BETH ISRAEL HIGH SCHOOL – 8th – 12th GRADES
8th Grade will be divided into semesters as students study the Holocaust and World Religions.
Holocaust through the Eyes of Our Students
Students will study the Holocaust through their eyes by looking at art, music and daily life during this period of time. Students will confront the historical circumstances relating to the development of anti-Semitism, Hitler’s accession to power, the Third Reich, Nazism, and the “Final Solution”. To this study of history are added the perspective of Jewish values and Jewish experience: the situation of the Jews in Germany and Eastern Europe before, during, and after the war; ghetto life, revolt and resistance, testimony of survivors, and the questions which confront all humanity after Auschwitz. Discussion topics include the totalitarian state; “following orders”; the role of international law, kiddush Hashem (martyrdom) and the issue of self-defense; the ransoming of captives; and the role of the community.
History of the Holocaust Student Pack – Torah Aura
Teaching the Holocaust (Simone Schweber & Debbie Findling) (Teacher only)
Students study the world’s major religions through a Jewish lens as they recognize differences and similarities to Judaism. Students will learn more about Judaism in the process and get an insight into how to respond to Christian Missionaries.
TEXT: Apples and Oranges, Torah Aura
9th Grade will be divided into semesters.
What influences our personal ethical choices? How do we deal with peer pressure and make good decisions? How does Judaism help us with these tough decisions? Students will begin to understand the connection of Jewish texts to their own lives and learn where to go for answers and who to turn to for guidance. What makes the sources authentic and where does the authority come from? Modern and relevant topics will be discussed in the context of what Jewish Law says, as students write their own responsa.
TEXT: Responsa and Referendums, URJ
Jewish Identity through Technology
Various modes of social media will be used to explore Jewish values and how they shape our Jewish identity. Topics will include, “Tikun Olam”, “What Makes an Establishment Jewish?”, “Being Religious vs. Being Spiritual”, “Gender and Religion”, “Jewish Learning”, and “L’Dor v’dor – how we pass our history down”.
We will spend our time together defining the three grounding principles of Judaism: God, Torah, Israel. We will learn how the way we define and understand the interaction of these principles determines our understanding of “Judaism” (Reform, Reconstructionist, Conservative, Orthodox, Humanistic, etc.) We will also study and evaluate two sets of articles of Jewish faith, both of which are based on these grounding principles. The first, reflecting traditional Jewish teachings is Maimonides Articles of Faith.The seconds is the recently adopted Central Conference of American Rabbis ‘A Statement of Principles for Reform Judaism.
This class offers a unique opportunity for students as they near the end of their high school experience. The course is designed to help them feel comfortable with the transitions they will face in their lives as they leave home. Topics covered will be: Sex in the Text; Connecting Jewishly away from home; Jewish Law in today’s world. Conflict on Campus will be covered monthly by the ADL’s (Anti Defamation League) award winning Manhigim Program.
Students will look at charitable giving through a Jewish lens, create their own mission statement, meet and have discussions with community members who are very involved in philanthropic organizations, do a site visit and will decide as a team where to donate the school tzedakah money.
Upon completion of the Madrichim course a teen student will be eligible to become an aide in the classroom, a Hebrew and/or Bar/Bat Mitzvah tutor, a weekend camp counselor, and a library, art, dance, or music assistant. Topics include: How to become a Jewish leader; How to teach in a Jewish setting. The sessions include lesson planning, teaching songs and games, teaching Hebrew reading and vocabulary and storytelling. In addition students will write and produce a teaching DVD. They will develop a strategy and lesson plan, write and film a DVD to be used in the classroom or in an informal education setting.
9th – 12th Graders
Following the Story Corp model high school students will interview older members of the congregation about their lives, and use their creative writing skills to transmit those interviews to paper. The stories will then be collected into a video screened to the whole congregation, in which highlights will be chosen from various interviews, as well as reflections from students about what life lessons they learned in those interviews.
Relating to our Jewish Heritage through the Arts
Students will celebrate Shabbat through painting Shabbat candle holders and a wine glass, as well as creating a personal Havdalah spice jar. Jewish holiday inspirations include a Hanukiah design and creation, Matzah plate, and a surprise creation! The objects de arte will last a life time and carry the memories of youth and heritage for generations.
Cooking with Jews
The class will learn about different Jewish foods and traditions surrounding food. The class will have the opportunity to make and eat various types of traditional Jewish foods. We will also discuss various Jewish values surrounding food and why we eat certain foods for certain holidays.
This is a hands-on class that looks at all aspects of creating and running successful events. The goal of the class is to create and execute as a group a successful program that also ties in social action by the end of the semester. We will be looking at all aspects of what it takes to put on an event and how to make your ideas happen. This is a must-take class for anyone who is interested in joining or getting more involved in a youth group board or club at temple, school, or elsewhere.
The class will discuss what it means to be a leader in today’s society, how Judaism plays a role and what we can learn from other leaders. We will take our everyday life scenarios and examine what leadership qualities one can use to manage the situations.
Adjunct workshops that will be offered throughout the year:
Teen Film Fest and BITY special program nights