Grade 12

Judaic Studies

Gemara (YOC)

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.

Beit Midrash

  • Central emphasis on intense Chevruta learning.
  • 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.

Topical Gemara

  • Reinforce use of key function words, grammar and vocabulary.
  • Analyze the moral and philosophical premises and conclusions of a Sugya.
  • Following the Gemara discussion to Halacha.

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.

Unlocking the Aggadda – The Lives and Legacies of the Sages (UO)
The Sages of the Talmud and the Midrash left behind teachings of law and teachings of life. The teachings of law are known as halakha and the teachings of life are known as Aggadda. These aggadot have largely remained locked to the average reader, and the goal of this class is to help unlock the deep wisdom and guidance of our Sages in the Aggadda. This class will survey Aggadot from a wide range of topics including: Repentance, Interpersonal Relationships, Anthropomorphism, Prayer, Unity, Leadership, Optimism, Spirituality, Israel, Mashiach, and Theodicy.

Torah Shebe’al Peh track
Students have a choice to continue their Gemara study in the Advanced Gemara track or focus on relevant Halachic issues that arise from the Gemara in the Torah Shebe’al Peh track. In advanced Gemara, student begin learning Gemara B’Iyun, exploring beyond the Gemara itself, delving into the world of advanced conceptual analysis and Gemara commentaries. Though less emphasis will be put on the final Halacha, Sugyot will still center on relevant topics and students will continue to practice and improve their reading skills.


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.

Bereishit I and II (UO)
The study of Bereshit allows students to revisit the familiar stories with a new maturity. The creation story and the place of the תובא and תוהמא in Hashem’s broader scheme of creation are highlighted in this course with an emphasis on the centrality of Eretz Yisrael. Students explore the lives and challenges faced by the forbearers of the Jewish people trying to draw inspiration from them in meaningful and practical ways.

Parshat HaShavua (UO)
The Lubavitcher Rebbe once said that studying the weekly parasha is to “lachyot im ha’zman”- live with the times. Each parasha informs our current lives in there here and now. This class will focus on studying the parasha through the eyes of the greatest medieval and Chasidic commentaries with a focus on current events and the challenges of being a strong Jew in a confusing world.

Hebrew Language

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.

Ivrit (UO)
Students enhance their ability to use Ivrit with clarity and precision, develop the language skills needed to engage in sustained conversations and discussions, understand and evaluate information, read diverse materials for both study and pleasure, and write clearly and effectively. The course will include extensive use of modern literature as a basis for class discussions, writing assignments and individual and group presentations. Thematic units include Our World, the Internet, TV and Other Technologies,World Literature, Parents and children and Israeli Slang.

Ivrit (YOC)
The goal of this course is to familiarize students with different facets of Israeli life and improve spoken comprehension of the Hebrew language. Through the use of current Israeli media students will have the opportunity to analyze and discuss Israeli news, culture and politics.


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.

Methodology of Tanach and Chassidut (YOC)
The goal of this course is to explore both textual tools of Tanach study as well as the deeper, Chassidic, interpretations of Tanach. The first half of the course will focus on ‘how to learn Tanach’. Using various methods of Tanach study, students will become familiar with the various tools and structures to discover deeper layers of the text. Units include art of the white fire (the empty space), art of the letter (what is behind the letters of the Torah), art of the word (thematic and symbolic words), art of the sentence (anaphora, epiphora) and art of structure (chiastic and concentric structures). The second half of the course will focus on the methodology of Chassidut on the Torah – seeing the thought process behind different Chassidik thinkers approach to the Psukim. Students will become familiar with the historical development of Chassidut, major approaches and general biographies of the approaches studied. These include Sefat Emmet, Reb Tzadok, Rav Kook, Rav Nachman, Mei HaShiloch, Pizezna Rebbe, Meor Einim and Kedushat HaLevi.

Meshalim – Stories in Tanach, Midrash and Chassidut (YOC)
The goal of this course is to become familiar and understand the role Meshalim (analogies) play throughout Jewish Thought and how they help us better understand Torah and grow religiously. Some questions include – what exactly is a Mashal? When are they used and for what purpose? Why are Meshalim so central to understanding Torah and Judaism? We will examine various sources and compare their approaches to these questions. Topics to be covered include Meshalim in Tanach, the Rambam’s approach in The Guide to the Perplexed, Meshalim in Chassidut and Rav Nachman and Kabbalistic terminology and Meshalim.

Halacha – Jewish Law

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.

Medical Ethics (UO)
This course will explore many of the ethical dilemmas that exist in the world of medicine from a Halachic perspective. We will go through the sources from the Torah, Gemara, Rishonim and Acharonim, as well as contemporary Halachic sources. Some of the major issues include Euthanasia, Organ Donations, Abortion, Brain Death and others.

Business Law and Ethics (UO)
According to the great Amora, Rava, the first question asked of an individual upon arrival in the heavenly court is: “Did you conduct yourself faithfully in business?”  It is not an easy task to manage our financial dealings with faith towards our fellow man and to Hashem.  This is especially true when right and wrong are not clearly modelled to us in a society that values the bottom line and sees this world as “a dog eat dog world”.   We will examine modern questions in the business world such as loans, fair pricing, marketing and employer/employee relationships and contracts.  Halacha deals with each of these areas and we will see how the Torah envisions ethical human behaviour in our modern business world.

Chabura (YOC)
The goal of this course is for students to improve their independent learning skills in reading and analyzing classic Halachik and Hashkafik texts. The course is also designed to accustomed students to the Beit Midrash atmosphere found in Yeshivot in Israel. Learning takes place in a Chabura format with each Chabura consisting of a small group facilitated by a member of the Yeshiva University Torah MiTzion Beit Midrash Zichron Dov and/or the Bnei Akiva Schools faculty. The students learn together, aided by the facilitator, developing their skills and engaging in a student-led learning process.

Mishpacha (UO)
This course introduces the students to topics related to the wedding ceremony, marriage, and Jewish family values. The class is based on classic and contemporary source material and allows for a great deal of self reflection and group discussion.

Jewish History

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.

Chochmat Sepharad – History, Thought and Halacha (YOC)
The goal of this course is to give the student a well-rounded understanding of Sephardic Jewry. Who are they? Where do they come from? What have they contributed in Torah? And what is the difference between Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jews? Starting with the historical background and the formulation of the Sephardi community, we will go through history discussing various aspects of this part of our joined tradition. Our focus will revolve around some of the most influential Sephardic Hachamim, their impact on the entire Jewish World and their Torah; from the time of the Geonim to the present Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel. Lastly, we will focus on core differences in Halacha and Minhagim between Sepharadim and Ashkenazim. Units studied will include history of Sephardic Jews to the present, Sephardic Hachamim throughout the ages (with a focus on the Rambam, R’ Yosef Karo, R’ Ovadia Yosef and the Sephardic Chief Rabbis of Israel), and the main Minhagim that differ between Sepharadim and Ashkenazim and their basis.

Jewish Thought

Jewish Thought, Advanced (YOC)
The goal of the advanced Machshava course is for students to gain an in depth understanding of the building blocks of Jewish thought, enabling them to interpret the vast world of Jewish philosophy. Furthermore, students will learn how to shape their own perspectives of the world while relying on traditional texts and concepts. Through analysis and classroom conversations students will become familiar with the comprehensive approaches of major Jewish thinkers, including Rambam, Rabbi Yehudah Halevi, The Maharal, Rav Kook and Rav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik. Each unit will consist of an exploration of one classical thinker’s fundamental approach, followed by its implementation in a myriad of topics.

Faith and the Holocaust (UO)
This course will blend together history, Jewish thought, and halakha as we attempt to grasp the enormity of the Shoah and its impact on emuna and the Jewish people. Through film, poetry, stories, Holocaust writings & responsa (She’elot U’Teshuvot), and survivor testimony,  we will engage in a deep experiential analysis of the Shoah. Some questions that will be grappled with and presented include: Where was God? Where was man? How did Jews hold onto their Judaism? What is our responsibility in the 21st century vis-a-vis memory and dwindling eye witnesses?

Survey of Jewish Philosophy (UO)
The goal of this course is to provide the atmosphere and tools to explore the traditional belief system of Torah and students’ relationship to them. Exposure to various excerpts from seminal medieval and modern thinkers serve as the basis for peer and teacher discussions to explore the foundational aspects of belief and how it relates to their lives. Rav Sa’adya Gaon, Rabbi Yehudah Halevi, Maimonides as well as Rav Kook, Rav Soloveichik and Rav Desler are just some examples of writers whose writings serve as a basis for discussion. The course is built thematically, beginning with the Existence of God from the Teleological, Cosmological, Moral and Historical perspectives. Other topics include the Divine source of Torah, the Chosen People, reward and punishment, Divine Providence and free will.

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.

University Preparation (ENG4U)
This course emphasizes the consolidation of the literacy, communication, and critical and creative thinking skills necessary for success in academic and daily life. Students will analyse a range of challenging literary texts from various periods, countries, and cultures, 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 using academic language coherently and confidently, selecting the reading strategies best suited to particular texts and particular purposes for reading and developing greater control in writing. The course is intended to prepare students for university, college or the workplace.
Prerequisite: English, Grade 11, University Preparation

The Writer’s Craft, University Preparation (EWC4U)
This course emphasizes knowledge and skills related to the craft of writing. Students will analyse models of effective writing, use a workshop approach to produce a range of works, identify and use techniques required for specialized forms of writing, and identify effective ways to improve the quality of their writing. They will also complete a major paper as part of a creative or analytical independent study project and investigate opportunities for publication and for writing careers.
Prerequisite: English, Grade 11, University Preparation

Social Sciences

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 and International Law, University Preparation (CLN4U)
This course explores a range of contemporary legal issues and how they are addressed in both Canadian and International Law. Students will develop an understanding of the principles of Canadian and international law and of issues related to human rights and freedoms, conflict resolution, and criminal, environmental, and workplace law, both in Canada and internationally. Students will apply the concepts of legal thinking and the legal studies inquiry process, and will develop legal reasoning skills, when investigating these and other issues in both Canadian and international contexts.
Prerequisite: Any university or university / college preparation course in Canadian and world studies, English, or social sciences and humanities.

Canadian and International Politics, University Preparation (CPW4U)
This course explores various perspectives on issues in Canadian and world politics. Students will explore political decision making and ways in which individuals, stakeholder groups, and various institutions, including governments, multinational corporations, and non-governmental organizations, respond to and work to address domestic and international issues. Students will apply the concepts of political thinking and the political inquiry process to investigate issues, events, and developments of national and international political importance, and to develop and communicate informed opinions about them.
Prerequisite: Any university or university / college preparation course in Canadian and world studies, English, or social sciences and humanities.

World History Since the Fifteenth Century, University Preparation (CHY4U)
This course traces major developments and events in world history since approximately 1450. Students will explore social, economic, and political changes, the historical roots of contemporary issues, and the role of conflict and cooperation in global interrelationships. They will extend their ability to apply the concepts of historical thinking and the historical inquiry process, including the interpretation and analysis of evidence, as they investigate key issues and ideas and assess societal progress or decline in world history.
Prerequisite: Any university or university / college preparation course in Canadian and world studies, English, or social sciences and humanities.

Philosophy: Questions and Theories, University Preparation (HZT4U)
This course enables students to acquire an understanding of the nature of philosophy and philosophical reasoning skills and to develop and apply their knowledge and skills while exploring specialized branches of philosophy (the course will cover at least three of the following branches: metaphysics, ethics, epistemology, philosophy of science, social and political philosophy, aesthetics). Students will develop critical thinking and philosophical reasoning skills as they formulate and evaluate arguments related to a variety of philosophical questions and theories. They will also develop research and inquiry skills related to the study and practice of philosophy.
Prerequisite: Any university or university / college preparation course in social sciences and humanities, English, or Canadian and world studies.

Challenge and Change in Society, University / College Preparation (HSB4U)
This course focuses on the use of social science theories, perspectives, and methodologies to investigate and explain shifts in knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviour and their impact on society. Students will critically analyse how and why cultural, social, and behavioural patterns change over time. They will explore the ideas of social theorists and use those ideas to analyse causes of and responses to challenges such as technological change, deviance, and global inequalities. Students will explore ways in which social science research methods can be used to study social change.

Analysing Current Economic Issues, University Preparation (CIA4U)
Analysing Current Economic Issues, University Preparation (CIA4U)
This course examines current Canadian and international economic issues, developments, policies, and practices from diverse perspectives. Students will explore the decisions that individuals and institutions, including governments, make in response to economic issues such as globalization, trade agreements, economic inequalities, regulation, and public spending. Students will apply the concepts of economic thinking and the economic inquiry process, as well as economic models and theories, to investigate, and develop informed opinions about, economic trade-offs, growth, and sustainability and related economic issues.

Business Studies

Business Leadership: Management Fundamentals, University / College Preparation (BOH4M)
This course focuses on the development of leadership skills used in managing a successful business. Students will analyse the role of a leader in business, with a focus on decision making, management of group dynamics, workplace stress and conflict, motivation of employees, and planning. Effective business communication skills, ethics, and social responsibility are also emphasized.

International Business Fundamentals, University / College Preparation (BBB4M)
This course provides an overview of the importance of international business and trade in the global economy and explores the factors that influence success in international markets. Students will learn about the techniques and strategies associated with marketing, distribution, and managing international business effectively. This course prepares students for postsecondary programs in business, including international business, marketing, and management.

Core French

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.

University Preparation (FSF4U)
This course provides extensive opportunities for students to speak and interact in French independently. Students will develop their listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills, apply language learning strategies in a wide variety of real-life situations, and develop their creative and critical thinking skills through responding to and interacting with a variety of oral and written texts. They will also enrich their understanding and appreciation of diverse French-speaking communities, and will develop skills necessary for lifelong language learning.
Prerequisite: French, Grade 11.


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.

Calculus And Vectors, University Preparation (MCV4U)
This course builds on students’ previous experience with functions and their developing understanding of rates of change. Students will solve problems involving geometric and algebraic representations of vectors and representations of lines and planes in three dimensional space; broaden their understanding of rates of change to include the derivatives of polynomial, sinusoidal, exponential, rational, and radical functions, and apply these concepts and skills to the modelling of real-world relationships. Students will also refine their use of the mathematical processes necessary for success in senior mathematics. This course is intended for students who choose to pursue careers in fields such as science, engineering, economics, and some areas of business, including those students who will be required to take a university-level calculus, linear algebra, or physics course.
Note: The Advanced Functions course (MHF4U) must be taken prior to or concurrently with Calculus and Vectors (MCV4U).

Mathematics Of Data Management, University Preparation (MDM4U)
This course broadens students understanding of mathematics as it relates to managing data. Students will apply methods for organizing and analysing large amounts of information, solve problems involving probability and statistics, and carry out a culminating investigation that integrates statistical concepts and skills. Students will also refine their use of the mathematical processes necessary for success in senior mathematics. Students planning to enter university programs in business, the social sciences, and the humanities will find this course of particular interest.
Prerequisite: Functions, Grade 11, University Preparation, or Functions and Applications, Grade 11, University / College Preparation.

Advanced Functions, University Preparation (MHF4U)
This course extends students experience with functions. Students will investigate the properties of polynomial, rational, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions, develop techniques for combining functions, broaden their understanding of rates of change, and develop facility in applying these concepts and skills. Students will also refine their use of the mathematical processes necessary for success in senior mathematics. This course is intended both for students taking the Calculus and Vectors course as a prerequisite for a university program and for those wishing to consolidate their understanding of mathematics before proceeding to any one of a variety of university programs.
Prerequisite: Functions, Grade 11, University Preparation, or Mathematics for College Technology, Grade 12, College Preparation.


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.

Biology, University Preparation (SBI4U)
This course provides students with the opportunity for in-depth study of the concepts and processes associated with biological systems. Students will study theory and conduct investigations in the areas of metabolic processes, molecular genetics, homeostasis, evolution, and population dynamics. Emphasis will be placed on achievement of the detailed knowledge and refined skills needed for further study in various branches of the life sciences and related fields.
Prerequisite: Biology, Grade 11, University Preparation.

Chemistry, University Preparation (SCH4U)
This course enables students to deepen their understanding of chemistry through the study of organic chemistry, energy changes and rates of reaction, chemical systems and equilibrium, electrochemistry, and atomic and molecular structure. Students will further develop problemsolving and laboratory skills as they investigate chemical processes, at the same time refining their ability to communicate scientific information. Emphasis will be placed on the importance of chemistry in daily life, and on evaluating the impact of chemical technology on the environment.
Prerequisite: Chemistry, Grade 11, University Preparation.

Physics, University Preparation (SPH4U)
This course enables students to deepen their understanding of the concepts and theories of physics. Students will explore further the laws of dynamics and energy transformations, and will investigate electrical, gravitational, and magnetic fields, electromagnetic radiation, and the interface between energy and matter.They will further develop inquiry skills, learning, for example, how the interpretation of experimental data can provide indirect evidence to support the development of a scientific model. Students will also consider the impact on society and the environment of technological applications of physics.
Prerequisite: Physics, Grade 11, University Preparation.


College / University Preparation (AVI4M)
This course focuses on enabling students to refine their use of the creative process when creating and presenting two-and three-dimensional art works using a variety of traditional and emerging media and technologies. Students will use the critical analysis process to deconstruct art works and explore connections between art and society. The studio program enables students to explore a range of materials, processes, and techniques that can be applied in their own art production. Students will also make connections between various works of art in personal, contemporary, historical, and cultural contexts.
Prerequisite: Visual Arts, Grade 11, University / College Preparation.