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Chai School

The High School years are a formative period in our teenage children’s lives, an important time that affects their Jewish identity. To keep our teens involved and interested in everything Jewish, HEA Chai School provides relevant shiurim (classes) that encourage engagement in a safe and welcoming environment. They develop their understanding of the responsibility of being a Jew while embracing the privilege of being one. We encourage exploring their spiritual ideas and connection to the Jewish people, thus fostering a lifelong faith-hold for future stages of life. 

Chai School is for 8th – 10th grade students. Chai School Siyum/Confirmation takes place at the end of 10th grade. It affirms and celebrates your child’s understanding and commitment to what “Being a Jew” is all about. It also honors them for being a part of more than 85 years of HEA tradition.

Chai School classes meet twice a month on Thursdays from 6-8PM and includes dinner. There are 18 sessions in the 5780 (2019-2020) school year.  Chai School’s goal is to create a space for teens to connect with each other, building a community of friends.

The 5780 Curriculum is based on 4 units:
Unit 1: On Being A Jew

September – October 2019: Unit One of “Ten Paths to God”, a new curriculum about Judaism and Jewish values based on traditional and contemporary teachings of 
R. Jonathan Sacks. 

This unit deals with the question of Identity with the following aims: 
• Consider the placement of their Jewish identity in their overall identity
• Consider how they are shaped by both their past and by exposure to the narrative of our national past
• Explore the concepts of: Am Segula / Chosen People; Jewish destiny and national mission; the core values of Jewish society
• Understand the importance of transmission of Judaism’s core concepts

Unit 2: Many Ways Of Being A Jew
November-December 2019: An introduction to the different movements within Judaism, from Orthodoxy to Jewish Renewal. The unit culminates with a panel discussion from Rabbis representing these diverse movements.

Unit 3: Israel – Between Conflicts and Resolutions
January-February 2020: Unit 3 explores Israel’s role in contemporary Jewish life, it’s history and the present Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Classes feature guest speakers including the Israeli Shaliach, Community Emissary. 

Unit 4: Multifaith, Otherness, Antisemitism and Hate 
March-April 2020:  This unit introduces the basic tenets of other faiths/religions. Parents are invited to join the students for a “Speed-Faithing” event in which they will have an opportunity to interact with guests of different faiths. This unit also includes the topic of Antisemitism, ethnic and religious hate, discussing reasons for and ways to address this problem. Please Note: All speakers, movies, and panel discussions are presented to 8th - 10th grades together, but class discussions are single grade for age appropriate discussions and activities. Classes also include experiential components and address current event when appropriate. 

Siyum\Confirmation Class 5780:
Siyum\Confirmation Class (10th grade) has an added emphasis on personal reflection and responsibility as they contemplate their role in assuring our continuation as a community, as a people and as a faith. Rabbi Gruenwald teaches this class. Prior to class beginning, the Confirmation Class students will write a one-page essay answering the following question: “What does confirmation means to you?” The paper should be emailed to prior to the first class.  Please Note: Confirmation Ceremony is scheduled for Friday evening, May 15, 2020.

Sat, July 11 2020 19 Tammuz 5780