Judaic Studies


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

  • Tutoring Elective Making a Difference in the Lives of Young Students

    Posted March 18, 2015

    This semester, twenty-six 7th graders are participating in a tutoring elective at Lomita Park School—a Title 1 school—where they engage with, and read to, the kindergarten students. This elective was coordinated by Judaic studies teacher Jody Bloom and the Jewish Coalition for Literacy (JCL), after the 7th graders asked for a way to make a difference in the community. These students received three hours of tutor training by JCL Reading Specialist Joan Green: this training taught our seventh graders how to best read with little children, what expressions and emotions to use, how to be patient, and many other reading techniques. When asked why she enjoys this elective, seventh grader Shanie R. exclaimed, “It’s important for everyone to have an education and it’s important for everyone to learn how to read. I want these children to enjoy reading as much as I do.”

    Our students have formed a special bond with their buddies, and the excitement in the room is palpable when BHDS students and Lomita Park students are working together. “This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to engage in active reading,” says Lomita Park kindergarten teacher Carolina Orlando. “My students practice their reading and asking skills. They are being exposed to great role models and forming relationships with people they may never otherwise meet.” Read on for more information... MORE PHOTOS

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  • Seventh Grade Feels Empowered After Attending We Day

    Posted February 25, 2015

    On Wednesday, seventh graders spent the day at the SAP Center in San Jose, taking part in We Day. We Day—an initiative of Free the Children—is a way for young people to come together and celebrate their power to change the world, learn about new issues, and gain inspiration needed to take action. The seventh graders have been change-makers all year, promoting and holding a soccer tournament for Peace One Day, visiting seniors at Alma Via, and volunteering at the SF Food Bank, SF Parks and Recreation, and My New Red Shoes, among other service learning and tikkun olam activities. After returning from the exciting day, seventh graders Mira T., Paige Q., and Shanie R. said, “It was fun and exciting. It was empowering!”...

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  • Seventh Graders Explore Jewish Values and Environmental Sustainability

    Posted February 18, 2015

    With the goal of making a connection between daily life, Jewish values, social justice, and enviromental stability, seventh graders took a field trip to Whole Foods and Safeway on Wednesday. Using the Sustainable Buying Guide of Hazon—a Jewish environmental organization—to guide them, the seventh graders practiced "Value-conscious Grocery Shopping." Working in groups, students were divided into sections of the grocery store (meat, dairy, fruits & vegetables, dry goods) to look into sustainable, local, and organic food; where the food comes from; and how much it costs. This was an exciting experience for our students that is relevant to their lives, teaches important values, and contributes to environmental sustainability resources in the Bay Area.

    "Our students realized that they had never taken the time to examine the labels and wondered if others really did...They are looking forward to helping their parents shop and together making more mindful decisions in an effort to better our planet," said middle school Judaic studies teacher Jody Bloom. Read on for more information... MORE PHOTOS

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