Below is a list of the courses offered to students at YULA Girls High School.
AP Computer Science A (Elective) – 12th
AP Computer Science A is equivalent to a first-semester, college-level course in computer science. The course introduces students to computer science with fundamental topics that include problem solving, design strategies and methodologies, organization of data (data structures), approaches to processing data (algorithms), analysis of potential solutions, and the ethical and social implications of computing. The course emphasizes both object-oriented and imperative problem solving and design using Java language. These techniques represent proven approaches for developing solutions that can scale up from small, simple problems to large, complex problems. Students taking this course will be prepared for the Advanced Placement Exam and are expected to take it.
Engineering I – 10th
Learn the foundations of engineering design while investigating systems and their classification, functions, and purpose. Students will dig deep into the engineering design process, applying physics, math, science, and engineering standards to hands-on projects. They work both individually and in teams to design solutions to a variety of problems, and use an engineering notebook to document their work. Throughout the course a student will acquire skills in problem solving, dimension and unit analysis, measurements, calculations, electronics project design and documentation. Students also exhibit their projects at the YULA STEAM Fair and the national CIJE Conference.
Engineering II (Elective)
Dig deeper into the engineering design process, applying physics, math, biology, science, and engineering standards to propose and prototype projects that solve real world problems. Students work both individually and in teams to learn advanced coding techniques and advanced electronics components to develop autonomous machines. Throughout the course a student will acquire skills in research, problem solving, electronics project design, computational thinking, documentation, entrepreneurship and presentation. Students also exhibit their projects at the YULA STEAM Fair and the national CIJE Conference.
Robotics I, Robotics II, Robotics III (Elective)
The robotics program provides a hands-on experience in solving real world challenges and exposes students to physics, mechanics, electronics, programming, business, financial management, teamwork, and leadership. Through a combination of instruction and hands on lab work, the student team(s) will build and program a robot to compete in the FIRST® Tech Challenge. Robotics requires a time commitment during school and outside of school, commensurate with any other competitive team on campus.
Design Engineering and Fabrication (Elective)
Learn the principles of fabrication and create your own products, prototypes and art pieces. Explore general engineering and manufacturing concepts including problem solving, design thinking, project management, design communication, documentation and prototyping. Utilizing the equipment in YULA Girls’ state of the art Fab Lab, students are engaged in hands-on experiences and will learn through doing. Students also exhibit their works at the annual AYIN: YULA Film, Photo, Art & Design Festival.
Advanced Engineering Seminar (Elective) 11th/12th
After a rigorous application process, students who have demonstrated exceptional skill in engineering will be selected to take part in the Advanced Engineering Seminar. Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors will apply the scientific engineering knowledge and experiences from previous years of our program to dive deeper into coding, design and electronics as they study real world problems and engineer solutions with working prototypes using advanced electronic hardware. These students will meet top engineers and designers in the industry to help inspire their designs. The students will learn how to pitch, market and brand their unique innovation, and then present and promote their project at Girls Lounge in Las Vegas.
Computer Science Principles (9th)
An introduction to the fundamental concepts of computer science. This course challenges students to explore how computing and technology impacts the world. Multidisciplinary in nature, the course teaches students to analyze problems, use creative thinking, and collaborate to investigate solutions to real-word issues using computing. Students will develop a thorough grasp of the computing foundations and concepts relevant to college and career. Topics covered include programming, 3D design, computer networking and security, computer hardware and Internet etiquette/safety.
Photo & Video I (Art Option 1) (9th)
Working as a team, students learn the basics of modern photo and video camera operation, lighting, composition, retouching, editing and storytelling. Students plan and shoot photographic compositions in addition to writing, editing and directing short films. Each project allows students to explore the technical side of the production process through hands-on experience, collaboration and creativity. Students also exhibit their works at the annual AYIN: YULA Film, Photo, Art & Design Festival.
Graphic Design I (Art Option 2) (9th)
Graphic Design I is the first of a two part, project-based course that develops an appreciation for, as well as career and communication skills in graphic design, illustration and print and digital media production. The course adopts a teacher guided, project based pedagogical approach to learning. It is heavily project based, with each project built on lessons learned previously. Students experience subject areas and skills across the broad range of modern visual expression – graphic design, illustration, photography, and print and digital media production. Students also exhibit their works at the annual AYIN: YULA Film, Photo, Art & Design Festival. Prerequisite: Graphic Design I.
Studio Art I (Art Option 3) (9th)
This semester-long survey course is devoted to the exploration and understanding of 2 and 3 dimensional art. During this course, students will create art in a multitude of media. Each student investigates a broad range of interests, and experiences a disciplined approach to art making and brainstorming. Students will explore drawing, painting, design, sculpture, photography, mixed-media, and printmaking. Through analysis, problem solving and hard work, each student finishes the course with a better understanding of art. In addition, the instructor addresses historical, multi-cultural and contemporary art through demonstrations, PowerPoint/Keynote lectures, and field trips if possible. Students also exhibit their works at he annual AYIN: YULA Film, Photo, Art & Design Festival.
Photo & Video II (Art Option 1) (10th)
Working as a team, students create advanced photo and video shoots and productions that applies their learning and research in creative ways. Combining advanced storytelling and composition techniques with state of the art gear, students will explore the technical side of the production process through hands-on experience, collaboration and creativity. Students also exhibit their works at the annual AYIN: YULA Film, Photo, Art & Design Festival. Prerequisite: Photo & Video I.
Graphic Design II (Art Option 2) (10th)
Picking up where Graphic Design I left off, this course continues to develop student skills, experience and appreciation for the graphic arts. Applying advanced graphic design, illustration, print and digital media production techniques, students create dynamic and expressive portfolio pieces. The course adopts a teacher guided, project based pedagogical approach to learning. It is heavily project based, with each project built on lessons learned previously. Students experience subject areas and skills across the broad range of modern visual expression – graphic design, illustration, photography, and print and digital media production. Students also exhibit their works at the annual AYIN: YULA Film, Photo, Art & Design Festival. Prerequisite: Graphic Design I.
Studio Art II (Art Option 3) (10th)
This second year one semester course will go further into depth with the application of the elements and principles of artistic design. Students will learn to refine and master technical skills acquired in the previous class, while also learning new techniques. Students will pursue greater artistic challenges through the production of art, problem solving, and compositional organization. Students will increase their critical thinking skills and innovative thought process in order to create strong conceptual works that express their individuality.Students also exhibit their works the annual AYIN: YULA Film, Photo, Art & Design Festival. Prerequisite: Studio Art I.
Multimedia Arts Honors (Elective) (11th)
Moving beyond medium-based categories, the course is organized around key topics and studio work in contemporary multi-media art. Students are expected to demonstrate refinement and mastery of technical skills in various media and explore their combination into compelling works of art that push the boundaries of traditional, single-media art by simultaneously incorporating elements of graphic design, video, photography as well as traditional drawing and painting. It surveys a diverse range of issues that motivate artists and create content, keeping the focus on the creative practice of the artists and the process of diversification and incorporation. Students will increase their critical thinking skills and innovative thought process in order to create strong conceptual works that express their individuality both in ideation as well as stylistically. Students also exhibit their works at the annual AYIN: YULA Film, Photo, Art & Design Festival. Prerequisite: Photo & Video II or Studio Art II or Graphic Design II.
AP Studio Art (Elective) (12th)
The AP Studio Art Program is the culmination of our Art program. It consists of three portfolio exams – 2-D Design, 3-D Design, and Drawing. Students choose their track, and produce college-level quality portfolio works displaying artistic investigation, and breadth of work. Students also exhibit their works at the annual AYIN: YULA Film, Photo, Art & Design Festival. Students taking this course will be prepared for the Advanced Placement Exam and are expected to take it. Prerequisite: Multimedia Arts Honors.
Algebra I Applied:
This is a full year course which will provide students with a solid foundation in the basic algebraic skills and concepts. Extra time will be taken on fundamental concepts that will help students gain more confidence as mathematicians. A TI-84 graphing calculator is required and will be used throughout the course.
Algebra I CP:
This is a full year course which will provide students with a solid foundation in the basic algebraic skills and concepts. Applications, critical thinking, and student communication of mathematical ideas is stressed. A TI-84 graphing and scientific calculator is required and will be used throughout the course.
Geometry is the mathematical study of shapes, their properties, and their relationships. The course competencies are presented as a one-year traditional class period course that meets the state geometry standards. Emphasis is placed on student discovery and exploration and on formulating and defending conjectures. Informal Geometry includes an in-depth study of reasoning, polygons, congruence, similarity, right triangles, circles, area, volume, and transformations. Students will use a variety of approaches, such as coordinate, transformational, and axiomatic systems. They will also develop an appreciation for the connections between geometry and other disciplines such as art and architecture. Successful completion of Algebra I is a course prerequisite.
This is a full year course in Euclidean Geometry. Some of the topics covered are properties of angles, lines, planes, congruent and similar triangles, quadrilaterals, circles, area, and volume. Algebraic skills, constructions, and coordinate geometry are used throughout the course as are inductive and deductive reasoning. A compass, protractor, and calculator are required.
Students explore the undefined terms, definitions theorems and postulates associated with Euclidean two and three-dimensional geometry. Topics include triangle congruency, properties of quadrilaterals, similarity, special right triangles, circles, area and volume. Students see the power of deductive proof in establishing the validity of general results from given conditions. The honors course involves a more in depth exploration of the various topics with an added level of critical analysis. When appropriate, the students arrive at certain conclusions by means of discovery using the sketchpad geometry program.
As part of the course requirements there is a group project on a topic beyond the scope of a traditional geometry class. This project must incorporate the computer technology that is available to all of the students and must also demonstrate their ability to work with a variety of computer applications.
Algebra II Applied:
This full year course includes a review of Algebra I topics and an introduction to second year Algebra topics. The course covers many of the same topics as the Algebra II course, but at a less rigorous level.
Algebra II CP:
This second full year course in Algebra builds on the skills acquired in Algebra I and moves the students to greater algebraic sophistication. Topics include linear functions, quadratic functions, systems of equations and inequalities, irrational and complex numbers, and exponential and logarithmic functions.
Algebra II Honors:
Honors Algebra II continues students’ study of advanced algebraic concepts including functions, polynomials, rational expressions, systems of functions and inequalities, matrices and trigonometry. Students will be expected to describe and translate among graphic, algebraic, numeric, and verbal representations of relations and use those representations to solve problems. The course includes all topics covered in Algebra II, but is characterized by more rigorous assignments, an increased pace of study, and independent projects completed outside of class. An emphasis will be placed on mathematical theory and higher order thinking skills that impact practical and increasingly complex applications, modeling, and algebraic proof. Technology will be used regularly for instruction and assessment.
Math for College Readiness
This full year math course covers advanced algebra topics including trigonometry, statistics, probability, and the study of functions. The goal of this course is to prepare seniors to be proficient in basic high school math skills to ensure success at the college level.
Pre- Calculus CP:
This course covers advanced topics in preparation for Calculus. Topics include analytic geometry, polynomial functions, trigonometry, exponential and logarithmic functions, and sequences and series. This course covers advanced topics in preparation for Calculus. The topics include: circle and right triangle trigonometry, sequences and series, combinations and permutations, probability, statistics and an introduction to calculus.
Pre- Calculus Honors:
Honors Pre-Calculus is a continuation of Honors Algebra II or Algebra II, which is also a prerequisite. Students focus on the use of technology, modeling, and problem solving. Functions studied include polynomial, exponential, logarithmic, rational, radical, piece-wise, and trigonometric and circular functions and their inverses. Parametric equations, vectors, infinite sequences and series, limits and introduction to derivatives are also studied.
AP Calculus AB:
This is a full year college level course covering topics in differential and integral calculus. In the Spring semester, students will take the Calculus AB Advanced Placement Examination for possible college credit for the course. All students admitted to AP must stay the entire year unless a change is recommended by the teacher. All students must take the AP test in May.
This course is designed to continue to expand the student’s knowledge of the living world around them. This laboratory based class investigates biological systems in great detail. Beginning with a study of the biochemical composition of living cells and concluding with human body systems. By basically focusing on organisms increasing size and complexity (in structure, function, and chemistry), the course will proceed through the six biological kingdoms. This course employs the scientific method while covering the state content standards: basic biological principles, biochemistry, cell structure and function, DNA and RNA, molecular basis of heredity, viruses, bacteria, protozoa, fungi, plants, interdependence of organisms, biological evolution and human body systems. Data collection with graphing, calculations, and interpretation are used to communicate results of lab investigations.
Biology is a one year laboratory science course designed to further expand the student’s comprehension and appreciation of the living world around them. This laboratory-based class employs the scientific method to supplement the learning of everything from the biochemistry of living cells, metabolism and enzymes, cellular energy, cell reproduction, genetics and molecular inheritance, to evolution and human body systems, ecology, and the environment.
Honors Biology is an accelerated one year biology course for students who have shown excellence in 8th grade science and on the YULA Math Science Placement exam. The content is designed to prepare students for success on the SAT II Subject Test in Biology in May of the spring semester. The course covers four areas of biological principles and processes with emphasis on biological evolution and interdependence of living organisms: (1) macromolecules, cells, photosynthesis and respiration at the molecular level (2) genetics and nucleic acids/protein synthesis (3) viruses, bacteria, protists, and fungi (4) organisms and the body systems. This course aims to provide students with the conceptual framework and analytical skills necessary to understand and assess the rapidly growing science of biology. Summer course work is required.
Applied Chemistry is a one year laboratory science course for students who would like an introductory chemistry course. Course topics include atoms and molecules, the periodic table, chemical compounds, chemical equations and reactions, and some basic organic chemistry. The course takes a descriptive and practical approach to chemistry concepts and concentrates on “hands-on” activities.
This course deals with the structure and composition of materials and the changes which these materials can undergo. Laboratory topics include qualitative analysis, quantitative analysis, acid/base titration and solubility. Lecture topics include chemical formulas and nomenclature, stoichiometry, gas laws, atomic structure, periodicity, chemical bonding, thermodynamics, chemical equilibrium and acid/base chemistry. Students may be introduced to solubility equilibria and redox chemistry as time permits.
This course deals with the structure and composition of materials and the changes which these materials can undergo. Laboratory topics include qualitative analysis, quantitative analysis, acid/base titration and solubility. Lecture topics include chemical formulas and nomenclature, stoichiometry, gas laws, atomic structure, periodicity, chemical bonding, thermodynamics, chemical equilibrium and acid/base chemistry. Students may be introduced to solubility equilibria and redox chemistry as time permits.
Marine science is a one year course designed to dive deeply into both the living and non-living aspects of the ocean. One major aspect of the course is devoted to the ocean floor, storms, waves, and tides. The other major part of the course covers all the biology in the ocean, from marine microorganisms and primary producers, marine invertebrates, fishes, marine reptiles and marine birds, to marine mammals. To help students appreciate the importance of Earth’s oceans and the biodiversity within, the end of the year covers conservation and regulation.
Physics is a systematic introduction to the main principles of physics and emphasizes the development of conceptual understanding and problem-solving ability using algebra and trigonometry. The major topics covered are mechanics, energy, electricity and magnetism, waves, and modern physics. Additional topics include motion in a plane, internal energy, geometrical optics, and nuclear physics. This class includes laboratory work and demonstrations. This course is an introduction to the basic concepts which describe the physical world. Analysis of experiments, demonstrations and quantitative problem solving are used to reinforce the concepts being learned. A major portion of the course is devoted to the topics of mechanics (motion, force, momentum, work and energy). Other topics include heat, waves, optics, electricity and magnetism and modern physics.
Like College Preparatory Physics, Honors Physics is a systematic introduction to the most fundamental phenomena underpinning the structure of our universe through the study of kinematics, mechanics, momentum, energy, waves, sound, light, optics, electricity, magnetism, nuclear physics and modern physics. Honors physics is a laboratory-based course that uses student exploration and demonstration to provide hands-on observation and analysis of the physical forces at work in our world and beyond. Computer simulations will also be used to model phenomena that cannot be easily demonstrated in the confines of our campus. This course utilizes students’ algebra and trigonometry skills more routinely and more rigorously than College Prep Physics, but has broader conceptual foundations than AP Physics. This course will also differ from College Preparatory Physics in its pace, the depth and complexity of each topic studied, and the degree of difficulty of the problem solving involved. As such, while the course provides constant opportunities to practice various math skills, there won’t be class time available to address math remediation. This course prepares students to be successful in either AP Physics or introductory college-level physics courses such as those regularly required for degrees in engineering, science or some pre-med fields.
AP Biology is a highly rigorous one year course designed to provide an in-depth study of biological interactions and processes for students who have demonstrated a high level of ability and interest in science. This course encompasses four “Big Ideas” of biology: The process of evolution drives the diversity and unity of life. Biological systems utilize energy and molecular building blocks to grow, to reproduce, and to maintain homeostasis. Living systems store, retrieve, transmit, and respond to information essential to life processes.Biological systems interact, and these interactions possess complex properties. A comprehensive and intensive overview of biology include topics such as cell biology, cellular energy and metabolism, genetics and inheritance, molecular biology, biotechnology, evolution, comparative anatomy and physiology, and ecology. Emphasis is placed on developing college level communication skills such as essay and lab report writing, and heightening analytical and critical thinking skills. AP Biology is heavily lab-oriented and students are required to spend 25% of class time doing laboratory activities, as per the College Board. All students must pass a placement entrance exam and once admitted to AP Biology must remain in the course for the entire year unless a change is recommended by the teacher. All students must take the National AP Exam in May.
The AP Chemistry course provides students with a college-level foundation to support future advanced coursework in chemistry. Students cultivate their understanding of chemistry through inquiry-based investigations, as they explore topics such as: atomic structure, intermolecular forces and bonding, chemical reactions, kinetics, thermodynamics, and equilibrium. All students must take the National AP Exam in May.
AP Environmental Science:
The goal of the AP Environmental Science course is to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, to identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and human-made, to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing them.
All students must take the National AP Exam in May.
Anatomy & Physiology:
Anatomy and physiology is a one year course focused around the study of the human body. Topics include anatomical terminology and each of the twelve body systems: integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, circulatory, respiratory, digestive, lymphatic, urinary, endocrine, and both male and female reproductive systems. This course will include hands-on labs and virtual dissections.
AP Physics: (2019-2020)
AP Physics 1 is an algebra-based, introductory college-level physics course. Students cultivate their understanding of Physics through inquiry-based investigations as they explore these topics: kinematics; dynamics; circular motion and gravitation; energy; momentum; simple harmonic motion; torque and rotational motion; electric charge and electric force; DC circuits; and mechanical waves and sound. AP Physics is a laboratory-based course, which uses student exploration and demonstration to provide hands-on appreciation of the physical forces at work in our world and beyond. Computer simulations will also be used to model phenomena that cannot be easily demonstrated in the confines of our campus. AP Physics 1 is a full-year course that is the equivalent of a first-semester introductory college course in algebra-based physics which prepares students to take the AP Physics 1 exam administered in early May that may earn the students college credit. As such, work done outside the classroom is as integral to this course as it is in college physics courses and time-management is crucial for students at this level of endeavor.
Social Studies Department
Global History I CP:
This is a year course that presents a survey of global history from the beginnings of humankind in Africa to early modern Europe in the 17th century. The emphasis is on the interconnections between the peoples of different regions of the world as well as an understanding of the relationship between history and geography through an examination of the Five Themes of Geography.
Global History I Honors:
The Global History Honors course places a greater degree on facilitating basic historical fluency for those with little or no history background, this higher-level History honors course is constructed to not only develop historical knowledge and fluency, but to significantly enhance the student’s historical critical and analytical thinking skills. Content to be evaluated and analyzed includes a careful and detailed examination of the cultural, political, social, and economic structures of Sumer, Egypt, India, China, Middle East kingdoms, Greece, Rome, and much more. The historical study in this course will facilitate a student’s ability to discern the historical forces that have shaped world history, and to harness evidence from history that allows for the application of historical themes to contemporary events.
Global History II CP:
This is a year course that presents a survey of global history from the Age of Exploration through the 20th century. The Emphasis is on the interconnections between peoples of different regions, particularly responses of indigenous populations to European contact beginning with Africa and the Western Hemisphere and during the Age of Imperialism. The end of colonialism and the rise of globalism are important topics as is the ongoing examination of the Five Themes of Geography. Several weeks within the course may be devoted to the Holocaust through primary and secondary source reading.
Global History II Honors:
Global History II is a fascinating course that begins with the Renaissance and Reformation in Europe. This marks a significant change from the Middle Ages, where new ideas and innovations were non-existent . We then move on to the expansion of the Muslim world and then circle back to Europe to focus on Exploration and Discovery. We are also careful to expand our history studies to include Asia and Africa, not merely a Eurocentric history course. Our year concludes with both World Wars and the aftermath of World War II, as we delve into the causes and consequences of these life changing events. Emphasis is placed on the analysis and discussion of primary and secondary sources, writing and research skills and presentation of group projects.
AP European History:
AP European History focuses on the political, economic, and cultural changes that took place in Europe from the late Middle Ages through the modern era. The course covers the period from 1300 to the beginning of 21st century, and develops the themes, people, and events that empowered Europe as the dominant continent. The primary assessments are multiple-choice and essay examinations, but other measurements will be given. All students admitted to AP European History will have a significant amount of reading over the summer in preparation for beginning the course in September. This course represents a YULA student’s first encounter with an A.P. course, and is structured to generate success on the AP European History national exam in May.
United States History CP:
This is a full-year survey of American history that focuses on the 20th century. The course provides a solid grounding in American political history with an investigation of the economic, social/cultural, and intellectual trends of modern America. This course is designed to facilitate student ability to develop historical thinking skills and insight. Skill development emerges by engaging directly with the historical material through interpreting and analyzing primary and secondary sources, debating, discussing, and re-enacting historical events.
United States History Honors:
This survey course covers American History from 1491 through the present day.
This honors course is designed to facilitate student ability to develop high-level historical thinking skills and insight. Skill development emerges by engaging directly with the historical material through high level essay writing, interpreting and analyzing primary and secondary sources, debating, discussing, and re-enacting. The course is structured chronologically, divided into 9 major historical periods (units). First semester topics include the American Revolution, the Early Republic, the Constitution, the Struggles of a Growing Nation, the Union in Peril, Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, Industrialization, Immigrants and Urbanization, the U.S. Joins the Age of Imperialism, the Progressive Era, and World War I. Second semester topics include the Great Depression, the New Deal, World War II, the Cold War, the Red Scare and McCarthyism, the Women’s Rights Movement, the Civil Rights Movement, the Great Society, the Korean and Vietnam War Years, Watergate, the Reagan years, Globalization, the impact of 9/11 on America, the War on Terror, the United States in present day. Throughout this honors-level course challenging academic activities designed to facilitate deep, critical thinking and analysis of each topic matter will occur through a variety of written assessments, research, projects, and in-class discussions.
AP United States History:
The A.P. U.S. History course is a college level survey course that covers American History from 1491 through present day. This course is designed to facilitate student ability to develop historical thinking skills and insight. Skill development emerges by engaging directly with the historical material through high-level DBQ and LEQ essay writing, interpreting and analyzing primary and secondary sources, debating, discussing, re-enacting, and much, much more. The course is structured chronologically with each unit deeply exploring and reflecting the key concepts outlined in the AP U.S. History curriculum framework. This course has been carefully designed to facilitate a very strong student performance on the AP U.S. History national exam in May.
The AP Psychology course is designed to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals. Students are exposed to the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields within psychology. They also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice. All students must take the National AP Exam in May.
United States Government CP:
This is a one semester course for 12th graders emphasizing the workings of the American system of government and the American political process. The class explains the roles and powers of the institutions and political groups that shape the government. Students will learn to think critically and analytically with respect to the actions and decisions of those who influence and shape policy within the American government
United States Government Honors:
Our Honors United States Government course is a college-level class designed to introduce and inform students on the structure of and policy-making processes within the American national government. This course also provides students with a deep and nuanced understanding of the Constitution and its impact on American government today. The class explains the roles and powers of the institutions and political groups that shape the government. Students will learn to think critically and analytically with respect to the actions and decisions of those who influence and shape policy within the American government.
AP United States Government:
AP United States Government course is a college-level class designed to introduce and inform students on the structure of and policy-making processes within the American national government. This course also provides students with a deep and nuanced understanding of the Constitution and its impact on American government today. The class explains the roles and powers of the institutions and political groups that shape the government. Students will learn to think critically and analytically with respect to the actions and decisions of those who influence and shape policy within the American government. The class is also designed to prepare students for the AP U.S. Government national exam in May.
The Economics courses teaches students to develop a working knowledge of basic economic concepts and vocabulary and understand economic trends and how they influence business. In addition, students will learn the role of government in setting fiscal and monetary policy and understand the basic components of establishing a business. Emphasis will be placed on teaching students how to balance their own budgets and financial responsibilities. This course will culminate in the creation of a business idea and plan that will be presented to a panel of “investors.”
The Economics Honors course teaches students more advanced economic concepts and vocabulary and understanding economic trends and how they influence business. In addition, students will learn a more in depth analysis of the role of government in setting fiscal and monetary policy and understand the basic components of establishing a business. In addition, Students will learn how to manage their own finances. Emphasis will be placed on understanding how the Stock Market works and students will begin “investing” in their own stocks. This course will culminate in the creation of a business idea and plan that will be presented to a panel of “investors.”
Writing Seminar and World Literature
The ninth grade year at YULA begins with a semester long writing seminar, which focuses on making sure all students have a solid foundation in writing across a range of styles. They will work through the elements of an essay in the first semester, and practice writing about different kinds of literature in the second semester.
YULA freshmen will also begin to learn how to analyze and study literature. No small part of getting our students to have individual and group-created insight as they read at home and discuss in class is giving them the adequate vocabulary and language to discuss literature intelligently. They will also expand their vocabulary in terms of the analysis of content. Imagery, symbolism, setting, metaphor, simile, and other figurative language will play large roles, as will identifying speaker and voice. The study of Shakespeare will require students to learn of dramatic irony, comic relief, and dramatic foil. Study of the novel will emphasize the role of narration, characterization and setting as tools of the fiction-writer’s trade.
These terms and more will not be taught as separate entities or as vague definitions to be memorized, but only in the context of the literature at the core of the course. Our main goal in the freshman year particularly, but also throughout the four years, is to create non-defensive “students” of literature. They will not learn to attack texts in order to point out literary devices, but these devices are to be incorporated into the normal discussion and interpretation, to enhance their enjoyment of literature and to enable them to glean meaning from the literature, hopefully making their future journey through a life of literature more meaningful.
9th Grade English Applied:
The freshman Applied English course is split into two distinct semesters. The object of the first semester is to make sure all students have a good grounding in writing conventions in a variety of formats, including the components of an essay. We will also
explore approaches to speaking and listening in a variety of different formats. To that end, the course is structured in such a way that the concept of a thesis is introduced through op-ed writing, the structure of an argument is taught through the creation of websites, and the first essays are written about a short film – students will also have the opportunity to create a film themselves.
In the second semester, students will start applying these writing skills to a range of literature. This will include a novel, a play, poetry, paintings, film, and non-fiction prose.
9th Grade English College Prep:
Like Applied English, the College Prep course is split into two distinct semesters. For College Prep students, the object of the first semester is to broaden their range of writing and sense of audience, making clear distinctions in style and voice depending on the context. Students will strengthen and practice the components of the essay, with emphasis on the structure of argument in essay writing paying due diligence to writing conventions and structure.
In the second semester, students will continue to apply these writing skills to a range of literature. This will include a novel, a play, poetry, paintings, film, and non-fiction prose.
9th Grade English Honors
Like the other two freshman English courses, the 9th Grade Honors course is split into two distinct semesters. For Honors students, the object of the first semester is to broaden their range of writing and sense of audience, making clear distinctions in style and voice depending on the context. We also ensure that students are practicing the components of an essay, to extend the written style in terms of sentence structure and vocabulary, and to explore different media in a range of literary and visual formats. Although the Honors class will also make are we are paying due diligence to writing conventions and structure, the focus for the Honors class will be on elevating the tone of writing and level of thinking, through exploring more demanding textual examples, and wider applications in their own work.
In the second semester, students will apply the more ambitious approach to writing that we have established in the first semester. The focus of the second semester is on responding to the writing and communication of others, and we will explore a range of literature and media including novels, plays, poetry, paintings, film, visual media, and non-fiction prose.
The English Tradition: From Social Norms and Standards to Personal and Critical Expression
While YULA students have been exposed in ninth grade to World Literature as a form of artistic expression, the tenth grade continues with themes raised in the previous year by exposing students to, primarily, a chronological examination of English literature. Representative texts are used again to show the development of the English tradition through time but also to show the dramatic shift from literature as a conservator of traditional community values to one where literature acts as a critical voice inside the conscience of human society.
10th Grade English College Prep:
Students read many literary forms: novels, short stories, plays, poetry, and essays. Writing in the tenth grade continues to refine skills in supporting thesis statements with specific details as students concentrate on strengthening both form and content. Prewriting, drafting, and revision are emphasized. Review and practice of grammar is an integral part of the class as is developing broader vocabulary. Students will be given various writing assignments, which will strengthen their personal writing style. By the end of the course, the student will have workshopped and written approximately 10-12 essays and other forms of writing in a variety of rhetorical modes including creative, descriptive, narrative, expository, and literary analysis writing, with at least four multi-paragraph, persuasive essays.
10th Grade English Honors:
Students read many literary forms: novels, short stories, plays, poetry, and essays. Writing in the tenth grade continues to refine skills in supporting thesis statements with specific details as students concentrate on strengthening both form and content. Prewriting, drafting, and revision are emphasized. Review and practice of grammar is an integral part of the class as is developing broader vocabulary. Students will be given various writing assignments, which will strengthen their personal writing style. By the end of the course, the student will have workshopped and written approximately 10-12 essays and other forms of writing in a variety of rhetorical modes including creative, descriptive, narrative, expository, and literary analysis writing, with at least four multi-paragraph, persuasive essays. Students will be exposed to various literary terms
and techniques as a preparation for AP courses in the 11th and 12th grades. The Honors class is a challenging class with a lengthy book list and higher expectations in essay writing. The class requires a significant commitment from each student.
The Tradition and Originality of the American Literary Spirit
The eleventh grade year dedicates itself to the chronological study of the American literary tradition as both a child of its various world traditions as well as the unique birth of a new cultural vision. While students will find themselves seeing literary reflections of the Greeks and the Anglo-Saxons, they will also be seeing those ideas and sentiments melded into the unique American ethos. Coinciding with their study of American history, they will also be experiencing the various voices that tell the complete story of their country or the country that they have inherited as immigrants. The established greats of American literature, such as Hawthorne, Melville, Dickinson, Whitman and Twain will meet face to face with alternative visions of American life expressed by Chopin, Hurston, Baldwin, Roth and Silko.
11th Grade English College Prep:
We will read many literary forms: novels, short stories, plays, poetry, and nonfiction. Writing in the eleventh grade continues to refine skills in argument and analysis as we concentrate on strengthening both syntactic and grammatical form as well as to gain skills in identifying literary and rhetorical techniques, analyzing texts for content, and writing argumentative works. The course emphasizes prewriting, drafting and revision as well as refining speaking as a tool to develop and communicate ideas. Review and practice of grammar is an integral part of the class, as is developing broader vocabulary. This course will have particular focus on close reading, further developing argumentative and critical thinking skills throughout a variety of 10-12 assessments. These assessments will include argumentative and researched essays as well as creative writing and multimodal projects and presentations, throughout which students will explore various rhetorical modes.
11th Grade English Honors:
We will read many literary forms: novels, short stories, plays, poetry, and nonfiction; and because this is an Honors course, reading will be more challenging and faster-paced than in the College Prep English course. Writing in the eleventh grade continues to refine skills in argument and analysis as we concentrate on strengthening both syntactic and grammatical form as well as to gain skills in identifying literary and rhetorical techniques, analyzing texts for content, and writing argumentative works. The course emphasizes prewriting, drafting and revision as well as refining speaking as a tool to develop and communicate ideas. Review and practice of grammar is an integral part of the class, as is developing broader vocabulary. This course will have particular focus on close reading, further developing argumentative and critical thinking skills throughout a variety of 10-12 assessments. These assessments will include argumentative and researched essays as well as creative writing and multimodal projects and presentations, throughout which students will explore various rhetorical modes. This is an Honors course, so students will complete large capstone projects in both the Fall (a writing portfolio and reflection) and the Spring (a researched essay in several steps, including an annotated bibliography and research proposal) semesters.
AP English Language and Composition:
Students in this introductory college-level course read and carefully analyze a broad and challenging range of nonfiction prose selections, deepening their awareness of rhetoric and how language works. Through close reading and frequent writing, students develop their ability to work with language and text with a greater awareness of purpose and strategy, while strengthening their own composing abilities. Course readings feature expository, analytical, personal, and argumentative texts from a variety of authors and historical contexts. Students examine and work with essays, letters, speeches, images, and imaginative literature. Students frequently confer about their writing in the Writing Center as well as in class. Summer reading and writing are required. Students prepare for the AP English Language and Composition Exam and may be granted advanced placement, college credit, or both as a result of satisfactory performance.
Course reading and writing activities should help students gain textual power, making them more alert to an author’s purpose, the needs of an audience, the demands of the subject, and the resources of language: syntax, word choice, and tone. By early May of the school year, students will have nearly completed a course in close reading and purposeful writing. The critical skills that students learn to appreciate through close and continued analysis of a wide variety of nonfiction texts can serve them in their own writing as they grow increasingly aware of these skills and their pertinent uses. During the course, a wide variety of texts (prose and image based) and writing tasks provide the focus for an energetic study of language, rhetoric, and argument. As this is a college-level course, performance expectations are appropriately high, and the workload is challenging. Often, this work involves long-term writing and reading assignments, so effective time management is important. Because of the demanding curriculum, students must bring to the course sufficient command of mechanical conventions and an ability to read and discuss prose. The course is constructed in accordance with the guidelines described in the AP English Course Description
Teachers teaching what they are passionate about is the concept behind the literary content to the regular sections of twelfth grade English. In association with the Department Chair, twelfth grade instructors set out units around a body of literature (with, if they choose, appropriate other media) to explore with their students. Examples of past course themes include “Shakespeare” (an assortment of the Bard’s plays across genres) “The Literature of War” (including All’s Quiet on The Western Front and The Things They Carried) and “Other American Voices” (works by non-Anglo-American groups).
12 Grade English College Prep:
Writing in the twelfth grade continues to refine skills in argument and analysis as we concentrate on strengthening both syntactic and grammatical form as a route to developing individualized voices as writers, and to gain skills in identifying complex literary and rhetorical techniques. Students will continue to augment skills analyzing texts for content, and writing argumentative works. The course emphasizes prewriting, drafting and revision as well as refining speaking as a tool to develop and communicate ideas. The personal essay will be a unique focus of the writing course during the first semester. Review and practice of grammar is an integral part of the class, as is developing broader vocabulary. This course will help students further develop close reading, argumentative and critical thinking skills throughout a variety of 10-12 assessments. These assessments will include argumentative and researched essays as well as creative writing and multimodal projects and presentations, throughout which students will explore various rhetorical modes.
12 Grade English Honors:
The literary focus of this course is thematic and will vary, but will include a combination of both classic canonical and modern texts. We will read many literary forms: novels, short stories, plays, poetry, and the creative non-fiction essay; and, because this is an Honors course, reading will be more challenging and faster-paced than in the College Prep English course. Writing in the twelfth grade continues to refine skills in argument and analysis as we concentrate on strengthening both syntactic and grammatical form as a route to developing individualized voices as writers, and to gain skills in identifying complex literary and rhetorical techniques. Students will continue to augment skills analyzing texts for content, and writing argumentative works. The course emphasizes prewriting, drafting and revision as well as refining speaking as a tool to develop and communicate ideas. The personal essay will be a unique focus of the writing course in the first semester. Review and practice of grammar is an integral part of the class, as is developing broader vocabulary. This course will help students further develop close reading, argumentative and critical thinking skills throughout a variety of 10-12 assessments. These assessments will include argumentative and researched essays as well as creative writing and multimodal projects and presentations, throughout which students will explore various rhetorical modes. This is an Honors course, so students will complete large capstone projects or exams in both semesters. In the Spring, students will complete a researched essay or capstone interdisciplinary project in several steps, including an annotated bibliography and research proposal.
AP English Literature:
This course will follow the curricular requirements outlined by the College Board in the AP English Literature and Composition Course Description which focuses on building skills necessary for college-level reading and writing. The texts include works from a variety of time periods and genres, and the writing assignments include in-class essays as well as formal process essays with several opportunities for revision. This is considered a college-level course, which means that students will be asked to read and analyze challenging, provocative, dense, and sometimes controversial material. Students will also be expected to come to class prepared to challenge themselves and others with interesting discussion points.
The course design is based on the premise that the AP English Literature exam measures those skills that students need in order to be successful in college. Students will work together and explore a variety of reading and writing strategies proven effective in preparing for success on the Advanced Placement English Literature exam. The course will focus on improving skill sets related to confidence and facility with language; skill in critical reading, writing, and thinking; and success in academic endeavors.
This course will concentrate on honing skills to analyze and write about poetry, drama, fiction, and non-fiction. This course will build on the vocabulary of rhetorical techniques students have acquired in earlier studies as well as introduce additional terms of literary analysis for poetry and fiction. We will concern ourselves with the construction of style analysis covered in the AP English Literature Examination and with several other modes of writing. Discussion of the AP examination will include test materials and student exemplars from previous examinations. We will explore the multiple-choice section with the aim to develop close reading skills, and broaden our mastery of literary terms and techniques. We will also look specifically at strategies to identify tone and how to apply critical theory to the texts we study.
This is the first time students at YULA will be taught Hebrew Language. Emphasis is placed on the acquisition of basic skills, for example, proficiency in Hebrew Alphabet, building reading fluency and learning new vocabulary. This syllabus is based on Ulpan Or materials. Units include: basic conversations, grammar essentials, number recognition, directions and first time visits to Israel. At the completion of this course students will be able communicate using single words and simple phrases and recognize, write and read basic Hebrew words.
This Hebrew Course is slightly more advanced than the applied Hebrew. “Hebrew from Scratch” Part A by Hila Kobliner is an essential component of the curriculum. Units include: more complex conversations about the students life – home, school and friends. Emphasis is placed on Improving grammar. At the completion of this course students will be able to communicate using more complex phrases and improve their reading and writing.
This level of Hebrew is for students who are able to converse proficiently in Hebrew and will be working on strengthening their reading, writing and communication skills. “Hebrew from Scratch” Part B by Hila Kobliner is an essential component of the curriculum. Units include: literature, traditional Israeli culture, in-depth discussions, and presentations. At the completion of this course students will be able to express themselves in social, academic and professional genres.
Bechina Yerushalmi Grades 9-12:
This level of Hebrew is the most advanced level which begins in 9th grade. Complex texts are studied including: Tanach (Old Testament) and modern Hebrew Literature covering numerous eras and genres. Emphasis is placed on analysis, discussion and presentations. Students in this track will continue this throughout their four years of High School. In 12th grade students will have the opportunity to take the Bechina Yerushalmi exam.
This course allows students to continue focusing on building their vocabulary and grammar skills. This syllabus is based on Ulpan Or materials. Units include: students personal preferences and choices, family situations, shopping and strengthening number acquisition. At the completion of this course students will be able to use a variety of words and phrases, improve and use accurate grammar and will be able to present information about themselves and their friends.
This course allows students to continue focusing on building their vocabulary and grammar skills, but texts are more complex and longer than the Applied track. This syllabus is based on Ulpan Or materials, and selected stories. Units include: grammar tenses, family situations, and strengthening conversational skills. At the completion of this course students will be able to ask and answer simple questions, begin describing people and places and improve their reading and writing skills.
Honors students will be given new texts and sources to analyze and discuss. “Hebrew from Scratch” Part B by Hila Kobliner will continue to be used (from Unit Six). At the completion of this course students will be able to express themselves more fully in social, academic and professional genres. Students will be able to write with more detail and precision using a variety of topics.
This course allows students to continue focusing on building their vocabulary and grammar skills. This syllabus is based on Ulpan Or materials. Units include: travel, making friends, completing applications, family life and food. At the completion of this course students will be able to use a wider variety of words and phrases, improve and use accurate grammar and will be able to participate in conversations at a higher level using more complex sentences.
This course allows students to continue focusing on building their vocabulary and grammar skills, but texts are more complex and longer than 10th Grade Hebrew. This syllabus is based on Ulpan Or materials. Units include: Dialogue, making aliyah, travel and vacations, family life and shopping in Machane Yehuda. At the completion of this course students will be able to communicate on a higher level and improve their reading and writing by presenting more complex information in a variety of formats.
Honors students continue to tackle complex literary texts. Emphasis is placed on reading comprehension and writing skills. Units Include: Salach Shabati, Diverse Dialogues, authentic Israeli movies and the non-fiction book “Sarah Giborat Nili” by Deborah Omer. At the completion of this course students will be able to participate and present complex topics with an advanced level of vocabulary and expertise. In addition students can support their personal opinions with clarity and precision.
This Hebrew Course is optional and is the fourth year of Hebrew Language at YULA Girls High School. Ulpan Or is used to further improve their speaking, listening, writing and communication skills. The course focuses on everyday scenarios when travelling in Israel, meeting new people, using public transportation, ordering food in restaurants and any other situations that a tourist would need to successfully navigate Israeli culture and ensure an authentic Israel experience.
This course is optional and is the fourth year of Hebrew Language at YULA Girls High School. Honors students continue to tackle complex literary texts. Emphasis is placed on further developing reading comprehension and writing skills. Units Include: poetry – “Shirat Rachel”, Israeli humor, the non-fiction book “Gesher La’Noar – Ha’Tzanchanit Shelo Shava”,
At the completion of this course, students will be able to participate and present complex topics with an advanced level of vocabulary and expertise. Additionally, students will be able to support their personal opinions with clarity and precision.
The Holocaust is an essential topic to learn, discuss and try to understand. As Jewish people it is incumbent upon us to study this tragedy and learn its’ valuable lessons.
The class will focus on the chronological history beginning with the aftermath of World War I culminating with the defeat of Germany in World War II and the plight of Jewish refugees after the war. Students will analyze and study complex moral and ethical dilemmas and attempt to understand how and why this catastrophe occurred. This class will be taught primarily through primary sources and documentary film.
The purpose of Film Studies is to learn how the media of film has developed from its beginnings and evolved into a significant art form. This course will concentrate on close analysis and criticism of film based on a study of the history of film as well as of the various techniques and styles employed by the filmmaker. Through comparative reading of films, students will develop the skills to conduct in-depth analyses of the art of film. Students will be exposed to various genres, such as drama, action, comedy, musical, western, film noir, etc. The study of these genres will span from the silent era to contemporary filmmaking and will begin with a study of the movements of Formulism and Realism. Students will be able to use the language of film in both verbal and written analysis.
In the Creative Writing Class we will explore a range of different formats, eventually creating a personal portfolio of writing that demonstrates our ability to write in a wide array of styles, voices, and genres. These will include: fiction: novels and short stories, poetry and songs, speeches- personal, essays, columns, blogs and opinion writing, plays, movies, and television scripts, memoirs, and storytelling. The course will focus on the act of polishing and re-drafting a text, sharing it and listening to feedback, and then presenting a final finished piece. The best work from these classes will be included in the YULA Literary Magazine, so the students will have the added incentive of producing work that will be published and read by an actual audience.
This course has been designed for students who have had no previous experience with Spanish language and culture. Students will have the opportunity to learn grammar, vocabulary and cultural concepts, which they can apply to everyday life. Emphasis will be placed on the acquisition of four skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. These skills will be developed through conversations, games, skits, videos, projects, readings, oral drills, and online workbook practice.
This course builds upon the knowledge gained in Spanish I. It will also reinforce the skills learned in Spanish I: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Emphasis is placed on perfecting pronunciation, mastery of the basic grammatical structures, and increased communication proficiency. Raising the level and knowledge of functional vocabulary is expected. Students will be exposed to past and future tenses. Students will continue working on conversation, games, skits, videos, cultural projects, reading, oral drills and online workbook practice. The primary objective of Spanish II is not only learning to speak Spanish but also developing an appreciation of the Spanish language and culture for life-long use and enjoyment.
Tanach classes are designed to engage our students to meaningfully explore and appreciate the text of Torah, Neviim, and Ketuvim, in order to develop the textual, analytic, and thematic skills which are prerequisites for independent study and ultimate spiritual and religious growth and observance. Curriculum planning for the cross section of Chumash, Navi and Ketuvim includes the identification of the spiritual, ethical, and moral values inherent in the text which highlight its contemporary relevance.
For Biblical Literature (Chumash) a thematic approach is adopted in most levels, and the commentaries that are studied range from the classic to the contemporary. An emphasis is placed on distinguishing between p’shat and d’rash and appreciating the beauty and importance of both.
Chumash Sefer Shmot H
Studying Perakim 1-15 n the first half of the year students delve into the enslavement of the Jews in Egypt and their Exodus story which is fundamental from both national/historical and religious/theological perspectives. The students will appreciate how the people of Israel established themselves as an independent nation and as the nation of God through many stages of development. Students will gain a greater sense of self and strength in the face of adversity while analyzing the strong personalities of Moshe, Paroah, Batya, Yocheved, Miriam, Aharon, Tzipporah, and Yitro. Many questions are grappled with, such as: why did the history of the people unfold in the manner in which it did? Why was it necessary for the children of Israel to go into exile in Egypt and suffer oppression and slavery? What prevented their immediate inheritance of the land of Israel, as promised by God to the forefathers? The makkot narrative will be studied as a b’keiut section.
Perakim 19-24 are considered one unit and will be studied during the second half of the year when focus shifts from the ongoing narrative to the mitzvot that Bnei Yisrael receive at Har Sinai before entering the Promised Land. Therefore, attention will be placed on thematic significance in the order and sequence in which the Torah presents the mitzvot. Ma’amad Har Sinai was one of the most important events (if not the most important) in our history.
Chumash Sefer Shmot CP
This course will focus on the Exodus of the Children of Israel—the Hebrews— from enslavement in Egypt and steps in their journey to becoming the Jewish Nation. We will be exploring the physical, spiritual, and economic challenges the Jewish people had to cope with in their journey, as we gain a deeper understanding of the era they lived in. We will delve into what true freedom is, the responsibilities that accompany it, and the leadership required to make the most of it, concluding ultimately with the Mishkan, a home for G-d.
The objectives of this course include, but are not limited to: an understanding that the חומש teaches us ethical and moral lessons that connect to our personal lives and the present predicaments facing the land of Israel; תנ״ך has become our a part of our common culture through advocacy, songs, prayers, and phrases; you could utilize your talents and creativity to make your own unique contributions to the interpretation of the חומש.
Chumash Sefer Bamidbar Honors
This year we will study Bnei Yisrael’s journey through the midbar, a formative and crucial stage in the development of our nation. We will begin with the census of the nation, its encampment around the holy mishkan and Hashem’s shechina, and the divine signs of the nation’s travels. We will then learn how the nation descended from this ideal state into confusion and sin. While studying the nation’s struggles in the midbar, we will explore Moshe’s leadership of the nation during this time and contrast other models of leadership presented to the nation as they struggled in the wilderness. Lastly, we will conclude the year by examining how Bnei Yisrael found a path forward as preparations begin for their much-awaited journey into Eretz Yisrael. Through an in-depth analysis of the text of the chumash and many of the great biblical commentaries, we will explore and develop themes such as identity, freedom, and leadership
We will focus on developing the students’ ability to read and critically analyze the text, strengthening their parshanut skills, and honing their ability to identify and articulate thematic connections and moral lessons throughout the text. Emphasis will be placed on “chavruta” style collaboration between students as a means to encourage students to take ownership of their learning and find a personal connection to Bnei Yisrael’s journey through the wilderness. Ultimately, the goal is for our students to develop a deeper understanding of the internal struggles Bnei Yisrael grappled with in the midbar and come to a greater appreciation of how the lessons learned by the nation in the wilderness are surprisingly relevant to their lives as Jewish women in the twenty-first century.
Chumash Sefer Bamidbar CP
This course will explore the main themes and chapters of Sefer Bamidbar, the fourth book of the Chumash. These themes include: individuality and nationhood, freedom vs. Avodat HaShem, leadership, community, tribal family identity vs. national identity. The following are the perakim and stories that will be covered: Symbolism of Bamidbar; Census פרק א-ד; Pesach Sheni פרק ט & Benot Tzelofchad פרק כז; The “Complainers” aka מתאוננים and Consequences – פרק יא; Miriam’s Lashon Hara and Tzaraat and Mei Meriva-פרק יב; The Mission of the Spies – Miriam – פרקים יג-יד; Korach – פרקים טו-טז;
Bilam and Balak – פרק כה; The Musaf Offerings – פרקים כח-ל
Chumash Sefer Devarim H
In his various speeches that comprise the entirety of the book of Devarim, Moshe carries out his last task as leader and teacher of the Jewish people. However, the theme of Devarim is not as apparent as in the case of the other four books of the Torah. In this course we will analyze the book of Devarim’s various stories, laws and words of rebuke in order to uncover its unifying themes and eternal messages. Emphasis will be placed on the מצוות and analysis of the מפרשים. We will explore the rationale behind each מצוה as well as its relevance to our own lives. With each מצוה the emphasis will be the purpose of מצוות in general and the idea that מצוות do not stifle us, but rather enhance our lives, improve our character traits, and strengthen our relationships.
The course will focus on skills, such as: generating questions from a פסוק, reflecting careful reading of the פסוק; using מפרשים to arrive at a translation of the text and noticing patterns in each of their approaches to parshanut; identifying the logical process and common structures of Rashi and Ramban; following the continuity of thought of a commentary on an inyan (topic); using a variety of מפרשים (commentaries) to tie together pieces of information within a concept; relating what we learn to our daily lives and personal relationship with הקב”ה (G-d).
Topics to be covered are:
- Intro to Devarim (פרק א פסוקים א- ה )
- Moshe’s Final Plea (פרק ג פסוקים כג – כט )
- Lo Tosifu (פרק ד פסוקים א -ד )
- 3 Bad Influences: מסית ומדיח, נביא שקר and פרק יג) עיר נדחת)
- Lo Titgodedu (פרק יד פסוקים א -ב )
- Kashrut (פרק יד פסוקים ג- כא )
- Ma’aser Sheni (פרק יד פסוקים כב -כו )
- Tzedaka (פרק טו פסוקים ז – יא )
- Melech (פרק יז פסוקים יד- כ )
- Milchama/Baal Tashchit ( פרק כ פסוקים א – כ)
- Eglah Arufah (פרק כא: א-ט)
- Eishet Yifat Toar (פרק כא: י-יד)
- HaShavat Aveida (פרק כב : פסוקים א-ד)
- Crossdressing (פרק כב: ה)
- Shiluach HaKen (פרק כב: ו –ז)
- Amalek (פרק כה: פסוקים יז – יט)
Chumash Sefer Devarim CP
This course focuses on analytical skills such as asking questions, contrasting various answers of the commentaries, following the continuity of thought of a commentary, and work on improving our reading of pesukim and Rashi.
The topics which will be covered are: Intro to Sefer Devarim; Parshat Vaetchanan- Moshe’s Personal Tefila; and Mitzvot in Sefer Devarim.
Chumash Sefer Beresheet CP
This course is a study of Sefer Beresheet, concentrating on the origins of the universe and mankind’s early history. Character traits which molded our Avot (forefathers) and how that impacted their descendants with a long-lasting legacy will be analyzed. Themes include belief and faith in God, good vs. evil, dreams, and the universal human desire to connect with the divine. A lot of Rav Soloveitchik’s works in understanding Sefer Beresheet will be utilized.
Chumash Sefer Beresheet Honors
This course is a study of Sefer Beresheet, focusing on the Avraham narratives (Perakim 11-25) and then, during second semester, on the first eleven chapters. We will be engaged in literary analysis of the text, against the broader background of Tanakh narratives. In addition, we will study the classic medieval commentators, along with learning about each of their approaches, as well as getting to know some of the luminaries of modern Orthodox Bible study.
Sefer Melachim Honors
This course will explore the political, economic, and religious situations of the kingdoms of Judah and Israel from approximately 850 BCE to 722 BCE. Students will analyze the history of the kingdoms of יהודה וישראל, from the time of אחאב and יהושפט to חזקיהו המלך. Some פרקים will be studied בעיון (in depth) and others will be covered as בקיאות (overview) units. Special emphasis will be placed on the נביאים and their roles as orators more than as miracle workers vis-à-vis the kings and their subjects. By analyzing the parallel texts in other ספרים, we will gain a deep understanding of the era and the poetic style of the prophet, whose prophecies are ageless.
Once the poetry of the נביא is deciphered, many universal issues which continue to resonate will be discussed. As we come to appreciate the depth of analysis contained within the מפרשים hopefully, we will be able to apply what we are learning into our personal lives from both the narrative and the character analysis.
Sefer Melachim CP
The in-depth study of the end of Melachim Aleph and majority of Melachim Bet gives the students an understanding of the importance of strong leadership and the responsibility it entails. Religious nationalism and the centrality of the Beit Hamikdash are themes that are discussed as students study various topics including the splitting of the kingdoms to Judah and Israel until the exile of the ten northern tribes by the hand of the Assyrian empire. The course will anchor students to Neviim and Ketuvim (Prophets and Scriptures) through cursory analysis of commentaries and discussion of contemporary ideas. Students will be engaged in the stories of Melachim, making them more real, relatable, and thus part of their Jewish Identity.
Sefer Yeshayahu (H and CP)
Entering the world of Neviim Achronim “the Latter Prophets,” this course will focus on Yeshayahu (Isaiah) and his contemporaries (Hoshea, Micha, and Amos). Examining the the historical events leading to the exile of the Ten Tribes as well as the era preceding the destruction of the first Beit Hamikdash (Holy Temple), students will engage with contextual elements from other relevant sources in Nach, namely Melachim II (Book of Kings II) and Divrei Hayamim II (Chronicles II), as well as identify and apply modern day parallels to these timeless words. The vast array of prophetic visions in the book of Yeshayahu include such dichotomies as rebuke and comfort, exile and redemption, destruction and rebuilding.
Our Sages teach us: Prophecy that was necessary for future generations was written down; Sefer Yeshaya is replete with these messages, including themes of social injustices that we must correct, the behaviors that lead to exile, and a description of the soon to follow glorious Messianic age. Students will deepen their understanding of and connection to our Mesorah (history) and thereby strengthen our Jewish identity and fortify our mission as Jews, both individually and collectively. Though the ideas sound lofty, the course seeks to uncover the relevance of each message and to foster curiosity and introspection while searching for the applicable meaning behind these ancient words.
The somber narratives of the end of ספר מלכים and דברי הימים detail the destruction of the בית המקדש. The Jews were mistakenly confident in viewing the מקדש as their protector against בבל. However, the שכינה of ה׳ had been receding already for several generations and the physical structure was now devoid of any sanctity. This was the world of ירמיהו. His mission to the Jews of ארץ ישראל and to the exiled Jews was to give encouragement to those who believed they lost their share in the God of Israel.
This course will explore the political, economic, and religious predicaments of the era prior to and during the Babylonian Exile. Students will delve into the interactions between the נביא and the kings and between the נביא and the people. Harder even than conveying difficult news, ירמיהו has to struggle both to persuade his audience to change their ways and to accept the challenging situation which has befallen them as a result of their choices. The issues which were relevant at the time remain pertinent universal issues we deal with today: leadership and the corruptive nature of power; the importance of social justice; theology; punishment and redemption.
Course objectives include, but are not limited to: Personal and spiritual growth; Conceptual understanding of event chronology; Skills development with the ability distinguish between Biblical Narrative and Biblical Poetry; Biblical Exegesis- for certain פסוקים and parts of the narrative, students will analyze the motley thematic approaches of commentaries.
This course teaches the era of שיבת ציון (Return to Zion) through various books of Nach (Ezra-Nechemiah, Chagai, and Zechariah). Additionally, we will survey excerpts from parallel texts in ישעיהו, ירמיהו, דניאל, and דברי הימים, to deepen our understanding of בני ישראל during the era known as Shivat Zion (538 BCE-433 BCE). Some sections will be studied בעיון and others will be covered as בקיאות units.
The destruction of the first בית המקדש and the subsequent exile left בני ישראל in an unprecedented situation. For the first time since settling the Land of Israel 900 years earlier in יהושע’s era, the Jewish nation was left devoid of their land, sovereignty, and a center of worship. ירמיהו’s grand prophecy of redemption after 70 years of exile coincided with Cyrus’s proclamation to all of his subjugated peoples to return to and rebuild their respective homelands. Unfortunately, only a small minority of Jews heeded Cyrus’s declaration and their attempts to rebuild were thwarted by locals and foreigners alike. The נביאים and leaders were faced with many challenges in the redemption process.
ספר עזרא נחמיה takes place as the era of נבואה was ending and its characters are examples of great leadership even in the absence of prophecy. Through analysis and comparison of the Jewish leaders during שיבת ציון we can appreciate the present-day relevance of all the texts of that era. One specific and essential example of relevance is how the interplay between God’s overt and covert Presence continues to have ramifications for modern day Jewry. Commentaries that will be selected will demonstrate the foreshadowing that the Tanach provides about the contemporary rebuilding of Jewish life in Eretz Yisrael.
9H1- Tractate Pesachim
This course will trace the Halachot (laws) dealing with Pesach and the Seder from the Mishna Brurah back to the Chumash, to the Mishna, Gemara and Rishonim up to the various contemporary Halachik commentaries and sources. We will train to analyze the Halachik process through an understanding of the Gemara, identifying identify the structure- מבנה, of the text in the Talmud. We will learn about the Seder night from both a Halachik and philosophical viewpoint, focusing on the importance of the Haggadah to try and gain a better understanding of the words we say every Pesach.
Course objectives include, but are not limited to: developing the ability to read, analyze, and understand various Gemara texts, Rishonim and major Halachic sources and commentaries; to have a deeper understanding and appreciation of the intricacies and framework of Gemara and Halacha; to further our general knowledge of the Torah SheBeal Peh (the Oral Torah) and the role it plays in our understanding of and living of Judaism; to discover and enhance a love of learning, a love of Judaism and a love of the Mesorah – oral tradition; and to think critically about ourselves and our relationships in this world.
At the end of the year the student should be able to look back and feel as if she has grown in her learning, both from a perspective of practical skills, as well as from the perspective of personal and spiritual growth that should always stem from תלמוד תורה (Torah study).
9H2 – Tractate Berachot
This course will focus on learning מסכת ברכות, starting with the first perek (chapter), מאימתי, continuing with the 3rd, 6th and 7th perakim. These perakim deal with topics such as: זמן קריאת שמע, (time of Kriat Shema), סמיכת גאולה לתפילה (Redemption & prayer) , קריאת שמע על המיטה (The Shema upon sleeping), ברכות התורה (Blessings on the Torah) , ברכות האוכל (Blessings on food) , ברכת המזון וזימון (Blessings after the meal and invitation to recite it).
We will examine the foundation of tefilah (prayer) and berachot (blessings), the spiritual messages behind them, as well as their technical details, such as timing and sequence. We will also be reading Aggadic Talmudic stories interspersed between the legal sources, which will give us an opportunity to discuss the foundations and philosophy behind the sources. The masechet (tractate) also raises interesting dilemmas when community practice conflicts with the technical halakha (law) found in the sources.
Course objective include, but are not limited to: build skills in reading, translating, understanding and analyzing the text in the Talmud; to build a vocabulary in Aramaic;
to identify the structure- מבנה, of the text in the Talmud; to learn to read and understand Rishonim (medieval commentators – Rashi, Tosfot…); to identify, analyze and discuss broader themes that are developed in the Talmudic texts we will be learning.
At the end of the year the student should be able to look back and feel as if she has grown in her learning, both from a perspective of practical skills, as well as from the perspective of personal and spiritual growth that should always stem from תלמוד תורה (Torah study).
10th / 11th / 12th Grade
Beit Midrash Track
Each Talmidah in the Beit Midrash program will experience the excitement of Havruta study and the passion that goes along with it; the intellectual stimulation that generates a real interest in serious Torah study and the exposure to the whole library of Jewish texts.
They will learn the ins and outs of composing a serious essay in Talmud as well as the joy of seeing it published in our community.
We will be studying מסכת פסחים (Tractate Pesahim), focusing on סוגיות in the 1st פרק(chapter) (dealing with בדיקת חמץ [searching for leaven]), the 2nd פרק (dealing with איסור חמץ [prohibition of leaven]) and, in the second semester, the 4th פרק (focus on [customs]מנהגים). We will be sharpening our reading and comprehension skills, along with our research and facility looking up comments of ראשונים(medieval commentators), codes (רמב”ם, טור’ שלחן ערוך) and introduction to some תשובה (repentance) literature of responsa.
Course Objectives include, but are not limited to: being engaged in the most meaningful dialogue with the Ribbono Shel Olam (G-d) possible; to dedicate the best that we are – our minds – to Torat Hashem (G-d’s Torah). Other significant objectives that we will endeavor to meet are fostering a passion for Talmud Torah and a sense of mastery of skills and confidence to be able to open up any page of Gemara and navigate through it.
Halakha(Jewish Law) and Machshava (Jewish Thought)
This course is designed to explore the evolution of the halachik (legal) process, connect with our Mesorah (tradition), and learn the laws and philosophy behind interpersonal mitzvot (bein adam l’chaveiro), Tefilah (prayer) and Brachot (blessings). From the time that the Mishna (Oral Law) was written down around 2,000 years ago until the time of Maimonides in the 12th century, no one had ever organized the vast and complex data into 14 clear categories. Using the Rambam’s magnum opus, Mishna Torah: Yad Hachazaka as our first example, we will progress through the major authors of halachik works over the last millenium. Then we will use these resources to learn the halachot of Bein Adam L’chaveiro, Tefilah and Brachot.
It is important to learn not only where we come from and “what” we do as Jews, but also “why” we do it. For that reason, Halacha is coupled with Machshava, Jewish Thought, where we explore the philosophy behind the mitzvot. Finally, as we encounter the various Jewish Holidays, we will review their halachot as well as the various minhagim (customs) and the proper Torah hashkafa (mindset) for the day.
The course covers topics from the foundations and philosophies of Kashrut, in addition to the practical topics of Kashrut that are encountered in daily life. Students analyze primary sources from the Torah and Talmud, and spend time learning the varied opinions of medieval and modern commentators and halakhic decisors on these sources.
Focus is on both understanding the foundations of each halakha, as well as how poskim can apply these halakhot in new circumstances, especially as the food and culinary industry continues to grow and expand exponentially. In this vein, many modern poskim‘s approaches to modern kashrut issues are explored. Hands-on learning and real-life circumstances are analyzed and discussed as well.
Topics to be covered are: Introduction to Halacha-overview of Rabbinic law throughout eras of Rishonim (medieval), Acharonim (modern) and contemporary Poskim (decisors); Taamei HaMitzvot- understanding the reasons for Kashrut to the best of our ability; Practical Kashrut-kosher and non-kosher animals; Milk and Meat; Principles of taste transfer; the Kosher kitchen; Ma’achalei Yisrael-Tevilat Keilim, Bishul Yisrael, Chalav Yisrael, Stam Yeinam, Hafrashat Challah
Hilchot Nashim/אשה והלכה
This course will cover a multitude of topics in halacha that pertain to women and identity as a Jewish woman. Topics include introductory philosophy, women and Torah study, mitzvot and halachot of the chagim, prayer, tzniut (modesty), negiah and yichud (laws of touch and intimacy), hilchot niddah (laws of family purity), and other related topics.
The objective of this course is to explore how halacha develops, from primary source to modern day application; to understand how divergent halachic opinions emerge, and learn how to differentiate between types of legal categories: Torah law (דיאורייתא), Rabbinic law (דרבנן), custom (מנהג), and life perspective (השקפה).
“ללמוד על מנת לעשות”– “You can’t just learn Torah, you have to live it.” To that end, we will be learning the laws of Shabbat hand-in-hand with the meaning, beauty, and enjoyment of Shabbat- Oneg Shabbat in order to strengthen our observance of Shabbat. Supplementary articles will enhance our learning and help create relevance between the laws of Shabbat and our lives.
The Course Objectives include, but are not limited to: to develop an appreciation for the HOW (Halachot) and WHY (Machshava) of Shabbat and the Jewish Holidays; to enhance our observance of the laws of Shabbat and the Jewish Holidays; to improve the student’s ability to read, translate, and analyze classic texts of Jewish law and Jewish philosophy, both in Hebrew and English; to develop a relationship between teacher and student that extends beyond the classroom.
Classical Jewish History (H and CP)
In this course, we explore the world of classical Jewish history (approximately 1000 BCE- 500 CE). We begin with the major narratives and figures in the books of the Neviim (Prophets) and and cover the Jewish story under the empires of Persia, Greece, and Rome. We end with a focus on Chazal (Our Sages) and Torah she’beal Peh (the Oral Torah).
Course Objectives include, but are not limited to: developing knowledge and understanding of the time period from Bayit Rishon (1st Commonwealth) through Chazal (1000 BCE-500 CE); developing personal appreciation for the centrality of the leaders and texts of this period.
Medeival Jewish History (H and CP)
In this class, we explore the story of the Jewish people in Islamic lands and Christian over 1,000 years (500-1500 CE). We study Jewish history in the context of the challenges and opportunities presented by the surrounding religions and culture in the places Jews lived, and we pay particular attention to formative Jewish figures and texts that emerge throughout this period.
Course Objectives include, but are not limited to: developing and value rich knowledge of Jewish history in the medieval period; developing familiarity and appreciation for classic medieval Jewish texts and authors; developing critical and abstract thinking skills related to historical thinking.
11th Grade (H and CP):
Modern Jewish History
Deep engagement with Jewish history fosters the development of robust Jewish identity. In this course, we explore the story of the Jewish people from the 1500s to the present and consider what it means to be a modern Jew. First semester covers the 16th-19th centuries and highlights the Shulchan Aruch and Acharonim (modern redactors) as well the movements of Hasidut, the Enlightenment, Emancipation & Haskala, and the variety of Jewish responses. Second semester covers the 20th century with particular focuses on the Holocaust and American Jewish History. The course is text based and utilizes an array of primary and secondary sources from multiple perspectives.
Course Objectives include, but are not limited to: developing value for rich knowledge of Jewish history in the early modern and modern period; developing familiarity and critical understanding of the variety of forms of “modern” Judaism; developing critical and abstract thinking skills related to historical thinking along with analytic and organized reading and writing skills.
Modern Israel (H and CP)
This course teaches students to develop meaningful and well-founded relationships with Israel as a central element of their robust Jewish identity. Situating the establishment of the State of Israel as the pivotal event in modern Jewish history, the course explores the story of modern Zionism from its origins to the present day. Particular attention is paid to developing nuanced perspectives on the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict and to exploring the opportunities and challenges inherent in maintaining a state both democratic and Jewish. We study Israeli cultures and civics, and end the year with advocacy and activism workshops to help transition students from high school to college.
Course Objectives include, but are not limited to: developing rich knowledge of the history of modern Zionism and the State of Israel; developing personal appreciation for the challenges and opportunities facing the State of Israel; developing tools to be confident and capable advocates and activists on behalf of Israel should they so choose, include utilization of historical context, primary and secondary source analysis, and critical and nuanced thinking skills.
Our new Derachim program gives our girls across grades and tracks multiple ‘paths’ to grow spiritually and connect. Our stellar Limudei Kodesh faculty is offering 14 different options of courses which can impact their lives deeply. 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. Courses are one semester long and subject to keep changing.
Rabbi Spodek: Essentials of Life
Understanding the “Why?” which drives the “What?”
Together we will learn and discuss Judaism’s essentials of life. We will delve deep into major Hashkafic principles and philosophies that underlie our Halachik lifestyle. This class is for the thinking person, the questioning person, the person who wants to understand WHY we do what we do and who wants to live a deeper and more meaningful life.
Mrs. Luftglass: Complex Episodes in Tanach
Faithful to the פשט, we will analyze characters/events that are often neglected in a typical high school curriculum. Our Tanach study will be intellectually stimulating, emotionally gripping and have modern day relevance. Examples of such episodes are: Reuven/Dudaim, Yehuda/Tamar, Shimshon, Pilegesh b’Givah, Pesel Micha, David/Batsheva/Michal, Amnon/Tamar etc. We will try to understand what motivated characters’ decisions and whether or not there was potential to act otherwise. We will focus on intertextual parallels, mesorah, theology, private experience, empathy, and chilul HaShem. Ultimately, we will figure out how our historical role models reconciled with past decisions and remained a people of integrity and HaShem’s model nation.
Mrs. Williams: The Goal is Soul
We will be exploring the paths to educating and inspiring our soul. We will look at our deepest assumptions, doubts and fears, and challenge our paradigms of belief. Rabbi David Aaron gently urges us to take a look at the self-defeating any silly notions we carry about ourselves and God. Amazingly, we discover that our changing view of God and ourselves gives us access to reserves of personal power we never experienced before and new doorways open in our loving relationships. I look forward to opening those doors together.
Mrs. Piliavin: The Great Jewish Philosophers
They were not afraid of the truth. Their stories are legendary. Their legacies, timeless. Journey into the lives of some of the greatest Jewish philosophers, and discover how their words, while controversial in their time, continue to inspire Jews around the world. The series will begin with R’ Yehuda Halevi (Kuzari), advance to the life and times of the Rambam (Morah Nevuchim), and culminate with the Ramchal (Mesilat Yesharim.)
Rav Etshalom: Introduction to Midrash
When Rashi quotes a Midrash – where is he getting it from? When we hear “the Midrash teaches” – where is the speaker reading from? When someone says “It’s only a Midrash”, what do they mean? How are we supposed to read Midrashim – as literal history or as allegory?
Mr. Piliavin: Jewish Mysticism
Exploring the fundamentals of mystical Jewish thinking and applying this wisdom to our daily lives. We explore the possibilities of building a deep relationship with Hashem and opening our eyes to the soul of everything around us. Based on Chassidic and Kabbalistic works including the Zohar, Etz Chaim, and the Tanya.
Mrs. Rich: Biblical Infertility and Modern Science
In this course we will delve into Fertility in the Torah. It will review some of the greatest biblical figures and their encounters with fertility. An emphasis will be placed on the development of modern fertility halacha, biomedical ethics, and the use of technology in fertility. This class will fuse the worlds of Biology and Torah.
Rabbi J. Weiner: Practical Jewish Medical Ethics
This class will explore a wide variety of fascinating contemporary issues that arise in healthcare and medical ethics, and how Jewish Law and values can help us navigate them, and what actually happens in hospitals today. Not only will this class utilize text study and discussion/debate, but will include field trips to Cedars-Sinai to experience some of the issues first hand!
Mrs. Beck: Torah and Psychology
In this course we will explore various topics in the world of psychology. We will investigate and understand when they intersect with the Torah’s Hashkafa and when they differ. We will focus on topics such as how to build meaningful relationships, substance abuse and addictions, free will vs. determinism and character development – to name a few. Students will also be given the ability to submit topics of their choice to explore later in the semester.
Ms. Gadish: Talmudic Aggadot
In this course we will explore fascinating Talmudic aggadot (stories), unpacking them to learn relevant life lessons and to see how the Talmudic sages used narrative to bring Torah law to life.
Ms. Avrahami: Sefardi Studies
In this course, we will learn about all things Sephardi- Food, Traditions, Personalities and Halacha, while focusing on renowned Sephardic personalities, such as Chakham Ovadia Yosef, Ben Ish Chai, Baba Sali and others. As we delve into certain minhagim of different Sephardic lifestyles, such as: Moroccan, Persian, Turkish, and Iraqi, we will learn about Sephardi (Edot HaMizrach) style of tefilla, specifically the Piyutim and niggunim comprised by Sephardim many of which are read on Shabbat, Yamim Tovim, and Yamim Noraim. Lastly, we will learn some intricacies of Sephardi Halacha using Yalkut Yosef as a resource.
Mrs. Rosenberg: SOULCycle: A Middos Workout
This course will be dedicated to bringing out the best in you! Learn about “middos” or character traits that are relevant to your life and how they directly affect your emotional and spiritual wellness. We will gain a deeper self awareness, focus on personal growth, and look at how our behavior impacts our deepest relationships.
Topics include humility and healthy self esteem, jealousy, gratitude, true happiness and more! #jewishwisdom #goals
Mrs. Ryzman: Jewish Thought
Open your eyes, your ears, and your hearts to learn, grow and be inspired from what the media and movie industry sells us as the ordinary, but that we transform into spiritually extraordinary experiences. We will explore a variety of moral, ethical, and religious themes that we encounter in our everyday lives. The class is designed to elicit deep conversation among all of you; challenging and empowering you to be aware of your choices and actions. We will learn ancient Jewish wisdom that is still so relevant today!