Heritage Programme


The Heritage Programme is a comprehensive course of Jewish learning, originally developed for teachers and parents of children at the Talmud Torah, at day schools and for supervised private study.

It proved of such interest to adults wishing to supplement their basic knowledge that it has now been published under the title  ‘Our Glorious Tradition’.  The book is now  issued for reference to students on the MONTEFIORE DIPLOMA COURSE. Copies are available from the Administrator, Montefiore Endowment.

The programme has six sections:

  • The Jewish Year – Shabbat, festivals, fasts and the Jewish calendar
  • Prayers and Ritual – the structure of Jewish worship, with its principal prayers and ritual framework
  • Jewish History and Culture – mainly from the end of the Biblical period to the present day
  • Concepts – a series of discussion papers in which key concepts fundamental to Jewish belief and practice may be debated in class workshops
  • The Cycle of Life – birth, Bar Mitzvah, Bat Mitzvah, marriage and death
  • Parashiot – a key selection of the weekly readings from the Torah, in print and on tape, with appropriate translations and explanations

There are over one hundred lesson packs, one for each topic, with some packs containing several lessons. The include:

  • Comprehensive notes for teachers or parents
  • Material which may be photocopied for children and their parents
  • Texts or illustrative extracts.
  • Pictures, charts and maps.
  • Audio-visual aids such as tapes, videos, CDs and material for overhead projection.

Hebrew reading, though essential, is not included as a separate subject for practical reasons. Excellent computer programmes and books are available to help teachers and students at all levels.

The Lesson Packs

  • God and creation
  • Revelation and reason
  • Human life and the world to come
  • The chosen people and the gentiles
  • Ethics and law
  • Reward and punishment
  • Commandments and prohibitions
  • The problem of freewill
The Jewish year
  • Shabbat
  • The New Moon and the Calendar
  • Rosh Hashanah
  • Yom Kippur
  • Succot
  • Hanukkah
  • Tu Bishvat
  • Purim
  • Pesah
  • The Omer and Lag Ba’Omer
  • Shauvot
  • Fast of Gedaliah
  • Fast of Tevet
  • Fast of Tammuz
  • The Three Weeks of Calamity
  • Tisha Be’Av
Prayer and ritual
  • Introduction to Tefillah
  • The Shema
  • The Amidah
  • The Kaddish
  • Alenu
  • Reading the Torah
  • Mezuzah
  • Tzitsit and Tallit
  • Tefillin
  • Kashrut
  • The Jewish Table
  • Birkat Hamazon
  • Kiddush
The cycle of life
  • Circumcision and Naming a Girl
  • Redemption of the First-born
  • BarMitzvah and BatMitzvah
  • Marriage and Divorce
  • Sex within marriage
  • Death and Mourning
Jewish history
  • The Beginning
  • Abraham, Father of Monotheism
  • The Birth of a Nation
  • The Conquest of Canaan
  • The Promised Land
  • Israel’s first King
  • David
  • The Kingdom of David and Solomon
  • Defeat and Exile
  • The Babylonian Exile
  • The Hebrew Prophets
  • The return to Zion
  • Babylon takes over
  • The Cairo Geniza
  • The Mediterranean World
  • The Ashkenazi Tradition
  • Northern Europe and the Crusades
  • Spain
  • Portugal
  • The Marranos of Spain and Portugal
  • The New World
  • The Marranos of Western Europe
  • The Ottoman Empire
  • Sephardi communities of the Exile
  • Poland and Lithuania
  • The Enlightenment
  • Amsterdam
  • England
  • Spanish & Portuguese Jews of London
  • The History of the Torah
  • Oral and Written Law
  • The Development of Mishnah, Midrash, Talmud, Codes of Law and Responsa Literature
  • Jesus and the Rise of Christianity
  • Muhammed and the Rise of Islam
  • The Holocaust
  • The State of Israel

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