Our eleventh graders spend their first year post-Confirmation continuing to strengthen their own Jewish identities, while also focusing on discovering their roles in our greater Jewish community and the world. Highlights of our program for eleventh graders in the 2022-2023 school year include (but are not limited to):
Wednesdays from 6:30-8:00pm, beginning October 12, 2022, include core classes, dinner, and a choice of electives. Cantor Jennifer Benrey serves as the “homeroom teacher” for the eleventh grade class; electives and special programs will be led by Rabbi Musnitsky, Cantor Benrey, and other dynamic teachers and guest presenters throughout the year.
Tuesday Topics with Clergy: Chai School students in grades 8-12 are invited to join our clergy on six Tuesday evenings over the course of the year, for dinner and a discussion of significant events, news items and happenings in our community and around the world. Tuesday dates for the 2022/23 school year include: October 18, November 1, January 17, February 7, March 21, April 25.
L’Taken Social Justice Seminar (Grades 10-12): This annual trip to Washington, D.C. is one of the most memorable and most highly anticipated events of the tenth grade year! Students are given an incredible opportunity to impact our country as they share their views on social justice topics with decision-makers on Capitol Hill. The program, run by the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, is designed to help teens gain a unique understanding of the political process and see how Jewish values are relevant in today’s world. Participants learn about issues that are relevant to us personally and collectively, as Jews and as Americans. The trip culminates with meetings in congressional and senatorial offices on Capitol Hill where we will personally lobby for the issues of our choice. This year’s anticipated trip dates are December 9-12, 2022.
Service Learning/Community Service projects: In keeping with the Jewish value of tikkun olam – the idea that we are responsible for helping to repair the world – Chai School students will have the opportunity to participate in several service learning projects together over the course of the year. Some projects will occur during Wednesday evening class times, and others will be available on different days of the week and at different times. Volunteer work completed for these programs may be used towards community service or volunteer hours requirements needed for school, scouting, or National Honor Society pursuits, pursuant to the individual guidelines set by each organization.
Other Travel: In addition to the L’Taken Social Justice Seminar trip to Washington, D.C., eleventh graders take a special day trip together in the Spring with Rabbi Musnitsky and Cantor Benrey. The trip offered varies from year to year, with input from students in the group. (As an example, last year’s class traveled into New York City to see a Broadway show and enjoy a delicious dinner together at a kosher deli!)
Registration for Chai School is open to Temple Har Shalom members in good standing. Tuition for Grade 11 is $560 for the year, and it includes access to any and all of the programs, events and trips open to the eleventh grade class.
What are our students saying?
“Over the past three years, we have been able to speak about a variety of different current events, including but not limited to, the January 6th insurrection, the war in Ukraine, and even pop culture events like the 2022 Oscar-winning fight scene from Will Smith and Chris Rock…My personal favorite part of these pizza-party/therapy sessions was how we somehow manage to relate every single event to Torah or a principle of Judaism. It never ceases to amaze me how Rabbi and Cantor can take the stories that we tell them about our personal life and give them greater meaning. It reinforces the fact that I am, in fact, here, and so were my grievances and joys…” – A.K.