Upper School Judaic Studies

At the AJA Upper School, our Judaic Studies program is built around a dual track curriculum which reflects our commitment to academic rigor and seriousness in everything we teach and learn.

Our Moreshet Yisrael track uses a thematic approach to teach traditional and modern sources in English whereas our Moreshet Torani track adheres to text-based learning in Hebrew. Regardless of track, when oral or midrashic traditions are introduced, they are taught with a clear understanding that even oral traditions are anchored to the text. There is a recognition among our teachers that many of the skills students develop in the serious pursuit of Judaic Studies (such as critical thinking, deductive reasoning, close reading of texts) can and will be employed in General Studies subjects such as language arts, science, and social studies.

It is a given that student success in Judaic Studies cannot be achieved without a degree of mastery of the Hebrew language, including an ability to read fluently, to employ correct grammar, and to translate basic texts. Success in these areas will give students the tools necessary to be “life-long learners.”

Perhaps even more fundamental is the need to give our students the background and knowledge they will need to be “Jewish for life.” This necessitates careful consideration of which basic source materials are to be taught, meaning, that our Judaic Studies cannot nor should not be limited to matters of p'shat and d'rash. They are also designed to inculcate students with proper middot and derekh eretz.