Chumash learning begins our students’ journey through the Torah, giving them skills in reading, translating and understanding while developing an appreciation for the lessons and concepts transmitted to us in the Torah. The goals of the Chumash curriculum are to increase students’ fluency in reading, translation, comprehension, and grammatical skills; to develop clarity in understanding; to study Rashi’s commentary and be introduced to additional commentaries; to develop a strong Chumash vocabulary; and to gain an in-depth understanding of the mitzvos, concepts and values in the Torah. This enables our students to become lifelong learners while incorporating these values into their daily lives.
At the beginning of the year, in preparation for learning Chumash, students practice and refine their reading skills while beginning their study of common prefixes. They also begin learning vocabulary words which they will encounter in the Chumash. Students will also learn the endings for plural masculine and plural feminine words. Students receive their Chumashim by Chanukah and begin studying Lech Lecha. The focus throughout will be on learning shorashim and prefixes, expanding their vocabulary, understanding story content and reading pesukim accurately and fluently.
Students complete Lech Lecha and Vayera, with a focus on content and deconstructing words. They learn about Avraham Avinu and how he was chosen by Hashem, the ten tests of Avraham, the destruction of Sedom, the births of Yishmael and Yitzchak, and Akeidas Yitzchak. Students will expand their Chumash vocabulary and become familiar with many shorashim. They also learn prefixes and suffixes that indicate definite articles, locations, plural, and gender.
Students learn Chayei Soroh, Toldos, Vayeitzei, Vayishlach and Vayeishev. These Parshios continue through the lives of Avrohom, Yitzchak, and Rivka; Yaakov, Leah, and Rachel; Eisav; the birth of the Shvatim and the sale and enslavement of Yosef. Students learn about the proper ways to serve Hashem, and how in the most difficult and spiritually-challenging situations, the actions of our Avos are a sterling example of how to live as a true Eved Hashem. Students begin to learn Rashi script, as well as syntax and form. The students will learn about Rashi’s life and an understanding of his Peirush. They will learn to identify Rashi’s answer and begin to recognize difficulties in the pesukim they are learning. To improve their reading skills, students will be taught Prefixes and Suffixes as well as binyanim, noun/adjective agreement in gender and number, personal and possessive pronouns, as well as other grammatical forms which will enable them to hone their translation skills.
Students complete sefer Beraishis - Mikietz, Vayigash, Vayechi - and begin Shemos. They will learn about Yosef’s dreams, his rise to power in Mitzrayim, the reconciliation between Yosef and his brothers, how the Jewish nation came to Mitzrayim, Yaakov’s final blessings to his sons, and the start of the Egyptian exile. Students will read Rashi intensively, identifying specific structures in Rashi and breaking down Rashi’s answer into units such as answer, proof, pasuk, conclusion. The goal is for students to be able to begin preparing Rashi on their own and start the process of chavrusa learning in class. Students will learn Avar and Atid in depth and will be able to identify the Shoresh of any verb. The similarities will be stressed between the seven binyanim, and students will be required to understand and use these forms.
Students learn Vaerah, Bo, B’Shalach and Yitro. They will learn about the Egyptian enslavement, the makos that G-d brought upon the Egyptians, the first mitzvah given to the Jewish nation, and Yetzias Mitzrayim and Krias Yam Suf. Students will continue to enhance their Rashi skills and analyze Rashi’s commentary, with an emphasis on distinguishing between peshat and derash. Students will be able to read Chumash and Rashi with confidence and will explore and internalize the moral lessons of the Torah.
Students learn Yisro, Mishpatim and Ki Sisa, then begin Bamidbar and continue through Naso, Beha’alosch and Shelach. Students will learn about Matan Torah, the Jewish People’s journey through the wilderness, the sin of the Golden Calf and the spies. The students continue to strengthen their Chumash and Rashi reading skills.
Please click Chumash Skill Curriculum Chart for an in-depth Chumash skills chart by grade level.