Chai School (Grades 8-12)



Teen Connection @ THS!

Jewish Life begins at b’nai mitzvah!

Maybe that’s not exactly true – but at Temple Har Shalom, once a teen crosses the threshold into Jewish Adulthood, the world opens up in exciting new directions!

Teens can choose from a number of ways to stay connected to Temple and their THS friends, including choosing from our monthly Chai School programs, working as madrichim (teaching aides) in our Sunday morning JSchool program, joining us for a day trip or a weekend away, taking part in our Social Action Club (where one can often earn those community service hours so many schools and organizations require), helping out with our Purim Shpiel performance, or even joining our Shul of Rock teen band. See below for details on our offerings for the 5784 (2023-2024) school year!


Our cornerstone offering for members in grades 8-12 is our Chai School program.

Why Chai?

In Hebrew, Chai means “life”! Using the name Chai School reflects Temple Har Shalom’s commitment to providing a vibrant center of Jewish life and learning for our young Jewish adults. Chai School offers more flexible programming for busy schedules; more choices to help students grow and strengthen their own unique Jewish identities; more opportunities to explore and learn to respond to issues in our community and our world; and more hands-on and memorable experiences to take with them as they enter the world as Jewish adults. Here, our post-b’nai mitzvah aged students socialize, perform community service, and continue to develop Jewish identity together – all while learning and exploring what it means to move through the wider world as Jewish adults, guided by the values and teachings of our tradition. We aim to provide an engaging program with enough flexibility in our offerings that even our busiest students will be able to connect regularly with peers and teachers over the course of the year.

One simple registration ($595 per student) makes students eligible for everything that we have to offer, from monthly programming to one-time events and even our travel program. We ask that Chai Schoolers choose, then check off all additional programming you’d to hear more about:

Open to Grades 8-12:

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 Lynn Anne for 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. (10/17, 11/30, 12/21, 1/25, 2/29, 3/21 and 4/25)

Open to Grades 10-12

Confirmation year has always been a highlight of socializing, learning and travel. Rabbi Musnitsky looks forward to teaching and exploring together the challenge of addressing modern day issues and Jewish Adulthood, leading to a meaningful Confirmation experience capped by a special service honoring our Confirmands. Includes dinner; 6:30 PM – 8:00PM one Wednesday night per month. (10/11, 11/1, 12/6, 1/3, 2/7, 3/6, 4/10, 5/8 (Rehearsal) and 5/17 (Service))

Open to Grades 11-12:

“Ask Me Anything” (AMA) with Student Rabbi Josh Greenbaum

AMA is an open space to talk about how real life intersects with the incredible teachings and storied history of our Judaism.  This monthly get together includes conversation, questions, debate, and an on-going deep dive into how to maintain relevancy of our Jewish culture and religion, especially as our upperclassmen begin to chart next steps into the ever-changing modern world.  Topics will be wide-ranging and continuously adapted to meet the breadth of our discussions.  Includes dinner; 6:30 PM -8:00 PM one Thursday night per month.
(10/5, 11/2, 12/14, 1/18, 2/22, 3/14 and 4/18)



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.

We also offer extended-weekend travel each year for students in grades 10 and up. Every other year, this is an opportunity to attend the L’Taken Social Justice Seminar in Washington, D.C. Details about this year’s exciting trip will be available soon! Students enrolled in Chai School receive special pricing for all teen trips.

Madrichim Program

Students in grades 9-12 can apply for a paid position as one of our JSchool madrichim (teaching aides) on Sunday mornings during the school year. Students who have never served as madrichim are encouraged to apply at this link: and returning madrichim should use the placement form here:

Social Action Club

Learn about the needs of our community and take action to make a difference in the lives of others. Activities range from single-night projects to an evening cooking breakfast and then a morning bringing it into New York City to share with homeless people with our Lauren Zeitels Midnight Run program. All THS teens are invited to participate. Days/times vary each month depending on the project; calendar TBD.

Shul of Rock Teen Band with Cantor Benrey

Sing or play your favorite instrument in our Shul of Rock Teen Band! Band rehearses approximately two Wednesday nights per 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. Our tuition fee, $595 per student, reflects the support needed, but we never want finances to prevent anyone from joining our community.

Learn more about programs for each grade by clicking the link:

Grade 8            Grade 9            Grade 10            Grade 11            Grade 12

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