Judaic Studies at Posnack School
Welcome to the David Posnack Jewish Day School. For over 43 years Posnack School has been educating Jewish students, K-12, that reside in the greater South Florida area. We are proud that our graduates have gone on to be active Jewish leaders at various colleges, universities, and post-high school programs as well as members of Jewish communities throughout the United States.
Our inspiring Judaic program begins in our elementary division. There our students are introduced at an early age to love our Jewish way of life, its celebrations, traditions, laws and customs. This education is both formal and informal. Specific grade level activities are planned to celebrate the development of the child’s growing Jewish identity. Tefilah is a daily part of the Lower School program even when our student activities may be off campus. Prayers and songs are constantly added to the tefilah curriculum. Music and visual arts are also a valuable tool use by our Lower School to instill “ruach” into the Judaic program. Our 5th grade culminates in a sleep-over Shabbaton on campus.
Our Middle School continues to build on the foundations laid in the Lower School. Deeper level study is brought to the Judaic program whether in the study of our classical texts or Jewish law and customs. Various clubs and activities are used to bring to life our Jewish values.
In our High School, students have electives in Judaic studies that allow the student to pursue certain interest. Choices on a rotating basis include: Contemporary Jewish Issues, Talmud, Women in the Bible, Life Cycle Events, Jewish Literature 1800s – Modern Times, The Jewish Experience in America, Chumash, Selection From Tanach, Prophets, and Jewish History: 2nd Temple to pre-WWI. All of our seniors are required to take a year course composed of a semester on modern Jewish History/The Founding of the State of Israel and a semester of Israel Advocacy. These two sections are designed to equip our students with the facts and knowledge about Israel that they will need on the college campus.
I invite you to visit and see first hand our beautiful Posnack School campus and how we inspire and educate the next generation of the Jewish people.
Rabbi Robert Kaplan
Rabbi Robert Kaplan is Director of Judaic Studies at David Posnack Jewish Day School and Paul & Maggie Fischer High School where he leads the Judaic Studies team and oversees the Judaic curriculum. He 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.
Students participate in Tefillah (prayer) daily. As a community day school, Fischer High hosts three minyan (prayer quorums) options each morning. Torah is read twice weekly and students learn parashat ha-shavua during Tefillah.
In the last years, the Posnack School has adopted an innovative Hebrew language curriculum developed by the school for students in grades 6-12. 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 Fischer High School student is the opportunity to learn about Israel first-hand through a trip of a lifetime in Israel. From the time our students begin at the Posnack 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, whose relationship with our students starts in seventh grade when they work together on a common project called Shorashim.
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.
Moot Bet Din
Fischer High School competes in the national Moot Bet Din. Using traditional sources, participating team members apply halakha (Jewish law) to contemporary situations. Each year, a new case is introduced on a topic that has not been examined halakhicly.