What Is J Line?
Open to all teens in 8th-12th grade, regardless of affiliation or background
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Sunday, November 20 – February 5


9:00 a.m.

Teen Hebrew

Put On Your Yarmulke, It’s Time for Hanukkah: Jewish Humor, Part 1

Explore how Jewish humor has developed and adapted to fit the times from the 1960s to today, including stand-up comedy, movies, comedic writing, and Jewish humor on the Internet. Read and watch funny clips and jokes, while exploring the Jewish roots of famous comedians and the context in which they made their audience laugh. This class is a popular student favorite, taught by culture guru and veteran educator Barak Naveh.

10:20 a.m.
Teen Hebrew
“You Kind of Jump” – Short Stories to Leave You Wondering

“Writing a story is kind of like surfing, as opposed to the novel, where you use a GPS to get somewhere. With surfing, you kind of jump.” These words from Etgar Keret, one of Israel’s most famous short story writers, capture the feeling that a short story often leaves with you: like you’ve just run out of time. How does this unique medium capture the hearts and minds of Israelis and Jews? Read sad, funny, and poignant short stories that turn and turn the prism of Israel.

You Behind the Camera with Steeltown Entertainment Project

Steeltown Entertainment Project was launched in 2003 by community and civic leaders and Holllywood ex-pats living in Pittsburgh with the vision that this city has what it takes to become a world-class player in the entertainment industry. With 2 Steeltown teaching artists and Rabbi Ron Symons, explore the making of a movie behind the camera. Craft a unique story of Jewish Pittsburgh, completing the class with your own movie short.

Service Learning for J-Serve

Open to all teens. Engage with Jewish sources and learn about pressing issues in our community, and then plan and implement the educational components of J-Serve, the largest Jewish teen community service event of the year. How do we transform J-Serve from a one-day service experience to a day that truly leaves an impact? What is the “J” in J-Serve? Guided by Zack Block, Director of Repair the World Pittsburgh, a community organization that mobilizes thousands of young Jews in Pittsburgh each year to impact lives and neighborhoods in Pittsburgh.

11:20 Chugim –  New Programs Every Week!

See “Chugim” Tab Below for More Information


This year, every Sunday at 11:20, choose from a wide variety of creative program options, from discussions to ceramics to architecture – all through a Jewish lens. Except for Current Events, these options change every week.

Purchase “passes” to attend programs (chugim) as you go – single, 4-pass or 8 pass. (All passes expire at the end of each trimester; certain classes and programs require 2 passes, for special materials like ceramics.)

Show up and pay on Sunday morning, or register in advance.

Chugim are released one trimester at a time to reflect student feedback, and to incorporate ongoing community or current events throughout the year.

Single Pass
Four Pass
Eight Pass

*A chug is a circle – a Hebrew word that describes an activity based on shared interests, creating a “circle of people” around it.

View Winter Chugim

Madrichim Training: Certificate in Elementary Jewish Education

Are you working as a madrich/a in a religious school classroom this year? Participate in madrichim training, and earn a $100 stipend for your professional development!

Squirrel Hill Registration Form

Partners: Temple Sinai, Temple David, JJEP, Tree of Life/Or L’Simcha, Temple Emanuel, Beth El Congregation

Squirrel Hill Dates: October 23, November 13, December 11, January 22, February 26, March 26, April 23

(12:15 – 2:15 p.m., Squirrel Hill JCC)


South Hills Registration Form

Partners: Beth El Congregation & Temple Emanuel

South Hills Dates: November 6, December 4, January 22, March 5, April 2, May 7

(12:30 – 2:00 p.m., South Hills JCC)



Story About a Hill

A select group of 10 Jewish teens will be invited to participate in a powerful new cohort with teens from the nearby Hill District, a neighborhood still recovering from major economic downturn after the building of the Civic Arena there in the 1960s and formerly the home of the Jewish Community Center. This cohort will be launched to explore true, riveting stories about Jewish and African-American Pittsburgh, and the elders who tell them. Visit significant local neighborhoods, including the East End, East Liberty, Squirrel Hill, and the Hill District, and see local archives of Jewish and African-American history. Together, ask powerful questions: how do communities share space? How do communities change? Who tells those stories? How do we know another, and define ourselves?

Information Session: Tuesday, September 20 at 6:30 p.m. (Second Floor)






Persons Undertaking Solving Hunger (PUSH)

More than 174,000 individuals suffer from food insecurity in Allegheny County alone, including more than 41,000 children. How can you personally make a difference for hungry people in our community – with greater impact than donating canned food? With PUSH, alongside local experts, lobby local officials to support public policies changes that help those who are food insecure. Work in partnership with Just Harvest and the Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry; meet real local policymakers at the local, state and regional levels; and fight for change. Change the system from within – your voice is needed!






Text Study: Debating Ethics

Explore controversial ethical issues – from “should we separate conjoined twins” to “are we obligated to provide welfare” – by studying classical Jewish texts up close every other week.

(Dinner Provided, No Charge)

Race and Faith with Rabbi Ron Symons

Become a part of a better America by building bridges with others in our community.

With all of the national talk of America needing to unify beyond our race and faith differences, take the time to meet with community leaders across a variety of churches and a mosque in greater Pittsburgh. Learn about other religions by visiting them in person, and travelling to their place of worship. In between visits, explore these communities and discuss questions together over dinner.

Thursday Evenings, September 22 – November 10 from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.


For more information about any of these programs, please complete the request form at the bottom of this page.

Sunday Schedule
9:00 – 9:55 Hebrew and Jewish Experience Classes
9:55 – 10:20 Breakfast B’yachad: Eat and Schmooze
10:20 – 11:15 Hebrew and Jewish Experience Classes
11:20 – 12:15 Chugim

Register Here

Speak Hebrew Like an Israeli!


Blending Digital, One-on-One and Classroom-Based Learning at J Line

J Line Hebrew teens take Hebrew on Sunday morning (9:00 – 11:15, including a break for breakfast) and Wednesday evenings (6:30 – 7:30), at the JCC.

J Line Hebrew uses the NETA Hebrew curriculum of Hebrew College, a modern Hebrew curriculum designed specifically for teens.

Hebrew students learn in small classrooms, and also meet one-on-one with our Hebrew coordinator, Ronit Pasternak. All students receive 24-hour access to online games and learning.

New students are placed into the appropriate Hebrew level (1-4) by taking a placement test at the beginning of the year.

Students in Pittsburgh Public Schools can receive high school credit for J Line Hebrew!

Contact Our Hebrew Coordinator

Our Hebrew Curriculum – NETA


Meet our Hebrew teachers, below!

Hodaya Adeleye (Hebrew 1) – Coming Soon

Sigal Assouline (Hebrew 2) was born and raised in Haifa, Israel and served in the IDF in the Golan Heights. She has a degree from the College of Management Academic Studies in Rishon Litsiyon, Israel in Bookkeeping. She previously worked for Volvo before moving to Pittsburgh in 1997. Sigal just completed her NETA certification this summer, attending a 10-day conference in Boston, MA in Hebrew teacher training. Sigal has been teaching at J Line for four years, and also teaches at J-JEP, the religious school of Beth Shalom and Rodef Shalom.

Chaya Glass (Hebrew 3) is a native of Jerusalem, Israel. She studied Hebrew as a Second Language at the prestigious Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In addition to her experience as a Hebrew language teacher, she studied  Social Work at Yeshiva University in New York. She lives with her husband and two sons in Pittsburgh and enjoys swimming, dancing and traveling.

Manar Saria (Hebrew 4) grew up in Haifa, Israel in a culturally Muslim home. Manar is a water engineer currently in Pittsburgh on a Fulbright Scholarship. She is studying for her PhD at Carnegie Mellon University. Manar has experience in sustainable development, conflict resolution, peace-building, and environmental advocacy via promoting cooperation in the Holy Land. Manar speaks Arabic, Hebrew, English, and French and has teaching and language interpretation experience for over five years.


Contact Us

General Contact Form- Carolyn Gerecht

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