Social Studies

Chair: Howard Rothbort

Department Goals
It is the goal of the Yeshivah of Flatbush Joel Braverman High School to educate young men and women who are committed to the ideals of Torah and are prepared to take their place in society.  We recognize that, in order to achieve this goal and due to the global interdependent world we live in, the Jewish student of today must be aware and insightful of events that occur not only in this country, but around the world.

Freshman Curriculum
Global History and Geography from ancient civilzations to the Renaissance period. 
The curriculm follows the New York State Regents scope and sequence.  For a detalied list of topics and skills covered in the
Freshmen, please click on the following link

Sophomore Curriculum
Global History and Geography from 1500 to the current time.
The curriculm follows the New York State Regents scope and sequence.  For a detalied list of topics and skills covered in the
Sophomore, please click on the following link
The Sophomre year also includes an intensive six week mini-course on Zionism in the spring semester.

Junior Curriculum
U.S. History and Government. 
The curriculm follows the New York State Regents scope and sequence.  For a detalied list of topics and skills covered in the Junior year,
please click on the following link

Senior Curriculum
U.S. History & Government and economics. 
The curriculm follows the New York State Regents scope and sequence.  For a detalied list of topics and skills covered in the Junior year,
please click on the following link
In the spring, seniors learn Micro and macro economics.   In addition, seniors are taught Israel advocacy in the last two weeks of the Senior year.

Honors Program
Honor students are exposed to additional primary and secondary resource throughout the term and expected to critically analyze
those sources.  Students are expected to write a term paper that includes extensive research.  All assessments are honor-level.

Elective Courses

A.P. Economics: Open to Seniors
Instructor: Dr. Saad-Lessler
This Advanced Placement Economics course covers both Micro and Macro Economics. Microeconomics provides a thorough
understanding of the principles of economics that apply to the functions of individual decision makers, both consumers and producers,
within the larger economic system. It places primary emphasis on the nature and functions of product markets, and includes the study
of factor markets and the role of government in promoting greater efficiency and equity in the economy. Macroeconomics provides a
thorough understanding of the principles of economics that apply to the economic system as a whole. The course places emphasis on
the study of national income and price determination, and also develops familiarity with economic performance measures, economic
growth, and international economics.

A.P. European History: Open to Juniors and Seniors
Instructor: Mr. Rothbort
The study of European history introduces students to cultural, economic, political, and social developments that played a fundamental
role in shaping the world in which they live. Without this knowledge, we would all lack the context for understanding the development of
contemporary institutions, the role of conflict and continuity in present-day society and politics, and the evolution of current forms of artistic
expression and intellectual discourse.
In addition to providing a basic narrative of events and movements, the goals of the AP program in European History are to develop
(a) an understanding of some of the principal themes in modern European history,
(b) an ability to analyze historical evidence, and
(c) an ability to analyze and to express historical understanding in writing. The course is based upon lectures supplemented with document analysis.
In addition, the course includes various clips from documentaries and movies.  A research paper is due in the spring semester.

A.P. Political Science: Open to Seniors
Instructor: Ms. Kaplowitz
This Political Science course deals with power and politics.  Students begin by attaining a foundation in political philosophy (Locke,
Aristotle, Marx, etc.) then a brief overview of American Government in comparison to others.  But the heart of the course is pure American
politics: who’s got power, how did they get it, how do they use it, and how do they keep it?  We examine the election process, political
parties, special interest groups, lobbyists, the impacts of the media, and the roles of each of the government branches and their relationship
with each other as well as the workings of state and local government.  There is a school-wide mock election in November, special
projects and role-playing sprinkled throughout the year with heavy use of multi-media resources.  The curriculum is an integration of textbook,
multi-media resources, lectures, class discussion and debate. The course culminates with the Advanced Placement exam in May for which
college credit may be granted.

AP World History:  Open to Sophomores
Instructors: Mr. Rothbort
The AP World History course content is structured around the investigation of five course themes and 19 key concepts in six different
chronological periods, from approximately 8000 B.C.E. to the present. The key concepts support the investigation of historical
developments within a chronological framework, while the course themes allow students to make crucial connections across the six
historical periods and across geographical regions.

Edward M. Dweck Memorial Program in the American Judicial System: Open to Juniors and Seniors
Instructor: Ms. Kaplowitz
An overview of the American Legal System with an introduction to the basic concepts of constitutional and criminal law, and if time allows,
contracts, civil litigation, and family law.  Students will study case law on key constitutional issues (past and present). One-third of this
course is devoted to constitutional law with special emphasis on First and Fourteenth Amendment issues and an underlying focus on how the
Constitution affects teenagers.  Another 1/3 will be devoted to the Criminal Justice System; crime, the court, lawyers, judges, juries – how they
really work (or why they don’t).  The remainder of the course will be spent on brief looks at consumer, family, business and international law. 
The goal of the course is to have the student understand that the Constitution is a living document that impacts on their lives every day. The
course uses a textbook and also requires extensive reading of newspapers, news magazines, the following of news programs and use of
multi-media skills on the part of the students. 

Triumph and Tragedy: Genocide, Zionism and Terrorism- The 20th Century & Beyond: Open to Juniors and Seniors
Instructor: Mr. Rothbort
Out of the ashes of the Holocaust, the State of Israel emerged as a haven for Jews and changed the political arena of the Middle East.
This course will look at the major forces that influenced the 20th century, including nationalism, genocide, and terrorism. We will examine the
roots of genocide in the 20th century and take an in-depth look at the Holocaust. The course will include a discussion on how to respond to
Holocaust deniers. Our analysis of Zionism will focus on the post 1967 period with special attention to current affairs in Israel. Finally, the course
will end with an examination of worldwide terrorism (PLO, 9/11, Osama bin Laden) and genocide (Cambodia, Rwanda, Sudan) today. The
course will include both primary and secondary sources and documents and movies such as Hotel Rwanda, Sometimes in April, and One Day
in September. 

Social Studies after High School
We recognize that participation in a democratic society requires a profound understanding of the objectives and goals of a Constitutional society,
and of the role thatJewish citizens must play in that society. With our deep commitment to Eretz Yisrael, it is especially important that Jewish
students, citizens of the United States learnhow to be effective in communicating their concerns to our government officials.
It is important that Yeshivah graduates know how to communicate information clearly and effectively, and present their positions in a clear and
coherent manner. The skills required of an aware citizenry are especially necessary for the Yeshivah graduate.