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Masada College Torah Stream Frequently Asked Questions


Who will be teaching the classes?     
The Torah Stream employs a professional team of Shomrei Shabbat educators led by Rabbi Cohen. In coming years as the Torah Stream grows we will be adding additional teachers for our classes K - 6.     

Where does the curriculum come from?  
When building the Torah Stream Rabbi Cohen searched Jewish Day schools throughout the world to develop a curriculum that would suit our specific needs here in Sydney. Working closely with rabbis and educators from America, South Africa, Israel, and here in Australia we’ve put together a rigorous and challenging curriculum that pushes our students to achieve great results in their Jewish Studies and at the same time developing into a well-rounded mensch (good mannered and sincere Jew).     

What are the main differences between the current Masada curriculum and the Torah Stream curriculum?  
The regular Jewish Studies program offered by Masada College consists of approximately 7.5 hours a week of class time, including tefillah.  The Torah Stream will be approximately 13.75 hours of class time, including tefillah. 
Currently, the Masada curriculum focuses on Jewish life surrounding Shabbat and the chagim with the intention of teaching and nurturing Jewish culture.  The Hebrew program uses the Tal Am and Chaverim B'Ivrit syllabus and focuses on teaching Modern Hebrew. The Torah Stream with its additional hours will give a more intensive focus on Jewish Law and observance, tefillah, and Chumash. The Hebrew studies will focus on Biblical Hebrew as well as Modern Hebrew.  The times for daily tefillah will also be increased in the Torah Stream model.     

The Torah stream will run parallel to the regular Jewish Studies for most of the day.  However, there will be two periods a week that children in the Torah Stream will miss from the regular curriculum.  What classes will the children be missing?
The two additional classes that will be added to the Torah Stream curriculum from the regular secular education classes will be taken from Personal Development and Jewish Art. Personal Development, which is part of the Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) learning area, is dedicated to developing the knowledge, skills and attitudes students need to lead healthy, active and fulfilling lives.  The class time will still be dedicated to these topics but will be taught within the context of Jewish observance and values. In addition to the regular art program offered by Masada College, there is a once a week Jewish art class where the children focus on making projects linked to Jewish culture and the Jewish calendar. These types of art projects will be integrated into the Torah Stream curriculum.     

Will the classes be mixed boys and girls throughout primary school?  
Currently, all of the Torah Stream classes are mixed boys and girls from K – 4. Going forward, as we develop the program for Years 5 and 6, we are currently discussing the possibility that there will be some gender specific classes offered, however, the bulk of the class hours will be mixed boys and girls through to Year 6.   

My child has not been in an intensive Jewish Studies program up until now.  How will they be integrated into the class if there will be other students with different levels of knowledge?  
This concern is particularly relevant for the first few years as the Torah Stream gets started as we will be adding many children from different backgrounds to our classes. There are a couple of factors that will contribute to making the transition an easier one for our students:

  • Our class sizes are going to be relatively small (10 - 12 students) which allows for considerable one on one attention for our students.
  • The composite class model which we will be using is an educational model that provides a learning environment for diversified ages and skill levels. 
  • As in all classes at Masada College, teachers differentiate within their classroom to cater for different learning abilities and styles.     

What pronunciation will the classes be taught in? (Ashkenazi or Sephardi/Israeli)   
For the Hebrew and Jewish studies curriculum the Torah stream will be teaching the students with the Ashkenazi pronunciation. 

Are there any additional fees for the Torah Stream classes?  
Our intention is that there will not be additional fees above and beyond the normal tuition for Masada College students.    

What will be the approach to teaching about the state of Israel and Zionism?
The Torah Stream curriculum will contain many aspects regarding the Israel and the important role that it plays in Jewish life.  We will provide a Torah approach to the modern state built upon hakarat hatov, gratitude and appreciation to Hashem, for providing a homeland for all Jews of the world.        

Will our children have the opportunity to participate in the extracurricular activities offered by Masada College?  For example the swimming carnivals, sports, camps.  
Any Masada College offering that does not conflict with the Torah Stream classes will be open to our students to attend if their parents wish to send them. 
Additionally, it will be a priority of the Torah Stream administrators to insure that our students also have these types of programs to enrich our children’s education and will be added to our schedule whenever possible. Some of the events that raise questions in halacha will be evaluated on a case by case basis.   

If, after enrolling, we are not satisfied with the Torah Stream could we switch back to the regular Masada curriculum?
Masada College will be happy to reintroduce children that were not happy or successful in the Torah Stream back into the regular Masada College curriculum.

 

 

 


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