Middle School » Judaic Studies

Judaic Studies

In the Middle School, our Limudei Kodesh curriculum builds upon the skills that our students gained in their Lower School years, and works to guide the students to higher and more sophisticated levels of analytical learning, while maintaining a focus on foundational skills.

Our Torah She-Ba’al Peh curriculum begins with a second year of Mishna instruction in which our students focus on Masechtot Brachot and Ta’anit, with a specific concentration on issues relating to Shemoneh Esrei.  Our students solidify their understanding of the development of Torah She-Ba’al Peh during the period of the Mishna, and begin to compare related mishnayot to each other, thus preparing themselves to begin learning Gemara.  Our Gemara curriculum in 7th and 8th grades is heavily focused on helping our students to develop reading skills and strategies, and to begin to appreciate the role of Rashi and other commentaries in explaining and deepening our understanding of the text.

In our Chumash curriculum, each year of Middle School introduces our students to different skill sets which complement those which they have already gained.  In 6th grade, through our study of Sefer Bemidbar, our students encounter a variety of mefarshim and thus they learn how to carefully read the psukim in ways that support the varied views of the classic commentators.  In 7th grade, our study focuses on the mitzvot in Sefer Devarim, and our students thus shift from learning the narrative portions of Chumash to learning the legal sections. Relevant portions of Torah She-Ba’al Peh, codes, and more contemporary material are brought in to help our students appreciate the development of halacha down to our day.  Finally, in 8th grade we return to the study of Sefer Bereishit, with a specific focus on individual characters and their development throughout the Sefer.

In Navi, our students learn all of Sefer Shmuel and Sefer Melachim Alef during their Middle School years.  The main focus in these classes in on the story line, the development of the central characters, and the overarching issues of leadership that emerge from the Navi.

Our 6th grade Ivrit program aims to shore up our students’ reading and grammar skills, with a heavy focus on Eretz Yisrael.  In 7th and 8th grade, our students utilize the NETA Ivrit program, an intensive, multi-media, staged program that demands that the students read, write, and speak in Hebrew on a daily basis.

Our 8th grade Jewish History program focuses on modern Jewish history, beginning with Chassidim and Mitnagdim, running through the era of enlightenment and emancipation, and reaching its most intensive heights in its in-depth study of the Holocaust, which culminates in a student-produced dramatic production about the Shoah.  The year concludes with an introduction to Modern Zionism and the development of Medinat Yisrael.

We fully believe that tefilla is not merely something that is done in school, but that it also needs to be something that students learn about in order to appreciate and understand one of the most essential skills that will be a part of their lives as Bnei and Bnot Torah.  To that end, we have developed a multi-year course in Beur HaTefilla, which incorporates learning of original sources combined with opportunities for students to reflect upon and discuss their thoughts about tefilla.  The course material combines explanation of tefillot, elucidation of the ideas behind the tefillot, and specific halachot of tefilla.

In addition to the halachot of tefilla, a survey of major topics in Hilchot Shabbat.  Laws pertaining to the Chagim are reviewed in increasing depth by year in the weeks leading up to each holiday.

If you have more questions please contact Rabbi Dr. Aaron Ross at [email protected]