Jewish Studies

Maimonides Upper School

Inspiring connections to Jewish values, history, and beliefs

In Maimonides Upper School, teachers make Torah accessible for all learners, inspire connections to Jewish values, history, and beliefs, and promote lifelong learning. Our Jewish Studies classroom is rarely quiet. We frequently utilize a chavruta model, in which the text is the third partner in the learning triangle. We believe deeply that the question is more important than the answer, and that making modern meaning out of age-old ideas is a cherished opportunity rather than an arduous task. 

Upper School students baking a holiday treat

Our Program

Mission Statement

To make Torah accessible for all learners. To inspire connections to Jewish values, history, and beliefs. To promote lifelong learning.

Middle School

The middle school Jewish Studies curriculum is based on the power of story. Students study the Torah in 6th grade, the Prophets and Writings in 7th grade, and Jewish History in 8th grade, and enter high school with a broad understanding of the narrative history of the Jewish people. This narrative consists of far more than dates, names, and places: it traces the development of our people, our values, and our traditions from the world's creation through the modern era. By the end of 8th grade, our students can reflect on five thousand years of Jewish tradition, see themselves as a continuation of that tradition, and appreciate the timelessness of this narrative and its relevance to their lives.

  • 6th Grade: Study of Torah
  • 7th Grade: The Tanakh and its Teachings
  • 8th Grade: Survey of Jewish History

High School

The Jewish Studies program in the Maimonides Upper School is organized around core topics within Jewish studies: Text, History, Rituals, Values and Israel. The goal is to provide robust opportunities to study Jewish text, history, rituals, values, and connection to Israel in ways that are personally meaningful to each individual student. Our 9th-grade course is designed as a survey of these five topics in order to take what students have learned in the MS program, build on it and provide means for further exploration. In the 10th and 11th grades, students will study Rabbinic Literature, Jewish Ethics, Jewish Thought and the American Jewish Experience. Within these core courses, students design an individualized learning program that is aligned with their Jewish identity, curiosity and interests. In each of these two years, students choose from one of three courses per semester. In addition, we offer a selection of yearlong electives for students who wish to add more Judaic studies to their schedule.

Our students come from a wide range of Jewish backgrounds, and we take pride in fostering each student’s intellectual and emotional Jewish development. Judaic Studies students engage in learning through a variety of methods, including journaling, discussion, debates, and projects that bring traditional ideas into modern-day relevance.  We actively encourage critical thinking, reflection, close textual reading, and other skills that serve them well in all disciplines.