Jewish Studies

Our extensive Jewish Studies program covers courses in Jewish history, Bible, and Rabbinics. In grades 9 through 12, every student takes two courses in each of these three subjects, or six courses each year.

Jewish History

The study of Jewish history immerses students in the stories, personalities, and events that have shaped the Jewish people from its earliest beginnings in the shifting sands of ancient times, through Mediaeval and Modern Jewish history, and concluding with the birth of Israel some 65 year ago to present day. The guiding idea is to make studying Jewish history a personal journey of discovery; along the way, students uncover their own roots and find common connections with the history of the Jewish people.


Throughout the four years at the American Hebrew Academy, Bible studies emphasize the study of text and parshanut (commentary) -- post-biblical, medieval and modern. Each year focuses on a different section of the Bible, which commensurate with the students' ability to comprehend the biblical narrative and law. Some of our goals are to develop intellectual curiosity and research abilities, to inspire an appreciation of Biblical literature, and to encourage students to add their own insights to the lessons learned.


The Jewish tradition is an expression of the teachings as explicated in both legal and narrative Rabbinic literature (Midrash, Mishnah, Talmud, Codes and Responsa). Much of this literature is written in Aramaic and Hebrew and uses literary styles that require much training to decode. For all of these reasons, we encourage the study of Rabbinics in a formal setting. Academy students build content and text-reading skills in the various genres of Rabbinic literature. The emphasis is on entering into the Talmud's distinctive style of discussion and analysis. Hebrew and Aramaic texts are used as appropriate to the language skills of the individual class.

Diploma with Distinction in Jewish Studies

The American Hebrew Academy offers an academic program with focused concentration in Jewish Studies that will culminate in the awarding of a diploma with distinction in Jewish Studies. Requirements for earning the special distinction in Jewish Studies by graduation include work building upon the four pillars of Hebrew language fluency, a strong Jewish Studies foundation, a competent set of skills appropriate for lifelong learners in Jewish Studies, and a documented record of academic work sufficient for recognition. The program capstone will include the completion of a multi-disciplinary Jewish Studies Portfolio during the senior year, which combines elements of research, commentary, art, and policy analysis.

American Jewish Experience
Analysis of Sacred Texts I
Analysis of Sacred Texts II
Bible Archeology
Bible I: Genesis
Bible I: Genesis (Advanced)
Bible II: Exodus
Bible II: Exodus (Advanced)
Bible III: Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy
Bible in Art
Bible IV: Prophets and Writings
Biblical Festival Writings
Death, Dying & Afterlife
Gender and Judaism
Holocaust Imagery
Israel Advocacy
Israeli Society
Jewish History: High Middle Ages
Jewish History: Modern Era
Jewish Law
Jewish Leadership
Kaballah and Hasidism
Kabbalah through Art
Kashrut: Laws and Application
Modern Jewish Thought
Moot Beit Din
Moot Beit Din II
Perspectives on Judaism
Synagogue Skills
Talmud: Brachot (Blessings)
Talmud: Ethics
Talmud: Makkot (Testimonies)
World Religions

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