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High School Havayah Program

The 8th to 12th grade "Havayah" Judaic studies program meets during Sunday mornings to learn with the Rabbi or guest speakers and emphasizes Jewish identity, Jewish history, ethical decision making, and leadership skills. In the upcoming year we will broaden our offerings and plan some outings all with the goal of preparing our young adults to carry their Judaism and Jewish values with them wherever they go,

Topics that may be covered in Havayah include:

  • GTI – God, Torah and Israel: What’s In It for Me? Ask away, and don’t hold back! Students start out challenging each other to explore the meaning of what it means to be Jewish. Should you belong to a synagogue? Should you go to religious school? Should you believe in God? How can the Torah be relevant today? Don’t be bashful; we want to know what’s on your mind. But watch out; you may find your opinions changing.

  • 3M – Movies, Media and Me. Students discuss and analyze video clips from recent movies or TV shows looking for underlying themes, the impact of the images, and the values behind the story line. As part of the process Jewish text are introduced, discussed and explained, and are then applied by the students to the issues raised by the discussion of the video. Too often, teens make little connection between the Torah they learn and the world around them. In these discussions, that connection is made.

  • In Their Shoes. Utilizing technology, the class engages in online interactive simulations. They examine real life issues such as modern slavery and connect them to Judaism.

Goals of the Program:

  • To demonstrate that the real stuff of exciting and meaningful Judaism learning happens after Bar/Bat Mitzvah.

  • To offer 8th grade and older students a challenging and engaging exploration of Jewish texts, philosophy and mysticism that forms the base of adult Jewish awareness.

  • To create a bridge to College Jewish identity and an adult level of Jewish knowledge

  • To engage Jewish high school students in Jewish community, camaraderie, and challenging study.

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