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Seattle Hebrew Academy

1617 Interlaken Drive E
Seattle, WA 98112

(206) 323-5750


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

From the Director:

Our curriculum, highly influenced by each child’s ability and interest, is primarily Torah, Shabbat, and holiday-based and integrates general studies within this context. Ivrit, Hebrew language, is integrated regularly into our daily lives in all classes and is emphasized mostly in the oldest class. Most of our children join us for more than one year, providing us the opportunity to build on the strengths and the curriculum base they carry with them from the previous year. We provide a sound general studies program and a strong Jewish curriculum, rich in Torah values; young children are like sponges in the way they learn and families from all backgrounds can benefit from our curriculum. When learning about the story of Noach and the Tevah (Noah and the Ark), for example, we may incorporate topics such as animals, counting by 2’s and 7’s, sinking and floating, animals, rain and flooding, transportation, etc. Preschoolers love rainbows and this is a great way to introduce them into our curriculum. We use this particular Torah portion as our introduction to color names (Hebrew and English), color mixing (color magic), and some coordinated ECEC-wide special color events. (excerpted from school website)

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

From the Director:

Our curriculum is created around the Jewish calendar and the weekly Torah portions. We learn about the world around us through Jewish eyes. The curriculum for each class is age-appropriate and engaging. Activities are offered with the children’s special interests and abilities in mind. Teachers offer creativity and enthusiasm; they promote a love of learning in a caring environment. Our curriculum offers children the opportunity to practice communication skills, social skills, fine and gross motor skills, and self-help skills. Play has an important role in an early childhood setting; whether playing alone or in groups, critical learning is taking place. Our child-centered program teaches midot (positive attributes) and mitzvot (commandments and good deeds) along with language, math, and science to help children develop interpersonal relationships, self-confidence, independence, and love of their Jewish traditions. Field Trips and class visitors are ways we enrich our program. We have welcomed such visitors as our neighborhood letter carrier, a beekeeper, a weaver and Canine Companions. We have visited or plan to visit some of Seattle’s special places, including the Children’s Museum, the Woodland Park Zoo, the Seattle Aquarium, Volunteer Park (and its Conservatory), the Seattle Art Museum, the Seattle Asian Art Museum, the Seattle Children’s Theater, puppet theaters, the Science Center, Kelsey Creek Farm, Seattle Symphony, and Camp Long. Our field trips are dependent upon the availability of parent drivers, who must have current CPR and First Aid training. Other forms of enrichment include our music and our creative movement sessions. A guest reader visits each class once a week and we have an all-school pre-Shabbat sing-a-long on Fridays. The Bookmobile arrives monthly from the Seattle Public Library system, allowing the children and teachers to supplement the books we have in our classroom. Our 4-year-old class has weekly swimming lessons . (excerpted from school website)

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Our educational philosophy is grounded in the idea of enabling each student to find his or her own best learning style. We call this student-centered education, and it is a proven approach for student success. Small class size and devoted teachers allow us to focus on each student as an individual with his or her own unique potential.

It is our task to help every student fulfill their potential and to make their journey exciting in the process.

Our Philosophy:
Recently a group of alumni, parents, and board members came together to develop an articulate "vision" for Seattle Hebrew Academy's future. They explored many concepts and ideas, choosing to re-focus on the core values that lead to the founding of this School a half-century ago.

Central to the philosophy they created is the sense of Covenant, knowledge of one's place in history, and a desire for each Jewish boy and girl to realize their potential and to have the opportunity to put more goodness into the world. To help "repair the world," as Jews throughout time have been called to do.

If you would like to receive a copy of this inspiring document, please contact us at 206.323.7933, Ext. 301 or via email. We conclude that it is not essential to be Orthodox in order to prosper from a Jewish Orthodox education.

(excerpted from school website)

A Typical Day

Our day is composed of a select balance of both small and large group activities: circle times, story times, arts and crafts, cooking and baking, science experiments, outdoor play, gross-motor acitvities, fine-motor activities, games and songs.

Home-School Connection

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Sit on the board of trustees
  • Fundraise
  • Are required to make donations ourselves
  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Go on field trips
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • Email
  • Special Meetings
  • Two or More Regular Conferences
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school