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Hebrew Academy of Long Beach
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Our College preparatory program is designed to provide our students with a comprehensive academic program, emphasizing the development of critical thinking skills, research skills and written and oral expression. Secular studies courses and requirements conform to the standards of the Board of Regents and the Core Curriculum.  Regents examinations are administered at the end of the year.

The Common Core Curriculum has several shifts that DRS is emphasizing in all of its disciplines.  This includes: a balance of informational and literary texts; a further emphasis on literary experiences in both social studies and science; an emphasis of textual based answers in both reading and written responses and a greater emphasis on academic vocabulary.


9th Grade

The English I course of study is designed to familiarize the students with literature, grammar, vocabulary, and expository writing. These aspects are studied separately and then incorporated into an integrated curriculum. Literature is studied with emphasis on the following: abstract reasoning, critical thinking, and literary structure such as conflict, style, motivation, and theme.  Major works read and explicated include Romeo and Juliet, The Light and the Forest and Sophocles. The students also write an English term paper so that skills in footnoting and bibliography form and their attention to clear and concise writing are emphasized. In addition, there is a short story unit, required summer reading, and written analysis of a combination of three novels, or two plays and three short stories.  Grammar is studied in 9th grade with an emphasis on variety of sentence structure, sustained paragraphing, coherence and relevance. Individual writing conferences reinforce skills and clarify problematic areas. Expository writing, as well as process writing, is integrated into the totality of the program; the students respond in class or at home to various questions on the literature they study. Weekly vocabulary units emphasize words in context. Students develop additional vocabulary skills from the literature.  The English curriculum is thus designed to integrate disciplines and language that enables the students to understand that their grammatical, vocabulary, writing, and analytical skills are cross-curricular and interdisciplinary.

10th Grade

English II builds upon the skills developed in English I and particularly emphasizes strengthening writing skills and developing critical thinking. Writing, vocabulary and literature are integrated in a continuous process designed not only to help students to write clearly and logically, but with grace and style. To further this end, periodic term papers and individual writing conferences are an integral part of the process.  The literature curriculum includes Our Town, The Lord of the Flies, Macbeth, Of Mice and Men, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, 1984, Frankenstein and required summer reading combining three additional novels and plays. Poetry and short stories are studied as well, to illustrate the themes of self-realization and the development of a moral consciousness.

11th Grade – English / AP English 

English III concentrates on a chronological study of American Literature, featuring the works of major authors of the Colonial, Revolutionary, Romantic and Modern periods. Some major works discussed include The Scarlet Letter, The Great Gatsby, The Crucible, A Farewell to Arms, The Glass Menagerie, and readings from Emerson, Thoreau, Poe and Frost. Advanced students in the 11th and 12th grades may opt to take the Advanced Placement course in English Literature.  AP English focuses on analytical skills as well as critical reading of and writing about college level works such as Voltaire’s Candide, Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, Hardy’s Tess of the D’urbervilles, and Camus’ The Stranger.

12th Grade

Vocabulary study is continued through this final year of English. Technical and analytical skills are developed in frequent writing assignments.  At the conclusion of this course, students take the New York State Regents examination.  Students may select one of three senior English courses offered:  AP English, 20th Century Drama or International Literature.  AP English is a college level literature course with challenging reading and writing assignments. Greek Tragedy, Shakespearean Tragedy and Modern Drama are covered in addition to many critical approaches to literature. Students are prepared to take the Advanced Placement examination; qualifying students may earn college credit for this course. 20th Century Drama examines how modern works reflect values and aspirations of 20th century America.  International Literature explores films, novels and dramas from around the world.



The Hebrew language curriculum focuses on building skills in the areas of written expression, reading comprehension, dikduk, vocabulary, and sentence construction. An important component of the course is exposure to Hebrew literature, including short stories of various Hebrew authors. Projects, newspaper reports, and other media are used to make the language come alive.  A follow up course in intermediate Hebrew is offered.


Mandarin I sets the groundwork for reading, writing, oral and listening skills in Chinese.  It is a language course that develops the foundation for further studies.  Mandarin II is offered as a follow-up.


Students interested in expanding their language ability may take Spanish I, II and III. They develop competency in four areas: speaking, listening, reading and writing.


All students are required to take four years of math.


Students will learn and understand number sense and operations as well as how to represent and analyze a variety of problem solving situations. They will also develop visual and spatial reasoning in geometry and trigonometry and be introduced to statistics and probability.  The Core Curriculum Regents Examination will be offered for the 2014-2015 school year.


Students will be introduced to postulates, theorems and corollaries. This will help them learn to prove statements, understand parallel and perpendicular lines and congruent triangles.  Students will learn how to find angles and measures of line segments in a circle and be introduced to direct and indirect proofs. They will be shown how geometric proofs are connected to logic proofs.  Students take the Geometry Regents at the end of the year.

Trigonometry and Algebra II

This course includes topics using algebraic equations, complex numbering, relations, functions and transformations as well as exponential and logarithmic functions. Trigonometry extends to the general angle, identities, formulas for the Laws of Sine and Cosine. Probability and statistics expands to Bernoulli expansion, the binomial theorem and a normal statistical curve.


Precalculus provides the essential mathematical background needed for the study of calculus: concept of a function, properties of polynomial, rational, exponential, logarithmic and trigonometric functions, as well as some elements of algebra and discrete mathematics. All ideas are viewed from graphical, numerical and algebraic perspectives. Integration of the graphing calculator into the course provides students with the opportunity for exploration of real-world problem solving in higher mathematics. At the conclusion of this course, honors students are prepared to take the College Board Subject Test Math IIC.

AP Calculus – AB and BC

These Advanced Placement courses designed for superior math students, are equivalent to the Introduction to Calculus course at a college level. Building upon the foundations of the precalculus course, students study limits, derivatives, integrals and their mathematical applications. College credit is granted upon successful completion of the Advanced Placement Calculus examination. The Calculus AB course is equivalent to one semester of college credits and the Calculus BC course is equivalent to two semesters of college credits.  Math enrichment programs include a Math Club and Mathematics League Competitions.

AP Statistics

Statistics is a mathematical science pertaining to the collection, analysis, interpretation and presentation of data. It is applicable to a wide variety of academic disciplines, from the natural and social sciences to the humanities, government and business and therefore is mandatory for most college majors. This college level course teaches students how to obtain data from unbiased samples then organizing and interpreting this data. Methods of sampling and designing experiments are also covered.

College Algebra and Trigonometry

This course is offered to students who have completed Intermediate Algebra/Trigonometry and want to be prepared for college level mathematics.  Topics included are Equations and Inequalities, Graphs and Functions, Inverse, Exponential and Logarithmic Function, Circular Functions and their Graphs, Applications of Trigonometry, System and Matrices and Analytic Geometry.

Sports Statistics/Financial Literacy

This course encompasses basic statistical concepts coupled with technology projects. Students will examine populations, sampling strategies, randomized experiments and explore quantitative data through sports data. This course will also address managing personnel finances and stock market analyses.



This college level course begins with the foundations of the history of astronomy and physics as it relates to astronomy, followed by an “Earth-Out” organization for coverage of the solar system, stars and stellar evolution, as well as galaxies and cosmology. Strong emphasis is given to our neighbors in space and the search for life. Prescribed readings enhance active classroom discussions in a college level atmosphere. Additionally, students will research current issues in the field.


This course which concludes with the Regents exam, presents students with an understanding of the following topics: matter and energy, bonding, atomic structure, the periodic table, kinetics and equilibrium, acids and bases, redox and electrochemistry, organic chemistry and mathematics of chemistry.  Emphasis is placed on the application of chemical principles and laboratory study. At the conclusion of this course, students take the New York State Regents Examination and are prepared to take the College Board Subject Test.

Earth Science

This Regents course focuses on questions such as: What is our planet made of? How can we accurately predict the weather? Why do the stars and planets seem to move together through the night sky? Earth Science is the study of our planet, its changing systems and their setting in the universe.  A laboratory component is an essential part of this course. At the conclusion of this course, students take the New York State Regents Examination and honors students are prepared to take the College Board Subject Test.

Living Environment (biology)

Students acquire a deeper understanding and basic knowledge of biological processes and principles, an appreciation of life cycles and ecology, human physiology, principles of reproduction, and basic concepts in genetics and genetic research.  An understanding of the scientific method and its application to modern experimentation and research are explored through extensive laboratory study in our fully equipped, modern biology laboratory.  At the conclusion of this course, students take the New York State Regents Examination, and honors students are prepared to take the College Board Subject Test.


These science courses combine Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology.  Developed in Israel by the developers of E2K, it is being offered at select high schools.   It focuses on Engineering, Electronics and Biomedical topics with many hands-on activities.  In addition to our DRS teacher, we work with a skilled science resource mentor from the Center of Initiatives in Jewish Education (CIJE) in partnership with Israel Sci-Tech.


The revised Regents syllabus for physics emphasizes problem-solving techniques and hands on laboratory experience, with concentration on math skills. Topics in modern and classical physics are covered. The persistent themes of matter and energy pervade these new topics as well as the standard units on static, kinematics, dynamics, optics, electricity and magnetism. Students are prepared for the Regents examination and honors students are prepared to take the College Board Achievement Test in Physics. At the conclusion of the course, students take the New York State Regents examination, and honors students may take the College Board Subject Test.

AP Chemistry

This advanced placement course is the equivalent of a first-year college chemistry course. Topics covered include stoichiometry, thermo chemistry, atomic structure, acids and bases, equilibrium, and organic chemistry, as well as chemical kinetics and thermodynamics and the properties of liquids, solids and solutions. Laboratory experiments complete with lab notebook and formal reports, are performed to fulfill the required college-level laboratory requirements and utilize state-of-the-art computer-based laboratory modules linked to the TI 83 graphing calculator. At the conclusion of this course, students are prepared to take the Advanced Placement Examination and the College Board Subject Test.

AP Biology

Advanced Placement Biology is the equivalent of an introductory college level Biology course that can fulfill a prerequisite for advanced courses for Biology majors or fulfill a science requirement for non-majors. It offers independent and motivated high school students the opportunity to increase their understanding of the diversity and complexity of living systems. Beginning with molecules and cells and continuing through organisms and populations, this course sorts through the explosion of information in the fields of genetics, immunology, developmental biology and oncology. Extensive laboratory sessions complement the lectures with sophisticated projects utilizing techniques such as gel electrophoresis and recombinant DNA. At the conclusion of this course, students are prepared to take the Advanced Placement Examination and the College Board Subject Test.

AP Physics

Advanced Placement Physics provides the development of conceptual understanding and problem solving abilities using algebra and trigonometry. This course provides a foundation in physics while utilizing a systematic introduction to the main principles of physics. Topics covered include: fluid mechanics, thermal physics, waves and optics, quantum mechanics and relativity.

Intel – Siemens Science Research

Students interested in pursuing advanced scientific research during the summer recess at local colleges and universities and entering local, state and national scientific competitions are encouraged to participate in this program. In addition, students are involved and mentored in ongoing scientific Intel-level research throughout the academic year.


Global History: Grades 9 and 10 / AP World History – Grade 10

Upon completion of the 9th and 10th grade sequence, students have an understanding of the major historical, geographic, societal, political and economic forces and events that have shaped the global community and individual nations. Special emphasis is placed on the development of Western Civilization in its intellectual, artistic, political and economic spheres. At the conclusion of this course, students take the New York State Regents examination. Students may opt for the more rigorous Advanced Placement World History course in the 10th grade. Advanced Placement students are prepared to take the A.P. Examination and the College Board Subject Test.

US Government and Economics / AP US Government – Grade 11

The course in U.S. Government and Economics gives students an in-depth understanding of the political process and the U.S. Constitution, as well as an introduction to the complexities of the world’s economy and financial markets. The study of current events enriches students’ understanding of the dynamic political and economic realities of an ever-changing world. Skills in research and argument are developed through written assignments and group projects leading to class presentations.  Students may opt for the more rigorous Advanced Placement U.S. Government class instead of the basic required course and earn college credit. At the conclusion of this course, students are prepared to take the A.P. Examination and the College Board Subject Test.

US History / AP US History – Grade 12

A survey of American History, culminating with the Regents exam, is the required syllabus for the senior year. The Advanced Placement American History Course is a one-year college survey course.  In addition to mastering content, students are trained to use both primary and secondary sources in an historical context. Students develop the factual knowledge as well as the analytical skills required to deal critically with problems and issues in United States History, and are trained to weigh evidence, make incisive comparisons, and present informed judgments clearly and persuasively in essay format. Qualifying scores earn students up to a year of college credit in history. Both courses endeavor to help students appreciate the rich tapestry that forms our society today. At the conclusion of this course, students take the New York State Regents Examination and honors students are prepared to take the Advanced Placement Examination and the College Board Subject Test.

Social Science Research

Students who are interested in the areas of sociology, psychology, anthropology, or other social sciences will conduct Intel-level research and compete in local, state and national competitions.

Jewish History Through The Ages / The David Project

The objective of the course is to provide a survey/review of Jewish history via stories. There will be an emphasis on vocabulary for Jewish cultural literacy, Jewish place, Jewish time, Jewish character and Jewish message. Stories are the most effective method to introduce students to our Jewish heritage and our Jewish way of life.  Stories contain the “secrets of our past, which are the bridges to our future.” Additionally, one day per week The David Project will be taught. The mission is to promote a fair and honest understanding of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Students will develop advocacy skills and become leaders in defeating the ideological assault on Israel that is taking place in the media, on college campuses, in high schools, and in the general community.

Modern Jewish History

Modern Jewish History is a required one semester junior elective in 20th Century events that molded the Jewish world. We emphasize Holocaust study and the rise of the State of Israel. The origins of modern anti-Semitism, a chronology of the Holocaust, the Jewish response to extermination, Zionist ideology, the Yishuv, British mandate, modern Israel and the ongoing Palestinian conflict are among the topics covered. Films, lectures and internet research complement daily class work.


Various electives are offered annually based upon student interest.

Creative Writing

This 11th grade elective is a workshop in writing short fiction, poems and children’s literature, emphasizing techniques of narration, experimentation with form and language, dramatic construction, and dramatization. Concentration is placed on the development of poetic style, the difference between a short story and a novel and the preparation of a children’s book. All students are encouraged to prepare and read their own work that is critiqued by classmates. Students must submit work in each genre. Each semester culminates in a portfolio of the student’s work. The final project may be one of the following: a children’s novel, a collection of short stories, nursery rhymes, or a pop-up book. At the conclusion of this course, students may take the College Board Subject Test in Writing.

College Writing

The goal of this 12th grade elective is to provide students with college–type writing experiences. In addition, it reinforces good writing habits and assists in the completion of superior college application essays.


Students will view films selected from the American Film Institute’s list of the top 100 American made films. Writing assignments include critiques, compare/contrasts, and logs of films viewed.  The course’s goals include: development of an appreciation for film as an art form, improvement of critical and writing skills, and the identification of the narrative structure and devices used in film.

AP Psychology

The curriculum in AP Psychology attempts to show both the unity and diversity of psychology’s subject matter. The choices of research and its process are used to link theory to application. Some of the topics stressed include the following: behavior and its multiple cases, including cultural heritage, hereditary and environment, learning and conditioning, motivation and emotion, personality theory and intelligence. Coping, psychological disorders, psychotherapy and social behaviors are stressed, as well as sensation, perception and biological bases of behavior. At the conclusion of this course, students are prepared to take the Advanced Placement Examination.

AP Art

This class is for the serious art student who desires to earn advanced standing in art. Students study art mediums and styles in order to create charcoal, pastel, oil and period drawings that are submitted for Advanced Placement credit. At the conclusion of this course, students are prepared to take the Advanced Placement Examination.

AP Computers

AP Computers is a challenging, stimulating and intellectually rewarding class which requires a great deal of effort for success.  A major focus is the creation of computer software to correctly solve a given problem.  Students are prepared for the Advanced Placement Examination.

AP Music Theory

The goal of this course is to develop a student’s ability to recognize, understand and describe the basic materials and processes of music that are heard or presented in a score. These goals are achieved by addressing fundamental aural, analytical and compositional skills using both listening and written exercises. Building on this foundation, the course progresses to harmonization of a melody, composing and notation. At the conclusion of this course, students are prepared to take the Advanced Placement Examination.

Computer Science

Our computer curriculum brings students into a state-of-the-art computer room equipped with the most advanced technology a school setting offers. All freshmen are required to take an introductory level course that emphasizes computer literacy.  Students learn about software/hardware and operating systems, with a special focus placed on mastering Microsoft WORD (word processing skills). Students proceed to other software packages such as EXCEL (spreadsheet), POWERPOINT, (presentation skills), PUBLISHER (desktop publishing) and ACCESS (database management). As students progress, they learn to access the Internet, do research on-line, and create reports using multi-media techniques. Students will be able to utilize computers to enrich and support aspects of their classroom activities in all subject areas.  In the sophomore year, interested students can learn the complete C++ computer language as a prelude to taking the Advanced Placement Computer Science Examination using the object-oriented Java Language in the junior year. A Web Design class has been introduced into the curriculum.  Topics included in the course are: HTML/XHTML, CSS, XML, CGI, JavaScript, Web Graphics and Web Multimedia. In addition to working on individual projects, students in this course work to enhance the school’s website.  The integration of computers into other disciplines is a priority. Additional computer electives and a computer club will further enhance the curriculum.

Forensic Science

Forensic Science is a course that integrates many disciplines of science and liberal arts and uses the information to solve problems relating to crimes. Forensic applications have become front-page news and are currently the subject of several series on television. The course focuses on using scientific concepts and techniques to solve “make believe” crimes. Emphasis is placed on deductive reasoning and scientific technology. Moral, ethical and legal dilemmas will be discussed as they relate to course material.

Physical Education

In addition to physical activities, each class focuses on instruction for different sports and activities.  Furthermore, each class has the option for Hockey, Basketball and Football leagues that are organized and monitored by professional coaches.