Millstone Scholars

A Tikvah Educational and Leadership Program for Exceptional Middle-School Students

Program Structure and Curriculum

The Millstone Core Curriculum

Jewish Literacy | Zionism | The American Jewish Experience

Our goal is to develop and network the next generation of confident American Jewish Zionists. As such, our curriculum is split between three trimesters, with each trimester addressing a different aspect of American Jewish identity. It is our belief that every American Jew should understand (i) Judaism’s core ideas, (ii) the history and triumphs of the Jewish state, and (iii) the deep history of the Jews in America. These three tenets are the foundation of American Jewish identity, and we aim to equip Millstone Scholars with the knowledge to become future American Jewish leaders.

Explore the great Biblical and Rabbinic ideas in Jewish history through the eyes of great leaders.

Learn the heroic story of modern Israel by studying the leaders who built the Jewish state and key events in Israeli history.

Approach American Jewish history from two angles: 1) the history of the Jewish people in America, and 2) how Jewish ideas have shaped American history.


How Jewish Ideas Changed the World

The Millstone Scholars curriculum is rooted in the following beliefs: that Jewish ideas shaped Western civilization and the world; that young American Jews have the right and responsibility to understand their own exceptional Hebraic heritage; and that young men and women in middle school are capable of college-style seminars and discussions.

Every Millstone Scholars student will participate in our core seminar—a weekly discussion class, in-person, in your local community. Together with a master teacher, students will read carefully chosen selections from the formative texts of the Jewish people—ranging from the Torah to the Talmud and medieval period to modern thinkers and leaders —in an intellectual adventure that explores how Jewish ideas changed the world. We will discuss the Biblical Creation story and the Apollo 8 astronauts; the story of Abraham and the ideas of Aristotle; the leadership of Rebekah and the longings of Homer’s Penelope; the Exodus from Egypt and the American Founding; the teachings of the Ten Commandments and the paintings of Rembrandt; the foundational stories of the Jewish people and the writings of Edgar Allen Poe; the rise of the ancient Israelites and the heroic leaders who created modern Israel.


Windows into the Curriculum:

What is a Millstone Class Really Like?

Click the images below to view sample units:

For more information, please contact:

Irina Rakhlis
Irina Rakhlis

Irina Rakhlis

Executive Director, Millstone Scholars Program

Rabbi Abraham Unger, Ph.D.
Rabbi Abraham Unger, Ph.D.

Rabbi Abraham Unger, Ph.D.

Dean and Founding Executive Director, Millstone Scholars
Head of School, Emet Classical Academy