Sample Electives

Details of this year’s electives will be updated below as they are confirmed.

Time Traveling Jewish Kitchen

Explore Jewish history with cooking, simulations and music from 1500-present. Grind spices by hand to make Ugandan haroset; make rice pudding from Mumbai fit for a bar mitzvah!  Sculpt the Bread the of the Seven Heavens from Spain’s Golden Age. Try “Haman’s Ears” donuts from Greece. Along each stop, learn about Jewish life throughout different moments in history!

Tefillah Trainer

This Kadima elective teaches our students how to read and lead, while providing insight into the many features of a Tefillah service. The objective of this elective is to inspire confidence in our students as they enter any Synagogue, participate in any service and feel proud and confident to lead. Ideally, students will end up leading on of our Kulanu services!   

Betzalel’s Workshop

A key question for Jews today is how to connect viscerally, directly, and in an unmediated way with Jewish tradition. Reclaiming ritual objects is an avenue of creative expression that allows for unique resonance with traditional patterns and cycles. When a ritual object is ours, the ritual is ours. Especially when the object is made by the user, having handmade items with flaws and character flavors our religious expression. With our rituals we are asked to slow down, take notice, and God-willing, delight in our unique connection.

Is Recycling a Mitzvah?

In this course we will be jumping into deep waters: Judaism and the environment. In class each week we will discuss a different issue related to environment—pollution, animal rights, recycling, and delve into the ways that the Jewish tradition understands our responsibilities towards our planet. Students that care deeply about our world, animals, and people will enjoy this class.

Kulanu Band

In this class we will learn how to play prayers that are part of the BJ liturgical repertoire. We will discuss the religious, musical and cultural significance of the niggunim through explorations of textual and audio-visual sources. Students will then be prepared to participate in accompanying BJ’s services alongside the resident musicians and the BJ clergy. This course is suitable for students with more than one year of experience on their instrument and basic music reading skills, who are interested in learning more about the melodies and prayers of the BJ services. Any instrument is welcome!

People of the Comic Book

For this elective, students will get to see their Jewish experience realized through the exciting world of comic books. Taught by comic book artist Dov Smiley, Students will learn how to tell stories through art and words as we explore Jewish stories with a modern twist. This class will also include looks at the students’ favorite superhero characters as we find ways that they share the values with the stories from Jewish History. Great for anyone who wants to learn the ways to express their creative storytelling experience in both art and writing.

Jews News

Welcome to Jews News, the only news source for all of your favorite Jewish stories! Each week we will read and discuss a story from Jewish texts such as the weekly Torah portion, and then we  will write, record, and produce our own news stories. If you’ve ever wanted to be a writer, director, or news reporter, this elective is for you!

Beyond Tradition

Places, everybody! It’s time to use drama exercises and improv games to explore some of your favorite Torah stories. We’ll use theater and storytelling to think together about what being Jewish means to us, and, at the end of the trimester, we’ll make our own creative theater piece as a class!