Chai School Grade 8

Grade 8 is a year of big transition for our Chai School students. This is their first school year post-b’nai mitzvah; through grade seven their learning focused on learning Hebrew and prayer and ritual, learning to chant Torah and Haftarah, and the most essential foundational Jewish learning needed for understanding what it means to become a b’nai mitzvah, including learning about holidays, Bible stories, Jewish lifecycle, Israel, Holocaust, and more. Eighth grade moves away from formal Hebrew learning, and begins to make a shift towards a higher level of critical thinking and real-life application of Jewish values and teachings they can take into high school and beyond. Chai School also sets aside more time for students to spend with each other socially, be it through sharing a dinner each week, working together on community service projects on and off campus, and creating memories together through special trips and experiences.

Grade 8 Offerings for 2023-2024:

Hot Topic Tuesdays with Rabbi Musnitsky

Learn how to see current-day conflicts, events, politics, and history-in-the-making through a Jewish lens, guided by Rabbi Musnitsky. Includes dinner; 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM one Tuesday per month. (10/17, 11/14, 12/12, 1/9, 2/13, 3/12 and 4/9)

Chai Holidays

Who can get enough of our Jewish Holidays? Join us for a project-based exploration of all sorts of Jewish holidays, from the most popular to the most obscure. We’ll cook, we’ll create beautiful and meaningful Judaica, we’ll put together part of this year’s THS Purim celebration(!) – and we’ll have fun doing it! You’ll also be introduced to surprising stories about some of our holidays that we do not share with the little ones. This course meets from 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM one Thursday evening per month. (9/28, 10/26, 11/30, 12/21, 1/25, 2/29, 3/21 and 4/25)


THS Teen Travel

We are excited to be able to offer new off-campus opportunities to our teens this year! Day trips for grades 8-12 include events such as seeing a Broadway play together or visiting cultural events in our area or nearby cities. Students enrolled in Chai School receive special pricing for all Teen Travel programs.

Shul of Rock Teen Band with Nicole Drasin

Sing or play your favorite instrument in our Shul of Rock Teen Band! Band rehearses approximately two Wednesday nights a month, and performs at select services and events throughout the year.

Special Events

Over the course of the year, Temple Har Shalom hosts special events or guest speakers that will be meaningful for our teens to attend. Last year, THS teens and their families attended our gallery exhibit of photography from the American Society for Yad Vashem, and got to hear from Fred Biermann, who survived the Holocaust as a child and went on to fight for Israel in the early days of its founding.  Invitations to these events will go out as they are scheduled.

More Information

Chai School is open to Temple Har Shalom members in good standing. We never want finances to prevent anyone from joining our community, please contact us if you have any questions.

Should you want any further details about school, programs, or enrollment information, please reach out to our Director of Education, Heather Schweizer, at, or Education Administrator, Amy Greenbaum, at or give us a call at (732) 356-8777.


What are our students saying?

“The experiences I have had within my Jewish education have led me to the place I am today and have been critical to the furthering of my Jewish identity…Our class represents the union between different walks of life and different people all being able to come together and form friendships, connections, and further our Jewish identity, and I have been so thankful for the class and the uniqueness everyone has brought to it.” – N.P.