Beyond the Traditional…
Learning opportunities are everywhere in the Yeshivah. A multitude of voluntary courses exist to expand students’ knowledge and understandings that enrich their experiences.
MAY AND BERNARD BLUMENTHAL SCHOLARS PROGRAM
Yeshivah of Flatbush Joel Braverman High School offers a stimulating and innovative Scholars Program for select sophomores. The Scholars Program is a unique academic experience that educates students through workshops and mentorships with artists, authors, doctors, politicians, professors, and tech professionals. Students participates in special educational opportunities and events, which will scaffold skills to help them create major research projects.
Junior year culminates in a final project that the scholars present at a formal dinner attended by parents, members of the Blumenthal family, the administration, the Yeshivah’s Board of Education, mentors and other special guests. This dinner highlights the achievements of the scholars and allow them to share their accomplishments in a professional and celebratory setting.
Tsei U’lemad is a Talmudic term which means “Go out and learn.” This program offers students a variety of independent study courses each semester that encourage students to learn beyond the classroom, promoting intellectual curiosity. Students may want to broaden their interests, seek deeper knowledge of a subject or explore new topics and ideas. These courses supplement the current curriculum while they do not replace any required courses, they are recorded on students’ transcripts and can improve the academic average.
This course is designed to teach the fundamental steps in starting up and operating a successful business. The course will cover a wide range of topics, including how to develop and write a business plan, options for financing a new business, choosing a suitable business partner, conducting a proper interview, human resources (HR) basics, leasing office or retail space, how to choose law and accounting firms, organizational structure, sourcing, importing and distribution, cold calling and sales pitch techniques, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) basics, how to read a balance sheet and a profit and loss statement, licensing, and basic trademark and patent law.
The goal of the course is to give students a clear understanding of how a business is launched and how it functions. Guest speakers and tours of various companies will be part of the curriculum. You will be required to purchase one textbook and complete a final project at the end of the course, in addition to regular assignments.
This is a college level course for students who have an interest in how the human body is constructed and how it functions. This course is valuable for students who are planning to enter a health related field as well as for those with no current interest in pursuing the subject matter as a career choice. This course explores each system in the body, how it is designed to work under normal conditions, and various disease processes that affect it. The inter-relationships between structure and function are emphasized, and the role of evolution in the “finished product” is noted throughout. The causes of many malfunctions from cancer to warts, heart attack to kidney failure as well as the course of the illness including its symptoms and diagnosis are explored.
Class discussion focuses on medical/ethical issues such as PGD (pre-implantation genetic diagnosis), rights of the handicapped and assisted suicide. Films and slides supplement class discussion, laboratories, guest lectures, and class trips are arranged whenever possible. There are two major examinations each marking period.
Human Physiology will explore the human body as the sum of its organ systems. What keeps metabolism going and what happens when homeostasis is disrupted will be the main focus of the course. When deciding on how to treat humans, for health or research purposes, there are many moral and ethical dilemmas that arise from our decisions. These, too, shall be explored using movies, video clips, newspaper and magazine articles, and other sources.
Quantum mechanics, discovered at the beginning of the 20th century, is a theory which can predict how matter behaves with an amazing accuracy. Although it is the basis of most of the marvels of today’s world, the picture it paints of reality is weird. Can light be both a wave and a particle at the same time? Is it even possible to even imagine a science in which “beam me up Scotty” is not totally impossible? This is a theory so weird that Einstein called it spooky and refused to accept its basic idea! But it works.
In this class, we will describe how Quantum Mechanics came to be, what it means when we say that we can only talk about the probability of something happening, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, whether Schrodinger’s Cat is alive or not and, how the measurement of the properties of an electron in one place instantly determine the properties of another electron anyplace else in the universe. We will explore these possibilities and more without mathematics (although there will be some) as we take this wild ride about the nature of reality.
Some scientists look up into the skies to understand what the laws that describe what they see may tell them about the nature of reality. Others look into the heart of the atoms that make up our everyday existence and ask the same question. A remarkable confluence of these ideas has occurred in the last decades which have brought modern cosmology remarkable insights into the laws that govern the way the universe operates. Ideas like ‘the big bang’, ‘black holes’, ‘cosmic inflation’, and many others have entered into the vocabulary of both scientists and the general public.
This Tsei U’Lemad offering will walk you through the key ideas and discoveries that make up today’s view of the nature of the universe that we live in. This will be done with no more than the science learned in high school. The course includes a series of videos that cover the field and short articles that cover similar material. All of these will be available on the internet and readily accessible. In addition to this material, students will be asked to answer some questions to demonstrate your understanding.
Mathematics is very often viewed by high school students with almost the same dread as a trip to the dentist. We are taught specific rules and techniques to allow us to solve the problems that appear on tests, both in school and as part of the entrance gauntlet we must run to get into the college of our choice. What we rarely learn is how to look at the logic we need and how to step outside of our normal range of experience to see the best way to approach a question.
This course will help improve problem solving through a series of tutorials on some topics not normally discussed in class, followed by actual problems. Each problem will be explained with a detailed solution and the logic behind it will be discussed and shared. Whenever possible these problems will be chosen from the standard AMC competitions, enhancing confidence and improving performance.
Topics will include: How to really understand Pythagorean triangles and how to find Pythagorean triples and then use those numbers; What is modular arithmetic (clock arithmetic) and the strange places it shows up; Diophantine equations (those that must have integer solutions —– you can’t have half a baby as a solution!); and several others.
Students who choose to participate will gain a better understanding of how to approach any kind of situation and gain confidence to work it out – even if they are not certain how to begin.
What is your understanding of “The Meaning of Life”? Have you thought about the meaning and value of your life? Do you have a view of life that gives you a direction and offers answers to your most pressing questions?
This class meets weekly in an informal seminar setting to explore insights on these and other issues. The goal is to add meaning to life and help sustain participants in a chaotic and confusing world.
Readings will be distributed at each session. The final grade will be based on regular attendance, participation, and on periodic written “musings” submitted for teacher review and shared with the group in class discussions.
This course, open only to female students, will focus on maximizing your physical and mental well-being, and learning how to live in a healthy way to achieve happiness. While the course will have an emphasis on yoga and meditation, we will also explore nutrition and healthy eating habits, gardening, and ways to help contribute to society, among many other areas. In addition to regular assignments and projects, we will travel on field trips and experience a variety of classes around the city.
Explore the history and culture of modern Israel, while learning about important events, people, places, entertainment, and political and social aspects of the Jewish State. This class will be conducted in עברית (of course)!
Since the times of Shakespeare, Latin has become a major component of the English vocabulary. This course covers the basic elements of how the Latin language is formed, while beginning to learn the etymology and vocabulary of the language. This knowledge will increase English vocabulary and enable students to use Latin roots to break down words which may come up on the S.A.T. exam.
This class will examine a number of iconic American films and discuss what they say about–and to–Americans. Does art imitate life, or is it the other way around? Some of the films may include: Gone With the Wind, It’s a Wonderful Life, The Best Years of Our Lives, Star Wars, To Kill A Mockingbird, Rebel Without a Cause, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner, and several others. Participants will be required to watch the films on their own (though selected parts will be screened in the weekly class) and then be prepared to discuss the movies and their meanings, and the role that Hollywood and its stars play in the evolution of American society and culture.
- To promote understanding and appreciation of news media and the information they contain
- To gain skills in organizing ideas and information into easy-flowing, interesting articles
- To understand current events topics and how they affect our daily lives
- To explore the ethics of reporting and the public’s need to know
Each student will be expected to produce one detailed, long news or feature article for the class and to cite the sources of his or her information. Students will be expected to regularly look at newspapers to select articles to discuss in class. For week 8 participants will be asked to produce a document using a desktop publishing program. For week 9, participants will be asked to bring in a favorite photo taken by themselves or a family member to discuss in class.
Prayer, cantillation, liturgy, and music of the Sephardic and Middle Eastern Communities. This course will examine the origins, relevant background and development of Judeo Arabic and Judeo Spanish liturgical music and prayer chants. It will include a survey of different prayer modes according to the Oriental-Jerusalemite-Syrian cantorial rite and a study of cantillation for reading scriptures. The course will be grounded in the theory and knowledge of liturgy and will also provide for the development of practical skills in becoming a ba’al tefillah or amateur hazzan.
Course requirements: Students will be required to complete a performance midterm, and written and performance final, where students will be assessed for knowledge as well as performance skill development. They also will be assigned optional field assignments with a corresponding paper (this option will be available for more advanced students). Numerous other reading and writing projects will be assigned weekly.
Child’s Play: Is Children’s Literature Really for Children?
This class explores the themes and (sometimes not-so-) hidden messages behind several contemporary and early 20th century children’s classics. Understanding of stories will include not only the narrative style and content of each, but also the political and social issues that influenced the authors. The number of books to be read each semester will be determined as the weeks progress; a sample outline of possible works are:
- The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie;
- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe AND The Last Battle (with excerpts from several other stories in the Narnia Chronicles) by C.S. Lewis;
- His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman;
- Excerpts from The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud;
- excerpts from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling;
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.
Students will be required to procure the books on their own, either by purchasing them or borrowing them from a library or friend. Neither the teacher nor the Yeshivah will provide the necessary books for this course.
This advanced course, open only to select Juniors who have already completed the introductory class, builds upon the analysis of previously studied works, while introducing thematically related titles, such as The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
American Sign Language is unique; it is learned by the eyes, not the ears. ASL employs the art of using one’s hands to communicate, and is rich with intrinsic beauty and self-expression. In this course, students will become more knowledgeable about deaf culture while learning ASL.
En este curso, es para todos los Sophomores, leeremos y exploraremos los trabajos de varios artistas hispanos famosos de varias epocas. Tambien vamos a escribir poemas, cuentos e historietas en espanol. Es un curso excelente para los alumnos que quieren practicar mas el espanol en forma literaria e ionteresante.
Este curso es para todos los Juniors. En este curso cuntinuaremos leyendo mas cuentos, novelas, historietas, obras y poemas de varios autores hispanohablantes de varias epocas. Este curso es excelente para todos los alumnos que quieren elevar su sabiduria de la lengua y quieren practicar mas el espanol.
This course is designed for 11th and 12th grade students who completed the two year requirement of Spanish and wish to hone their skills in practical basic Spanish, and who are not enrolled in Spanish 3/AP or any other Tsei U’lemad langage course.
Learn the basics of Portuguese, or develop greater skills in the language if you already have some familiarity and knowledge of it.
This class will teach the rudimentary foundations of Russian, emphasizing vocabulary, oral communication and comprehension skills, with grammar being explained for practical use. This will lead to basic conversation, reading and writing abilities. In addition, we will learn about Russian culture.
This class is open to students who have completed Russian for Beginners or who have proven a sufficient level of ability and knowledge in the language. Students who have successfully completed the beginner’s course will continue to build upon and increase their knowledge of Russian through a wide-ranging program of up-to-date vocabulary and useful phrases, advanced oral communication, reading and writing.
Advanced course for students who have completed both ISR2 and ISR3, or on instructor’s approval.
This music course focuses on the importance of technical fluency in performance for the piano. Students will:
-be introduced to exercises and etudes from Hanon, Cramer, Moskowsky, Czerny and Chopin;
-prepare one technical piece, which will be analyzed for melody, harmony and style;
-prepare and present a short biography about the composer of their piece;
Students also will prepare for and study a unit on Bach and polyphony.
Chamber music has been described as “the music of friends.” Playing chamber music requires special skills, both musical and social, which are different from the skills required for playing solo or symphonic works. Chamber music playing, writes M.D. Herter Norton, requires that “Individuals…make a unified whole yet remain individuals. The soloist is a whole unto himself, and in the orchestra individuality is lost in numbers…”
Program includes the following components:
-Students will be organized into ensembles according to instrument;
-Practice with accompaniment individually and then a group rehearsal;
-Choose a program for a Chamber Group performance;
-Work with a vocal group or soloist as accompanist to improve quality of performance;
Permission must be granted by Mrs. Shulman before registering for this course. Max. 3 students.
Prepare for the exam in AP MacroEconomics, and also become eligible to enter contests and competitions in your Senior year.
Students will learn to read Hebrew language newspapers, going beyond the headlines and politics, and exploring the breadth and depth of Israeli culture, including the arts, sports, food, entertainment, personal interest stories, humor and more. Print and online newspapers will be used, and students will be expected to know the current events & other features discussed in class. This fun and enlightening class will help sharpen Hebrew reading and comprehension skills and vocabulary, while expanding knowledge of Israeli society.
Learn and master the art of writing sifre Torah, mezuzot, tefillin and other kitve kodesh.
For students interested in pursuing the art of sculpture creation. Classes will meet regularly and work will be assessed on composition and effort. Meeting time to be arranged.
This course will consist of both theoretical and practical components. Students will meet to engage in theoretical and practical parts on alternating weeks. In addition to assessments on the practical routines, there will be assignments on the theoretical material and a final project.
Though the world in which the Torah was commanded to our ancestors and in which the Tanakh written is astronomically the same as our world today, differences in culture and lifestyles, make a strong value for our commandments and the heritage writings throughout the Tanakh difficult to achieve. By studying the physical and temporal natural features of the world in which the Tanakh was written, better understanding and appreciation of the Tanakh can be facilitated. This course focuses on bridging the Tanakh with modern natural science to better convene the miracles and metaphors of the Tanakh.
This course provides a select group of Juniors with the unique opportunity to explore theory and practice of leadership. With specific attention to preparation for leadership positions during Senior year and beyond, this course takes an integrative approach to learning that requires students to read, write, and communicate effectively. Instruction and course activities are grounded in the following areas:
Characteristics of Effective Leadership: The course will provide students with an understanding of the history and scholarship surrounding exceptional and effective leaders through time.
Leadership Development: Students will be challenged to use self-assessment techniques as tools to examine/improve themselves and other leaders. The course will also focus on developing skills in oral presentation, writing, and interviewing.
Interaction with Leaders from Different Settings: This course offers the unique opportunity to interact and build connections with leaders from various sectors.
Superman. Spider-Man. Batman. Iron Man. Where did all those great characters come from? This course traces the history of comic books as a uniquely American form of art and pop culture. The class will explore the various publishers, creators, political and social trends, controversy and censorship, changing art and writing styles, graphic novels, and many other elements. Students will see how technological progress and the motion picture industry have impacted and continue to change the industry and future of comics. Students will be required to read various texts and excerpts, submit regular assignments and complete a final exam or project. Artistic/creative elements can be added to the class based on interest and demand. Zap! Bam! Pow!
Welcome to the School of Rock! Where did rock music come from? This class will look at (and listen to) the roots of Rock n’ Roll and explore its birth, evolution and impact upon society over the past 6 decades. See how other musical forms, including classical, jazz, opera, techno and reggae, have influenced and expanded the music called “rock” beyond all perceived borders. Students will be expected to write a series of papers on themes that are discussed, and listened to, in addition to regular assignments, readings, and exams. Expect to meet once per week, during a designated lunch period.
The stock market can be a wonderful wealth-building tool, but investing is not without risk. This class will help students understand the basics of the stock market, and learn how to research, trade and invest using a simulated program. Students will learn how to track their stocks and build personal investment portfolios throughout the year. In addition, grades will also be assessed by reports and exams that test the students’ knowledge of key terms and other material covered in class and in required readings.
Yeshivah of Flatbush empowers students with knowledge and skills to contribute and compete successfully in the twenty-first century global economy that is shaped by scientific advances and new technologies. Our robust offering of STEM courses is designed to give our students many opportunities to learn engineering and programming while in high school.
Our engineering, robotics, Graphic Design and coding courses offer a curriculum rich in laboratory and programming experiences, in addition to simulated laboratory experiments and multimedia activities. The overall goal of the program is to prepare students for STEM related careers and research opportunities.
Introduction to Scientific Engineering
Students in this course work independently as well as in teams, learning to solve problems, build electric circuits, construct and program Lego NXT robots, write computer programs to command Arduino’s electronic interface and much more.
The main focus of this course is to learn how biological processes problems can be controlled or managed using technological solutions. Students use their knowledge to plan, design and build a final project that will solve a biological problem by either creating new technological device or improve upon an existing one. This course will also include the use of 3-D printers.
This project based course will take the tools the students gained over the last two years to plan, organize and develop a final Engineering project. The emphasis will be to engineer a product for the benefit of society.
In this hands-on course, students engage in engineering experiences to discover theoretical concepts such as electricity, electronic circuitry with related components, and computer programming. The course concludes with an integration of these scientific principles in an individually chosen research project.
In this class students explore the field of robotic design. In addition, the manipulation of mechanical concepts such as gearing/torque/speed/power is investigated through hands on labs. Working in teams, students will design vehicles capable of movement through tele-operated interaction. Students will learn to program the onboard micro-processor using computer programming language and eventually move onto navigation where the robot is controlled entirely through programming. The final weeks of class will be comprised of a team-designed project.
In this exciting and creative course, all sophomores will learn how to use the Adobe Creative Suite to design and produce original artwork.
In this course, students expand their knowledge of and gain expertise in using the Adobe Creative Suite software to explore principals of design. Over the course of the semester, students will use the software to create a variety of designs including brand identity, logo development and web pages.
This Mentored Independent Study course focuses on learning to code microcontrollers and computers, using a variant of the Java language. Emphasis will be on practical and inventive uses of code to make things and create simulations and games. The Processing language is widely used by digital artists to create both physical and virtual artworks, so it’s appropriate to a wide range of endeavors that can be engaging to a student who has interests that go far afield from traditional math and computer science. Students also explore areas such as 3D printing, animatronics, interactive art, sensor-based gadgets, electronic instruments, and imaginative inventions.
This Mentored Independent Study course will be the practical guide to Startup Life and the kickstarter for students developer careers. Students will learn the basics of Computer Science, Entrepreneurship, compete in “hackathons”. Major projects during the year will include working with fellow classmates on using computer programming as they develop ideas, constructing a basic business plan, building a prototype or demo and giving a presentation on demo day.