Elementary Kriah/Hebrew Reading Curriculum

Hebrew language reading (Kriah) is the foundation of all Torah learning, prayer, and Jewish knowledge. Precision and fluency are among the most fundamental skills that your child will acquire in his or her development as a student and as a productive member of the Jewish community.

Hillel Academy’s kriah program is an essential part of our kindergarten and first grade curricula, with the goal of establishing reading skills that will last a lifetime. Kriah review continues throughout the elementary years, supplemented by reading in Chumash, Navi, Ivrit and other Judaic subjects, which further builds on students’ reading fluency.

In kindergarten, students review the א-ב, begin to learn the vowels, and begin reading readiness activities. Continuous review of previous material maintains reading readiness and skills. Students are introduced to all of the vowels and their sounds and are taught to sound out basic and multi syllable words, including the more advanced end blends.

The first grade Kriah program begins with a thorough review of the letters and vowels, as this constant foundational review is essential to mastering reading fluently. Students then develop more refined reading skills, including shva na and shva nach as well as atypical vowelization.

Differentiated instruction in Hebrew reading groups gives each child individualized instruction and skill building on his or her own level. Students build confidence and fluency and gain the skills that will enable them to become lifelong learners.

Please refer to the Kriah Benchmark Skills chart for detailed information on Kriah expectations throughout the lower elementary grades.


Kriah Benchmark Skills, Grades K-4


Mid Kindergarten

Letter recognition: letters and vowels by name,  and sounds,  recognition and blending to form syllables

End of Kindergarten

uncomplicated word reading

2-3 or 3-4 syllable word

Mid First Grade

multi syllabic complex word

nominal sentence

End of First Grade

Reading with application of refined rules Shva Na Shva Nach/ Shin-sin/ Hidden cholam/ unvoweled ending letters / ending patach ches / voweled sofiot / ending yud-vav

Mid Second Grade

Sentence reading / application of refined reading rules / words read as words, not consonants/ 21 WPM

End of Second Grade

Sentence reading / application of refined reading rules / words read as words, not consonants/ 25 WPM

Mid Third Grade

Sentence reading / application of refined reading rules / words read as words, not consonants/ 30 WPM

End of Third Grade

Sentence reading / application of refined reading rules / words read as words, not consonants/ 30 WPM

End of Fourth Grade

Sentence reading / application of refined reading rules / words read as words not consonants/ 35-40 WPM