Judaic Studies

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ur multi-faceted Judaic studies curriculum offers an in-depth examination of Jewish literature, history and culture. An emphasis on developing critical thinking and textual analytical skills complements the general studies curriculum.

As students study Jewish texts, they examine the difference between subjective and objective history.  They analyze selections from Pirkei Avot, the ethical wisdom literature of the Talmud, Rashi, Maimonides and others as they relate these ancient texts to their current world.  Social justice and tzedakah continue to be emphasized at all grades.

The students also study the many forms of Judaism in America as well as the world's religions.

MS Judaic Studies News

  • Eighth Graders Receive Spice Boxes in Honor of Their B'nai Mitzvah

    Posted February 5, 2014

    Last Friday, we began a new tradition for our middle school students upon completion of their bar/bat mitzvah. It had been tradition for Brandeis Hillel students to receive a spice box at their bar/bat mitzvah from one of our teachers. Last year we shifted away from having this tradition take place in synagogues on Shabbat and have since reestablished this tradition within the school setting so that all the students’ teachers can be present along with the broader BHDS student community. The recipients of this first ceremony were our entire eighth grade class. This newly designed ceremony allows teachers to have the opportunity to bestow their blessings on our students, giving them both spiritual and emotional gifts in addition to the tangible spice box. MORE PHOTOS

  • Tzedek Project Turns Seventh Graders into Philanthropists

    Posted January 27, 2014

    Our 7th grade students officially allocated their philanthropic class dollars in a special presentation that included representatives from the various recipient organizations. This was the official conclusion of a milestone BHDS project known as the Tzedek (Justice) Fund. The students donated $18,000 to 30 charitable organizations. "This is a key project that integrates all academic subjects with our Judaic studies curriculum and our students' personal experience and values to impact the world at large in a very real, tangible way," said Jody Bloom, seventh grade teacher and project manager...

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  • Sixth Graders Create Art as Part of Judaic Studies Extra Credit

    Posted January 8, 2014

    In sixth grade the students have an extra-credit opportunity where they may choose any topic related to Judaism or Israel. Two students chose to research Israeli artists as part of this learning opportunity. One student, Gabby V., chose to research the Jewish artist Sonia Delaunay; she then painted a stool, mimicking the artist's style, her strong colors and geometric shapes. The stool, along with a Powerpoint report, was presented to her peers. Another student, Sara R., chose to research Israeli artist Tamar Dubrovsky; she created a prezi with the information she found. She then also mimicked the artist's style by creating a scenic painting of Haifa.