Prozdor

Teens in the Jewish community of Boston and southern New England have been studying Judaic and Hebrew studies together at Prozdor since the 1920s graduating more than 5000 students. Today, Prozdor remains a central hub for teen learning and engagement in the Greater Boston area.

  • time 8th-12th Grade
  • location Hebrew College Campus
  • duration Academic Year

Every Semester, we offer a spectacular catalog of courses taught by professors, musicians, artists, dancers, scientists, lawyers, doctors, historians, writers, journalists, social activists, and rabbis, presenting our students with an unparalleled breadth of choices and depth of learning. Students follow their own desires and interests and they find their way through the landscape of Jewish learning. In the spirit of pluralistic study, Prozdor’s program is led by experienced teachers who are not only experienced teachers but are also lifelong learners who are continually learning from the texts and from their students. Prozdor teachers are caring, thoughtful, talented human beings who guide students as they explore problems and questions together with friends. Students can go broad or deep within and across study tracks in the Arts, Sciences, Humanities, or Language.

Topics

This track emphasizes the artistic disciplines of visual and performing arts. Students explore (a) the history and vocabulary of arts, (b) artistic skills and performance, and (c) expression, creativity, and imagination. Arts students take one or two courses each semester in any of the following: visual arts, music, dance, theater, language arts (poetry and writing), and design. Content area requirements for this track can be met with courses such as Israeli folk dance, Klezmer, political cartooning, Biblical themes in music, theater, dramatic scene writing, metallurgy, gardening, and Kosher culinary arts.

This Sciences track emphasizes observation and experimentalism. Students will (a) understand foundational concepts, theories, and knowledge derived from systematic study, and (b) consider science in the context of Jewish life. Sciences students take one or two courses each semester in any of the following: STEM, cosmology, and psychology. Content area requirements for this track can be met with courses such as Science and Judaism, intergalactic Judaism, the science of Passover, molecular biochemistry, game theory, and technological innovations in Israel.

This track concerns the academic disciplines of history, philosophy, social sciences, and includes traditional and modern ways of studying Judaism’s primary sources and philosophical writings. Humanities students take one or two courses each semester in any of the following: history, Middle East civilizations, theology, philosophy, politics, law, identity studies, social studies, social studies, Bible, Jewish studies, Jewish thought, and social justice. Content area requirements for this track can be met with courses such as Jewish history, theology for skeptics, case studies in Israeli law, identity studies, social studies, Torah in film, Genesis, Book of Samuel, and Judaism and social justice.

This track invites students to understand the role of language, language arts, and linguistics in Judaism, especially as Hebrew plays a central role in Jewish life. Language students take one or two courses each semester in any of the following content areas: Hebrew, Yiddish, Arabic, Russian, German, linguistics, language arts.

Prozdor’s Hebrew curriculum is based on the proficiency approach to teaching Hebrew, a nationally recognized, cutting-edge system for teaching a foreign language. The proficiency approach emphasizes that each school create its own curriculum based on student needs and interests, and that student needs be consistently evaluated on how they function with the language — not what they know about the language.

Using this approach, we have developed various thematic units to maximize the learning in the class and achieve Hebrew-language fluency. The coordinator of the Hebrew program has worked closely with Professor Vardit Ringavld and Shlomit Lipton from Hebrew at the Center, a national training institution for the advancement of Hebrew studies, in the development of the new curriculum. HATC has brought this approach into the Jewish day-school world, including at both the Jewish Community Day School and the Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston. All Prozdor and Makor Hebrew teachers are trained in this approach and involved in a variety of professional-development workshops.

To learn more about HATC and the proficiency approach, visit www.hebrewatthecenter.org. For more information about the program, contact Mor-Li Hartman, Hebrew coordinator, at morlihartman2000@gmail.com.

SOFIT: Twelfth Grade

I never realized how important it was for me to have a strong Jewish community around me, until I was given the privilege to be a part of one.

– Anonymous

We have learned new things about being Jewish in each class we have taken, and found Judaism to be complex, multi-faceted, and beautiful.

– Adi Volosov P’18

Twelfth grade at Prozdor is a special year, one which celebrates the commitment to Jewish life and learning of our oldest students while offering a variety of options that allows Prozdor to fit in to the sometimes-busy calendar of high school seniors.

Program Options

The following are the opportunities available to 12th graders for 2018-2019:

  1. 4-hour Sunday program (full-year)
  2. 4-hour Sunday program (half-year, can choose either Fall or Spring semester)
  3. 2-hour Sunday program (full-year)
  4. 2-hour Sunday program (half-year, can choose either Fall or Spring semester)
  5. Gateways volunteering for credit (full-year)
  6. Jewish Teen Foundation of Greater Boston (meets monthly for 3.5 hours on Sundays, minimum fundraising requirement must be met, separate application process)
  7. A limited number of Sunday TA positions may be available for students who choose options 1-6
  8. 12th graders are invited to apply to be Israel trip counselors as well. Counselors are only responsible for their airfare.