Social Studies

Chair: Mr. Howard Rothbort

[email protected]

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 and Eretz Yisrael.

Freshman Curriculum

Global History and Geography from ancient civilizations to the Scientific Revolution. The course emphasizes developing students’ historical thinking skills. Specifically, students will be required to analyze primary sources for bias, reliability, point of view, and audience. In addition, students will be required to make connections between historical documents and asses their usefulness to historians.
The curriculum follows the New York State Regents scope and sequence. For a detailed list of topics and skills covered in the Freshmen, please click on the following link:

Sophomore Curriculum

Global History and Geography from 1750 to the current time.
The curriculum follows the New York State Regents scope and sequence. For a detailed list of topics and skills covered in the Sophomore, please click on the following link:
The Sophomore year also includes an intensive six week mini-course on Zionism in the spring semester. The course culminates in the new Global History & Geography Regents exam.

Junior Curriculum

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

In the Spring semester, seniors learn Micro and Macroeconomics. A major component of economics is learning about personal financial literacy. Students are taught how to manage their finances and how to make wise financial choices as they embark on their life beyond high school. Topics include: debit cards vs. credit cards, how to open a bank account, mortgages, leasing vs. buying and how to save for retirement (i.e. IRAs, 401K).

Elective Courses

A.P. Economics: Open to Junior & 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. Engel
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 four different chronological periods, from approximately 1200 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 four 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.

Employment/Business Law 
Whether you are a CEO running a large business or a student working at a part time job, employment law will have a substantial impact on your life. In this elective we will examine a broad range of legal topics including regulation of the hiring and firing process, testing and privacy issues, wage and hour laws, discrimination, employee independent contractor differences, covenants not to compete, and related topics including a foray into sports law and education law.

Marketing is an interesting and intriguing subject that applies to a vast array of businesses and industries worldwide. For those interested in pursuing business careers, marketing could be an integral addition to their education.

The course covers the following general topics: What is marketing? Why do businesses need it?
Other topics include understanding target markets and consumer behavior, planning and developing a marketing strategy and marketing plan, economics of marketing, understanding competition, entrepreneurship, E-commerce, virtual marketing, advertising, and more. Also included are determining the best price, business-to-business marketing and risk management. The skills taught in marketing classes could be used in all facets of life, from business and hiring to marketing oneself!

VEI (Virtual Enterprise International)
Virtual Enterprises International (VEI) transforms students into business professionals with an entrepreneurial mindset by bringing the workplace into the classroom. Students learn business by doing business with coaching from industry professionals.

VEI transform the classroom into a working office. With the guidance of a teacher-facilitator and a business partner, VEI students establish and manage a company, conducting business with other “firms” domestically and internationally. Their simulated business replicates all the functions and demands of a real business. In each firm (class), students apply to work in different areas of the company overseen by department managers and a CEO. A typical firm is staffed in Administration, Accounting/Finance, Sales, Marketing, Human Resources, and IT. VEI is a year-long course, which is enhanced by regional, national, and international business plan competitions and trade shows.

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 that Jewish 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 learn how 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 in order to present their positions in a clear and coherent manner. The skills required of an aware citizenry are especially necessary for the Yeshivah graduate.

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