Upper School

Judaic Studies

7/8 Chumash

This two year, text based course covers the selected passages in the books of VaYikra and BaMidbar (Leviticus & Numbers) in their original, Hebrew text. The dual foci of this course are text and storyline.  Over the two years, the goals is for students to master the ability to read, punctuate, translate and explain verses, moving from beginner to intermediate level in their ability to decipher Rashi. Moderate exposure to other commentaries (e.g. Ramban and Ohr HaChaim) over the course prepares students for high school Chumash courses. Emphasis is placed on reinforcing mastery of Hebrew root words, prefixes and suffixes as well as concepts frequently employed by Rashi.

The storyline in Vayikra covers the paramount episode where Hashem’s Presence first resided on the Mishkan, Kashrut and numerous mitzvot in parshat Kedoshim. Bamidbar focuses on the episodes of The Spies and Korach.

Chumash classes also cover the weekly parsha. In addition to the overview, emphasis is placed on amassing general Jewish Literacy known as Yiddiot Klaliot which includes a familiarity with the general topics of each parsha.

7/8 Gemora

This 2 year, text-based course follows our 6 year Talmud Tractate rotation (all classes in the Upper School learn the same text but on different levels of complexity). The rotation includes chapters from the following Tractates; Berachot (2 years), Sukka, Pesachim, Kiddushin, and Bava Metzia. Students study the Talmud from its original Aramaic text. The primary foci of this course are textual and conceptual. Textual skills include understanding the layout of the Tractate and page of Talmud, accumulating an understanding of the common phrases used to punctuate the Talmud, key phrases, and beginner to intermediate level of reading comprehension. Analytical and processing skills are emphasized as well. Concepts include understanding the Talmudic process in general as well as the particular concepts, questions, answers, and outcomes of each discourse. Beginner level Rashi reading and comprehension are achieved as well.

Texts:

Title: Tractates Berachot, Sukka, Pesachim, Kiddushin, and Bava Metzia

Editor: Vilna

 

Units of Study:

All Gemara classes in the Upper School follow the same 6-year cycle of tractates but differ in depth and breadth of study.

Tractate Berachot

  1. Ideal times for each prayer
  2. How to make up a missed prayer
  3. Prayer correlating with our Forefathers and/or sacrifices
  4. What does “until” mean?
  5. The ideal time for nighttime prayers
  6. Walking in front of someone praying
  7. Praying in proximity to one’s rabbi
  8. If one delays the prayer of musaf
  9. The story of Rabbi Gamliel being deposed from office
  10. Eating before prayer
  11. Prayer said upon entering and leaving a house of study
  12. How to bow

Tractate Pesachim

  1. Eating on the eve of Passover
  2. Meals that extend from a holiday to the Sabbath
  3. Saying Kiddush in the place one dines
  4. Changing locations during a meal
  5. Kiddush of Sabbath day
  6. Havdala

Kiddushin

  1. Differences in gender pertaining to
    1. Circumcision
    2. Redemption
    3. Torah study
    4. Marriage
  2. The extent of one’s obligation of learning, teaching, and studying Torah
  3. Honoring one’s parents
  4. Dama son of Nitina
  5. Revering one’s parents
7/8 Navi

This 1 year, text-based course on the Prophets covers Shmuel Bet (Samuel II) from its original, Hebrew text. It is divided into 1 semester in 7th grade and 1 semester in 8th grade. The dual foci of this course are text and storyline.  Students master the ability to read, punctuate, translate and explain the verses from Prophets and move from beginner to intermediate level in their ability to decipher classic commentary (Rashi & Metzudat David). The storyline covers the leadership of Samuel, Saul, and David and the events therein.

Texts:

Title: The Book of Samuel (Hebrew)

Editor: Shai Lamorah

 

Units of Study:

Shmuel Alef (25-31) and Shmuel Bet (Samuel)

  1. Shmuel’s Death
  2. Naval and his wife Avigail
  3. Avigail marries David
  4. David has the chance to kill Shaul and he does not.
  5. David is fighting against the Plishtim
  6. Shaul goes to a sorceress even though he banned them from the land.
  7. Ziklag was destroyed by the Amalekim, Davids family was captured.
  8. Shaul’s death story #1
  9. Chessed Shel Emet
  10. Shaul’s death story #2
  11. Eish Boshet’s king ship
  12. Asael Dies
  13. War between the house of Shaul and the house of David
  14. Michal and Plitiel
  15. Avner and David make a treaty together
  16. The kingship in the house of Shaul: Eish Boshet killed and Mephiboshet lame
  17. David’s Kingship
7/8 Jewish History

This two-year, text-based course covers selected points in Jewish history from the 1st commonwealth (Beit HaMikdash) era through the end of the 2nd commonwealth era. The dual foci of this course are text and storyline. Students master the ability to understand, translate, and reference historical passages from the Talmud and Prophets. The goal of the class is to gain an understanding of our rich heritage and sages while focusing on how to apply the lessons of our past to better our future.

Texts:

Title: History of the Jewish People, Artscroll Publications

Author: Rabbis Nosson Scherman and Meir Zlotowitz

 

Units of Study:

Units of Study

  • The End of the First Temple Era
  • The Babylonian Exile
  • Zerubavel and the Building of the Second Temple
  • Ezra and Nechemia
  • The Men of the Great Assembly
  • The Rise of Greece
  • Alexander the Great
  • Hellenism
  • The Hasmonean Era and Chanukah
  • Domination of the Sadducees
  • Ascendency of Rome
  • Roman Dominion over Israel
  • Herod
  • Torah Sages
  • War Against Rome
  • Destruction of the 2nd Temple
  • Hope for the Future
High School Chumash

All High School Chumash classes are divided based on gender and skill/ability. The High School curriculum follows 4-year rotation; Bereishit 1 (Lech-Lecha, Vayeira & Chayai-Sara), Bereishit 2 (Vayeshev, Mikeitz, Vayigash & Vayichi), Shemot (Shemot, Va’Aira & Bo), and Bamidbar (Korach, Chukat & Balak). All students have Chumash every year of high school.

Level 1

Entry-level High School Chumash classes continue developing independent Chumash learning skills. Students study the Chumash and its commentary in the original Hebrew text. The skill focus of this course includes mastering Rashi reading and comprehension and developing intermediate skills in other classic Hebrew commentaries (e.g. Ramban, Ohr HaChaim, S’porno, and Gur Aryeh). The storyline and philosophical implications are emphasized. This course also focuses on analytical skills including critical thinking and informed debate.

 

Level 2

Advanced level High School Chumash classes move the students into primarily independent Chumash study with commentary. The skill focus of this course includes developing proficiency in the classic commentary beyond Rashi (e.g. Ramban, Ohr HaChaim, S’porno, and Gur Aryeh). The storyline and philosophical implications are emphasized. This course also continues to hone analytical skills including critical thinking and informed debate.

Texts:

Title: Chumash (Hebrew)

Editor: Mikraot Gedolot

 

Units of Study:

  1. Berieshit (Genesis) 1
  1. Avraham begins his odyssey
  2. The debacle in Egypt
  3. Avraham and Lot part ways
  4. War of the 4 kings vs. 5 kings
  5. The Covenant of Parts and the Doctrine of Patriarchal Foreshadowing
  6. New names and a new destiny
  7. Covenant of Circumcision
  8. Avraham and the 3 angels
  9. Avraham intercedes for Sodom
  10. Lot’s fiasco in Sodom and its demise
  11. Rerun in Gerar
  12. Yitzchak is born
  13. YIshmael is banished
  14. The Akeida
  1. Berieshit (Genisis) 2
  1. Dynamics of the 12 tribes and Yaakov
  2. The sale of Yosef
  3. Yehuda’s and Tamar
  4. Yosef and the wife of Potifar
  5. Yosef, the butler, baker and dreams
  6. Yosef interprets Pharaoh’s dreams
  7. Events leading to Yosef and the brothers meeting again
  8. The brother’s struggle with a disguised Yosef
  9. The family reunites
  10. Yaakov’s blessings
  11. The brothers apologize
  12. Did Yaakov ever find out the truth?
  1. Shemot (Exodus)
  1. The Egyptian Enslavement
  2. Moshe’s birth and childhood
  3. The burning bush
  4. Moshe & Aharon confront Pharaoh
  5. Overview: The structure of the 10 Plagues
  6. The 1st 5 Plagues
  7. The 2nd 5 Plagues
  8. Exodus
  1. Bamidbar (Numbers)
  1. Korach’s Rebellion
  2. Datan & Abiram
  3. G-d responds; the Mouth of the Earth
  4. Protest and Confirmation
  5. A new proof that Aharon is distinguished
  6. The Red Heifer
  7. Miriam’s death and the lack of water
  8. Moshe and Aharon’s enigmatic sin
  9. Bilaam is beckoned
  10. G-d’s ambiguous permission
  11. Bilaam, the angel, and the talking Donkey
  12. The blessings of Bilaam
  13. Evaluating Bilaam’s character
High School Gemora

High School  Gemara 1 & 2  is divided based on level rather than grade. Boys and girls have separate classes. (After ninth grade, girls have the option to enroll in an Advanced Navi class instead of Gemara.)

Gemara classes follow our 6 year Talmud Tractate rotation (all classes in the Upper School learn the same text but with different levels of complexity). The rotation includes chapters from the following Tractates; Berachot (2 years), Sukka, Pesachim, Kiddushin, and Bava Metzia. Students study the Talmud from its original Aramaic text. The primary foci of this course are textual and conceptual. Textual skills for entry-level High School Gemara include familiarity with 30-40 common Talmud punctuation phrases, 100-120 common Talmudic terms, and intermediate-level reading and comprehension. In addition to mastering the particular concepts, questions, answers, and outcomes of each discourse, students will begin to focus on the Halachic (Jewish Law) implications of each discourse. Intermediate-advanced level Rashi reading and comprehension are achieved as well as beginner-intermediate level Tosafot prowess. At this level, students are introduced to several new commentaries including Rosh, Ritva, and Rambam.

 

Level 2

This advanced-level Talmud course is designed to enable students to read and comprehend the Talmud independently. In order to achieve this level of independence, students must master the reading and comprehension skills in both Talmud and Rashi. Moderate support in Tosafot as well as other commentary is expected even on this level.

Texts:

Title: Tractates Berachot, Sukka, Pesachim, Kiddushin, And Bava Metzia

Editor: Vilna

 

Units of Study:

All Gemara classes in the Upper School follow the same 6-year cycle of tractates but differ in depth and breadth of study.

Tractate Berachot

  1. Ideal times for each prayer
  2. How to make up a missed prayer
  3. Prayer correlating with our Forefathers and/or sacrifices
  4. What does “until” mean?
  5. The ideal time for nighttime prayers
  6. Walking in front of someone praying
  7. Praying in proximity to one’s rabbi
  8. If one delays the prayer of musaf
  9. The story of Rabbi Gamliel being deposed from office
  10. Eating before prayer
  11. Prayer said upon entering and leaving a house of study
  12. How to bow

Tractate Pesachim

  1. Eating on the eve of Passover
  2. Meals that extend from a holiday to the Sabbath
  3. Saying Kiddush in the place one dines
  4. Changing locations during a meal
  5. Kiddush of Sabbath day
  6. Havdala

Kiddushin

  1. Differences in gender pertaining to
    1. Circumcision
    2. Redemption
    3. Torah study
    4. Marriage
  2. The extent of one’s obligation of learning, teaching, and studying Torah
  3. Honoring one’s parents
  4. Dama son of Nitina
  5. Revering one’s parents
9th Grade Navi

This intermediate-level Navi course covers the events and characters from the end of David’s rule through the Beginning of the First Commonwealth. Students study the Navi in its original Hebrew text. Topics include; Shlomo (Solomon), the First Temple, the divide of the Jewish People, Eliyahu (Elijah) versus Achav (Ahab), and the battle against idolatry. The dual foci of this course are textual and storyline. Students develop textual mastery through independent and paired study. Cumulative lists of kings, prophets, important characters, and key phrases are kept throughout the year.

Texts:

Title: Melachim (Hebrew)

Editor: Shai Lamorah

 

Units of Study:

  1. David’s final moments
  2. Shlomo is Chosen
  3. Shlomo ensures justice; David’s retribution
  4. Shlomo’s dream
  5. The Golden Age
  6. Shlomo builds the Beit HaMikdash
  7. Shlomo’s downfall
  8. Rechavan, Yeravam and the splitting of the Nation
  9. Yeravam the tragic failure
  10. Baasha King of Yisroel
  11. Asa King of Yehuda
  12. Assinations, turmoil, and spiritual oblivion in Yisroel
  13. Eliyahu vs. Achav and the window of hope
  14. Eliyahu’s epic ascent to Heaven
High School/Advance Navi

This advanced course in Prophets is offered to H.S. girls in grades 10-12 as an alternative to Gemara. Students study the Navi in its original Hebrew text. The passage picks up from where the 9th grade Navi course leaves off; the beginning of Melachim Bet (Kings II). The dual foci of this course are mastering reading and comprehension skills of verses and a variety of commentary. The storyline covers the end of Eliyahu (Elijah) to the destruction of the First Temple. This advanced-level course emphasizes cross-reference analysis between Melachim and parallel coverage of the same events in other books of the Canon (e.g. Chronicles).

Texts:

Title: Melachim (Hebrew)

Editor: Mikraot Gedolot

 

Units of Study:

Kings II

  1. Eliyahu and Elisha – types of leadership, the relationship of rabbi and student
  2. Miracles of Eliyahu and Elisha
    1. Purpose of miracles
    2. Navi as a conduit
    3. Fulfillment of G-d’s decrees through the Navi
  3. How the Navi educates his students
  4. How the Navi educates the nation
  5. How the Navi educates other nations
  6. Relationship of Jewish People and other nations
  7. Painful paths of education: War, famine, personal troubles
  8. Kingdom of Yisrael
    1. Its purpose
    2. Its mandate
    3. Its pattern
    4. Potential and missed opportunities
  9. The exactitude of G-d’s judgments
  10. Kingdom of the House of David
    1. Its high and low points
    2. Its immortality
    3. The  scale by which it is judged
    4. Its charge
  11. Individual kings and their strengths, challenges, failures, and legacies
  12. The role of the Holy Temple as a fundamental component of national life
  13. Exile of the Ten Tribes
    1. Why/how it happened
    2. The implications/consequences
  14. Chizkiyahu and Sancheriv: The magnitude of the potential and mistakes
  15. Yoshiyau: Potential and impact of the loss
  16. Destruction of the First Temple
    1. History
    2. Related fast days
    3. G-d’s mercy judgment
    4. Understanding the loss – what we mourn
Chamesh Megillot (The Five Scrolls)/ Ketuvim (The Writings)

This is an entry-level course that is offered to all High School girls as an alternative to Gemara and Advanced Navi. In order to present new material each year, the course will follow a 4-year cycle. Over the course of two years (2018-19 and 2019-20), the focus will be on all five of the Megillot (Scrolls).

Students study the Megillot in their original text and are immersed in the rich storyline of each book. The course focuses on the themes of each Megillah with a secondary focus on textual skills. Students will encounter commentaries that offer sophisticated interpretations that are bound to change the students’ understanding of the story.
Texts: Megillot (Hebrew)

Units:

  1. Book of Esther
  2. Book of Ecclesiastes
  3. Book of Ruth
  4. Book of Lamentations
  5. Book of Song of Songs

In years 2020-21 and 2021-22, other texts from the book of Ketuvim will be selected.

10th Grade Jewish History

This 1 year course on Twentieth-Century Jewish History focuses on the movements and events that contribute to the experience of the Jewish people in the 1900’s. Topics include the Enlightenment, WW1, WW2 and the Holocaust, Zionism, and the State of Israel.

Texts:

Title: The Jewish World in the Modern Age

Author: Jon Bloomberg

 

Units of Study:

  1. Eastern Europe (1780-2000)
  • Introduction
  • Community in Eastern Europe
  • Life under the Czars
  • The Pale of Settlement
  • The May Laws
  • Russian Revolution
  • The Bolsheviks
  • Joseph Stalin
  • The Refuseniks
  • Gorbachev and the Fall of Communism
  • Russia Today (Vladimir Putin
  1. Western and Central Europe
  • French Revolution
  • Jews on the eve of the Revolution
  • Emancipation of French Jews
  • Reign of Terror (Jacobins and Robespierre)
  • Assembly of Jewish Notables
  • Napoleon Bonaparte
  • The Great Sanhedrin
  • Congress of Vienna
  • Germany and the Habsburg Empire
  • Metternich
  • 1848 – Revolutions
  • Jewish Emancipation
  1. England – Ashkenazi Judaism
11th Grade Halacha/Jewish Living

This one-year course focuses on contemporary Halacha (Jewish Law). Topics include the Sabbath, the Laws of Blessings, and the Laws of Daily Conduct (depending on the year). A framework of the laws based on the Talmud studied followed by an exploration of contemporary applications based on various Responsa.

Texts:

Although there is no base text for this course, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch by Rabbi Shlomo Ganzfried is often referenced

 

Units of Study:

Berachot (Blessings)

  • What is the definition of a blessing
  • What is the fundamental lesson that we learn from blessings
  • The power of gratitude
  • Basic Berachot rules
  • The laws of main foods and secondary foods
  • The definition of “pos Habo bekisnin
  • Brocha procedures
  • Berachot on foods

 

Prayer

  • Why is it important to pray
  • Translation and explanation of morning blessings
  • Rules and concepts related to Pesuke Dezimra
  • 1st paragraph of Shema Yisroel
  • 2nd paragraph of Shema Yisroel
  • Translation and explanation of the Amida

 

Various Commandments

  • Mezuzah
  • Kashrut
Jewish Philosophy

Jewish Philosophy is a one-semester 12th-grade course. Basic tenets of Judaism including Maimonides’s 13 Principles of Faith are explored based on text, discussion, and critical thinking and writing.

Texts:

Title: The Ways of G-d

Author: Rav Moshe Chaim Luzzato

 

Jewish Philosophy Units of Study:

Derech Hashem

The Purpose in Creation

  1. The bestowal of good
  2. Earning this good
  3. G-d as the ultimate good
  4. Good and evil
  5. Man

Man

  1. Free will
  2. Body and soul
  3. Effort and reward
  4. The world to come
  5. Original sin
  6. Before the sin
  7. The soul’s power
  8. The results of Adam’s sin
  9. Death and the world’s destruction
  10. The different levels of reward
  11. The world of souls
  12. Experiences of the disembodied soul
  13. Resurrection
Israel Advocacy

Students explore the history and current events in order to understand their impact on the State of Israel and the Jewish People. An emphasis is placed on the application and compelling articulation of their research-based conclusions.

Text: The David Project

Editor: Multimedia Curriculum

Israel Advocacy Units of Study:

  1. The importance of studying Israel advocacy
  2. The regional map of the Middle East
  3. The regional dynamics of the Arab-Israeli conflict
  4. How other Middle Eastern states were established
  5. The Jewish connection to the land of Israel
  6. Jewish development of the land
  7. The origins of the Palestinian refugee problem
  8. The origins of the Jewish refugee problem
  9. Major events leading to the 6th-day war
  10. The Nature of the UN’s criticism of Israel

Video

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