The inquisitive nature of Judaism, which invites the curious to explore, discover, and debate, provides the ideal learning environment. Holidays and heritage encourage shared experiences that foster community. Brawerman is often credited for “making mensches” and much of this is derived from the ethical standards established in the Torah.
Message from Susan Goldberg, School Rabbi
Jewish learning is vibrant and alive at Brawerman Elementary School East. Our tradition, temple, and school focus on Torah, Avodah, and Gimilut Hasadim. Torah is both the wisdom texts of our tradition and the wisdom and creativity brought to the tradition from the lives of the students. Through story, theater, art making, and study, Brawerman East students integrate Torah in all aspects of the school in many inventive and meaningful ways.
Avodah is worship, prayer, and ritual. Our t’filah (prayer) curriculum explores the Hebrew words, the inner meanings of the prayers, and the students’ personal experiences through writing, drawing, music, and movement. Our communal t’filah is filled with ruach (spirit) and helps to strengthen the community connection between students, teachers, administrators, and parents that is at the heart of the school. Gimilut Hasadim are acts of loving kindness. Inspired by the possibilities of Shabbat the Problem Solving Fridays curriculum was created to allow students to think deeply and act with compassion in areas of our world and community needing care. The care and concern for the world also includes the care and concern for each other. Brawerman Elementary School East is committed to creating a community where we all think about our words and actions in our day-to-day interactions. This too is part of our ancient tradition.
Judaic studies is not a single class rather it is integrated into the fabric of the school. Whether singing a prayer, running for a Purim scavenger hunt, or thinking about how to talk to someone on the playground, the students are in dialogue with the Jewish tradition and both the students and the tradition are better for it.
Hebrew, the ancient holy language of our people and a dynamic modern language, is an important vehicle for communication. Students build on skills acquired through a proficiency approach to language acquisition by conversing, writing, and reading in modern Hebrew, as well as reading basic traditional Jewish texts. Additionally, studies show the acquisition of a second language helps in brain development, particularly in the area of mathematics. The best time to acquire a second language is during these elementary school years.
Brawerman's integrated Judaic Studies program nurtures the mind, soul and heart of each student. Our conviction is Jewish identity in all its forms, supports the Jewish future. Our school community embraces diversity of Jewish thought and practice. Each student brings to the discussion a particular experience of Jewish life enjoyed in his or her own family, and participates in ongoing tikkun olam activities. An invigorating facet of our Jewish holiday curriculum is parent participation in school-wide holiday celebrations, which enhances their own connection to Judaism and our community. On the path to developing Jewish identity that lasts a lifetime, students explore the rich and varied tradition of Judaism through text and history, ritual and spirituality, arts, culture, language, and expression. Students are taught Judaism's moral and ethical roots to prepare them for living lives informed by our rich tradition. Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people, is a central component of the Judaic curriculum.
Journey through the murals at Wilshire Boulevard Temple, a curriculum exploring Jewish history.
The Wilshire Boulevard Temple Mural Curriculum invites students to "step inside" the 1929 Warner Murals that envelop the sanctuary of our historic Los Angeles synagogue. By traveling back in time through the detailed imagery of this 320-foot frieze, students experience the sweep of Jewish history from Abraham to the discovery of America, as well as the traditions that connect us as a People. By looking closely at the murals, journeying into the historical time, and understanding the stories they tell, students discover themselves in the ongoing continuum of Jewish life.
Envisioned by Rabbi Edgar Magnin, who understood the visual power of both the great cathedrals of Europe-- and the new motion pictures of Hollywood, the murals were designed to encircle the Temple's domed neo-Byzantine sanctuary and surround and inspire worshipers with their history. The murals were a gift of movie studio moguls Jack, Harry, and Abe Warner, who were Temple members. The Warner Brothers donated the services of their studio art director and mural painter Hugo Ballin to produce the paintings, in close consultation with Rabbi Magnin. In 2013, as part of an extensive renovation of the Sanctuary, the murals were painstakingly restored to their original vibrancy.
This curriculum helps maximize the potential of these rich narrative images as a touchstone for exploration and learning. Each section of the mural leads students into the historic landscape where they explore both daily life, and the magnitude of the personalities and events depicted in these compositions.