Hebrew High School Curriculum
The confirmation program of the Jewish Education Connection encompasses the high school years of eighth, ninth and tenth grades. Our three-year post-B’nai Mitzvah program is tailor-made for this budding young adult group. Our curriculum includes a mature and adult look at Jewish history, customs and ceremonies, lifecycle events, rites of passage, Jewish denominations (Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, etc.) and comparative religion. Students develop a basic understanding of Jewish theology and an adult understanding of the major themes of Jewish holidays. We also study, in depth, Jewish morals and ethics as they apply to the everyday behavior of adults, how one behaves as a Jew, and how to live as a morally-based person. Our exploration of the state of Israel focuses on reaching a political understanding.
Popular culture is interwoven within each of the class lessons to bring a sense of existential relevance to the topic at hand. For example, the movie “Perks of Being a Wallflower” is shown to portray realistically the conflicts associated with rites of passage. “Life of Pi” is another favorite of the class and serves as a reminder of the confluence of faiths. The movie “Denial” illustrates the Holocaust and those who would deny its existence.
Popular culture is also used to demonstrate certain important aspects of Jewish ethics and morals. The Taylor Swift song “Mean” is used to understand the antecedents and ramifications of bullying. The Pearl Jam song “Evolution” is a starting point to Judaism’s understanding of evolution.
The confirmation class tries to establish within each student a toolset to decode what students will face on their college campuses and afterwards. Guest speakers are brought in to confront such topics as anti-Semitism on the college campus and the U.S. political system.
The Jewish Education Connection is proud of how its confirmation program anchors our young adults in a grounded and relevant view of Judaism.