- 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.
Goals for Grade 9
- Historical development of the Mishna and Gemara with an emphasis on the relationship between the two.
- Basic breakdown of a Mishna
- Understand the meaning of the Gemara text based upon its intended goal.
- Recognizing key function and structural words in the Gemara.
- Basic Aramaic grammar: singular, plural, masculine and feminine pronouns as well as past and present.
- Common Gemara vocabulary
- Use of Rashi as an explanation of the Gemara
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.
Two Torah Shebe’al Peh tracks offer students different emphases. The first focuses on an introduction and background to the development of Torah Shebe’al Peh, its distinct sections and how they build on each other. The second track, already assuming a basic understanding and experience with Torah Shebe’al Peh, is for students who are ready to begin learning Gemara in earnest with an emphasis on recognizing key words and basic Gemara structure.
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.
The goal of this course is to introduce students to the world of Parshanut. The study of תומש provides the student with insight into the development of Bnei Yisrael. Students explore the role that subjugation to Pharaoh and Egypt had on the national destiny of Israel. The meaning of Revelation at Sinai, Torah and the ןכשמ are a major topic in the study of Shemot. The sin of the Golden Calf and its relationship to the role of the ןכשמ is an area of focus as well. The significance of Jewish nationhood committed to the service of Hashem is at the heart of the study of this שמוח. Students consider the meaning that being part of such a nation has for their personal lives.
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 is designed to enable students to begin communicating with native Ivrit speakers and gain an appreciation for Ivrit and Israeli culture. Learning integrates the four areas of language development: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Basic morphology, syntax and vocabulary are reviewed and developed within the context of the following thematic units: Acquaintance, Every day situations, Residence in Israel – Kibutzim, cities and other places and Life and religion in Israel. A variety of materials and methods are used in order to stimulate the 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.
Yonah and Esther (YOC)
The goal of the course is to serve as an introduction to the methodical study of Tanach. Students are given the fundamental tools enabling them to develop a personal connection to Tanach through independent study. Additionally, students engage the eternal messags of the neviim and their relevance to their lives today. The course covers the books of Yonah and Esther as both of these books are short story narraritives. Yonah is part of Neviim Achronim while Esther is from Ketuvim. Students learn to notice structutral nuances, plot development, key words and identify themes in order to uncover the messages of the books. The classic use of mefarshim plays an important role in uncovering the deeper themes of the books. In Yonah – repentance, reward and punishment, and free will. In Esther – Hashem’s hand in history, exile and redemption, and the relationship between Jews and other nations.
Yonah, Esther and Rut (UO)
The goal of the course is to serve as an introduction to the methodical study of ך”נת. Students are given the fundamental tools enabling them to develop a personal connection to ך”נת through independent study. Additionally, students engage the eternal messages of the םיאיבנ and their relevance to their lives today. The course covers the books of הנוי, רתסא and תור. Each of these books is a short story narrative. הנוי is part of the םינורחא םיאיבנ while רתסא and תור are from םיבותכ. Students learn to notice structural nuances, plot development, key words and identify themes in order to uncover the messages of the books. The classic use of םישרפמ plays an important role in uncovering the deeper themes of the books. In הנוי – repentance, reward and punishment and free will. In רתסא – Hashem’s Hand in history, exile and redemption, and the relationship between Jews and other nations. In תור – communal responsibility, conversion and chessed.
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.
Medieval Jewish History (UO)
The course begins with exploring the time period of the Greeks as background to the Roman-Jewish relationship that lead to the destruction of the second Beit HaMikdash. The early parts of the course will cover events in exile that include the Bar Kochba rebellion, growth of Christianity, and the birth and spread of Islam. The later parts of the course will help students understand how those very “new” world religions posed tremendous challenges to the Jewish people, mainly throughout Europe. The beginnings of Ashkenazic and Sephardic Jewry will be explored, as well as the many anti-Semitic moments encountered such as the crusades, blood libels, and Black Death. Students will understand why Sephardic Jews fared better during medieval times and how that changed with the Spanish Inquisition and expulsion. An overview of modern Jewish history will be covered as well. Traditional teaching methods are complemented with multimedia presentations.
Introduction to Machshava (YOC)
In this course students will become familiar with the world of Machshevet Yisrael (Jewish Thought) as an independent discipline in Torah throughout history as well as explore fundamental questions in Jewish Thought and practice. Topics include: ‘What is Jewish Thought’, ‘What is Torah’, ‘The Oral Law’, ‘Machloket’, ‘Rabbinic Law’, ‘Why we have Mitzvot’, ‘Chosen People’ and ‘Chosen Land’. An important emphasis is to provide a non-judgmental forum for students to ask questions and discuss their opinions, enhancing their self-understanding as individuals and as Jews in the modern world.
David Hamelech calls himself “prayer”. This teaches that tefillah is much greater then we think it is and that a person can internalize tefillah. This course well explores tefillah on two different levels, the first level understanding tefillah and the second developing a consciousness of what it means to live a different life through connecting to tefillah. At the end of this course students will have a greater understanding of the siddur and also learn new ways to connect to the idea of tefillah.
- 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.
Grade 9, Academic (ENG1D)
This course is designed to develop the 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 informational and graphic texts, and create oral, written, and media texts in a variety of forms. An important focus will be on the use of strategies that contribute to effective communication. The course is intended to prepare students for the Grade 10 academic English course, which leads to university or college preparation courses in Grades 11 and 12.
Issues in Canadian Geography (CGC1D)
Grade 9, Academic
This course examines interrelationships within and between Canada’s natural and human systems and how these systems interconnect with those in other parts of the world. Students will explore environmental, economic, and social geographic issues relating to topics such as transportation options, energy choices, and urban development. Students will apply the concepts of geographic thinking and the geographic inquiry process, including spatial technologies, to investigate various geographic issues and to develop possible approaches for making Canada a more sustainable place in which to live.
Guidance And Career Education
Learning Strategies 1, Skills for Success in Secondary School, Open (GLS1O)
This course focuses on learning strategies to help students become better, more independent learners. Students will learn how to develop and apply literacy and numeracy skills, personal management skills, and interpersonal and teamwork skills to improve their learning and achievement in school, the workplace, and the community. The course helps students build confidence and motivation to pursue opportunities for success in secondary school and beyond.
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.
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 and interact in French with increasing independence, with a focus on familiar topics related to their daily lives. Students will develop their skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing by using language learning strategies introduced in the elementary Core French program, and will apply creative and critical thinking skills in various ways. They will also enhance their understanding and appreciation of diverse French-speaking communities, and will develop skills necessary for lifelong language learning.
Prerequisite: Minimum of 600 hours of French instruction, or equivalent.
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 equips students with 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 (MPM1D)
This course enables students to develop an understanding of mathematical concepts related to algebra, analytic geometry, and measurement and geometry through investigation, the effective use of technology, and abstract reasoning. Students will investigate relationships, which they will then generalize as equations of lines, and will determine the connections between different representations of a linear relation. They will also explore relationships that emerge from the measurement of three-dimensional figures and two-dimensional shapes. Students will reason mathematically and communicate their thinking as they solve multi-step problems.
This course enables students to understand basic concepts in biology, chemistry, earth and space science, and physics in order to develop skills in the processes of scientific inquiry and to relate science to technology, society, and the environment. Students will learn scientific theories and conduct investigations related to cell division and reproduction, atomic and molecular structures and the properties of elements and compounds, the universe and space exploration, and the principles of electricity.
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.
Visual Arts, Open (UO) (AVI1O)
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.