We are very proud to have been selected to pilot a new halacha course with Rabbi Yosef Zvi Rimon and his institute for halacha, Merkaz Halakha. Last year, the Academy piloted a successful curriculum in the laws of kashrut with girls in Advanced Jewish Studies Program that was prepared in Israel especially for the Academy.
Building on that program’s success, we expanded the project this year with new materials for teaching the laws of Shabbat and a special unit on shmita. The pilot of the Shabbat curriculum for sophomore girls is led by Mrs. Yitzhak and Rabbi Segal.
Rabbi Binyomin Segal says, “This is probably the first attempt to put together a halacha curriculum that uses a combination of primary sources to present a deep understanding of the conceptual structures of halacha and is presented in a user-friendly way designed for American students.”
Because this method of teaching halacha is a work in progress, ICJA is piloting the program in order to help refine it. This partnership means that we have a unique opportunity to use the expertise of Rav Rimon and his Institute to craft the program to the specific needs of our students. As part of the program’s implemention, Rav Rimon visited the Academy in mid-November to meet with staff and students. He also taught a halacha class for sophomores.
This is the second year of implementing the kashrut curriculum for junior girls. Last year, the course was piloted by Rabbi Kroll and Rabbi Gross. This year, with the materials even more polished, Rabbi Gross and Mrs. Blaustein are teaching that course. Rabbi Gross, Rabbi Segal and Mrs. Blaustein all spent time in Israel working with Merkaz Halakha trainers.
In the future we look forward to adding units on contemporary issues in halacha and laws of prayer.