Rabbi Lisa Eiduson and Orna Sonnenschein are looking forward to a terrific year with the students in Grades 8-12 on Tuesday evenings - and beyond! Once again, classes are set up in a modular way to enable students to have more flexibility and choice during the year. The following is a general sketch of the offerings for our post-B'nai Mitzvah students. More detailed descriptions are available by contacting either Rabbi Eiduson or Orna.
An Experiential Approach to Understanding Ourselves and Others
Judaism has always taught tolerance in the face of intolerance and acceptance and engagement over exclusivity and indifference. Students will explore the themes of diversity, justice and civility both in the classroom and outside of it. Utilizing a variety of media, round-table conversations with organizational leaders, a class social justice project, and participation in the S.T.O.P. program, students will come away from this creative year-long experience with knowledge of social justice and tools to take action rather than stand by when they see injustice. There will be two opportunities for group travel: 1) a day-long trip to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC; and 2) a weekend in Philadelphia, PA. Dates and fees to follow.
Grades 9 and 10:
Connecting to Israel and to Israeli Teens
How is being a Jewish teen in America the same as and different from being a teen in Israel? This is a two-year program. The first year (Grade 9) features an experiential and contemporary approach to understanding the history of Zionism in Judaism and the development of the modern State of Israel. Students will have the opportunity to explore primary sources, beginning with the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 and continuing to the present time . In addition to learning about the geography and history of the Jewish State, we will examine the conflicts and challenges that Israel and Israelis face in the twenty-first century. We will have an opportunity to discuss and debate the difficult issues as objectively as possible, but from the traditional perspective of ahavat Zion -- love of Zion.
During the second year (Grade 10) we will use the working knowledge acquired in Grade 9 to bring Israel to life through a powerful school-match program known as HiBur. HiBur has been in existence for more than as a Grade 10 Congregation Beth El program and Grade 10 partners at the Huggim School in Haifa. During the Fall of the Grade 10 year, students will have the opportunity host teens from Haifa, Israel in their homes in Boston, and will have a combined student weekend in New York City. Through multi-media presentations, videoconferencing and parallel curricula, our American teens will spend the months following the visit of Israelis preparing for travel to Israel in February of the Grade 10 year. Upon their return they will debrief about their experiences. This is a life-changing and transfomational experience in which CBT is now a partner as the Congregation Beth El program has grown to a metrowest synagogue collaborative.
Grades 11 and 12:
Living Justly and Bringing Justice to All
The Jewish concept of justice dates back to the Hebrew Scriptures, not just as a passive theme, but as a dynamic way of life. This class will explore the intersection of Jewish identity and American values from the Jewish American immigrant experience to the present day. Students will explore the participation and contributions of Jews to the following areas of American life: social justice, civil rights, the labor movement, women's rights, Jews in local, regional and national government, the Jewish lobby. There will be one opportunity for travel twice during the year. The first semester, students will go to the Religious Action Center in Washington DC for a long weekend (December 2-5) to participate with teens from throughout the country in their "L'Taken" (lit. perfect, improve) Teen Seminar Program. Students will have the opportunity to influence our political process as they share views of various social topics with key decision-makers on Capitol Hill, and learn how to lobby on behalf of legislative and public policy issues. Fees for the Washington DC experience to follow.