Boys Torah Studies Curriculum


9th Grade Gemara

In this course, emphasis is placed on the Talmud structure and its unique problem-solving process, as well as the terminology that must be mastered for successful Talmudic study. The purpose of this course is to help each student master the basics of Talmud study. Additionally, a special focus is placed on acquiring Talmud reading skills and students are familiarized with the components of the Talmudic page and the function of each segment. In addition, students master Rashi script and the reading of his selected commentary.

9th Grade Honors Gemara

In this Honors Talmud course, the primary goals are to help students appreciate the Talmud as the foundation of day-to-day practice and to acquire the necessary skills to make Talmud study a life-long process. The format of the class includes conventional and cooperative (chavrusa) study. At this level, students must demonstrate knowledge of general Hebrew and Aramaic vocabulary, Talmud terminology and display understanding of the Talmudic thought process. These skills allow students to engage in the independent study of the Talmud. Special emphasis is placed upon utilizing Rashi and Tosafos as a primary tool in understanding the Talmud.

10th-12th Grade Gemara

The continuing Gemara study following the 9th grade course cultivates the skills acquired to enable the student to master independent Talmud study. Cooperative (chavrusa style) learning under the guidance of a Rebbi is a tool that is instrumental to achieving this outcome.

Key Talmudic words, phrases, terminology and structure of the Aramaic language are developed throughout high school. The hierarchy of Halachic authority is of paramount importance; including differentiation between Mishnah and Beraisa, Tannaic and Amoraic statements. Beginning with study of selected Tosafos from the text, students will work their way up to studying Rishonim and Acharonim and comparative analysis of differing opinions.

Through collaboration exercises, students will enhance their ability to research and develop their own ideas that can help solve the intricacies of the Gemara.

At each grade level Valley Torah provides a course appropriate to the needs of the individual student. Our graduates are able to continue on to their choice of Yeshivos in Eretz Yisroel, and the vast majority choose to do so.


9th Grade Chumash

In this course, students learn Chumash while developing their critical thinking skills. While English is the primary language used for instruction, the instructor places emphasis on students’ Hebrew vocabulary development utilizing Hebrew frequently. In addition, students analyze word and sentence structure including gender and tense. These elements are essential for independent Chumash study.

9th Grade Honors Chumash

In this course students learn to identify and formulate textual difficulties. Students engage in the study of Rashi and its accompanying commentaries. In each commentary, key terminology is identified, with special emphasis placed on understanding the manner by which the commentary stems from serious textual analysis. Students are expected to demonstrate a rich accumulation of content knowledge and terminology in the Books of the Chumash.

10th-12th Grade Chumash

The Chumash study following 9th grade, depending on the students level of fluency in Torah Hebrew and grammar, begins with focus on mastery of skills necessary for reading and understanding Chumash and Rashi. More advanced classes will expect students to prepare Biblical passages on their own and to identify nuances that prompt questions. Emphasis is placed on students generating textual and logical support for the commentators’ positions under study.

Critical thinking is an essential skill required for a student to succeed in higher level, fast paced and challenging courses. The goal for each student is to gain the ability to engage in independent study of Chumash, conducting comparative analysis of commentators including Rashi, Ramban, Rashbam and Seforno.


Weekly shmuessen from the Rosh haYeshiva deal with timely topics that allow our students to understand and confront today’s challenges with the Torah perspective. Separate mussar and hashkafah sessions are given by each Judaic studies teacher in their respective classes. Our entire Torah curriculum is infused with a focus and sensitivity to character development and maximizing our spiritual potential.


Our four-year Halacha curriculum consists of the following topics: Hilchos Tefillah, Hilchos Berachos, Hilchos Shabbos, Hilchos Chagim, Hilchos Kashrus. Each course is text based with the text varying by topic and level. Students in the higher level classes become fluent in the use of the Mishnah Berurah.


In this course students will discover various tractates such as Megillah or Makkos. The approach of this class is a faster paced program. Finishing the complete tractate(s) is a strong goal of the B’kiyus class. Students will gain a greater degree of Gemara fluency as well as a broader exposure to unique gemara segments and skills.


Our Gemara program is supplemented with the study of the tractate of Mishnah corresponding to the Gemara being studied in class. Every class works to finish the tractate of Mishnayos which culminates in a school-wide Siyum at the end of the year.


Beyond the rigor of our core classes lies a broad array of creative learning opportunities. Our Mishmor Workshop program exposes students to unique Torah topics each Thursday evening. Some topics covered include: Rambam’s Thirteen Principles of Faith, Guard Your Eyes, Logic of the Creator, Hidden Messages of the Torah’s Language and Tzitzit: Making Your Own, amongst many others.


In addition to the weekly Shmuessen, Valley Torah hosts numerous guest speakers throughout the year. Our students have been privileged to be inspired by world renowned Rabbis and inspirational speakers from throughout the United States and Israel. Grade level Lunch & Learn programs are regularly well attended.


VTHS is proud to offer Hebrew language program as a supplementary education program (SEP) for public high school students. This program is accredited by WASC and is listed on UCOP (A-G). Students learn to read, write, and speak in Hebrew, and receive 10 foreign language credits per year, which can be used towards the foreign language requirement.

This program is being offered free of charge for all LAUSD students.

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