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Hebrew High

This year, class will meet every other week on Monday evenings from 6:30 – 8:00 pm with Rabbi Mendelson.  At 6:30 pm, you will have the opportunity to hang out and have a light dinner, followed by class from 7:00-8:00 pm.

Wrestling with God

During class students will wrestle with questions concerning God. Whether it is the image of God that they have been taught, or believed since they were young children, or a new god-image they are beginning to develop as they learn more about the world around them, their religion and their own personal beliefs.

The focus of this course is not on defining God, but rather, defining each person’s image of their god. This God could be the God of the Torah or an entirely different concept of God. This is not a class where the students are taught to, but rather a class where the students teach with the instructor and each other. We can all learn from each other and our life experience will only be enriched by the ability to nurture open minds and open hearts.

B’reisheet—The Book of Genesis

As we explore the book of Genesis, students will develop personal connections with the biblical texts (the stories, the characters, and values) and will be encouraged and empowered to explore their own meanings for the text, recognizing the personal meaning and significance of their own interpretations, while integrating the insights of previous generations.


High School Service Trips

Every year, our high school students travel together to somewhere they can both learn and make difference. These trips happen on 4 year rotating schedule. 

Southeast Civil Rights Journey 

Theme: “For We Were Once Strangers in a Strange Land”

Participants will learn about the struggles of African Americans to gain equality in the 1950s & 60s as well as discover how Jews were involved in Civil Rights struggle. Participants will walk away understanding why Jews, as a people who have known oppression, must care and act when others are oppressed. The journey can include Atlanta, Montgomery, Selma and Birmingham. Visits include the site where Leo Frank was lynched, the Rosa Parks Museum, the Martin Luther King Center/Auburn Ave. district, Ebenezer Church, the Edmund Pettus Bridge, the Equal Justice Initiative, Freedom Park and Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the Names Project –AIDS Quilt.

Trip to New Orleans

The rich history and culture of the city of New Orleans, along with the continued rebuilding efforts that have followed Hurricane Katrina, give our students a unique opportunity to help a community in need.  While our congregation most often focuses its social action efforts right here in our neighborhood of Manorhaven, we also want our students to be able to see how the challenges of housing and homelessness are widespread. They will volunteer with an organization called “Youth Rebuilding New Orleans” in an area affected by Hurricane Katrina and will be helping with rebuilding efforts. They will also confront the issue of the effects of the environment on the city, working with an organization called Urban Garden.  Of course, we are thrilled that they will be celebrate Shabbat in New Orleans and we have made arrangements for them to be at Touro Synagogue, a synagogue that opened its doors in 1828 and was the first synagogue to open its doors outside of the 13 colonies.

Washington, DC--Religious Action Center (open to all of PJC’s 9th through 12th graders)

Are you ready to change the world? PJC’s high school students and senior youth group are participating in the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC)’s L’Taken Social Justice Seminar.  You will have the opportunity to impact our political process as you share your views on social justice topics with decision-makers on Capitol Hill. The program is designed to both expose you to a variety of public policy issues and explore the Jewish values that inform the Reform Movement’s advocacy around these issues.

By the end of the weekend, you will have the knowledge and tools to write an effective, persuasive and passionate speech on a topic of your choice to present when you visit the offices of your Senators and Representatives on the Monday of the program. Lobbying a Member of Congress is a unique experience that very few Americans take advantage of and one that can have a significant impact on the course of legislation. After meeting with students who have participated in the L’Taken Program, Members of Congress have chosen to co-sponsor, offer amendments to and vote for pieces of legislation that participants discussed.

Along with participants (approx. 250 high school students) from other Reform congregations around the country, we will also take advantage of the vast opportunities available in our nation’s Capitol by visiting the National Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Smithsonian National Mall and celebrating Havdallah at the Jefferson Memorial. And, all the while, you will have the chance to meet and mingle with Reform Jews from across the United States, all of whom are in D.C. for the same reason that you are—to pursue tikkun olam.

See the RAC’s Top Ten Reason’s to attend the L’Taken Seminar

Sun, 15 July 2018