Welcome to 2021-2022 School Year
After a long summer vacation and an unusually early High Holidays period, B’sha’ah Tova JTC began its 2021-2022 school year.
Following a year and a half of pandemic, virtual learning and social distancing, we are trying to get back to a normal routine as much as possible. The most wonderful change of them all is that we study together again, in-person, in a real, physical classroom. It was so clear, in the first school night already, how much our youth lacked togetherness. They were happy to chat, laugh, pat each other’s backs. The fact that they are obligated to wear a mask did not bother them at all! the main thing was to be together!! It was so great for me and our wonderful teachers to witness this joy.
Another aspect of getting back to routine is our ability to offer a larger selection of courses than in the virtual learning setting. Beside the mandatory grade-level courses, we offer a variety of electives from different fields of knowledge, which will be spread over the three trimesters of the school year. In the first session we introduced the different classes to the students and gave them the opportunity to rate their preference.
We offer a course on getting to know the most interesting and challenging stories of the Tanach, where in addition to getting to know the characters and the plots, we will try to examine together how relevant the stories are for today and what we can learn from them. Strong women like Deborah and Yael, the hero Samson, King Saul, King David, Batsheva and many more, will come to life in our classroom.
We offer two courses with an emphasis on Jewish identity: the first, examines the formation of the various Jewish movements - the Orthodox, the Reform, the Reconstructionist, and of course the Conservative, and seeks to address questions of Jewish identity and the core values of Judaism. The second, will focus on a comparative perspective between Judaism and other monotheistic religions - Christianity and Islam. As part of this course we will collaborate with Interfaith Philadelphia to enable meetings with other houses of worship, religious leaders and teens.
Another course will focus on modern Israel –its history, politics and society, and will provide the students with a better understanding of the complexities that characterize the state of Israel. we will focus on the diverse communities that live in Israel and the social and political rifts between them, but also the common denominators and the measures taken to bridge the gaps. We will equip the students with the right knowledge so they can meet criticism and be able to advocate for Israel.
As part of our Jewish ethics studies, we will examine current issues that concern today's youth from a Jewish perspective. Privacy, social media insults, cheating on exams, school violence, dating, LGBTQ orientations, are some of the topics the students will explore in this course. This will be a safe space for students to share their thoughts and beliefs, and also to study about Jewish ethics and the core values surrounding those issues.
In our Hebrew department, this year students will enjoy learning Hebrew in two methods. They can choose the “Ulpan” class where the emphasis is on Hebrew conversation and comprehension. Students will learn to manage short conversations in basic Hebrew, so that during their visit to Israel they can get along with a relevant vocabulary. The second method is Hebrew exposure through fun experiences. Initially Hebrew through various games (board games, cards, trivia quizzes and such), and later this year also Hebrew through music, Hebrew through food and more.
We are also planning some special Sunday programs, Shabbat and holidays’ schmoozing. We will keep you updated on those!
JTC staff are very excited and so happy for the new school year. We are working hard to prepare a meaningful experience to all students and families. Wishing every one Shana Tova U’Metuka!!!