Teen Education


What is License to Chai?

Our License to Chai program is taught exclusively by Rabbi David Baum, with possible guest speakers, and is geared toward our teens from 8th grade to 10th (but 11-12th graders are welcome). The course runs on a three year rotation of learning centered around the famous quote from Hillel found in the Ethics of Our Fathers: “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now, when?” We focus on one aspect of the sentence each year. During our first year, we focused on issues facing individual teens, and last year, we focused on Tzedakah and Jewish social justice, embodying the quote, “If I am only for myself, what am I?” This year, our focus is on Israel as we answer the question, “if not now, when?”

Our class meets one Wednesday evening a month, and one Shabbat lunch a month (following Saturday morning services). The curriculum is from Jerusalem U and is called Step Up For Israel. The Step Up For Israel High School Mini-Course offers an opportunity to explore the State of Israel’s unique challenges, accomplishments and values—educating your students to think independently and critically, and inspiring them to form a relationship with Israel and their heritage.  

The goals of the course are to

  • Inspire students to form a relationship with Israel and their heritage
  • Present the complexity of the conflict and the context of current events
  • Spark conversations between students and their families and communities
  • Motivate students to Step Up on Israel’s behalf

The class includes watching many video clips/movies, coupled with rich and lively discussions.

Fri, July 28 2017 5 Av 5777