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 learn the Laws of shabbat. Halacha is taught using a unique style of instruction which allows Halacha and values to be taught in an innovative three-tier style that focuses on Development of Halacha, Principles upon which Halacha is based and applying these principles to a modern world. The Zachor aspects stressing the positive mitzvoth with emphasis on how to keep Shabbat on campus and the Melachot are studied.

Texts: “From the Source with Spirit” of the Halacha Education Center in Israel, Sourcebook compiled by the teacher
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 learn the Laws of Shabbat. Halacha is taught using a unique style of instruction which allows Halacha and values to be taught in an innovative three-tier style that focuses on Development of Halacha, Principles upon which Halacha is based and applying these principles to a modern world. The Zachor aspects stressing the positive mitzvoth with emphasis on how to keep Shabbat on campus and the Melachot are studied. Talented and motivated students work with the instructor to design further and deeper study at the honors level.

Texts: “From the Source with Spirit” of the Halacha Education Center in Israel, Sourcebook compiled by the teacher
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: Kashruth (Foods prepared by non-Jews and Laws of Bassar v’Chalav), In addition, a unit devoted to the study of unique applications of halacha during the Holocaust.is included.

 Texts: From the Source with Spirit: Hilchot Kashrut

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. Students demonstrate their mastery by writing a research paper on a topic of their choice first and second semester. Increased attention is devoted to modern responsa as they relate to our rapidly changing society. Units studied include: Consumer/commercial Kashruth, Medical Ethics and the Laws of Yom Kippur.

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

Jewish Thought 2 – Regular: 1 Credit

In this course on Jewish thought, students explore the philosophical principles upon which Judaism is based. The course is based on Maimonides’ 13 Principles of Faith. Each principle is studied in depth using classical and contemporary sources including Maimonides Guide to the Perplexed and Rav Dessler’s Michtav MeEliyahu. Some of the topics analyzed and discussed are: Interface between Science and Religion, Age of the Universe Prophecy, Divine foreknowledge vs. Human free will, Hashgacha Pratit, Divine authorship of the Torah, Comparative Religions, Jewish response to pain and suffering, Mashiach, Olam Haba.

Texts: Sourcebook compiled at ICJA
Homework Requirement: 2-3 hours per week

Jewish Thought 2 – Honors: 1 Credit

In this course on Jewish thought, students explore the philosophical principles upon which Judaism is based. The course is based on Maimonides’ 13 Principles of Faith. Each principle is studied in depth using classical and contemporary sources including Maimonides Guide to the Perplexed and Rav Dessler’s Michtav MeEliyahu. Some of the topics analyzed and discussed are: Interface between Science and Religion, Age of the Universe Prophecy, Divine foreknowledge vs. Human free will, Hashgacha Pratit, Divine authorship of the Torah, Comparative Religions, Jewish response to pain and suffering, Mashiach, Olam Haba. Talented and motivated students work with the instructor to design further and deeper study at the honors level.

Texts: Sourcebook compiled at ICJA
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. This is accomplished through in depth study of Pirkei Avot through the eyes of the classical commentators. In addition, the class examines several philosophical issues, such as free will, prayer and others, by studying the writings of modern Jewish thinkers, including Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler and Rabbi Akiva Tatz.

This class places emphasis on critical thinking skills and the transfer of these skills to all other areas of learning.

Texts: Pirkei Avot with Kahati, 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 Lord Jonathan Sacks, and analyze original essays and sources. 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