Prayer is integrated into the daily life of Krieger Schechter Day School. Each day includes a prayer experience in the Chapel or the classroom. Students learn the skills to be strong participants in synagogue services, and they explore age-appropriate concepts about God, community and prayer.
Lower School Services (K-4)
Every Monday, the entire Lower School joins together for Tefillah and announcements in the Chapel. All students actively participate in the service and students in Grade 4 summarize the week's Torah portion (Parashat HaShavuah) in Hebrew. In addition, Junior Congregation Shabbat services are a great way for children to practice what they have learned.
A major milestone in the Lower School is when each student gets his or her own prayer book, or Siddur. Parents and grandparents join us for the event, called Siyyum Hasefer.
Prayer in Middle School (5-8)
In the Middle School, students have the opportunity to explore the meaning of prayer by engaging in discussions that help them define their relationship with God and foster positive attitudes about prayer. Prayer experiences can involve the entire grade-level or take place in small groups. They also include weekly electives on topics within prayer.
All prayer services are egalitarian. Discussions are open to all viewpoints, and also offer the perspective of the Conservative Movement. Students learn the difference between routine prayer (keva) and heartfelt spirituality (kavannah) as they daven and move through a prayer curriculum that focuses on the daily morning service.
Students in fifth grade learn the cantillation for the chanting of the Torah, and all Middle School students utilize this skill at Torah services throughout their middle school years. In the Middle School, students take ownership of their prayer experiences, leading the services and creating a community together.
Sixth graders learn the Kabbalat Shabbat/Ma’ariv services, and share their knowledge at a family Friday night service and dinner. Seventh graders focus on the mitzvah of tallit and tefillin in preparation for becoming B'nei Mitzvah. Eighth graders enjoy the privilege of reading the Megillah on Purim. Their prayer skills are well utilized on the class trip to Israel, when they pray together throughout the trip on weekdays and on Shabbat.
See the Judaics & Hebrew description of the Lower School curriculum to learn about how study of the Bible is introduced in Kindergarten-Grade 4. The Bible section of the Middle School curriculum describes how biblical study and analysis is introduced from Grade 5 through Grade 8.