Aleph Champ

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Aleph Champ Hebrew Literacy Program

The Aleph Champ Hebrew literacy program is changing the way children in Hebrew Schools across the world feel about reading Hebrew. The way it used to be, students would dread taking out their reading books, having to go through the grueling drill of reading aloud and listening to everyone else in the class read. Now, ask any child in Hebrew School what is their favorite part of Hebrew School, and chances are, you will hear all about the Aleph Champ program.

What is Aleph Champ?

Here at Chabad Hebrew School we utilize a highly successful reading program called the Aleph Champ program. This program is designed with a theme and motivation similar to that of the traditional Karate system: using different colors to represent a hierarchy of levels in proficiency. This system is an incredible tool for our students, since it enables each student to work at his/her own pace and take pride as they master one level and move up to the next. The Aleph Champ program begins at the most basic level, ‘White’, in which students learn to identify the first half of the Hebrew alphabet. As the levels progress, the entire alphabet is mastered along with its accompanying vowels. A student completes the Aleph Champ program at the ‘Black level’, at which point they are able to read Hebrew fluently from a Siddur (Prayer book).

Who is it for?

This program is for grades 2 through 6. In the Kindergarten class as well as the first grade, students are introduced to the letters and vowels with tactile, kinesthetic and visual stimulation. By second grade, children are ready to begin working at their own pace and are responsible enough to complete their work in their own workbooks.

What makes it so successful?

With the Aleph Champ program, learning to read and write becomes tailor-made for each individual student. Rather than trying to find a level of reading where "most of the class" is at and just hope for the best for the rest of the students, this enables each child to work at his/her own pace. Another major advantage to the way to the program is designed is that there is a constant motivation for the child to want to read better just by the fact that he/she wants to be at the next level. It also is extremely helpful for students to have clear and reachable goals so that they can feel capable and confident that they will succeed.

How does it work?

Every Sunday at Hebrew School, each class will be spending 40 minutes in the ‘Aleph Champ’ room. During this time slot, they will be divided into small groups according to their ‘color’. Each group will be working under the guidance of a teacher, acquiring new reading skills and reinforcing these skills to master.

General Curriculum


Our Hebrew reading program begins with letter recognition for our youngest children, followed by phonetic decoding, reading, fluency, comprehension, and grammar concepts until they reach prayer literacy. Our goal is that upon graduation, every child will be fluent in and comfortable with reading Hebrew especially the common parts of the liturgy.


Lessons on each Jewish holiday will fill the calendar as we proceed from Rosh Hashanah and the High Holidays through Chanukah, Purim, Passover and the festival of Shavuot. The students will gain practical instruction in the traditions through arts & crafts and hands-on learning. They will also learn about the meanings of each holiday and their relevant customs and importance today.

Prayer & Song

Prayer time focuses on the study and understanding of prayer and the Siddur (prayer book). Students learn the meaning of each prayer as well as some key words to remember. They also learn wonderful songs both from the liturgy as well as songs about Jewish life and traditions.

Individual Curriculum

Exploring Jewish Life - Level 1

The students will explore and experience some basic fundamental mitzvos such as Shabbos, Tzedakah (charity), Mezuzah, Torah and more.

Grade 1:
Exploring Jewish Life - Level 2

The students will continue to delve into more of the essential mitzvos such as kosher, brachos (blessings/benedictions), tzitzis & kippah.

Grade 2:
My Jewish Home

The students will focus on mitzvos which help build a Jewish home, filled with Jewish customs, warmth, positivity and good character. They will explore mitzvos that build better human character and mitzvos which explore faith and belief in Hashem.

Grade 3:
Jewish History Pt. 1 - Creation to Exile

The students will learn all about the fascinating stories and characters from the time of creation through the time our ancestors settled in Egypt as described in the first section of the Torah - The Book of Bereishis (Genesis).

Grade 4:
Jewish History Pt. 2 - Exodus and Beyond

The students will continue learning about the trials and triumphs of the Jewish people from the time we came under Egyptian servitude through our exodus from Egypt, receiving the Torah and wandering in the dessert for 40 years.

Grade 5:
My Jewish Soul—The Treasure Within Me

The students will explore the special G‑dly spark we have inside of us, called our soul. Following a curriculum called the Treasure within Me, they will learn about our soul’s relevance and role in our life as a Jew.

Grade 6 & 7:

In the oldest class we will have comprehensive discussions and conversations about many of the fundamental mitzvos, customs, principles and traditions such as belief in Hashem, , Tefillin, divine providence, becoming familiar with Synagogue services and more.

Special Projects

Israel project:

The land of Israel, which we refer to as the ‘Holy Land’ is at the center of our Jewish tradition. The special Israel Project will help the children learn about biblical and modern Israel: the history, geography, people, food, technology, etc

Middos Project

Our sages teach us that fine character traits are one of the most important things to learn and acquire. In that vein we have begun a monthly Middos project. The Hebrew word for character trait is ‘Middos’ and every month we will focus on one trait and help the children learn the significance of it and how to practically apply it.


Basic biblical knowledge is the foundation for good Jewish literacy. This year we will be focusing on giving the kids an awareness of the key biblical stories, history, and teachings.

Upper Aleph Champ

For the children in the upper Aleph champ levels we will be introducing some basic conversational Hebrew skills such as word translation and basic conversation.

Ask the Rabbi

The children have been asking for it so we are glad to welcome back our ‘Ask the Rabbi’ sessions where the children get to ask the rabbi anything that is on their mind…. and maybe even stump him from time to time.