This year, MTA expanded its academic programs for sophomores to offer three new areas of academic concentration: entrepreneurship, engineering+, and Torah leadership. Spearheaded by Director of Teaching and Learning Rabbi Dov Emerson, this new program gives talmidim the opportunity to hone their interests and gain in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience in the specific areas that interest them. “One of the great differentiators of the MTA experience is the personalized education that is provided for each boy. The Academic Concentrations Program is the logical next step in helping to provide an outstanding and diverse learning experience,” said Rabbi Emerson. “These concentrations allow talmidim with particular passions and interests to dive deeper with a cohort of like-minded individuals, under the expert tutelage of educators who are thought leaders in these areas.”
Directed by Shuey Jacoby (‘02), the entrepreneurship concentration features a hands-on exploration of what it takes to launch a product or company from the ground up. Talmidim learn the basics of business and innovation and gain a fundamental understanding of how to develop a business plan. Talmidim work in groups, stressing the importance and necessity of collaboration. Leveraging MTA and Yeshiva University’s tremendous alumni network, as well as the intellectual capital at the Sy Syms School of Business and the YU Innovation Lab, talmidim benefit from expert guest speakers as well as the opportunity to see and learn from innovative companies.
The engineering+ concentration, directed by MTA Science Chair Megan HLZacks, facilitates the open exchange of ideas, where talmidim engage in intellectual conversation, challenge each other to grow, innovate, build and create together, both in the MTA Makerspace and the larger New York City community. Talmidim learn to use advanced tools and go beyond the classroom to experience engineering in the field through site visits to industries, technology vendors, college research laboratories and Makerspace workshops.
Under the guidance of MTA Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Michael Taubes, talmidim participating in the Torah leadership concentration learn how to effectively extract and communicate Torah thoughts and content. Throughout this course, talmidim develop a variety of Torah presentation skills, both written and oral, including how to select topics, how to research and read Torah sources, how to best present effective divrei Torah and shiurim, engage an audience, feel self-confident and so much more.