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.
You can’t just learn Torah, you have to live it. To that end, we learn Torah hand-in-hand with the meaning, beauty, and enjoyment of observance. Ultimately, we aim that our students develop a relationship between teacher, student and Hashem that extends far beyond the classroom.
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.
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. A thematic approach is adopted in most levels, and the mefarshim studied range from the Rishonim to Achronim. Emphasis is placed on distinguishing between p’shat and d’rash and appreciating the beauty and importance of both.
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. All Tanach classes are designed to encourage meaningful exploration and appreciation of Torah, Neviim, and Ketuvim. These classes also develop the textual, analytic, and thematic skills which are prerequisites for independent study, spiritual growth and inspired observance.
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.
Jewish Thought covers a wide range of topics to be fluidly implemented and applied in practical ways throughout the students’ four years. Via Rebbetzin Leah Kohn’s Kivun Program, girls will focus on Tachlis HaBriah, Yediat Hashem, Bechira Chofshit, Bein Yisrael L’Amim, and Hashgacha. Additionally, the students will engage in excerpts from Igeret HaRamban, Chovot HaLevavot, Pirkei Avot, 13 Ikarei Emunah, and Mesilat Yesharim.
Through study and analysis of various Masechtot students build skills in reading, translating, understanding and analyzing the text in the Talmud, build a vocabulary in Aramaic, learn to identify the structure of the text in the Talmud, read and understand Rishonim and to identify, analyze and discuss broader themes that are developed in the Talmudic texts. Topics covered include the foundation of Tefilah and Berachot, the spiritual messages behind them, as well as their technical details, such as timing and sequence. We will also be reading Aggadic stories interspersed between the legal sources, which will give us an opportunity to discuss the foundations and philosophy behind the sources. Each student in the Beit Midrash program experiences the excitement of chavruta study and the passion that goes along with it. This form of study is the traditional pathway to serious Torah study and the exposure to the whole library of Jewish texts. Rishonim, and Codes of Law such as Mishnah Torah will enhance the learning.
Dr . Leila Leah Bronner z”l Women’s Midrasha
Our weekly women’s midrasha offers an environment for girls and women of the community to come together and learn לשמה. Students come to our beit midrash and learn B’chavruta with their mothers, sisters, friends, and teachers. This program empowers our students to be independent and passionate learners and concretizes their intellectual pursuits within תלמוד תורה.
Our Derachim program provides students across grades and tracks multiple ‘paths’ to grow spiritually and connect to Hashem. Students are given the chance to explore topics not typically studied in the curriculum enhancing their textual, philosophical, and Hashkafic knowledge, while forming a close kesher with the teacher without the stress of grades and tests. All Derachim courses are one semester long. Derachim courses change and adapt during each semester as the interests and needs of the student body grow and evolve.
YULA Girls Mechanechet or Advisory Program is an opportunity for students to build meaningful relationships with their female Judaic Studies faculty on and off campus. Meetings with Mechanchot take place in small groups, grade-wide and individual settings. These meetings facilitate open discussions about religious growth, future aspirations, and contributing to the global Jewish community.