Academic Program – Course Schedule
The studies in Migdal Oz focus on imbuing textual skills for lifelong learning, in addition to knowledge and values. Our curriculum focuses on four main areas: Gemara, Halacha, Tanach, and Machshava. Students are exposed to serious and in-depth study in these areas.
The program is unique in that much of the study takes place in the Beit Midrash, and an emphasis is placed on developing independent learning skills. Much time is spent learning bichavrutah, and in independent preparation for shiurim.
Migdal Oz puts into the practice the adage “אין אדם לומד תורה אלא במקום שליבו חפץ” “one learns Torah only where his heart desires”, encouraging and guiding each student to build her personal schedule from the wide selection of shiurim and learning opportunities, with the guidance of teachers and staff.
The daily schedule of learning in the Beit Midrash is divided into three main units – Seder Boker in the mornings (3 days a week) which focuses on Gemara B’Iyun (in depth study of Talmud), afternoon shiurim in a variety of subjects, and independent study of Seder Erev in the evenings, in either Jewish Philosophy or Bekiut Gemara (Talmud study focused on breadth).
Three mornings a week are devoted to Gemara b’Iyun , from elementary to advanced levels, emphasizing understanding the sugya from beginning to end, from Torah She’b’chtav, Mishnah and following the chain of mesora through the Rishonim, Achronim and the scholars of our day. The beginners shiurim emphasize developing independent learning skills, and literacy in Gemara, and the mastery of the Aramaic language. The advanced shiur focuses on the sugya and its conceptual understanding, and furthering independent learning skills. Much of the morning is spent in chavrutah preparation in the Beit Midrash with the Ram present to answer questions and offer guidance. After chavruta preparation, the class gathers for the Ram’s (gemara teacher) shiur on the sugya.
The other two mornings are focused on Tanach and Jewish Thought. Sunday morning Tanach classes are taught by renowned educators of Michlelet Herzog Teachers’ College, including Dr. Yael Zeigler and Rav Elchanan Samet. Thursday Morning classes focus on preparation, study and discussion on Jewish Thought, in a smaller group setting.
A wide variety of shiurim are offered in the afternoon slots. Subjects include Halacha, Jewish Thought and Tanach. See the sample schedule for examples.
Students select a Bekiyut track (study focused on breadth) in Tanach, Machshava, or Gemara. Study takes place in chavrutah in the Beit Midrash, with the guidance of staff memebers and advanced students who are present during this time to answer questions. Students gain independent learning skills and breadth of knowledge. Each track is accompanied by a weekly shiur which guides the learning and explores topics more indepth.