High School, Chumash

Chumash - 9

In the ninth grade, Sefer Devarim is taught in its entirety, with some sections learned bekiut, and others learned beiyun.

In this class, our students learn that the book of Devarim is not simply a review of the other four books of Torah, but rather the final words of encouragement and caution given to B’nei Yisrael as they are about to begin a new way of life. The sefer is structurally divided into the four speeches given by Moshe. As they study his words, students learn that the lessons Moshe teaches are as relevant to the Jews of today as they were to the Jews of old.

The first speech is learned beiyun in its entirety. The other three speeches have some sections that are studied in beiyun, and others in bekiut. Stressed themes include kiyum hamitzvot, fear of G-d, love of G-d, yashar vatovteshuva, and more.

Chumash - 10

In the tenth grade, sections of Vayikra and Bamidar are taught. These are considered to be “sister sefarim,” since they are both a continuation of Sefer Shemot, each one furthering a unique aspect.

The parshiyot covered in Sefer Vayikra include Vayikra, Tzar, Shemini, and Kedoshim. Topics given particular attention include the mishkan, korbanot, tefilla, and kedusha. An emphasis is placed on exploring the role that these topics played during the time period when the two Temples stood, as well as their current role in the absence of the Temple.

In Sefer Bamidbar, students study the spies, Korach and his rebellion, the prophecies of Bilam, the incident at mei merivah, the deaths of Aharon and Miriam, and various aspects of the travels of the Jews in the desert. The students are guided in the discovery of the book of Bamidbar not as a book of wrongdoing, but rather as a book which offers insight into the level expected from those who can achieve greatness.

Chumash - 11

In 11th grade, students learn Sefer Bereishet. Because Bereishet contains very few laws, it offers the opportunity for students to grapple with issues of belief, Divine Providence, character traits from our forefathers, and areas of ambiguity in life.

Much attention is given to the stories of the creation of the world, the sin of Adam and Eve, the qualities of our forefathers and mothers, and the development of the family of Yaakov as it transforms into the nation of Israel.

Chumash - 12

In 12th grade, our students learn Sefer Shemot. Students follow the development of a broken and enslaved nation into a nation of believing and confident Jews. Students discuss the struggles, questions, apprehensions, and yearnings of the Jews in a sophisticated manner supported by the text. They also study the command and details involved in building the Mishkan, and the central role that it plays in the lives of the Jews.

Accelerated Bechina Yerushalmit Program

NSHAHS offers an advanced curriculum typically studied in the 10th and 11th grade that empowers our students to succeed in the prestigious Bechinat Yerushalmit administered by Hebrew University of Jerusalem. This exam is recognized by many colleges and universities for official credit.

The curriculum includes Tanach, Mishna, tefilla, and Jewish philosophy, as well as medieval and modern Hebrew literature. It encompasses fundamental classical texts that cultivate a well-rounded knowledge of Jewish formative writings. Students study both narrative and poetic Biblical sections and delve into textual analysis. The sections of Mishna provide a background and familiarity with the Jewish oral tradition, Torah Sheba’al Peh. Medieval Jewish philosophical texts challenge students to think and better understand their Jewish identity, and classical and modern Hebrew literature connect our students to our rich history and to the Hebrew language. This course of study deepens the bonds with our Jewish homeland, Eretz Israel, and students emerge with a profound appreciation and meaningful understanding of their Judaism.


This course is a comprehensive and in-depth analysis of various books of Tanach, such as Yonah, Kohelet, selected parts of Melachim and Ester. Besides becoming more knowledgeable in Tanach, there are two main goals in this course. The first is to enable the students to become independent and capable students of Tanach. This is done through both studying classic commentaries and Midrashim and through a deep analysis of the simple text of Tanach. The second goal is to create an open and alive, yet serious and devoted environment in which the students can appreciate and inculcate the messages and timeless values of the specific topics that we will cover.