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HOW WE ENGAGE OUR 8th-12th grade students


After 7th grade, students can select from a variety of programs, all of which are a la carte, allowing them to connect with their Judaism in a way that they choose.  

  • 8th Grade: During 8th grade, we will evaluate how different aspects of Jewish rituals, philosophy, theology and values fit into their lives, empowering our teens to make educated Jewish decisions for themselves as they enter adulthood. Examples of topics include, Shabbat and self-care, Kashrut and ethical food choices, Tzedakah and creating a more just world, and more. Each class will allow space for students to bring things they are interested in or challenged by. (This course meets on Tuesdays from 6-8 PM and culminates in a one night retreat at Temescal Canyon Park.)
  • Madrichim (8th-12th grade): In our Madrichim program, students have the opportunity to volunteer as assistant teachers and serve as role models for the students in the Jewish Experience Center. Madrichim can choose to volunteer on either Sunday mornings or Tuesday afternoons, subject to availability, and receive a stipend or community service hours for their time. Madrichim will learn how to develop leadership skills and learn how to make a difference in their community.  As madrichim are role models for the younger students with whom they work, they are required to be enrolled in at least one other program (8th or 9th/10th grade class, KITT, Confirmation, Rosh Hodesh, Shevet Achim, Teen Social Action Trip).  (8th-12th grade)
  • KI EDU: Argument for Community’s Sake (9th-12th grade): In this class, students will explore the developmental foundations of what it means to be together in community, during both good times and challenging times.  Using the story about maklochet l’shem shemayim (argument for the sake of heaven), students will explore a variety of philosophies and methodologies tied to creating and engaging in community.  Students will also explore some of the skills needed to engage with other community members in a positive and productive way including understanding our own strengths and triggers, attuned listening and learning how to achieve a win-win feeling at the end of a discussion.  The ultimate goal is for students to develop an understanding of the study of Talmud, as well as how they might utilize the skills and strategies they have learned in real-life difficult conversations.  (This course meets on 2 Sundays from 10 AM-2 PM and 12 Tuesdays from 6-8 PM.)

  • Teen Social Action Trip (9th-12th grade): The Teen Social Action Trip provides our high school students with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience supporting communities in need in different parts of our country while learning from individuals and organizations doing crucial work in those areas. Our teens have traveled to Houston, New Orleans, Washington D.C., Phoenix, and more. The trip rotates annually, making sure to address current issues and emergency relief needs. (8th-12th grade)
  • Kehillat Israel Tzedakah Teens (9th-12th grade): KI Tzedakah Teens is a Jewish teen philanthropy program Over the past 10 years, KITT has donated $343,792 to national and international nonprofits. KI Tzedakah Teens meet monthly to: Form together as a board of a foundation and develop a mission statement; Develop a deeper understanding on how Jewish wisdom can help inform philanthropic decisions;  Learn about important local and international issues facing our world; Research and understand how Jewish and non-Jewish organization are working to address these issues; Send Requests for Proposals to applicable nonprofits, review grant proposals, raise funds, and interview organizations; Make difficult but critical funding decisions; Build a community of Jewish teens who are passionate about changing the world. Click here for a video which explains KITT in more detial.  (9th-12th grade)
  • KI EDU: Contemporary Halachic Problems (11th-12th grade): In this class, students will explore Jewish ethics - both the context and time in which they were lived and practiced as well as the way we understand these ancient laws in our lives today.  Over the course of the year, students will spend time exploring kashrut, Shabbat, medical ethics, property laws and social responsibility, starting with the original text, exploring what our ancient commentators thought about these laws and then assessing what these laws look like in modern day.  The ultimate goal is for students to develop an understanding of these fundamental pieces of our tradition and determine how they might apply the underlying values to challenging ethical decisions in their own lives.  (This course meets on 2 Sundays from 10 AM-2 PM and 12 Wednesdays from 6-8 PM.)
  • Teen Youth Group:  Join your friends for events like Trivia Night, sushi making, bowling and more!  This is a great opportunity to get together with your KI community every month for a social and relaxing evening. 
Sun, June 26 2022 27 Sivan 5782