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Curriculum: 8th Grade

Tough Decisions for New Jewish Adults

The 8th graders have a schedule that allows them time to meet more students, choose classes of interest to them, and learn from many different teachers.

8thGradeDayofChange2014 2WebThis enhances their peer-to-peer socialization, gives them opportunities to be inspired in different ways by their various teachers, and also allows them to move from class to class as they are accustomed to doing so in Middle School.

The Core Judaics / Homeroom class is comprised of students who represent the diversity of the class as a whole. In fact, we encourage parents to use the registration forms to request, if they wish, a student with whom they would like their child to be placed in this class.

The Core Judaics / Homeroom curriculum’s primary purpose is to explore the major world religions through a Jewish lens. Students also explore the state of Jews in America and around the world. Additionally, throughout the year we explore “Hot Topics” that the 8th graders themselves identify as being of interest. These topics could include topics such as a Jewish understanding of what comprises a healthy friendship or romantic relationship and the Jewish understanding of caring for our bodies (piercing, tattoos, etc.).    

For the Tuesday evening elective period (which is combined with the 7th graders), the students choose from as many as seven electives for each elective unit. There are two to three elective units during the course of the year, so the students have a chance to explore a number of different topics. Students choose among topics as varied as Modern Hebrew, Modern Jewish Music, Israeli Film, Kabbalah and Jewish Mysticism, Jewish Humor, and more.

Our 8th graders are also encouraged to become Madrichim (teacher helpers), and become involved with jBATY (junior Beth Am Temple Youth).

Schedule for 8th graders:

Tuesday evening:
5:30 - 6:15 PM: Optional pizza dinner
6:15 - 6:45 PM: Services in Sanctuary, led by the rabbis
6:45 - 7:27 PM: Tuesday Electives (with 7th graders)
7:27 - 7:32 PM: Passing Time
7:32 - 8:15 PM: Core Judaics/Homeroom