Sacred Mind and Body: Jewish Bioethics
Dr. Jeffrey Perkins
Bioethics is the philosophical study of the ethical controversies brought about by advances in biology and medicine. Bioethicists are concerned with the ethical questions that arise in the relationships among life sciences, biotechnology, medicine, politics, law, philosophy, and theology. This class will explore the Jewish perspective on bioethics, and how Judaism responds to controversies surrounding contemporary issues facing Jewish youth and families. Some topics for discussion will include end-of life choices, death and dying, genetic testing, stem cell research, and a multitude of other dilemmas. The course promises to be intellectually stimulating, challenging, and will allow a forum for interactive discussion and
The First Amendment of the US Constitution guarantees Americans the right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Like attorneys, lobbyists exercise this right on behalf of their clients on Capitol Hill and in statehouses across the country. They have many different forms of services, including watching legislation that is of interest to your community, drafting legislation, finding elected officials to sponsor a bill and the tricky one--making sure the bill that you want to pass sails through. This course offers students the opportunity to meet lobbyists and learn from advocacy experts on healthcare, labor regulations, the environment, Israel, and today's hottest topics. Join this class to gain a greater understanding of civic engagement and to actively participate in enacting change for a cause!
Right Outside Israel's Backyard: The Modern Middle East
It is said that in real estate, it's all about "location, location, location." When it comes to Israel and its relationship with its neighbors, chances are there will be no invitation to a community barbecue in the foreseeable future. This class will provide students with an understanding of the extremely complicated neighborhood right behind Israel's "picket fence" (okay, its security wall and heavily defended borders). We will focus our review of some of Israel's most important neighbors, their current political/military status and implications for both the US and Israel. We will consider, evaluate and discuss recent history and current events in the West Bank and Gaza and in such countries as Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Iran.
What's Nu, Part Tu
A discussion-based forum for our students to review current events of importance and interest to us as Jews and as American high school students. As you can imagine, it is never possible to predict what situations will arise through the United States, Israel and the world in the next few months that will have an impact on us. However, it's likely a partial list of subjects we will discuss could include the build-up for the 2016 US Presidential campaign (parents, sit down, but a number of your teenagers will be able to vote in it!), last ditch efforts to pursue aging Nazi war criminals, efforts by Spain to woo Jews to return 500 years after their forcible expulsion and the resurgence of far-right wing political parties in Europe.
King David in Pshat and Drash
Though we know him mainly as a tzaddik, or righteous person, in kids' books, King David is one of the most enigmatic and interesting characters in Tanach, the Hebrew Bible. In this course, we will meet him and the array of characters surrounding him through the texts of the books of Shmuel (Samuel) and Melachim (Kings). In addition to conducting close readings of the original Biblical texts, we will examine rabbinic and later interpretations of David and his character, giving students a chance to be exposed both to methods of reading rabbinic text and to the evolution of rabbinic interpretations. Hebrew and a background in Tanach is useful but by no means required; the course will be accessible to all.
A Taste of Hebrew
Do you ever watch Chopped and think, “I could do that!”? Do you love to cook or want to learn how? Here's your chance to create delicious recipes while simultaneously learning Hebrew. In this class, the students will explore, prepare, and eat Israeli foods representing different ethnic culinary customs. Each session is conducted in English and Hebrew, and includes vocabulary words and a history lesson related to each recipe. Participants will learn about Ashkenazi and Sephardic community cultures and their different styles of cooking.
Being Jewish - What's Art Got To Do With It?
Jewish art provides us with a rich tradition of images, ritual objects, architectural styles, and text-themed creations. Come learn about, interpret, and create art based on the well-known Jewish artists Marc Chagall and Yaacov Agam. Both artists have unique and interesting styles; Chagall’s fantasy like images and stained glass windows of the twelve tribes, and Agam’s kinetic art in action, including his “two pictures in one.” To further explore traditional Jewish art, we will learn about and create paper cuts based on a biblical or liturgical theme.