Judaic Studies at Posnack Virtual School
Strengthening the Connection
Reinforcing ahavat yisrael—commitment to the Jewish community and the State of Israel—is central to the Judaic studies curriculum. Alongside Hebrew instruction, students study Jewish sources, rabbinic literature, Jewish history and philosophy, and contemporary Jewish life. All Judaic studies instructors are certified by the Broward Central Agency for Jewish Education.
Posnack School has adopted an innovative Hebrew language curriculum developed by the school for students in grades 9-12. The Hebrew curriculum is linguistically sequential; texts and tasks increase in length and complexity as the student’s Hebrew improves. Each unit of study incorporates art, music, prose, poetry, news articles and Jewish texts, in layers of language ranging from biblical Hebrew to current scientific Hebrew terminology and common colloquialisms. All instructors are specially certified in the program.
Jewish history is incorporated in many aspects of the high school curriculum. In 10th grade, Posnack School students take part in mapping Jewish history from biblical times to the modern era. This offers students the opportunity to place contemporary events in their historical context and allows the students to see themselves in the long chain of Jewish tradition.
Tanach and Rabbinic Literature
In 9th grade, students study Tanach focusing on Neviim and ketuvim. Starting with the structure of the Tanach, students learn to read and compare biblical texts, recognizing primary interpretations. From 10th through 12th grade, students turn to the study of Mishnah before moving on to other rabbinic sources including Gemara, the Shulchan Aruch, and the Mishnah Torah. Jewish ethics, philosophy, law, and contemporary issues are examined through the lens of rabbinic thought.
Posnack School Israel Trip
One of the highlights of being a Posnack School student is the opportunity to learn about Israel first-hand through our Study Program in Israel. From the time our students begin at the Posnack Virtual School, they learn about the roots of the Jewish people, study the Hebrew language, and explore Israeli customs and traditions, including holiday celebrations. During their two weeks in Israel, our students have the chance to live all that they have learned by experiencing Israel chronologically, from biblical times to the present.
Their time in Israel is specifically selected to allow them to observe and to participate in Israeli commemoration of Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yom Hazikaron, and Israel Independence Day. Students visit Yad Vashem, stand in the streets as the siren sounds throughout the country, and celebrate Israel’s birthday in Haifa. Our students also interact and celebrate with Israeli students from Nesher, our sister city in Israel.
Whether our students are climbing Masada, seeing the amazing laser light show over Jerusalem, smelling the preparations for Shabbat, hearing and speaking Hebrew in the streets, or tasting traditional Israeli delicacies, they get to feel Israel by using all five of their senses. For our students, this amazing experience is the seed of a growing relationship between them and Israel that will continue to grow and develop through high school and their adult life.
Director of Judaic Studies
Meet Rabbi Robert Kaplan
Rabbi Robert Kaplan is Director of Judaic Studies at David Posnack Jewish Day School where he leads the Judaic Studies team and oversees the Judaics studies curriculum. Rabbi Kaplan joined Posnack School from the Samuel Scheck Hillel Community Day School, where he worked as a teacher, Judaic studies chair, and interim high school principal, among many other roles. He has taught Talmud and Bible at Florida International University, arranging for high school students taking his honors courses to receive college credit through the FIU dual-enrollment program. Rabbi Kaplan has a B.A. cum laude from Albright College and an M.Ed. in Policy, Governance and Administration from the University of Washington. He is a certified mohel and continues to serve the South Florida Jewish community in this capacity.