(Alon Shvut, Israel) Jewish schools throughout North America as well as in South Africa and Australia are introducing a revolutionary curriculum to their students this academic year. Over 1,300 students in over twenty schools will be using the new program designed by the Halacha Education Center (HEC). The programs designed by HEC represent a major overhaul of the classic Jewish educational experience.
The HEC has taken the original sources and prime texts of Jewish law and developed new exciting, user-friendly, accessible textbooks, teacher’s guide, videos, and audio-visual material that engage the students in a deep, enjoyable and memorable fashion. The new materials are likely the first significant reformatting and presentation of Judaism’s ancient laws and wisdom.
“The curriculum is an extraordinary experience,” declared Rabbi Leonard Matanky, Dean of Ida Crown Jewish Academy in Chicago, who participated in the program pilot. “The materials they have prepared and the professional development they have provided have had a profound impact upon teachers and students.”
“It presents the breadth and depth of the halakha (Jewish law) itself while providing the background and scaffolding necessary for the high school student,” commented Rabbi Tully Harcsztark, Principal of the SAR Academy in Riverdale, NY, another pilot participant. “It exposes students to original sources, including contemporary responsa, in a manner that makes challenging topics cognitively as well as spiritually and emotionally accessible.”
The HEC is the brainchild of Rabbi Yosef Zvi Rimon, a leading Rabbinic personality in Israel. They have published over 40 books, including Rabbi Rimon’s best-selling Hagaddah of Pesach as well as the Laws of Shemita (the Sabbatical Year), and Laws of the Army. Multiple HEC texts are currently part of the required curriculum throughout the public school system in Israel, as mandated by the Ministry of Education. They are used in all 250 state religious high schools, in an additional 200 elementary schools, and have reached over 95,000 students.
In 5 years HEC has produced 43 books and provided enriched Jewish learning for over 400,000 people worldwide.
HEC currently produces material in English, Hebrew, Spanish, French and Portuguese.