Chai School Grade 12

Our Seniors hold a very special place in our hearts. It is our honor not only to teach and learn with them in this significant year in their lives, but to help prepare them to enter the greater world as young Jewish adults.

Highlights of our program for 2022-2023 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 twelfth grade class; electives and special programs will be led by Rabbi Musnitsky, Cantor Benrey, and other dynamic teachers and guest presenters throughout the year.

Senior Sunday Brunch: High School Seniors are invited to Sunday brunch at the Rabbi’s house (along with the occasional restaurant) several times over the course of the year, where students will focus on issues of transition from their high school ‘bubbles’ into the larger and more diverse world of life on the college campus and beyond. Anticipated dates for brunches for the 2022/23 school year are: October 23, November 20, December 18, January 22, February 5, March 12, April 23, May 7.

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 scheduled 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., twelfth 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 12 is $560 for the year, and it includes access to any and all of the programs, events and trips open to the twelfth grade class.

What are our students saying?

“Looking back, I have realized that…we have discussed a new mind-breaking topic. Every. Single. Week. Cantor Benrey and Rabbi Musnitsky have taught me that our ability to reflect on these events and struggles in our world is necessary. It’s important to help make us aware, help us find solutions, and help us see how Judaism fits into each topic. In this case, [it] has taught all of us about having an open mind and being aware of our identities and values as the future generation of Jewish adults.”

– J.S.