Masada College is an Orthodox Jewish day school that draws on students from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures. Our inclusive approach to learning makes sure that every student receives a meaningful and relevant education. Our Jewish Life Department encourages our students to explore their past, understand contemporary Judaism and actively and proudly celebrate their Jewish identities through practice and social action.
In the classroom, our Jewish Life teachers adopt an interactive approach to learning which blends seamlessly with our Culture of Thinking. This is extended beyond the classroom into our dynamic informal program which focuses on experiential Judaism.
We pride ourselves on producing young men and women who embody a ‘living Judaism’ – students who guarantee the continuity of Judaism through practice, understand their communal responsibilities and are proud of their connection to the State of Israel and their heritage.
Our Junior School Jewish Studies and Hebrew classes focus on imparting a love for Judaism and Medinat Yisrael (the State of Israel). In Hebrew, our students follow the iTaLAM and Chaverim B’ivirt programs in Years 1- 6. Our days begin with tefilla (prayers) so that when our Year 6 students enter Senior School, they feel at home in our synagogue and are able to lead the morning service.
In senior school, our students in Years 7-9 attend tefilla each morning while our Year 10 – 12 students participate in a combination of tefilla and workshops which challenge and deepen their connection to Judaism.
A new initiative in our College is the formation of the Year 11 JLife Madrichim. These young men and women promote social justice awareness and drive community service initiatives in our school, reinforcing the Jewish concept of healing our world and being responsible for others. We are running the newly launched Pearls of Wisdom programme in conjunction with the Montefiore from 2018 for our Year 7 cohort. Students will learn from our older generation through a series of programmes run at our Hunters Hill facility. This will be expanded in 2019 to Year 8.
Year 7 follows a Bnei Mitzvah program which ensures they have both the skills and literacy to conduct themselves as young Jewish men and women in our community. Year 8 consolidates the learning of Year 7 through Yahadut (Judaic) classes, while Year 9 and 10 students are offered a taste of contemporary Jewish ethics and the politics of Israel classes, as well as challenging social-action projects. An exciting initiative in 2018 is the creation of a Hadracha (informal) class for the Year 9 cohort. Theses classes offer training in informal programmes, which are then carried out with our ELC and Year K-2 cohort.
Both Year 9 and 10 students have the choice of opting in to our newly- formed Chidon HaTanach class. The Chidon haTanach (Bible Quiz), founded by David Ben Gurion, is an international competition for Jewish students that culminates in the final quiz taking place in Jerusalem on Yom Ha’atzmaut.
Years 9 and 10 also study Jewish history, focusing on the history of modern Israel and the Holocaust. Years 7 – 10 culminate in the dynamic and exciting Israel Study Tour (IST) where our students travel to Poland and experience firsthand the loss of Jewish life and culture through the Shoah, before making their way to Israel to experience the vibrancy of our State and the diversity of her people. This year we have added our inaugural Masada Israel Tour (MIT), which is open to all our Year 10 students, and precedes the IST program.
From 2019 our Year 11 and 12 students have the opportunity to pursue Classical Hebrew, Modern Hebrew and Studies of Religion at an HSC level as well as participating in our revamped Issues and Ethics classes. These classes promote a deeper understanding of what it means to live an authentic Jewish life in contemporary Australia, acquire skills for Israel advocacy on our university campuses as well as forge meaningful connections to our communal organisations under the umbrella of the JCA. All these offerings culminate in producing students who are aware of their roles as ambassadors for their Jewish community and Israel, in both tertiary educational facilities and in the workplace.
Informal Jewish Life is centred around our “Informal Hub” where our team offers dynamic, experiential programs that supplement our formal learning. The Chaggim come to life through the celebration of Purim, Pesach, Shavuot, Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot and Channukah. We come together to mark Yom HaShoah and Yom Hazikaron before celebrating with all Jews around the world to mark the birthday of Israel on Yom Ha’atzmaut. These informal days fill our students with an enduring pride in their Jewish identity within a multicultural Australia as well as forging an unbreakable bond with our beloved Israel.