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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 GradeDuring 8th grade students spend the year exploring Mussar, a Jewish spiritual practice that gives concrete instructions on how to live a meaningful and ethical life. Through a series of Middot (Jewish values), students develop practical life skills to become more balanced and resilient, deepen their spirituality and connection to Judaism, encourage more ethical and intentional participation in the world and transform into their "best selves." (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 volunteer on Sunday mornings either on-site (24 sessions from 9-11:30am) or at our OJE program (12 sessions from 9am-1pm.) Madrichim assignments are 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: Powered by AJU - 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 Civil Rights Trip (9th-12th grade): This year our Teen Civil Rights Trip will be traveling to New Orleans, LA and Jackson, MS on January 12-16. This trip is in partnership with other congregations in the Los Angeles area. Sites Include: Whitney Plantation, Preservation Jazz Hall, Tulane Hillel, Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience, Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, Museum of Mississippi History, COFO Civil Rights Education Center, and more! (9th-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)
  • Teen Retreat (9th-12th grade): Join us on November 4-6th for our first ever Teen Retreat at Brandeis Bardin in Simi Valley. This retreat is in partnership with other LA congregations: Beth Shir Shalom and Temple Judea. Activities include but are not limited to: hiking, basketball, soccer, yoga, climbing wall, reading and drawing. We will hear from Pamela Schuller, a comedian and disability and mental health advocate. Beit Teshuvah will perform their play "Freedom Song" and we will learn with educators and clergy from all three synagogues. You will even get the chance to sleep in - breakfast isn't served  until 10am!
  • KI EDU: Powered by AJU - 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, February 5 2023 14 Sh'vat 5783