At Charlotte Jewish Preschool, Judaism is the foundation for the curriculum in each classroom, and serves as a road map for our teachers to develop their lessons. Jewish values are at the heart of classroom themes and they drive the provocations that teachers plan for their students. In addition to a Judaic-infused classroom curriculum, each class attends special classes (Story Time, Music, and Growth through Gardening) throughout the week that also use Judaic values and concepts at their foundation. Students explore all of the chagim (Jewish holidays) from Rosh Hashanah through Shavuot, while learning about the Judaic values that inspire our day-to-day behavior.


When there is not a Jewish holiday forthcoming, students explore Torah stories and Jewish folk tales that inspire the five Judaic values at the heart of our school: B’tzelem Elohim, Kavod, Kehillah, Limud, and Tikkun Olam. These values are at the core of every interaction among all of our stakeholders, from the youngest student to the most seasoned teacher.

We find that living and modeling Judaic values is the best way to teach them to our children.


Dramatic play, science, math, blocks, and fine motor are just some of the avenues students use to explore each holiday and value in their classroom. From shaking the lulav and etrog at Sukkot, to planting seeds on Tu B’Shevat, our students are learning by doing.

Every Friday, the school gathers for a Shabbat service led by our music specialist. We model a traditional Shabbat service by lighting the candles and singing the brachot together, followed by Kiddush, hamotzi, and lively Shabbat music and songs. A Rabbi or Cantor from our partner synagogues, Temple Israel and Temple Beth El, join us for a brief story before students return to their classrooms for challah and grape juice.


During Shabbat, our students have the opportunity to give tzedakah (charity), coins and dollar bills, for those in need. At the end of the month, we count up the money we have collected and choose an organization to support.

In the past, we have given tzedakah to: Jewish National Fund, Mitey Riders, Shalom Bayit, Thompson Child & Family Focus, and Classroom Central, among others. We also support Israeli charities such as Save a Child’s Heart, Shalva Children’s Center, Israel Sports Center for the Disabled, and Krembo Wings.

A few times during the school year, we organize a drive to collect items for our partners or organizations in need. We support the sister schools of our Temples through school supply drives, and we support Jewish Family Services with food drives throughout the year, as well as a toy drive before Chanukah. Our students learn the value of helping others by actively participating in collecting and distributing items to their recipients.


Rosh Hashanah

  • Rosh Hashanah is a time of new beginnings
  • Symbols and traditions of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year

Yom Kippur

  • Yom Kippur is a time to say "sorry" for our mistakes and work to improve ourselves
  • Rituals of Yom Kippur


  • Customs of Sukkot including building and decorating a Sukkah
  • Sitting and eating in the Sukkah

Simchat Torah

  • Simchat Torah marks the end and the beginning of reading the Torah
  • The Torah is a collection of stories about the Jewish People
  • The Torah teaches us how to be good people through mitzvoth


  • We light the Chanukiyah to remember the miracles of Chanukah
  • Miracle of the victory
  • Miracle of the oil

Tu B'Shevat

  • It is a New Year for the trees
  • Reinforcing ties to Israel by eating fruits associated with the land
  • Planting trees in Israel


  • We read the story of Esther from the Megillah
  • Purim is a festive holiday celebrated with food and costumes for disguise


  • We were slaves in Egypt
  • We were led by God with the help of Moses
  • Students will learn Dayeinu, the Four Questions, and other age-appropriate songs/blessings for the seder
  • Students will recognize the symbols on a seder plate and explain their significance

Counting of the Omer

  • This is the time that the Jewish people waited to receive the Torah

Yom Ha'atzma'ut

  • Israel's birthday
  • Israel is the homeland for the Jewish people and is a special place for us
  • Students will identify the Israeli flag and use dramatic play to visit special places in Israel

Lag B'Omer

  • An outdoor celebration of a day to rejoice!


  • The Jewish people received the Torah at Mount Sinai and became God's chosen people

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