Jewish Studies (Text)

What is the Jewish Studies Text Programme?

Students may opt into the Jewish Studies Text Programme when joining JFS. The Text Programme provides the opportunity for excellence in both textual Torah learning and mainstream academic studies at JFS. To help students feel a sense of confidence and ownership over the texts, our focus is on developing methodological skills: learning how to learn.

The formal learning programme is supplemented by a full array of extra-curricular activities to foster within the students a passionate love for and commitment to Torah study and Jewish life.

In addition, we offer an Enhanced Jewish Studies Programme which consists of various after school shiurim, extra-curricular trips and Yemei Iyun. The stimulating course provides, for the motivated student, Yeshiva and Seminary-style learning while also offering a range of activities from the Jewish Informal Education Programme (JiEP).

Text Programme during Jewish Studies classes

Students in our Text classes have a three track programme consisting of Mishnah-Gemara, Chumash B’Iyun and Contemporary Halakhic Dilemmas.

Text Curriculum

‘Sugyot’ Mishnah-Gemara
Students will embark on a process of learning that will progressively build on the key skills needed for Mishnah-Gemara.

Chumash B’Iyun
Students will enhance their skills in translating, analysing and evaluating key sections of the Chumash using classical commentaries.

Contemporary Halakhic Dilemmas
Students will be exposed to modern halakhic issues to help them understand ‘ta’amei hamitzvot’: why we do what we do. Grappling with key sources, students will tackle very real and relevant dilemmas.

Yemei Iyun and extra-curricular
opportunities

Torah study is not limited to formal classroom shiurim. The teacher-student relationships that are developed contribute to the nurturing of our students in a supportive learning environment. A number of informal educational activities, inspiring Yemei Iyun programmes and special presentations to our students by external speakers are on offer, to help enrich the programme.

Enhanced Jewish Studies (EJS)

The EJS Text Programme runs beyond the regular curriculum time, with a range of courses twice a week from
3.45pm - 5.20pm. Each evening is split into two sessions of 45 minutes. As with the regular Text classes, the EJS shiurim are taught separately to boys and girls. Running as part of the Extended services, food and refreshments are available and buses are on hand for students to travel home safely afterwards.

What are the Course Options?

Students will choose up to three learning options, with one session of the week dedicated to the week’s Parsha.

Mishnah and Gemara: ‘learning how to learn’
Students will experience Yeshiva-style chavrutah learning to supplement their studies in class. Students will focus on Mishnah at the beginning of Year 7, moving on to Gemara by the end of the year. In Year 8 and beyond, students will focus much more on the Gemara  through intuitively designed guide sheets created by JFS staff specifically for JFS students.

Halakha: ‘learning how to live’
Students will study from a range of texts, including classical and contemporary halakhic sources. This course will cover a range of relevant topics of Halakha which are relevant and practical to our students’ lives in the modern world.

Nach: “The beginnings of Am Yisrael”
Through study of selected works of Nevi’im and Ketuvim, students will gain a firm grounding in the history of the Jewish nation.

Tefillah and Siddur: a guide to Jewish Prayer
Whether to help lead a Minyan, be part of the kehillah or simply for personal tefillah, students will have much to gain from this track. Familiarising each boy and girl with the Siddur, we will delve into each of our tefillot while explaining the structure of the siddur and the tefillah services.

Parshat Hashavua: “through the eyes of the Mefarshim”
In their chaburot, all students will study prepared parsha sheets with an array of mekorot, delving into the selected subject matter. The session will draw on key themes in the parsha and show how they are understood by leading classical and contemporary mefarshim.

 

Key Stage 3

YG

Autumn Term

Spring Term

Summer Term

 

Year 7

  • Why learn Torah with a chavruta
  • Key vocabulary
  • The four stages of teshuvah
  • The difference between teshuvah ben adam l’makom and ben adam l’chavero
  • Teshuva lessons from the Torah.
  • Yashrut
  •  How to navigate around the chumash
  • The first Rashi in the Torah
  • The mitzvot of not taking revenge or bearing a grudge.
  • Four different approaches to fulfil the mitzvah of “love your neighbour as yourself” according different commentators.
  • The importance of loving oneself.
  • Key vocabulary
  • The Torah account of Kayin and Hevel
  • Midrashim about the cause of the argument.
  • The mitzvah of rebuking others
  • Knowing when this mitzvah does not apply
  • The source from the Torah and the Mishnah regarding oppressing with words.
  • The negative command of hurting others with words.
  • The negative command of cheating others with words.
  • The importance of not humiliating oneself with words.
  • The importance of balancing the need to tell the truth against hurting others.
  • Torah sources, from Tanach, Talmud, Rishonim and Acharonim on the balancing of truth and hurting others.   
  • The qualities that made both Noach and Avraham great and the difference between their qualities.
  • Torah and Mishnah Sources on the mitzvah of returning lost property
  • Learning to understand the story of Migdal Bavel through the eyes of two different commentaries, Rashi and Abarbanel.
  • The mitzvah of bikur cholim
  • The four different categories of a shomer according to the Torah and Talmud
  • The reasons and parameters of honouring parents..

 

Year 8

  • The relationship between Shemot and Bereshit.
  • The significance of the names we call each other both from a religious and social perspective.
  • The laws of erev Pesach from the Mishnah
  • Various laws of Kiddush as learnt from the Gemara.
  • The extent by which the Talmud’s dictum of “a person’s agent is considered as the person themselves” applies even to wrongdoings.
  • The ten plagues
  • The Pesach offering of the lamb
  • The items on the Seder plate
  • The donation of gold & silver to the Bnei Yisrael
  • The Exodus from Egypt
  • Crossing of the Yam Suf
  • The Shira
  •  Pesach
  • The descent of the B’nei Yisrael into slavery.
  • The Heroic action of the midwives that saved the lives of the babies of B’nei Yisrael.
  • Some laws of mishloach Manot prior to Purim.
  • Some laws of leaning at the Seder prior to Pesach.
  • The meaning of freedom and its relation to leaning at the seder.
  • The background through chumash, midrash and commentaries, of Moshe’s rise to leadership

 

  • The practical implications of the requirement for intent when performing mitzvot.
  • The practical laws of Kiddush with regards to what can be used and quantities.

 

Year 9

  • An in-depth understanding of the connection between Miriam’s lashon hara and the sin of the spies.
  • Discussion of the issues surrounding using others’ property without permission.
  • The various ways by which intentional and unintentional damage to others’ property is assessed.
  • An in-depth study of the meraglim with an attempt to understand motivations behind their actions.
  • Discussion of the halachic approach to issues surrounding privacy, particularly in the digital age.
  • 20 next most common words and abbreviations for the units studied in Y9
  • Discussions of responsibility for damage caused by objects under one’s ownership.
  • Discussions of liability for damage caused by one’s property.
  • An in-depth understanding of the connection between the incident of Moshe hitting the rock and Kiddush Hashem.
  • Discussion of the halachic approach to personal responsibility.
  • A study of the concept of responsibility for non-specific damage to others’ property