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Hebrew Academy of Long Beach
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Torah study is geared towards instilling in our talmidim a love of learning, inspiring a desire to grow in Torah and yirat shamayim, establishing strong rebbe – talmid relationships, and teaching an approach to life within a torah framework. Strong emphasis is placed on teaching the skills that enable our talmidim to independently comprehend and analyze texts and their meforshim.  Limud Torah combined with the overall religious atmosphere within the Yeshiva promote a keen sense of awareness of mitzvot bain adam l’chavairo, an appreciation for tefila and kavanah, as well as the importance of chessed and community service. Developing a commitment to Medinat Yisrael is a primary goal of our Yeshiva.


The study of gemara is the primary focus of our limudei kodesh curriculum. During the ninth and tenth grade years, shiurim center on teaching how to clearly read and understand the text, developing vocabulary, identifying talmudic laws and concepts, and understanding the flow of the question and answer of the sugya. Classes focus on clearly reading, understanding and analyzing rishonim. The rudiments of lomdut, talmudic thought, and independent chavruta study are introduced as well. In the eleventh and twelfth grades, more focus is placed on analysis of rishonim, but the text will still be of primary importance. Chavruta is standardized on a daily basis. In eleventh and twelfth grades, talmidim will have the opportunity to join the Honors Bait Medrash track that will extend the learning hours and provide a forum to finish the year’s masechta. During all years, there is a bekiut program to help talmidim acquire knowledge in related topics, as well as incentives for projects of self – study, such as mishnayot study or bekiut gemara. Voluntary shiurim are offered during breaks such as lunch, as well.  Each year the entire Yeshiva studies the same Masechta, to promote achdut and facilitate chavruta study between grades. There is a three-year cycle consisting of a Masechta from Seder Nashim, Seder Nezikin, and one that focuses on practical Jewish law.


Halacha is studied from the classical sources of Jewish Law such as the Mishnah Berurah, the Chayei Adam, the Aruch Hashulchan, and others. In addition to the laws of each Yom Tov which are studied before that holiday, the curriculum includes Hilchot Tefila for the ninth grade, Hilchot Shabbat for the tenth grade, Hilchot Yom Tov in the eleventh grade, and Mitzvot Hateluyot Ba’aretz in the twelfth grade. Emphasis is placed on knowing where to reference various types of halachot, as well as knowing the laws themselves.


The Chumash curriculum is designed to familiarize each talmid with text and meforshim, as well as the various lessons and hashkafik topics found in the pesukim. Special attention is given to the different approaches to exegesis taken by the various meforshim. Freshmen study Bereishit, the sophomores study Shemot, the juniors Bamidbar, and the seniors study Devarim. While the lower grades focus more on Rashi, the eleventh and twelfth feature in-depth analysis of the Ramban, Seforno, Ibn Ezra, and others. Chumash is studied by topic, as opposed to a pasuk by pasuk approach. There is a bekiut component as well that familiarizes the student with the entire sefer being studied.


The Nach program provides both a conceptual approach and bekiut in Sifrei Neviim Uketuvim.  The approach is a topical one, and an attempt is made to link various sefarim with current events.  The ninth grade learns an overview of Yehoshua, Shoftim and Shmuel, the tenth studies Melachim, the eleventh learns Yirmiyahu, Yechezkel, Chaggai, Zecharia and Malachi, while the twelfth grade studies the Chamesh Megilot. Emphasis is placed on the text, the lessons to be learned, as well as understanding the historical background of the time period in which each Navi prophesied.


Regular periods are set aside each week for discussion and in-depth learning of seforim that deal with personal character improvement and religious development. Texts used are Messilat Yesharim, Pirkei Avot, Alei Shur, Shaarei Teshuva, Chovat Hatalmidim, and many others. Focus is placed on giving modern, practical applications of character flaws, and analysis on the causes of and solutions to these challenges. Noted Rabbinic figures and Jewish leaders also guest lecture as part of our Mussar program.


The 12th grade Jewish Philosophy course gives students approaches in dealing with some of the more complex philosophical issues in Judaism. Some of the topics covered in the class are tzadik v’rah lo, emunah, faith, free choice and tefilla. The Kuzari, Derech Hashem and the works of Rav Soloveichik, are some of the sources used in this course.