Jewish Studies

Director of Jewish Studies

Jewish Studies are an essential part of a Barrack education. Our classes cover history, ethics, and theology through Bible, rabbinic texts, medieval commentators and contemporary essays, short stories, philosophical writings, and responsa. While focusing on different levels of material, all Jewish studies courses dive into original Jewish texts including Torah (Tanakh) and Talmud, teaching proficiency in decoding language, formulating and supporting educated opinions, and helping our students find personal meaning in everything they read.

Male teacher at front of classroom with whiteboard behind him

Recognizing the wide variety of our students’ backgrounds, beliefs, and observance levels, our teachers and staff foster an environment in which both students and teachers regularly affirm their commitment to religious diversity and open academic dialogue. Our Jewish studies faculty often introduces material about prayers, upcoming holidays, and other aspects of Jewish life that students bring with them to celebrations and into their homes.

Our young adults graduate with the knowledge base and skills to gain wisdom from our traditions long after they leave our campus. Having learned in a pluralistic setting, they can feel confident to represent their own views while also listening to others and applying what they learn. Barrack students carry an enduring sense of what they’ve inherited from the past and what they bring into the future as emerging adults.

Being part of a pluralistic school, with students from all Jewish backgrounds, broadens my perspective about Judaism and at the same time reinforces what I believe in as a member of the Modern Orthodox community. In addition, the combination of secular and Jewish studies balances what I need to know in life as well as how to live my life.Barrack Student