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.

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. Director of Congregational Education Lynn Anne Cutler is the ‘homeroom teacher’ for grade 8; electives and special programs will be led by Lynn Anne, our clergy, 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.

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.

Travel:  We are excited to be able to offer special opportunities for our students to take day trips together beginning in fall of 2022! In addition to off-campus community service projects, eighth grade will be taking an additional day trip together as a class this school year. Details will be provided closer to the beginning of the school year!

Registration for Chai School is open to Temple Har Shalom members in good standing. Tuition for Grade 8 is $595 for the year, and it includes access to any and all of the programs, events and trips open to the eighth grade class.

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.