Young boys and girls being educated in modern Orthodox schools take for granted changes in society that have resulted from the new values of gender equality. Girls and boys are exposed to women who are actively involved in public life. Their mothers, aunts and neighbors are successful professionals, doctors, lawyers, professors, business people, researchers and scientists. Yet the women they encounter in the texts are often portrayed as having more private, domestic roles. We want our children to relate to meaningful role models among the biblical characters, to feel pride in themselves and in their culture. Boys and girls benefit equally from learning about men and women of character and virtue who serve as role models.
This curriculum is designed to supplement regular lesson plans in school or to enrich studies at home. Teachers and parents may choose to teach all the units, or may select those units that best fit the students’ needs. Although the units connect thematically to one another, each stands alone.
Each unit can be adapted to specific lesson plans. Boxes labeled “Teaching Tip” or “Note to Teacher” signal moments for further development or adaptation. In addition, the curricula offer technical suggestions for implementation and advice for handling multiple student needs. At the end of each unit are separate student worksheets for chevruta work.
Throughout the curricula, activities are included to address various students' strengths, including verbal/linguistic, visual/spatial, logical/mathematical, naturalist, musical, bodily/kinesthetic, intrapersonal, and interpersonal. Each unit contains triggers and learning activities designed to reach different types of learners.
The curricula have been used in several schools in the New York area including SAR Academy, Ramaz, Yavneh Academy, and Yeshivat Noam.