The instructional core of the Jewish Studies program reaches all New Community Jewish High School students throughout their four years of high school. Students are challenged on a wide range of issues through the study of our foundational texts, Jewish identity, history and culture. Students analyze, confront, and most importantly, interpret both sacred texts and Jewish historical experience. Through interpreting Judaism’s core textual and historical legacy, our students become participants in our living tradition.
In text classes, we ground our discussions in classical Jewish Text–primarily the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh), Mishnah, and Talmud. The text comes alive as we teach our students to look at them from many different angles, just as one captures the radiance of a diamond by looking at its many angles. Students learn a methodology; that is, how to apply a multi-varied analysis of situations in and out of a religious context. Seeing a text or an issue from many perspectives, makes for great students, great lawyers, great connectors, and great leaders in every field and endeavor – people able to speak to both sides of a conflict, and bring resolution because they truly understand the many perspectives involved. Anchored in tradition and fully immersed in the present, Jewish Studies faculty sees their task as being guides in Holy Remembering and inspired action today.
Furthermore, New Community Jewish High School offers courses which center on core Jewish history and philosophy. In classes such as Shoah, Wisdom/Hokhma, Israel, Jewish Philosophy and Comparative Religion, students engage with the enduring lessons that have emerged from the Jewish people’s place in and connection to, the larger world; its harrowing passages, triumphs and global relevance. Each of these courses creates a stage for deepening understanding of foundational Jewish historical experiences with the aim of bringing those vital insights to the present life of the Jewish community and the world beyond.
Whether engaging in text, history or experience, the Jewish Studies department of New Community Jewish High School empowers students to continue to live a life imbued with kedushah, holiness, purpose and engagement with the world.