In Hebrew High School at Beth Am Temple, students move beyond learning about Judaism to begin using Judaism to elevate the quality of their lives and the lives of those around them. In Hebrew High School, students are treated as the young adults that they are now. Our goal is to help them develop and use a Jewish perspective to wrestle with the difficult issues that face them and our world. Students whose attendance and classroom performance meet our standards participate in a Confirmation service on Erev Shavuotat the end of tenth grade. A monthly post-Confirmation group, also called Hebrew High, offers our students a chance to continue meeting and studying together.
Recent research suggests that in many ways, post B’nai Mitzvah Jewish experiences and Jewish education may be more important than anything that preceded it. This is a period where young adults begin to transform into independent people who are forming their own ideas, values, and a way of life. Teenagers question and discuss. These are the tough years, the years preceding college and perhaps living away from home. Continuing in Hebrew High School, having an opportunity to learn, inquire, and develop Jewishly, plays an important role for them now and forever.
Hebrew High School (grades 8, 9, and 10) meets every Tuesday from 6:00-8:00 PM. We enjoy pizza together from 6:00-6:30 pm, then have two 45-minute classes. Each trimester, 8th and 9th graders participate in one core class with their peers, and they choose one elective. Tenth graders have one core class and one elective during the fall trimester and then spend the 2nd and 3rd trimester with the Rabbi. There are no required Hebrew classes, although this may be offered as an elective if there’s enough student interest.
Our 10, 11, and 12 graders enjoy the opportunity of attending the 4-day L’taken Seminar of the Religious Action Center (RAC) in Washington, DC. It is apowerful social and educational seminar. We participate in many hands-on activities to learn about important political and social issues from legislative assistants. We also tour Washington, celebrate Shabbat and Havdalah together with other Jewish teenagers from all over the United States, visit the Holocaust Museum, and lobby our local Representatives and Senators on legislation currently before Congress. The RAC is the Center of Reform Judaism Social Action in Washington, DC.
Click here for the Hebrew High Handbook
Grade 8: Comparative Judaism, Holocaust Writings, and Modern Israel
Grade 9: Resistance and the Righteous During the Holocaust, Pirke Avot and
Grade 10: MTV Challenge and The Rabbi’s Class
The electives are open to all grades. Over the past few years, electives have included the following choices: Cooking Jewish Foods, Israeli Dance, Jews in Sports, Perspectives on the Presidential Election, Jewish Film, Purim Shpiel (play), and others.
Participating in the community is important to Judaism. All Hebrew High School students are expected to complete a minimum number of hours of community service. This would include activities such as volunteering at a hospital, nursing home, shelter, or community food bank. Mitzvah hours may also be fulfilled at the Temple through the social action committee or at the Religious School.