Our Judaic Studies program at King David High School seeks to engage our students affectively and cognitively in an expansive exploration and understanding of our Jewish tradition and heritage so that Jewish living and thinking might continually inform their lives in a personal and meaningful way.
Our Hebrew language curriculum (NETA) designed specifically for high school students by Hebrew University of Jerusalem instructional language experts, is challenging and enriching. This program engages our students in the central language acquisition skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. These skills are integrated in the NETA curriculum using three perspectives of present day interest: our Jewish tradition, present day Israeli culture and our contemporary local and world community. Students also review original texts of diverse genres and varying historical contexts (the biblical, rabbinic, medieval, enlightenment and modern periods) promoting and further deepening an appreciation and understanding of our cultural and religious traditions. Studying Hebrew as a living language, we seek to foster a sense of belonging to and identifying with Am Yisrael (our Jewish people), cultivating ties with Medinat Yisrael (the State of Israel) and providing the skills, tools and desire to enjoy a lifetime of Jewish learning. (Grades 8-12)
Jewish History and The State of Israel
From our ancient roots to present day Jewry, our Jewish history program explores the
Jewish experience of our people within ever changing social, political, cultural and
economic contexts and periods. Beyond surviving, our students will learn that we
have flourished as a people, being greatly influenced by and significantly contributing
to the communities and countries in which we have lived, prospered and suffered. As
heirs of a living past, our students will appreciate that who we are today speaks to where we were yesterday and offers lessons and inspiration as to where we might be tomorrow. (Grades 8-11)
In their final year at KDHS, our seniors will discuss the contemporary issues challenging the State of Israel today by means of the Israel education and advocacy curriculum developed by The David Project Center for Jewish Leadership. This program seeks to "enable students to understand the complexities of the Arab-Israeli conflict in ways that promote critical thinking, inquiry, discussion, historical accuracy, moral decision-making and activism". (Grade 12)
Our students high school experience in Jewish thinking and living invites and challenges them to be engaged as Jews in a more intensive, expansive and enriching way than they have yet to experience. Through class analysis and discussion, havruta (peer group) study and individual exploration, students will be asked to openly consider the meaning, purpose and personal pertinence in their own lives of our tradition's teachings. From close textual analysis to a discursive treatment of issues and themes, study will be promoted as a personal enterprise of interacting and grappling with our living Judaism as both lore and law. During these years of "questioning" we encourage our students to discover particular texts/avenues of interest that will speak to their inner Jewish voice. In deeply and critically engaging with our texts and teachings, we seek to have our students appreciate that authentic Jewish living is inextricably linked with and born of our experience in and response to the wider world in which we live. Promoting personal engagement and growth, we hope to kindle within our students a sustained interest in and pursuit of Jewish learning and living beyond their high school years.
Integrated with, and in addition to our formal Judaic Studies curriculum, our students participate in and help plan and organize a wide array of social service and activism programs and projects as well as school-wide celebrations, learning opportunities and activities both in and out of school.