Youth Education

Youth Education


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SHJ Recommended Topical Curriculum for Children’s Education Programs


The Society for Humanistic Judaism (SHJ) has developed a recommended core curriculum for children’s education programs. The curriculum covers recommended topics for Kindergarten through grade 8. This curriculum does not include specific lesson plans. Topics included are:


  1. Hebrew Bible and Traditional Literature
  2. Community Service
  3. Comparative Religion
  4. Customs and Practice
  5. Ethics
  6. History
  7. Holidays
  8. Humanistic Judaism
  9. Languages (Hebrew, Yiddish, Ladino)
  10. Literature
  11. Music, Food, Arts and Crafts


Sunday School Curriculum


Developed by Harriet Maza, former principal of the Birmingham Temple Sunday School. Kindergarten-Grade 5.


Learning Bible Today: from Creation to the Conquest of Canaan

by Michael Prival


Presenting major biblical stories in a readable and accurate manner, while discussing the stories from a scientific point of view, this work gives parents and teachers the information they need to explain and discuss the stories with children. Aimed at grades six and up, this work is informational for adults as well and includes both stories and detailed discussion topics.


Literary Genius of the Bible

by Charlotte Nelson


This course contains a short introduction on mythology, the documentary hypothesis, a brief history of the News, and the organizational structure of the Bible.


Literary Genius of the Bible

Jewish Writers and Artists Developed

by Harriet Maza


A course outline and study guide to the lives and works of Jewish writers and artists, complete with background material to provide the appropriate historical perspective. The curriculum is suitable for middle school students.


Long, Long Ago Stories: How the World Began

by Grace Aviles


The myths of how humankind was created as passed on by the Eskimos, Huron Indians, Tahitians, Chinese, West Africans, Hebrews, and Sumerians, adapted for children from anthropological and biblical sources. Suited for home or classroom. Supplement with suggested teaching guidelines and activities to accompany stories included.


Heroes and Heroines of Jewish Folklore

by Joan M. Kurtz


This volume presents a collection of Bible stories that help children discover that the people of the Bible were not superheroes but ordinary people with strengths and weaknesses just like them.


Around & Around: Life Cycle Ceremonies

by Joan M. Kurtz


A text/workbook introducing the student to life-cycle events and rituals, building an awareness of and connection to Jewish ritual as they move through the cycle of their lives and also helping them to gain an appreciation of and attachment to their Jewish heritage.


Dr. Yudelman’s Computer and Other Plays for Children

by Leon Levenson


This collection of plays embodies a secular and humanistic point of view. The stories of “Shimon, the Stonecutter” and “Hanukka Gelt” are written with empathy for the struggles of ordinary people during difficult times. Three of the plays are stories for the holidays of Hanukka and Purim. Several of the plays are midrashim, involving various characters or scenes from Tanakh stories.