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Chai school favorite memories from 2018/19

I have multiple favorite memories from this year. One of the most memorable was the superhero themed shul in. We watched multiple movies and played a social action game where we all made our own superheroes. Another favorite memory from Chai School was the film class with Max. We looked at different films and even watched episodes of Rugrats. It was really cool to see how Judaism was portrayed in the cartoon and learn about its importance. I’m sad that I’m graduating this year and I’m going to miss you all, but I’m excited to continue my Jewish journey in college. - S.W.
Being a Madrich this year was amazing. I remember being in 3rd grade and I drove my Madrichim crazy. Anyways, this year was a good experience for me, all of the children learning Hebrew. Well, let’s just say it went exactly as I thought. I remember this one time where I was helping out in a Hebrew class. All of the kids were screaming about Fortnite or whatever was relevant at the time. I remember making this pretty mature statement. I said “If you guys don’t pay attention now, how will you be ready for your Bar and Bat mitzvahs?” The whole class just looked at me and realized I meant business. I felt like a real role model. I also remember that’s the same thing my Madrichim did for me. It feels nice to pass it on and I look forward to being a Madrich next year. - E.A.
My favorite Hebrew School memory this year was watching School Ties during Max’s Judaism in film class. The movie is about a Jewish student in a Catholic private school, and the trouble he faces as people discover his true religion. The main theme is being true to yourself and being honorable. We had watched this film a few years ago in a similar class and it didn’t really stick with me. However, after re-watching it this year, now a senior in high school about to graduate, it really has an impact. Many parts of the film were relatable as a Jewish student who doesn’t have many other Jewish students around him. All in all, this year was an excellent conclusion to a long journey through my Jewish youth, and I can’t wait to move into the next phase of my life, taking what I’ve learned with me. - J.Z.
BAFTY was an experience I could have never imagined. I learned about working with others and leadership in BAFTY. We also never had a meeting that didn’t end in us laughing. My favorite memory was all of us talking about our Hogwarts houses. This led to us making half of the group take the Pottermore quiz on the spot. Although we all knew everyone who we were making take the test was a Hufflepuff, we needed them to take it. It turns out none of them were officially Hufflepuffs. The whole room started yelling about how it was wrong before anyone realized no one was arguing that fact. I’ll always remember laughing with the friends I made in BAFTY, especially whenever I see anything Harry Potter. – N.B.
This year in Hebrew school we did an assortment of fun activities. One of my favorites in particular was the super hero program at the shul-in that BAFTY ran. We had lots of fun activities such as scavenger hunts movies and lots more. This is my favorite event every year and I can’t wait for another year of tons of fun activities! – L.U.
My favorite memory was during the shul in. My group was tired and trying to find all of the superhero villains so we could go to the next activity. When everything was done and we were watching movies and eating candy trying to stay awake. – S.S.
One memory that I have from this year that will definitely stick with me is when we watched School Ties, a movie about a Jewish teenager who moves away to a Christian boarding school for football – you can tell where this is going. Not only was it a really good movie, but it also brought me back to a time I wish I could have experienced, even with its flaws. What I learned was that the Jewish people as well as America have come a long way when it comes to anti-Semitism, but there is still a whole lot of work to be done. – K.M.
I remember when we discussed reasons why some might become vegetarians. We separated ourselves into a few groups like “because life is valuable” and “for the environment.” Although I am not a vegetarian and eat meat quite often, this really made me think. I remember thinking that all of the sides had really interesting arguments. Then, once everyone shared why they chose their sides, we finished up and went home. At my house, I thought about it a lot. Although I am still not a vegetarian, I value my food more than I did before and respect vegetarians more than I already did. This is only one of the many amazing lessons and experiences that I have had with this spectacular group. - J.E.
This year was the first time I got to teach and substitute in classes in the religious school. I got to teach many prayers to both 3rd graders and 5th graders, even though my 5th grade class had one student. I also got to have in depth discussions with the entire 6th grade and Chai School. Anyway, I had a great time getting to talk and teach many of our younger temple members. It was a fun and stressful experience but it was also a learning one. - M.B.
My favorite memory from this past year is all of the amazing fun I had being the president of BAFTY. I love my youth group friends so so so much. One of the best memories is when we had a superhero shul-in and Josh made a giant math equation with superhero and villain faces equaling numeric values and we spent a solid 25 minutes trying to solve it, just for the problem to turn out wrong in the end. We all laughed about it for so long because it was almost midnight and we all had a sugar high from the amount of candy we had. I also loved running meetings every week and starting every meeting asking for a highlight, lowlight and BAFTY vibe. Usually, this ended with lame tangents and us all yelling about Harry Potter houses and how I was the only Slytherin in the group. In the end, Buchwald always kept us on task and running smoothly. I love all my BAFTY friends so much and I’m gonna miss y’all next year when I’m in college!! – K.T.

Chai school favorite memories from 2016/17

I have many great memories of Chai School from this past year. One of my favorite classes was the Jewish College Search class with Max. I really enjoyed this class because I was able to get a better sense of what being Jewish in college is like. During this class Jewish students in college from our temple came and talked to us about what their lives were like. We spoke about joining Hillel and how you can celebrate holidays while you're there. This was important to me because as a sophomore I am currently going through the college process. Another class I enjoyed was the Eating With Holiness and Justice with Cantor Jamie. During this class I learned a lot about being kosher that I never knew before. This was interesting to me because I have cousins who are kosher and I got to learn a little more about their lifestyles. Chai School this year was great and I can't wait for next year! - S.W.
One of my favorite Jewish memories this year was at NFTY Spring Kallah. At the second dinner on Saturday night, me and my friends from the past couple of Kallot all sat together and enjoyed our lasagna when I just had gluten free pasta. We talked about school stuff and our upcoming tests. It just felt good belonging to a Jewish group.
My most memorable moment of the Chai School year was the shul-in. We first had a general board meeting was good because we got to vote on Kahoot. Then we had a Chanukah party. The food was good and I got some useful presents. Then we had stations for the shul-in. I ran one where I read Green Eggs and Ham and led a discussion. The funniest part was when I was able to act it out with “R”with one group. Eventually, my best friend “A” came. We eventually finished the activities and got our sleeping bags out. The movie was boring for me and A so we, and a couple of boys, went to the other room to play cards (mostly Prez). We were loud but it was fun. Someone took a lot of candy which caused “F” to get a sugar rush. By the time we were finished the movie was over. We started watching Remember The Titans for the second time but I eventually fell asleep. It was fun and I hope that we have another shul-in next year. – M.M.
 I have learned some things over my first year at chai school. One of them is that you should learn a lot, but at the same time, you should have fun doing it. As an example, in the film class with Max. We watched fiddler on the roof, which really showed how life was back then, and it was really fun listening to the songs. Another thing I learned is that some foods that you think aren't kosher, actually are. For an example, the kosher Food class we had with cantor Jamie really put a perspective on what I though was kosher and not kosher. I didn't believe chocolate was kosher. I knew that for foods that are kosher, they have a specified origin. I thought that chocolate was unspecified. I also know now that if it is kosher, it will most likely have a symbol saying so. All in all, this was a great year, and I am glad to be a participant in this program.- A.S.
My favorite memory from this year was the Hanukkah party. I enjoyed seeing people come together and play games regardless of whether they are friends or not, this just goes to show how Judaism brings people together. Another way Judaism brings people together is our Temple Youth Group – BAFTY. This year I was the membership co-chair. Part of my job was bringing people together during activities. I wouldn’t trade anything for seeing the smiles on people’s faces – L.U.
My favorite thing about religious school / the chai school program is the connection it has brought me with my peers in this temple and outside it in programs such as NFTY. NFTY has brought me amazing connections with some of my best friends that I wouldn't know otherwise. Every year I look forward to fall and spring kallah when I can see them for the weekend. I have formed bonds unlike the ones I have with other friends simply because we have an already made connection to Judaism. Anywhere you go in the world you will probably be able to find some sort of connection with someone just because you both have Judaism in your hearts and that's a very special and comforting thing to me R. E.

My favorite memory from Chai School was the visions and dreams class. Really, every day of that class was fun but my favorite was the last day when we interpreted Ezekiel’s dream. This dream was said to be uninterpretable. The dream consisted of 4 angels coming down with all different animal faces in an extremely convoluted chariot. I was told to read the excerpt and while that was happening, Joshua was making noises in the background according to what was going on in the story. Overall it was just a very fun class. – R.D.
My favorite class during my Chai School experience was the Jewish Film class. We watched Fiddler on the Roof, and I was so excited because I've never seen it before and I had always wanted to see the movie. Not only was I entertained by the story itself, but I was also amused by the music! I've heard of the songs, but never really listened to them fully, so I was glad to finally listen to some fun, Jewish songs. In addition, I enjoyed the movie because it reminded me of my family in Israel, as well as the beautiful scenery. Overall, it felt really good to be watching a movie on Jewish culture with my Jewish friends from synagogue. – K.D.
My favorite part of Chai School was when I had a session with the rabbi about Buddhism and Jewish mysticism. I really liked that particular session because it had a lot to do with psychology and the world around us. And its cool knowing how other people think in other religions. – A.O.
This year, my favorite Jewish memory was the Jewish college search class. It was a small class of 3 students and Max was the teacher. I learned so much from the class about how Judaism and college are so closely related. During the classes, we had interesting discussions and did many fun activities to help us learn even more about Judaism and college. The thing that stood out most to me during our discussions was Hillel. The idea of a Jewish community in college made me feel like I have an opportunity to continue my Jewish journey into college. – J.Z.
The visions and dreams class was an awesome experience for me. We explored the dreams of Jacob, as well as Joseph. One of the coolest parts was when I was able to find the deeper meaning of my own dreams. We did an activity where we recited the first word that came to our mind when we heard another word, and this was continuous. After a while, this would lead me to the true meaning of my dreams. This class challenged me to extensively rethink things that I thought I understood. - J.K.
My favorite class was the Jewish college class. This is because people from Jewish colleges came to visit the temple and tell us what it was like in the college with a lot of Jewish people. They also allowed us to ask questions. I discovered a lot of things that would be positive and negative about being in a Jewish college. The positive things are being able to relate to other people about the Jewish culture. The negative things are protests or the BDS movement against Israel. – J.K.
Throughout my first year at Chai School, I have had many memorable moments. For starters, I have done something new and tried out for a position on the BAFTY board. I have also connected further with my friends who are Madrichim. My friends and I can work together and solve problems, which brings us closer. It has been a great year and I hope to make some more memories next year. – M.F.
This year's Chai School was very eventful for me. One great experience I had was talking about the Jewish College Search. This was when we spoke about how to maintain Judaism in college, past high school, taking it with us and being proud of who we are. Also, another thing that meant alot to me, this year at the temple, was my Eagle Scout Project. – R.M.
This year I had the pleasure of helping run a Chanukah Party and Shul in, or sleep over, for our temple’s youth group. We had decided to try hosting it as an event that was open to non-members, and therefore, people of different faiths. Our Religious and Cultural Vice President put together an amazing, flashlight lit, Havdallah service which had religious and secular aspects. It was inclusive of all the people there, even if they weren't Jewish. As I helped lead the participants in prayer and song, I was overcome with joy. Watching everyone get something meaningful out of the service, despite their differences, was beautiful. – J.T.

Chai School Teaches Torah

In the fall, Cantor Jamie taught a Chai School class called Torah Corps.  The idea was to enable our teens to deliver divrei Torah – teachings about the Torah – to the congregation on Friday nights.
We have had three groups give their presentations so far.  Maci and Stacey G. , pictured on the left, explored the testing of Abraham through an interactive exploration of the tensions between our faith and our love of family. 
Maia and Jacob Z. gave a traditional d'var Torah where they explored Jacob's inner struggle and related it to the struggles that modern day teens face in the development of their identities and their interaction with high school society.
Rachel E. and Josh Z. did a creative social-media-themed presentation of Joseph's inner thoughts as he traveled on his journey from slave to great leader of Egypt.  Our final presentation was given by Julia who spoke about environmental justice and the connection between freedom and the safety and security of our physical environment.
The congregation has been very receptive to these presentations and has seemed genuinely happy to hear from our teens.  They have been incredibly thoughtful teachings with a fresh perspective
Sun, July 14 2024 8 Tammuz 5784