The YULA Judaic Studies curriculum is designed to provide students with exposure to the classical Jewish sources through textual study and to engender a life-long love of learning.
At YULA, the Judaic studies curriculum is not just meant to be an educational experience, it is meant to be transformational. We instill our students with a love of learning Torah and passion to grow in their spirituality. YULA promotes a sensitivity and appreciation for mitzvot bain adam l’makom & l’chavairo, tefilla, chessed, and a connection with Medinat Yisrael.
YULA prides itself on building strong rebbe – student relationships. The academic rigor, relationship building with rebbeim, and camaraderie felt by all, creates a shiur experience that is hard to replicate. This unique and special dynamic establishes memories and that last a lifetime.
YULA offers varying levels of study from beginner to advanced tracks. New students are assigned to a track based on their proficiency and motivation upon acceptance.
During their high school career students are monitored to ensure their individual program suits their needs. Transfer between tracks is possible throughout high school creating an environment for individual growth for each student.
Talmud is a primary focus and foundational piece of the Judaic Studies curriculum. Our goal is to equip our students with the skills to independently learn and analyze Gemara with commentaries, and appreciate the relevance of Talmud to our daily lives. Our Judaic Studies staff have developed classroom standards that help each child grow and succeed. The standards, known as R.U.A.C.H. HaTorah, are an acronym for Reading, Understanding, Atmosphere, Comprehension, and Hashkafah. Talmud classes are organized by ability level – regular, accelerated and honors –allowing for individualized instruction based on the background and motivation of each student.
The Halacha (Jewish Law) program is a four-year program that affords our students the opportunity to learn practical and applicable Halachot in Laws of Tefillah (Prayer), Brachot (Blessings), Kashrut (Dietary Laws), and Shabbat. The four-year program demonstrates how Halacha is applicable to our daily lives, and engenders a passion and love for observing and keeping Halacha.
The goal of the Chumash program is to familiarize each student with the text of all five books of the Torah. There is a strong emphasis on reading skills and explanations from lead commentators that provide an inspirational and intellectual methodology to learning. The Chumash lessons also incorporate a Jewish philosophy that can be learned from the text and commentators and lessons in Mussar – refined character development.
The Nach program offers students both a conceptual and in-depth approach to Sifrei Neviim U’ketuvim. Emphasis is placed on the text, the lessons to be learned, and understanding the historical background of the time period in which each Navi prophesied. The approach also attempts to link various stories of the Bible with current events.
As part of the R.U.A.C.H HaTorah standards, regular time slots are designated each week for discussion and learning that deal with personal character improvement, spiritual growth, and religious development. These classes give students the opportunity and language to discuss some of the more complex philosophical issues in Judaism. Some of the topics covered in the class are faith, free will, and the power of prayer. Our Judaic Studies staff aims to create a curriculum that reflects questions and issues in which students have expressed a genuine interest. The Jewish Thought Program affords students with the opportunity to learn selected pieces from classic and contemporary texts that serve as a springboard for open, honest, and important hashkafic discussions, where difficult questions are encouraged. Additionally YULA High School’s Boys Division offers our students a variety of Seminars to provoke their thinking and to further engage them in conversation.
Baum Family Advanced Gemara Track (AGT)
The Baum Family AGT (Advanced Gemara Track) provides students with an intensive exposure to Talmud and its commentaries. Beginning in 9th grade, there is a heavy emphasis on reading and students are introduced to the traditional chavruta method of study. Participation in the Baum Family Advanced Gemara Track requires weekly participation at “Night Seder” on Tuesdays and Thursdays after school and regular attendance on Sunday mornings for both shacharit and shiur. Any student may apply for admission to the AGT.
In addition to the Baum Family AGT program YULA offers a “Chaburah-style” learning program for qualified students. These students begin each day with a short shiur in Halacha and then are afforded the opportunity to learn daily in an even more “b’iyun” study of Talmud. Outstanding members of a local Kollel teach the Beit Midrash program.
Friedman Family Masmidim
The Friedman Family Masmidim program is a daily bekiut study of Talmud offered to motivated students, with a comprehensive system of chazarah. Each year students complete an entire masechet and participate in the national Yeshiva University Bronka Weintraub High School Bekiut Program. This program consists of a series of written tests throughout the year and students receive awards and prizes based upon performance.