entire Hamisha Humshe Torah, word for word.

A typical lesson is organized in the following manner:
1. Introduction to what will be learned that day
2. Learn the פשט (simple meaning) of the פסוקים (verses) for the day
3. Shinun - Each class reads the פסוקים (verses) of the day together and out loud.
4. Summarize the lesson and complete an exercise based on the unit learned

פרשת השבוע (weekly parasha) is introduced at the 1st grade level and advances through each grade.

Students enter 1st grade with an established basis of the Hebrew language. After a quick review, they proceed to more complex topics including טעמים (musical cantellation), and שוא נע ונח (sheva na v'nah). Each child receives his/her own Humash at the mesibat humash and begins to learn פרשת בראשית בפשט (simple meaning of Parashat Beresheet). At this stage of development, the simple translation is taught, understood and built upon in later grades. By the end of the year, פרשת נח (Parashat Noah) is completed.

Each grade reviews past material while they learn new material.

Middle School

5th-8th Grades

While learning the פשט of במדבר (simple meaning of Bemeedbar), students
begin to learn נביא (Navi) with the book of יהושע (Yehoshua). By year-end, יהושע ושופטים (Yehoshua v'Shofteem) are taught בפשט (simply). By the end of 8th grade students
complete נביאים רשאנים (Yehoshua, Shofetim, Shemuel I & II, Melakhim I & II).

Rashi is taught in depth beginning in 7th grade. Students cover ספר בראשית ושמות (sefer Beresheet and Shemot) along with the requirements of the BJE.

Every Friday, the students gather for a kabbalat shabbat program given by Rabbi Joseph Dweck, our Rosh Yeshivah. Key themes of that week’s פרשה (parashah) are discussed and related to the students' lives.

משנה (Mishnah) is introduced to both the boys and girls but in different capacities.

Boys complete סדר מועד (Seder Moed) between 5th and 8th grade.

Girls receive a strong understanding of משנה (Mishnah), the sources of הלכות (laws), תורה שבעל פה (the oral Torah), history of the תנאים ומוראים (t'naeem v'moraeem) and its relevance to our own history. By the end of 8th grade, 4-5 מסכתות (tractates) are completed.