Middle school is where students begin to learn their obligations and place in the Jewish community at large. Students are given the tools to not only be committed members of Am Yisrael, but also the charge to one day become leaders in their communities. The students participate in a daily Minyanim (separate but equal for both boys and girls) where they gain hands on experience as the Ba’alei Tefilah, Ba’alei Kriah, and Gaba’im of the Minyan. The learning repertoire is expanded with the addition of Torah Shebeh’al Peh (Mishna and Talmud) in addition to their Tanach studies. The Hebrew language program takes on a new intensity as the students are given a deeper understanding and appreciation for Ivrit. The culmination of this well-rounded Jewish education is the yearly eighth grade trip to Israel where the students experience first hand all that they have been studying.
The Talmud curriculum is divided into two parts. Students in grade six study Mishnah. Students in grade seven and grade eight study Talmud. The curriculum seeks to teach the historical development of the Talmud, the relationships between the Torah she-bi-Khetav and the Torah she-be-al Peh, and the Talmudic method of learning through questions and answers. Students are taught how to read and translate the text, search for alternative meanings and to anticipate questions and answers. The program teaches students how to read and understand the Talmud on their own, as well as how to study with a chavruta and in a classroom. Students are encouraged to think analytically and to debate openly with their classmates and teachers. Students also learn many practical halakhot, aggadot and Talmudic morals and values.
The Tanach curriculum seeks to teach students how to read and study the texts, study Rashi’s commentary, and learn Torah independently. Through the study of Tanach, students learn the values and Mitzvot of the Torah. The curriculum enables students to appreciate Torah values, incorporate such values in their daily lives, and enjoy the study of Tanach.
Unique to the seventh and eighth grades is a comprehensive study of Jewish History. A strong emphasis is put on this topic to give the students an appreciation of who they are and where they’ve come from. Students get an understanding of their vital role in being the next link in our unbroken chain of glorious history.