At YSZ High School, we recognize that there are essential Torah and middot values at the heart of every subject, and these character- based values are as critical to impart as knowledge and skills. In and out of the curriculum, we focus on character alongside content, helping our students bring the values of the Torah into the way they think, feel and act. For example, science is founded upon honesty and open-mindedness, the ability to rework our hypothesis and trust that we can learn from our mistakes. Literature asks us for our empathy and reflection, prompting us to place ourselves in the characters’ shoes and walk a mile. Core training is an important form of self care, and it demands effort and determination. Throughout the four years of high school, we challenge our teachers and students to continue to build and hone character.
Our approach to Torah is both global and personal. In Chumash, students are provided with the language and analytical skills to read and analyze the text inside, tracing themes from one sefer to another and integrating those themes into their own lives. Students will gain the ability to explicate Rishonim and Acharonim, and engage in parshanut. The girls develop a fluency in Lashon Hakodesh and the text comes alive as they learn both the peshat and deeper explanations in the words of Chumash. Sample course offerings: Sifrei Breishit, Shemot, Vayikra, Bamidbar, and Devarim.
Beginning with the Torah and continuing through the Acharonim, our students will explore the source and development of Sephardic halachah. Students will investigate the history of our beautiful Sephardic minhagim and acquire the tools to understand the Mesorah and embrace the laws that are woven into the tapestry of our lives. Sample course offerings: Hilchot Tefillah and Brachot, Moadim, Kashrut, Shabbat, Tzniut, Bein Adam L’Chavero, Kibud Av V’Eim, Ishut
In Hashkafat Hachaim, girls are invited to question, think, discuss, and analyze what it means to be a Bat Yisrael. Students learn to think about concepts such as bechirah, tzadik v’ra lo, true happiness, tzelem Elokim, finding your mission and purpose, tzniut, the role of women in Am Yisrael and more. Sample course offerings: Character Lab, Orchot Tzadikim, Mesilat Yesharim, Foundations in Judaism, Finding True Happiness: Living an Inspired Life.
Our Parashat Hashavua curriculum is designed to challenge and engage students in the deeper meaning of the Kriyat HaTorah. Students prepare for the class by learning pshat and Rashi b’chavruta in their Parsha Explored class, and then take a weekly thematic class as well. Students are given weekly quizzes in Parshah in order to develop their yediot klalliot knowledge.
Our students will explore the impactful pesukim, themes, and commentaries found in Neviim Rishonim and Neviim Acharonim. Practical applications of the sefer will be discussed in order to improve middot and learn how to respond to the vicissitudes of life. Sample course offerings: Yehoshua, Shoftim, Shmuel, Melachim, Yeshayahu, Yirmiyahu, Yechezkel.
Our classes on Chamesh Megillot and Tehillim are designed to explore the story, explanation, and deeper meanings behind the holy words of Tehillim and the Megillah. After discovering the messages in class, our students will experience new meaning when they hear the Megillah read on Chagim and when they open a Sefer Tehillim.
Hebrew is our shared language, enabling tefillot to be meaningful and the words of Tanach to speak to the heart. Our Hebrew class is taught by Rabbi Benhaim and helps students develop skills in reading poetry, short stories, piyutim, dikduk, shorashim and conversational Ivrit.
Jewish history gives us the opportunity to understand our place in the world today within the larger prism of world events. Beginning with Bayit Sheni and extending into the present, we explore the survival of the Jewish nation in the Diaspora. Sample course offerings: Great Sephardic Rabbanim, Medieval Jewish History, Rise of Chassidut in Eastern Europe, Sephardic Jewish History, History of Sephardic Minhagim, History of Eretz Yisrael, Holocaust and Human Behavior.