Jewish Studies

In supporting the mission and philosophy of the school, the Jewish Studies Department seeks to develop in our students three classical pillars, which can be represented as head (da’at), heart (lev), and hands (tzedek). Put simply, our goal is to enable our students to learn Judaism, love Judaism, and practice Judaism.

Within these inter-related realms, our aims are threefold:

HEAD: Nurture lifelong Jewish learners with a sensitive and sophisticated capacity to learn a broad range of Jewish sources.

HEART: Cultivate love and joy for Jewish learning and living, a commitment to God-wrestling, a devotion to Jewish pluralism, and a deep connection to Israel and the Jewish people.

HANDS: Foster active students who can interpret, integrate, and apply Jewish learning, values, and practices in order to refine the soul, renew the Jewish People, and repair God’s world.

"In my Jewish Studies classes, we were told to dive deep into texts, to disagree with them, to struggle with them, and to question ourselves every step of the way. Though at the time I thought I could only apply this sort of grappling to my work with Jewish texts, I now realize that the critical thought I began to actively take on in my Jewish Studies courses was the same critical thought that I began to apply outside of the classroom. What we were learning, in the midst of Maimonides and Rashi, was not how to be classically observant as a Jewish person, but how to be active, how to really feel yourself within whatever you were taking on, and how to grab hold of your life to empower yourself." - Milken Graduate


Curriculum Offerings

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  • Grade 7

    Introductions to Tanakh
  • Grade 8

    Introduction to Mishnah
  • Grade 9

    Foundations of Jewish Law I: Building Sacred Community
    Beit Midrash: Talmud I/Chumash I
  • Grade 10

    Chumash with Commentaries: The Moral and Spiritual Quest of the Jew
    Beit Midrash: Talmud II/Chumash II
  • Grade 11

    Foundations of Jewish Law II: Ethics and Practice
    At-level options: Social Ethics or Medical Ethics or Israel Ethics
    Optional: Honors Integrated American Experience
    Beit Midrash Elective: Responsa Seminar
  • Grade 12

    Introduction to Jewish Thought
    Optional: High Honors Integrated Seminar or AP English/Jewish Thought
    Beit Midrash Elective: Senior Seminar

Take your study to the next level


Beit Midrash Fellowship

The Beit Midrash Fellowship is an innovative program built on three components: Jewish Learning, Social Justice Leadership, and Celebration and Community. Students develop higher-level skills for learning classical Jewish texts and commentaries and ultimately create sophisticated, integrated, text-based presentations on contemporary social, political, ethical, or personal issues. They build a joyous, caring community celebrating Rosh Chodesh, Shabbatonim, and holidays. Students integrate Jewish learning with service, reflection, and teaching and construct leadership projects within the larger Milken, Los Angeles, and global communities.


Global Beit Midrash

The heart of the Global Beit Midrash is a student-centered digital, global, collaborative, project-based initiative, with four corners: narrative, text, culture, and social action.

Students from multiple cities around the world create and share video narratives that express the nature, challenges, and opportunities of Jewish life in their cities.

Text Study
The first collaborative text project is building a teenagers' Haggadah commentary, in which Jewish students around the world create downloadable commentaries in response to questions and themes from the Passover Haggadah.

Within a global, digital cultural museum, students construct individual and collaborative exhibits based on a variety of cultural artifacts (music, art, architecture, drama, dance, and shared cuisine).

Social Action
Students from different cities address common social action issues including how their communities engage poverty, hunger, homelessness, and the elderly. They design, facilitate, and fine-tune social action projects, teaching these skills to one another as they go.


Jewish Futures Conference

The Jewish Futures Conference engages Milken seniors as active participants in a process of Jewish renewal and innovation. Groups of students invent projects designed to transform Jewish life on college campuses across North America in realms such as Jewish culture, spirituality, social action, politics, Zionism, education, and feminism.

In reshaping the Jewish Future, the primary goal is for each student to become a producer (as opposed to a consumer) of Judaism. To do this, students analyze and critique cutting edge Jewish renewal programs throughout the world. While some students adapt these programs to new settings and purposes, others invent entirely free-standing models for engaging their young Jewish peers.



Kivun provides portals to the breadth, depth, and diversity of Jewish life. Built upon the enormous talents of Jewish leaders in our community, upper school students engage in grade-level sessions that connect Judaism to the following areas: social, political, and ethical challenges, spirituality, Israel arts and culture, holidays, and comparative religion. Guest teachers include leading Rabbis and scholars, artists, and social activists.



Tiferet Israel Fellowship

A Program Unlike Any Other!
The Tiferet Israel Fellowship is unique to Milken and designed to create ambassadors for the State of Israel as well as future leaders in the American Jewish community. Tiferet offers our 10th grade Fellows the opportunity of a lifetime – to make Israel their campus for an entire semester. Tiferet Israel Fellows explore how living and learning in Israel helps them build their own identities, and in turn become leaders in the continued building of the State of Israel.

Why Tiferet?
The Jews of the Second Aliyah to the land of Israel sang, "We have come to this land to build and be built," seeing their own work in building the land of Israel as a way of transforming themselves.

Tiferet 2017

List of 2 items.

  • Jessica C.

    I never imagined a month that would go by so quickly. It's an interesting feeling when it happens, because each day feels long, but each week passes in the blink of an eye.
    Read More
  • Naomi G.

    There is something special about standing on ground that you know your ancestors stood on.
    Read More

School Information

Saperstein Middle School Campus
    15900 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90049  
    Tel 310.903.4800 

Upper School Campus 
    15800 Zeldins’ Way, Los Angeles, CA 90049  
    Tel 310.440.3500  
    Fax 310.471.5139

Milken School is a college prep private day school in Los Angeles established on the foundation of the highest academic standards and Jewish values. This Jewish Day School serves students in grades 7-12.

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