Jewish beliefs and practice



Key Questions

  1. What symbols are used in Judaism?
  2. What does the term ‘God’ mean to Jews?
  3. What do Jewish scriptures have to say?
  4. Why is prayer important in Judaism?
  5. How are beliefs shown in Jewish festivals?
  6. How do religious beliefs affect the daily life of a Jew?


About the unit

In this unit pupils learn about key beliefs and practices of Judaism. Using a variety of written and visual sources they learn about and understand some ways in which religious belief informs religious practice today. The unit offers opportunities for pupils to examine and reflect on issues of faith. Pupils encounter Judaism’s teachings at first hand, and develop their understanding of the Torah. They evaluate the relationship between religious beliefs and practice in society today. It contributes to the study of citizenship.

This unit is expected to take approximately 7 hours.

Where the unit fits in

This unit may be taught in year 8. It builds on unit 1D ‘Beliefs and practice’ in the key stage 2 scheme of work by looking in greater depth at the nature of faith and how it informs what religious people believe and do.

This unit prepares pupils for GCSE RE/RS by developing their understanding of the relationship between scripture and modern practice, ethics and belief.


At the end of this unit

most pupils will: explain what is meant by the term ‘God’ in different religions and how God may be known and worshipped within Judaism; understand how the use of symbols in Judaism is a help to the believer; understand ways in which Jews express their belief in God through the way that they live their lives, eg through prayer, taking part in festivals and community action; compare and contrast thoughtfully some responses to ways in which Jews serve their community; identify beliefs of others that they agree or disagree with, explaining their reasons, and make informed responses to questions about other people’s values and commitments in the light of their own learning; reflect on questions about the purpose of human existence, formulating their own responses

some pupils will not have made so much progress and will: show their knowledge and understanding of the main beliefs and practices within Judaism; have an understanding of what belonging to a religious community involves, eg prayer and community action; understand the meaning of some religious symbols and use some religious technical language correctly; identify beliefs of others that they agree or disagree with, and explain at least one reason for doing so; reflect on questions about the purpose of human existence

some pupils will have progressed further and will: use their knowledge and understanding of principal beliefs and teachings in Judaism to explain in detail what it means to belong to a faith community; illustrate their answers with modern examples of religious belief and practice; evaluate information that they learn about, showing an appreciation for detail and clear thinking; be able to make informed decisions about questions of meaning and purpose encountered in their course of study

Prior learning

It is helpful if pupils have:

Language for learning

Through the activities in this unit pupils will be able to understand, use and spell correctly words relating to the study of:

Speaking and listening – through the activities pupils could:

Reading – through the activities pupils could

Writing – through the activities pupils could


As well as a range of textbooks and other published resources, this unit will be enhanced by the use of original ancient and modern materials from religious sources, including:

Out of school learning

Pupils could:

Future learning

Pupils could go on to: