History and Social Science
The History Department seeks to convey to students a sense of the complexity of the historical past, and the way that people’s choices and decisions shaped the modern world. Using a wide variety of primary and secondary sources, we invite students to re-experience previous eras through the eyes of people who lived through them. Throughout, we ask them to dispassionately examine history through the lenses employed by professional historians. As students recognize the recurring themes of the human past, and examine thoughtfully the choices made by historical actors, they became more engaged and nuanced thinkers about the world they inhabit today.
The 9th grade History course offers an integrated approach to general and Jewish History. This allows students to understand the development of society through the ancient, classical and medieval periods and, at the same time, to explore the uniqueness of the Jewish people and our heritage within the context of time and place. Students study how Jews affected and were affected by the societies in which they lived. While the primary focus of the course is on the ancient Near East and Europe, substantial time is devoted as well to the great empires of the East and to the trade and interconnections between East and West. The course begins with prehistory and moves through the medieval period, concluding with the Renaissance.
The 10th grade History course will be the second year of a two-year sequence covering integrated Jewish and World History. Building on the foundation of the 9th grade history course, students will be equipped to understand the interconnections between events in Jewish and general history, as well as between events in disparate parts of the globe. This course will begin with the Reformation and conclude with the fall of the Soviet Union. In-depth units on the Holocaust and Zionism/Medinat Yisrael will help students understand the critical events of modern Jewish History within a broader historical context.
Frisch offers a one-year American history course, beginning with Pre-Columbian North America and ending with the present. The course traces the arc of American history from understanding Native societies through early European settlement, the foundation of the United States, and the country’s development into a global superpower. The course delves deeply into social, cultural and political, history, enabling students to think deeply about how the country they live in came to look the way it does. Throughout, we emphasize the recurring themes of history, enabling students to draw connections between the developments they are studying and the present day.
In the 12th grade, students are offered a wide range of electives to choose from, enabling them to pursue in greater depth a historical area of their interest. Options include Advanced Placement US Government and Politics and Advanced Placement Art History, as well as a varying lineup of courses based on student demand.
Click here to view our elective offerings.