- Judaic Studies
Talmud and Oral Law (YOC)
Mesechet Bava Kama
The goal of the Gemara program is to graduate students with the ability to decipher, understand and read a basic unseen Gemara independently. Furthermore, students acquire an appreciation for the beauty and relevance of Gemara to their lives as modern day Jews. Each grade focuses on a distinct set of skills, vocabulary, grammar and use of commentators which carries over to the next grade. This generates a continuous progression of skill and knowledge throughout the students’ four years of Gemara study. Each grade is streamed into two or three levels in order to ensure that students are able to progress through the curriculum at a pace and learning style that will maximize their growth. Sugyot are chosen based on relevance to student’s lives as well as ones which allow exposure to a breadth of structures and content common in Gemara. The entire Yeshiva studies the same select Sugyot from one מסכת. This enables classes and grades to engage in joint learning programs such as חבורות and שיעורים כלליים by Rebbeim and guest Rabbis.
Each year, both Yeshivat Or Chaim and Ulpanat Orot will be choosing one mesechet to learn with the goal of focusing on a variety of mesechtot over the course of their four years of learning.
- Expansion of use of key function words, grammar and vocabulary.
- Inferences (דיוקים) and the difference between ‘necessary inference’ (דיוק מוכרח) and a ‘non necessary inference’ (דיוק שאינו מוכרח).
- Correlation and relationship between attacks and their removal.
- Basic nature of גזירה שוה ,קל וחומר ,בנין אב.
- Understanding what compelled Rashi to comment and what he added to our understanding of the text.
- Introduction of Rishonim and Achronim based on investigation prompted by student questions.
Torah Shebe’al Peh (UO)
At Ulpanat Orot, we work to develop the skills, knowledge and appreciation for learning that encourage a lifetime of study and observance. Thus, we strive to instill our students with an understanding of הפ לעבש הרות and its practical implications. In addition, we aim to impart anunderstanding of the development of הפ לעבש הרות from the Biblical sources through the Gemara, Rishonim, Achronim and ultimately to modern day commentaries and practices. We believe that all our students should have a basic understanding of the way Gemara operates, the basic skills of reading Gemara, and the overall role Gemara plays within the development of Halacha. The entire school learns the same תכסמ, enabling school-wide focus on similar concepts and issues. Sugyot are chosen based on relevance and applicability to students’ every day Halachic observance. All classes include focus on the building blocks of reading and understanding the syntax and language of texts.
Advanced Talmud (UO)
This class will be in place of 2 full semester courses and will meet 6 times per week. There will be a Beit Midrash component twice a week and a regular class/shiur 4 times a week. There will be a central emphasis on intense Chevruta learning as well as focus on the following:
- Expansion of use of key function words, grammar and vocabulary.
- Learn how to understand the underlying basis of a מחלוקת in the Gemara.
- Use of multiple Rishonim who focus on the text of the specific Sugya, looking at how each understood it and the merits of each approach. This includes, but is not limited to, Rashi and Tosfot.
- See how Achronim analyze the מחלוקות of the Rishonim.
- Learn how to determine the Halachic conclusion of a Gemara
Talmud – Halacha Track (UO)
This course will focus on sugyot in Masechet Bava Kama, with an emphasis on the relevant Halachot that stem from each topic. The Halacha will be traced from the Torah She’bichtav all the way through contemporary Halachic applications. For example, the concept of zeh nehene v’zeh lo chaser – At a baseball game, can I sit in the lower level if the seats are empty, even if I didn’t pay for the ticket? This course is for those who enjoy learning Talmud, yet always look for a way to make it more relevant.
The goal of the Chumash program is to instill in students an appreciation, love and dedication to the foundational Jewish texts of Chumash. Students come to see Chumash as a source of inspiration and guidance to their view of the world. With an emphasis on skills acquisition, an important component of pedagogy is student engagement with text, including guided worksheets and task driven assignments. A significant amount of class time is spent in cooperative learning groups or Chevrutot affording students the opportunity to uncover the meaning of the text and thereby applying the skills they have been exposed to in order to comprehend the material learned. Students become familiar with the various approaches to text analysis from both a טשפ and תונשרפ perspective.
We will study the narrative of Sefer Bamidbar beginning with the 9th Chapter. The lens that we will use to weave together the scattered narratives of the book will be Moshe’s leadership in moments of religious and political rebellion. Emphasis will be placed on growing specific textual skills, such as noticing unusual verbs and grammatical constructs. We will lean heavily on some of the classic medieval commentaries—particularly Rashi and Ramban. We will also rely on certain modern biblical scholars including Rabbi Moshe Lichtenstein, Erica Brown and Rabbi Tzvi Grummet.
The goal of the Ivrit program is to turn Ivrit from a “second language” to a second mother tongue, thus enhancing students’ skill to approach traditional texts as well as imparting a familiarity and identification with Israel, its culture and people. Learning on all levels is accomplished through total immersion in the language, thus developing students’ skill to speak, understand, read and write Ivrit.
A wide variety of tools and resources are used to expose students to the richness and vitality of Ivrit as both an ancient and modern language and culture. Students are given many opportunities to express themselves in speech, writing, drawing and other creative ways enabling them to develop a greater comfort level and appreciation of Ivrit.
This course provides students with experiences that enable them to communicate in Ivrit. Students continue developing and applying their speaking skills in a variety of contexts, and participate in activities that improve their reading comprehension and writing skills. More advanced morphology, syntax and vocabulary are introduced and practiced within the context of the following thematic units: Every Day Situations, Places in Israel, Culture and Tradition in Modern Israel, Israeli Personalities and initial introduction to short stories. A variety of materials and methods are used in order to stimulate language immersion including textbooks, articles, music, videos and other multimedia tools.
The goal of the Navi program is to familiarize students with the world of Tanach as an expression of the eternal relationship between Hashem and the Jewish people and its message to their lives today. Using the wealth of exegesis tools from the classical םינשרפ up until contemporary approaches, students develop skills to analyze the various layers of Tanach. Students gain tools to independently decipher the language, narrative, literary themes and Parshanut of the Navi leading to a life inspired by the study of Tanach and its eternal messages.
Overview of Nevi’im Rishonim (YOC)
In this course students will explore the theme of leadership throughout the books of Yehoshua, Shoftim, and Shmuel. Students will understand the transition that took place from Moshe to Yehoshua and the ideals of leadership portrayed. They will understand how the books of Yehoshua and Shoftim serve as necessary background needed to understand the role of Shmuel HaNavi. Students will understand the value of having a Jewish state and the fact that a government can be מקדש שם שמים. Special attention will be paid to relevant themes such as human initiative vs. Divine Providence, the importance of failure, Tefilla, and collective responsibility.
Melachim Bet / Yeshayahu (UO)
This class will be an in-depth exploration of the life and times of the great prophet Yeshayahu who delivered his messages to the Kings of Israel, to the Jewish people, and to the world. The relevance of these prophecies and the times we live in will be heavily emphasized. Topics include leadership, tefilla, kedusha, mashiach, teshuva and others.
Melachim Bet / Yirmiyahu (UO)
This class will be an in-depth exploration of the life history, challenges and tribulations of the prophet of destruction, Yirmiyahu Hanavi. The prophecies studied will be viewed within the historical context provided by Sefer Melachim, with an understanding that Yirmiyahu himself was the author of both seforim. The relevance of Yirmiyahu’s prophecies will be emphasized as it relates to modern times. Topics include prophetic imagery, teshuva, destruction and redemption, tefilla, and Hashem’s love for Bnei Yisrael.
Leadership in Nach (UO)
In this course, different leadership topics and themes will be explored by looking at different leaders found in Nach. The goal is to reflect on different leadership styles found in Nach and find role models for your own personal leadership style.
Questions to discuss will include:
- What are the most important traits a leader should have?
- What are the biggest challenges that every leader faces?
- How can I affect change in others, my community and the world?
- How can leaders recover and grow from mistakes?
- When does being a follower take precedence over being a leader?
Some of the leaders that will be covered are Yoshiyahu, Shaul, Ezra, Nechemia, Daniel, David, Eliyahu, Elisha, and many others.
Halacha – Jewish Law
Hilchot Shabbat (YOC)
The goal of this course is to have students understand the Halachik process in regards to Hilchot Shabbat and learn how to integrate their studies into their everyday lives. The course will begin by introducing the derivation of Hilchot Shabbat from the Torah and break down the different and unique types of laws and customs observed on Shabbat. The later parts of the course will provide an in depth analysis of a few specific laws of Shabbat such as Muktzah, Melechet Borer and Amira L’Akum.
Hilchot Shabbat- Mitzvot Aseh (UO)
The purpose of this course is to focus on the fundamental Halachic aspects of Shabbat and to understand how the relevant Halachot can enrich your appreciation of Shabbat. This semester course will focus on כבוד and עונג and the core positive mitzvot of Shabbat: קידוש, נירות, שלש סעודות and הבדלה.
Hilchot Shabbat- Mitzvot Lo Ta’aseh (UO)
The goal of this course is to familiarize students with the 39 melachot of Shabbat and their relevance in order to increase both their understanding and observance of these laws. The focus of the class will be more on practical aspects of the Halacha and the impact they have on students’ weekly Shabbat experiences.
History, Morality and Halacha (UO)
The goal of this course is to survey areas of contemporary Jewish life from an interdisciplinary perspective. Topics are analyzed and discussed from a historical, Halachic and philosophical outlook. Topics will include: Anti-Semitism, Remembering Amalek, Assimilation and Intermarriage, Different types of Judaism, Forgiveness, Beauty and plastic surgery, Death Penalty, Recycling, Dina d’malchuta dina and others. Through Independent Study Projects, students will learn to use and interpret sources, think creatively, and understand how everyday topics are rooted in the Torah.
She’elot U’Teshuvot Throughout Jewish History (UO)
This course will take you on a journey through Jewish history witnessed through the eyes of some of the greatest Halakhic authorities in our celebrated tradition. Join the Rambam in Egypt as he grappled with questions of forced conversion to Islam, Rabbi Moshe Sofer in Eastern Europe as he dealt with the challenges posed by emerging movements in Judaism, Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kook in Israel who fielded issues regarding voting rights for women and the Jewish farmers dilemma during the shemitta year, Rabbi Ephraim Oshry in the Kovno Ghetto who faced excruciating questions of life and death, and Rabbi Moshe Feinstein in America who brilliantly guided the Jewish community through the threats of assimilation, intermarriage, and many other contemporary issues.
The Bnei Akiva Schools Jewish History curriculum is designed to enable students to understand the history of the Jews and their effect on cultures as well as individuals. Students are encouraged to think critically about the political, economic, cultural and social bases for historical events, as well as about the people who helped drive them.
Modern Jewish History (UO)
In exploring the era of modern Jewish History, we will analyze the major events that have defined the Jewish people in contemporary times. We will discuss the personalities involved in these crucial moments that both positively and negatively affected the status of the Jews as a people. This course will start with the origins of the Chassidic movement and cover the Yeshiva movement, Haskala, Reform Movement and reactions to these crucial historical movements. Some of the key personalities include Shabetai Tzvi, Baal Shem Tov, Vilna Gaon, Moses Mendelson, Rav Chaim of Volozhin, Rav Shimshon Raphael Hirsch, Solomon Shechter and many others.
The Thinking Jew in the Modern World (UO)
In this course we will explore some of the big Jewish questions that students have. YOU will have the ability to ask the questions and determine the path of this course. Questions will be collected before the summer and the class will focus on them throughout the semester.
Some possible questions include:
- Why can’t I just be a good person and not keep the Torah?
- Why can’t I dress as I please?
- Why do I repeat the same tefillot every day if they don’t mean anything to me anyway?
The content of this course will be determined by you!
Survey of Jewish Thought (YOC)
The goal of this course is to familiarize students with the most essential concepts of Jewish Philosophy. Students will understand the importance of Jewish thought and the role it plays in their lives. Students will be exposed to primary medieval and modern Jewish philosophers such as R’ Sa’adia Gaon, R’ Yehuda HaLevi, Maimonidies, R’ Soloveitchik and R’ Kook. Using a combination of text analysis, multi-media and classroom discussion, students will have the opportunity to discuss important issues of belief in a non-judgmental forum. Topics covered include God: teleological and cosmological arguments, ethics and morality, Torah M’Sinai, reward and punishment, the chosen people, hashgacha pratit and free will and Mashiach.
Inspired Tefillah: An Experiential Journey Through the Siddur (UO)
Tefilla for many (especially during one’s high school years) is a challenging, dull, and often empty experience. It doesn’t have to be that way. This class will open you up to the world of prayer through a whole new lens- through experiential and project based learning opportunities, this class will enable you to unlock the spirituality and motivation that you have within to find more meaning in your Tefilla experience.
- General Studies
The goal of the English curriculum is based on the belief that language learning is critical to students’ intellectual, social and emotional growth. Literature is used as a medium to learn and understand the human condition and produce responsible and productive individuals. Students learn to think critically and develop their oral and written communication skills. Texts studied are chosen from various time periods and settings, encouraging students to make connections with the world around them.
This course is designed to extend the range of oral communication, reading, writing, and media literacy skills that students need for success in their secondary school academic programs and in their daily lives. Students will analyse literary texts from contemporary and historical periods, interpret and evaluate informational and graphic texts, and create oral, written, and media texts in a variety of forms. An important focus will be on the selective use of strategies that contribute to effective communication. This course is intended to prepare students for the compulsory Grade 11 university or college preparation course.
Prerequisite: English, Grade 9, Academic or Applied
The Social Sciences Department engages the students in a number of disciplines including History, Geography, Civics, Careers and a general Introduction to Social Sciences. In studying these subjects, students learn how people interact within their social and physical environments today and how they did so in the past. These subjects allow the students to develop the knowledge and values needed to become responsible, active and informed Canadian citizens in the 21st Century. Critical thinking, research and communication skills are stressed as are application of knowledge and skills.
Canadian History Since World War I, Academic (CHC2D)
This course explores social, economic, and political developments and events and their impact on the lives of different groups in Canada since 1914. Students will examine the role of conflict and cooperation in Canadian society, Canada’s evolving role within the global community, and the impact of various individuals, organizations, and events on Canadian identity, citizenship, and heritage. They will develop their ability to apply the concepts of historical thinking and the historical inquiry process, including the interpretation and analysis of evidence, when investigating key issues and events in Canadian history since 1914.
Civics and Citizenship, Open (UO) (CHV2O)
This course explores rights and responsibilities associated with being an active citizen in a democratic society. Students will explore issues of civic importance such as healthy schools, community planning, environmental responsibility, and the influence of social media, while developing their understanding of the role of civic engagement and of political processes in the local, national, and / or global community. Students will apply the concepts of political thinking and the political inquiry process to investigate, and express informed opinions about, a range of political issues and developments that are both of significance in today’s world and of personal interest to them.
Information and Communication Technology in Business (BTT1O/20)
This course introduces students to information and communication technology in a business environment and builds a foundation of digital literacy skills necessary for success in a technologically driven society. Students will develop word processing, spreadsheet, database, desktop publishing, presentation software, and website design skills. Throughout the course, there is an emphasis on digital literacy, effective electronic research and communication skills, and current issues related to the impact of information and communication technology.
Guidance And Career Education
Careers, Open (UO) (GLC20)
This course teaches students how to develop and achieve personal goals for future learning, work, and community involvement. Students will assess their interests, skills, and characteristics and investigate current economic and workplace trends, work opportunities, and ways to search for work. The course explores postsecondary learning and career options, prepares students for managing work and life transitions, and helps students focus on their goals through the development of a career plan.
As a component of the French as a Second Language curriculum, the Core French program is designed to provide students with essential communication skills as well as the fundamental structures of the French language. In developing a useable command of the French language, the program aims to help students participate in basic conversations, read French text from a variety of sources, and consume French language media in multiple formats. The Core French program is enriched through the use of online and technology resources that aim to support student use of the language.
This course provides opportunities for students to communicate in French about personally relevant, familiar, and academic topics in real-life situations with increasing independence. Students will exchange information, ideas, and opinions with others in guided and increasingly spontaneous spoken interactions. Students will develop their skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing through the selective use of strategies that contribute to effective communication. They will also increase their understanding and appreciation of diverse French-speaking communities, and will develop skills necessary for lifelong language learning.
Prerequisite: Core French, Grade 9, Academic or Applied.
Healthy Active Living Education
The health and physical education program promotes healthy active living, and enjoyment and regular, enthusiastic participation in physical activity. The courses will help students understand how their personal actions and decisions will affect their health, fitness, and well-being. All courses in this curriculum address relevant health issues and provide students with a wide variety of activities that promote fitness, the development of living skills, and personal competence. In each course, students will develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to enjoy a healthy lifestyle and to build a commitment to lifelong participation in physical activity.
This course enables students to further develop the knowledge and skills they need to make healthy choices now and lead healthy, active lives in the future. Through participation in a wide range of physical activities, students develop knowledge and skills related to movement competence and personal fitness that provide a foundation for active living. Students also acquire an understanding of the factors and skills that contribute to healthy development and learn how their own well-being is affected by, and affects, the world around them. Students build their sense of self, learn to interact positively with others, and develop their ability to think critically and creatively.
The Mathematics curriculum serves to provide students with a foundational understanding of core concepts in grades 9, 10 and 11, where students develop basic geometric and algebraic manipulation skills through the study of a variety of functional relationships. These foundations serve as the basis for upper level courses where students may choose to study Data Management, Advanced Functions, and / or Calculus and Vectors. The Mathematics program aims to support student learning of mathematical processes – problem solving, reasoning, reflecting, selecting tools / strategies, connecting, representing and communicating – through a balanced variety of teaching and learning strategies and the integration of technological tools. The senior level courses are intended for university / college preparation. At the Bnei Akiva Schools, the mathematics program is enriched through opportunities to participate in several mathematics competitions and contests throughout the school year.
Academic Principles Of Mathematics (MPM2D)
This course enables students to broaden their understanding of relationships and extend their problem-solving and algebraic skills through investigation, the effective use of technology, and abstract reasoning. Students will explore quadratic relations and their applications, and solve and apply linear systems, verify properties of geometric figures using analytic geometry, and investigate the trigonometry of right and acute triangles. Students will reason mathematically and communicate their thinking as they solve multi-step problems.
Prerequisite: Principles of Mathematics, Grade 9, Academic.
Introduction to Computer Studies, Open (ICS2O)
This course introduces students to computer programming. Students will plan and write simple computer programs by applying fundamental programming concepts, and learn to create clear and maintainable internal documentation. They will also learn to manage a computer by studying hardware configurations, software selection, operating system functions, networking, and safe computing practices. Students will also investigate the social impact of computer technologies, and develop an understanding of environmental and ethical issues related to the use of computers.
The secondary Science curriculum is founded on the premise that students learn most effectively when they are active participants in the Science classroom. Accordingly, the curriculum employs an investigative approach building on students’ prior knowledge in an effort to develop sound procedural and conceptual understanding. General Science courses in grades 9 and 10 are followed by a program of science electives consisting of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Beyond conceptual knowledge, the breadth of the science program aims to develop scientific literacy through the ability to communicate through a variety of scientific formats and representations of scientific information. The Science curriculum also makes use of appropriate technological tools to help students access and explore concepts in innovative ways. The senior Science courses are intended for university / college preparation. At Bnei Akiva Schools, the Science program is enriched through opportunities to participate in individual and collaborative competitions.
This course enables students to enhance their understanding of concepts in biology, chemistry, earth and space science, and physics, and of the interrelationships between science, technology, society, and the environment. Students are also given opportunities to further develop their scientific investigation skills. Students will plan and conduct investigations and develop their understanding of scientific theories related to the connections between cells and systems in animals and plants, chemical reactions, with a particular focus on acid base reactions, forces that affect climate and climate change, and the interaction of light and matter.
Prerequisite: Science, Grade 9, Academic or Applied.
Visual Arts, Open (AVI2O)
The Visual Arts curriculum focuses on studio work and critical analysis of a variety of visual art forms. As students progress through the secondary school program, they develop and apply increasingly complex levels of skill to a variety of visual media. Integrating the fundamental components of design and design principles, students learn how to produce increasingly sophisticated visual effects. Art history and appreciation is infused throughout the curriculum, with students being exposed to Canadian and international forms of artistic expression. The art program is enriched through a culminating Art Show, attended by students, parents and community members, as well as regular opportunities to experience visual art exhibitions throughout the program.
This course emphasizes learning through practice, building on what students know, and introducing them to new ideas, materials, and processes for artistic thinking and experimentation. Student learning will include the refined application of the elements and principles of design, incorporating the creative and design processes, and the relationship between form and content. Students will also learn about the connections between works of art and their historical contexts. Course objectives may be achieved either through a comprehensive program or through a program focused on a particular art form (e.g., drawing, painting).
Dramatic Arts, Open (ADA1O/ADA2O)
This course provides opportunities for students to explore dramatic forms and techniques, using material from a wide range of sources and cultures. Students will use the elements of drama to examine situations and issues that are relevant to their lives. Students will create, perform, discuss, and analyse drama, and then reflect on the experiences to develop an understanding of themselves, the art form, and the world around them.
Media Arts, Open (AMS20)
This course enables students to create media art works by exploring new media, emerging technologies such as digital animation, and a variety of traditional art forms such as film, photography, video, and visual arts. Students will acquire communications skills that are transferable beyond the media arts classroom and develop an understanding of responsible practices related to the creative process. Students will develop the skills necessary to create and interpret media art works.