J Line South Hills

Temple Emanuel, Beth El Congregation, South Hills Jewish Pittsburgh and the JCC are bringing the very best opportunities for Jewish Teen Engagement to the South Hills. Together, we are excited to bring Judaism to life in a way that is relevant, enriching and worthwhile to the teens in South Hills.

We recognize that the teenage years are an important time, and we aim to make Jewish values ‘front row and center’ in a way that speaks to teens in today’s world.  We have crafted unique and enriching learning opportunities for teens to dig deeper with the same J Line learning values we have used in the past.

Throughout their experience, South Hills Jewish teens will be encouraged to ask and be challenged by these questions:

  • Who am I?
  • With whom and what am I connected?
  • To whom and for what am I responsible in this world?
  • How can I bring about change in this world?


Register for Spring Trimester!
Click here for J Line South Hills Program Guide



February 26
March 5, 12, 19
April 9, 23,30


HOUR 1: 6:30–7:15 PM

[email protected]! Grades 8-9

70 years ago on May 14, 1948, after 2,000 years of exile, the Jewish People were able to establish the modern State of Israel! Ever since then, Israel has been at the center of Jewish identity and world conversation. Join us in exploration of the great accomplishments Israel has achieved and the great challenges Israel has met. Lastly, we will look to the future and explore what might be for Israel in the decades to come.
Barak Naveh


Whose God Is It Anyway? Grades 8-9

Is God an old guy with a long beard? Does God have a gender? Is there a God at all? We will use meditation and reflection, renewal and spiritual techniques to uncover what we might believe about God and how those beliefs might actually affect our lives.
Rabbi Jessica Locketz


Confirmation: Grade 10

How have the teachings of Judaism shaped Jewish minds, hearts and souls for the past 3,000 years? Judaism is explored as “The Wisdom of The Ages”, “The Mysteries of The Universe”, “The Secrets of Existence” and “The Key to Goodness, Happiness and Holiness”. Teens explore Rabbi Joseph Telushkin’s book, Jewish Literacy, and celebrate their successful completion of the course with Confirmation on Shavuot.
Rabbis Mark Mahler and Alex Greenbaum

Hour 2: 7:30–8:15 PM
February, 26
March 5, 12, 19


Breaking Bread
Learn all about Kashrut and prepare yummy Jewish food for Purim and Passover. Learn different cooking techniques and what role food places in Jewish life.   Get ready to cook and eat.

A Jewish Thing Happened on the Way To The Theater:
For those who love theater, there is nothing better than a story told in song. Broadway musicals make us laugh and cry, sing and dance. Many themes of Broadway musicals are also the themes of everyday life that are reflected in Jewish values. We will listen and sing, discuss and uncover as we make our way to the theater.
Rabbi Alex Greenbaum


Café Aroma
How can young Israelis afford the rising cost of housing in Israel, or the decline in social services like health and
education? Should the Ultra-Orthodox be exempt from serving in the military? Should there be mandatory service in the military at all? Explore the hottest topics today for someone living in Israel. When Israelis sit down for coffee with friends, what do they debate about?
Barak Naveh

Hour 2: 7:30–8:15 PM
April 9, 23, 30

Jewish Taboo: Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll

What else needs to be said? Can Jews? Should Jews? Would Jews? Rabbi Alex will challenge your assumptions and help you explore the shouldas, wouldas, and couldas of Jewish living.
Rabbi Alex Greenbaum

SHIM – Neighbors helping Neighbors
Born nearly fifty years ago as South Hills Interfaith Ministries
by, no kidding, a priest, a rabbi and a minister, SHIM has been
providing food, clothing and services to Southern Pittsburgh
residents in need. This class will introduce you to the vast array of SHIM’s work and the Jewish values that motivate us to get involved.
Rabbi Jessica Locketz

Current Events
If you only read the headlines, you might not know what to
think of the 24 hour news that comes our way. This is a weekly opportunity to go a little bit deeper as you explore the issues with a Jewish lens. You pick the headline and your instructor will help you make sense of it through respectful conversation that brings lots of voices to the table.
Barak Naveh


Game Night
Games like Cards Against Humanity, Settlers of Catan,
Monopoly and The Game of Life have provided countless
hours of hilarious
entertainment. But these games can also tell us a lot about how we understand the world around us. Living on Boardwalk: $400; Living on Baltic Avenue: $60. How are
these prices determined? Is it fair? Where would you want to live? Moving out of the shadow of political correctness: Is it okay to poke fun at sensitive subjects? When are we allowed to laugh or when should we take it seriously? Is it ethical? Play the games and explore these questions and more!


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

South Hills Partners: Beth El Congregation & Temple Emanuel. Dates to follow. 

Connecting Communities with the Hill District

Get to know teens and history from Pittsburgh’s Hill District!

Once every other week from February to April, hang out with teens living in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, a predominantly African-American neighborhood which used to be the nucleus of the Jewish community in Pittsburgh. We’ll also spend time exploring the archives of both Jewish and African-American history in the Hill District at Heinz History Center, and tour buildings which have been used by both communities over the years for different purposes. What is our shared connection to these same streets? What is our connection to each other?

Dates To Follow

Learn More by contacting Hannah Kalson
[email protected] 412-339-5400

HaZamir Pittsburgh
J-Serve Pittsburgh
Teen Leadership Council

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

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