This project is based on several assumptions:
First, every parent wants to connect with his/her children and s/he strives to educate them to
find favor and attain wisdom in the eyes of both God and man. Secondly, the torah is the
wellspring of our lives as Jews, and from it we draw our world of values. Thirdly, in our busy
lives, most parents find little quality time to spend with our children during the week.
This project is designed to provide a program of weekly learning sessions between parents and
their preschool children, ages 4 – 5.
The content of these sessions is based on the weekly parasha. The program attempts to present
the Biblical text according to its plain meaning (Pshat). In each weekly portion, a topic has
been selected which focuses on a particular value in order to teach and help the child internalize
these values through torah study. The unspoken, but ever present message in this approach is that
the torah constitutes our entire world as well as everything surrounding it.
A description of the session: In order that each child receive maximum attention from the parent,
it is proposed that the session be held with each child individually. The parent should plan the
meeting with this particular child and his specific needs in mind (without taking into consideration
the needs of the other sibs in the family). Thereby the child will have the opportunity to express
himself freely and to internalize the topic of discussion at his own level of understanding. The
time spent in these meetings will be special and personal, with the intention that the child will
look forward to these sessions and will feel extremely positive about them.
Time of the meetings: The sessions are intended for Shabbat. In the nature of things, on Shabbat
the parent is less pressured than during the week. An added advantage of choosing Shabbat for
the activity is the reduction of outside stimuli, such as television and telephone.
The intention of this program is that these sessions will influence the home atmosphere and will be
used as an educational model for desirable communication between the parent and child.
The program consists of several stages for work on each parasha:
A preparatory task which the parent and child do together during the week.
The core of the project: the meeeting on Shabbat.
A concluding weekday session following the Shabbat encounter.
This project presents sample programs for two parashot: Matot-Masei and Haazinu. These weekly torah
portions were selected because of their problematic content for young children. An attempt was made
to demonstrate how these particular parashot can be translated into meaningful material for parents
and their young children, both demonstrating a particular value while maintaining the integrity of
a developmentally appropriate approach.