Mission and Vision
At the Rebecca and Israel Ivry Prozdor High School of The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), the Conservative Movement's flagship institution, our goal is to create an active and vibrant learning environment for our diverse student body.
Our students experience both the intellectual and spiritual aspects of Judaism through critical analysis of halakhah, Jewish law, texts, culture, and values, with additional emphasis on Jewish observance and prayer. The ability to personalize their learning and their relationships with God and Torah, family and community, and Israel and America frames students' learning by examining all in light of their own personal experiences.
Students graduate with a strong knowledge of Judaism and have the framework to continue to live and learn as Jews with confidence in college and beyond.
Founded in 1951 under the auspices of JTS by Professor Solomon Feffer, Mrs. Sylvia Ettenberg, and other JTS and Camp Ramah visionaries, the school was renamed the Rebecca and Israel Ivry Prozdor High School in May 1996, in memory of JTS Board of Trustees Member E. Billi Ivry's (z"l) parents. The rededication honored Ms. Ivry's generosity, memorialized her parents' love of Jewish learning, and affirmed JTS's commitment to Jewish high school education. Ivry Prozdor benefits greatly from its position as a program of the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education.
Today the program serves students in grades seven through twelve from all Jewish religious and educational backgrounds. Prozdor students attend public and private schools and balance their Prozdor commitments with numerous other activities. Our faculty are energized by the challenge of teaching dynamic, motivated students. Most hold advanced degrees or doctorates in Jewish Studies and Jewish Education.
Prozdor alumni attend high-profile colleges and universities. They work in government, the Jewish community, education, business, medicine, the arts, and law. Graduates often count fellow Prozdor alumni among their closest friends, and at least one marriage has been celebrated by a couple who met as students of the program.
Returning for 2014-2015! In years past, parents have had opportunities to study at Prozdor. A group of Prozdor would parents study Judaica every Sunday morning. Additionally, all Prozdor students and their families are invited to participate in one or more y'mei iyun (days of study) at JTS.
From students to parents, there is something for everyone at the Rebecca and Israel Ivry Prozdor High School.
Students choose one of four study concentrations that addresses their specific intellectual and spiritual interests. Personal choice shapes each student's experience at Ivry Prozdor. Each year, students choose a Sunday concentration:
In the Beit Midrash, students learn straight from primary sources: the Bible, Talmud, Midrash, and commentaries, with the goal of b'kiut (mastery of the text), as well as finding meaning and personal connection to the central texts of Judaism. In addition to this two-hour intensive study, students take a grade-level core course and one elective hour.
The Intensive Hebrew track is for students who are particularly interested in mastering modern Hebrew. In this track, students are able to learn at a fast pace and increase their fluency by the end of their studies. Students take two periods of Hebrew a semester and also take a grade-level core course and one elective hour.
The Multidisciplinary track is for students interested in engaging in and mastering a variety of Jewish studies. Students take one core course and three elective courses.
Commitment to Community
We believe that our students should be active and involved in our communities and our surrounding milieu. To that end, we emphasize in our curriculum and in our extracurricular activities social justice (tikkun 'olam), in the New York City community and around the world, as well as our connection to the State of Israel and to all Diaspora Jews.
Relationship with JTS
Because of Ivry Prozdor's position as a program of the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education of The Jewish Theological Seminary, students are taught by JTS faculty as well as by JTS rabbinical students, cantorial students, and Davidson graduate students. The opportunity to study with these scholars is unique to the Ivry Prozdor program and offers an advanced academic experience generally not available to high school students.
Staff and faculty also serve as accessible role models for students, demonstrating through their own actions such key values as Talmud Torah (commitment to the study of Torah) and derekh eretz.