At SAR High School, Israel Education has a special place within the school curriculum and programming over the course of the year. We mark and celebrate many significant days within the history and life of the State of Israel such as כ״ט בנובמבר, רצח רבין, יום הזכרון, יום העצמאות, & יום ירושלים with tailored programs using a variety of modalities and structures to best convey the message of the day and the centrality of Israel in our lives as Modern Orthodox Jews.
Israel is addressed cross-curricularly throughout all four years of high school. In Hebrew classes, students are exposed to Israeli culture through classical and popular texts. The current Israeli political and social scene is brought to life through the analysis of current events, movies, songs, conversation and Israeli slang. Jewish presence in the Land of Israel from ancient times through today is integrated into the History curriculum. Tenth graders spend six weeks studying major events that shaped Israel from 1948 through the present. In conjunction with this history unit, in Gemara class students spend time analyzing a sugya dealing with the holiness of the land and Israel-diaspora relations. As part of their Tanakh curriculum, eleventh graders spend time discussing biblical laws of ethics of war, and how the modern state of Israel balances its need for self-defense while preserving the dignity of human life. Twelfth graders delve into the complex social, political and religious issues facing the state today.
Our conscious integration of Israel studies into all aspects of the academic curriculum gives students the tools to be participants in the Jewish communal and global conversation about Israel and helps them form a rich connection to the state.
עם אחד שפה אחת
“Past,” “Present,” and “Future” are not simply tenses taught syntactically in the classroom, they are concepts we use regularly in our Ivrit classrooms.
Throughout the history of the Jewish nation, the Hebrew language played a major role in maintaining the unity and uniqueness of the Jewish people.
SAR High School’s Israel Advocacy Club, Acheinu, works toward strengthening our relationship with Israel. It does so through education, political activism and tzedakah. Our education wing includes HaOketz, an online student-run newspaper that focuses on Israel news and updates. Guest speakers are brought in to school to engage students on Israel related topics. Students are also active in political advocacy as they work along with AIPAC, NORPAC and other lobbying organizations. Our group works to identify and promote campaigns that provide assistance for the wide variety of needs facing Medinat Yisrael. Additionally, seniors participate in our senior seminar spring program, which brings in outside speakers to educate students, through lectures, workshops and role plays, about the major challenges facing Israel support on college campuses.
We start the Hebrew studies in the high school with two years of developing a wide and rich vocabulary, and strengthening grammar in five different levels. We use the Neta program that focuses on the four language skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening.
Lessons include reading books, current events, learning idioms, and slang. In junior year, we embark on a literary journey to Israel, “from Vision to Reality”. The students encounter classical writers and texts that are part of the Jewish Israeli culture, from the Middle Ages to our times. They read and analyze songs by Rabbi Yehuda Halevi and Bialik, read stories by Agnon, and discover how Eliezer Ben-Yehuda worked in his struggle to revive the Hebrew language. In senior year, the journey to Israel is virtual. We study and put to use colloquial Hebrew. The focus is on conversational Hebrew that would enable students feel at home in Israel, and fit in easily in the different programs in their year in Israel. We at SAR regard our graduating students as adults who leave school equipped with language skills that enable them to take part in the Jewish Hebrew cultural discourse.