The Advanced Judaic Studies Program is a three-year course of study for girls. There are two curricular components to the Advanced Judaic Studies Program (AJSP), Oral Law and Jewish Thought. In the Oral Law component, students study the Halachic process from Biblical verse to codes and responsa. There are two primary goals to Oral Law courses: 1) to develop the skills necessary to understand Halachic texts in their various forms, and 2) to appreciate Halacha as an ongoing expression of the norms by which Jews conduct themselves collectively and as individuals.

The Jewish Thought courses explore the writings of Jewish philosophers, from Maimonides and Rabbi Yehuda HaLevi to Rav Kook and Rav Joseph Soloveichik, as they seek to define spirituality in the post-Modern world. Every course is designed to help students understand the views of our greatest thinkers as they struggled with the questions of human existence. Each text is used as a starting point for discussions, which help students better understand themselves and the meaning of their Jewish lives.

Oral Law 2 – Regular: 1 Credit

In this yearlong course, students are introduced to the concept of Oral Law and its relationship to the Written Law. Students study the unique styles of the Mishna, Gemara, and codes, and the role that each plays in the formulation of the Oral Law. In addition, students identify the primary works of the Oral Law. Units studied include: Women’s Obligation in Prayer, Israel among the Nations, Kashruth (Hag’ala), and Shabbat (Bishul). During the course, students are expected to complete a research paper.

Texts: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, Introduction to Oral Law, compiled by Rabbi Michael A. Myers, sourcebook compiled by Rabbi Arie Isaacs
Homework requirement: 1-2.5 hours per week

Oral Law 2 – Honors: 1 Credit

Prerequisite: Students must be able to study texts in the original Hebrew.
In this yearlong course, students are introduced to the concept of Oral Law and its relationship to the Written Law. Students study the unique styles of the Mishna, Gemara and codes and the role that each plays in the formulation of the Oral Law. In addition, students identify the primary works of Oral Law. Units studied include: Women’s Obligation in Prayer, Israel among the Nations, Kashruth (Hag’ala), and Shabbat (Bishul). During the course, students are expected to complete a research paper.

Texts: Introduction to Oral Law, compiled by Rabbi Michael A. Myers, sourcebook of Jewish Law compiled by Rabbi Arie Isaacs
Homework requirement: 1-2.5 hours per week

Oral Law 3 – Regular: 1 Credit

In this course, students study the principles of derivation of the Law from TaNaCH and the application of principle and precedent in addressing modern questions. This course is designed to develop reading and comprehension skills in Halachic textual study. In each exploration, practical Halachic application is the ultimate objective. Units studied include: Laws of Teshuva, Kashruth (Foods prepared by non-Jews, Laws of Bassar B’Chavav), Shabbat (Laws of Muktzeh and Hotzaah) and Laws of appropriate dress and demeanor. In addition, students are assigned to research related topics in Oral Law employing skills and sources that they have learned throughout the course, and to present a paper reflecting this research.

Texts: sourcebook compiled by Rabbi Binyomin Segal, Halachic works and sources include: relevant Talmudic passages, Maimonides’ Mishneh Torah, Tur Shulchan Aruch, Shulchan Aruch, and responsa
Homework requirement: 2.5 hours per week

Oral Law 3 – Honors: 1 Credit

Prerequisite: Students must have the ability to study texts in the original Hebrew.
In this course, students study the principles of derivation of the Law from TaNaCH and the application of principle and precedent in addressing modern questions. Emphasis is placed on the derivation of Halacha from classical sources. This course is designed to develop reading and comprehension skills in Halachic textual study. In each exploration, practical Halachic application is the ultimate objective. Units studied include: Laws of Teshuva, Kashruth (Foods prepared by non-Jews and Laws of Bassar B’Chavav), Shabbat (Laws of Muktzeh and Hotzaah), and Laws of appropriate dress and demeanor. In addition, students are assigned to research related topics in Oral Law employing skills and sources that they have learned throughout the course, and to present a paper reflecting this research.

Texts: HaTznea Lechet, sourcebook of readings, Halachic works and sources which include relevant Talmudic passages, Maimonides’ Mishneh Torah, Tur Shulchan Aruch, Shulchan Aruch, and responsa
Homework requirement: 2.5 hours per week

Oral Law 4 – Regular: 1 Credit

In this course, the primary objective is for students to develop an understanding and appreciation for the relationship between the Oral Law and the Written Law. In this final year of the program, students refine their reading and comprehension skills through the expansion of Halachic topics. Classic codes learned during junior year are studied in greater depth. Increasing attention is devoted to modern responsa as they relate to our rapidly changing society. Units studied include: Consumer/Commercial Kashruth, Terumot and Maasrot as they are currently practiced in modern Israel, Medical Ethics, and Medical Emergencies on Shabbat.

Texts: Sourcebook of readings compiled by Mrs. Miriam Jaffe
Homework requirement: 2-3 hours per week

Oral Law 4 – Honors: 1 Credit

Prerequisite: Students must have the ability to study texts in the original Hebrew.
In this course, the primary objective is for students to develop an understanding and an appreciation for the relationship between the Oral Law and the Written Law. In this final year of the program, students refine their reading and comprehension skills through the expansion of Halachic topics. Classic codes learned during junior year are studied in greater depth. Increasing attention is devoted to modern responsa as they relate to our rapidly changing society. Units studied include: Consumer/commercial Kashruth, Terumot and Maasrot as they are currently practiced in modern Israel, and Medical Ethics.

Texts: Sourcebook of classical codes and modern response, Mishna Berura
Homework requirement: 2-3 hours per week

Jewish Thought 2 – Regular: 1 Credit

In this introductory course to Jewish thought, students explore the philosophical principles upon which Judaism is based. Students engage in intensive study of the Siddur, focusing on the unique relationship between G-d and Man. Emphasis is placed on understanding that G-d is approachable, and the Siddur is essential in making that connection. Units of Siddur study include: Asher Yatzar, Birkot HaTorah, Elokai Neshama (Body, Mind and Soul), and Shemoneh Essray (initial and closing Blessings). Also, Maimonides’ 13 Principles of Faith are studied in depth.

Texts: Siddur, Thirteen Principles of Faith, Aryeh Kaplan and sourcebook of readings
Homework requirement: 2-3 hours per week

Jewish Thought 3 – Regular: 1 Credit

In this course, the primary objective is to help students assume responsibility for their own behavior, ethical and spiritual decision-making. Students intensively study one classic work by Rabbi Moshe David Luzzato. In addition, additional readings from various sources are covered. This class places emphasis on critical thinking skills and the transfer of these skills to all other areas of learning.

Texts: Derech Hashem, Rabbi Moshe David Luzzato and sourcebook by Rabbi Binyomin Segal
Homework requirement: 2-3 hours per week

Jewish Thought 3 – Honors: 1 Credit

Prerequisite: Students must have the ability to study all texts in original Hebrew.
In this course, the primary objective is to help students to assume responsibility for their own behavior through ethical and spiritual decision-making. Siddur study focuses on the first seven intermediate brachot, and their application in our modern lives as Jews with a role in the general society. In addition, students intensively study two classic works by Rabbi Moshe David Luzzato. This class places emphasis on critical thinking skills and the transfer of these skills to all other areas of learning.

Texts: Kuzari, Rabbi Yehuda HaLevi and The Thinking Jewish Teenager’s Guide to Life, Rabbi Akiva Tatz
Homework requirement: 2 hours per week

Jewish Thought 4 – Regular: 1 Credit

This course focuses on an in-depth understanding of the rationale and philosophical foundation of the rituals of Jewish Life Cycle. Students study the final six intermediate blessings of Shemoneh Essray as well as the writings of modern, Talmudic and medieval thinkers. This course places emphasis on refining discussion, textual analysis and critical thinking skills.

Text: sourcebook of readings
Homework requirement: 2-3 hours per week

Jewish Thought 4 – Honors: 1 Credit

Prerequisite: Students must have the ability to study all texts in original Hebrew.
In this course, students are introduced to Modern Jewish thinkers and their approaches to contemporary issues confronting Judaism. Students examine the philosophical views of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveichik, Rabbi Shalom Carmy, Rabbi Eliezer Berkovitz, and Rabbi Norman Lamm, and analyze original essays and sources. In addition, students study the final six intermediate blessings of Shemoneh Essray. This class utilizes open forum discussions, which allow students to express and support their own ideas and perspectives. In this course, students refine their critical thinking skills through careful text analysis.

Text: sourcebook of essays and Yirat HaShem, Rabbi Uri Gordon
Homework requirement: 2-3 hours per week