9th Grade Classes

Freshman First Bell

Interfaith Dialogue & Understanding
Samara Katz
Religious diversity, along with conversations of religious belonging, pluralism, and inclusion, have become an increasingly fraught topic in American public discourse. This unique class will include dialogue with different faith leaders and provide opportunities for direct dialogue with Teens across various faiths. We will explore what different sects of Judaism and other faiths say about birth, afterlife, and marriage. Interfaith dialogue is not intended to be a debate; it is aimed at achieving mutual understanding. Students should be prepared to listen to others and participate in 2 field trips on October 30 and November 20. This class is taught in conjunction with Kids4Peace.

Part of the Scene: The Jew in the Theater
Donald Washington & Jennifer Clark
In this hands-on course, students will act out scenes and monologues from classical Jewish theater as well as shows not considered "Jewish". In addition to honing acting skills, students will have the opportunity to learn about the role of Jews in theater - behind and in front of the curtain.

Kabalah Yoga
Dianne Benmayor
Kabalah yoga is practiced by moving our bodies into the sacred shapes of the Hebrew alphabet that correspond with a yoga asana (posture) experiencing the essence of each letter, putting them together to create a flow of movement through spelling our names and other meaningful words from our ancient language. "We will embody the hidden power of the sacred Hebrew letters." Kabalah Yoga is based on the book by Audi Gozlan, RYT. Please wear comfortable clothing to move in (no jeans), bring a water bottle. Matts provided. This section is open to 9 & 10th graders. Priority given to those who have not yet taken Yoga at Shelanu.

Teva: Judaism that is down to earth
Madeline Budman
Note this class is 90 mins and covers both elective blocks
Jewish practice is deeply rooted in teva, the Hebrew word for nature. Ancient Jews marked their lives according to the moons and seasons; they prayed for rain and gave offerings of the first fruits of their harvest; they slept under the stars and marked the winter solstice. Today, even though we're no longer in the desert, we can weave Judaism and the natural world together, just like our ancestors did. Together, we'll explore topics at the intersection of Judaism and nature such as Jewish food practices, self-care and skincare, hiking and mindfulness, climate change and environmental justice, fast fashion, and more. We will get our hands dirty, sample fresh foods, and explore our connection to nature in a tangible, 21st-century way.

This class will be 90 minutes, and there fore is the only elective you can take this fall as it covers both elective blocks. This class will incorporate multiple field trips, parents and teens should be available to drive to new locations on some weeks and be in communication with instructor throughout the semester.

Freshman Second Bell

Jewish Improv
Rabbi Goodman and Donald Washington
This course will provide a fun and supportive environment for Teens to learn the basics of improvisational acting and storytelling and the overlap between improv and Judaism. Unlock their creative voice, learn to work collaboratively with others and discover new aspects of Judaism. No previous experience needed!

Women in the text
Rabbi Kahan
The Torah of our matriarchs and heroines. The Talmud of human rights and personal autonomy. The sacred texts of gender and sexuality. Dig deep into Jewish writings to discover women's voices, question authority, and wrestle with Judaism's wisdom – and sometimes ignorance – on topics that today are more important than ever!

MakerSpace: Jewish Art
Samara Katz
Jews use art as a form of expression. Explore the overlap of Jewish ritual and art in this hands-on course. Students will learn the skills and techniques to create Judaica through both conventional and unconventional materials. No art experience required.

Israel at 75
Meet each week with the Chaverim (Friends) M'Israel -- your peers from Israel. You will discuss all the realities of Israel. What's happening now in Israel. Understand the politics. Understand the music. Discuss the top foods, fashion, art, culture, top news stories each week, and learn from Israelis who are (almost) your age. This is the class where you can find out everything you ever needed to prepare for visiting Israel. And make great friends... from


Register HERE