What Is J Line?

Open to all teens in 8th-12th grade, regardless of affiliation or background

 

Click here to view the complete J Line program guide.

 

Register for 9:00, 10:20, or both – all classes are “a la carte.”
9:00 – 9:55 am

9:00 a.m.

Teen Hebrew
Hebrew at J Line blends online, classroom-based and one-on one learning in a rigorous but welcoming setting.  Are you eager to brush up on your Hebrew skills, or maybe even finally learn to read and write in Hebrew? Even earn High School Credit with Pittsburgh Public Schools for taking this course!
8th-12th grade

 

The Six-Day War: Fifty Years Later
Fifty years ago, in June of 1967, Israel was at war with Egypt, Jordan, and Syria for six days. What happened during those six days? What was the outcome of the war? What were its origins? Learn about one of the major turning points in Israel’s history, during its 50th anniversary year, with veteran J Line teacher Barak Naveh.
Barak Naveh
[email protected]

Can I Tell You a Story?
Storytelling has always been a favorite pastime of the Jewish people. All the stories from our history, dating to the Talmud, hold meaning and wisdom to this day. Explore some of these stories, discuss how the Talmud tackles everything from friendship and romance to leadership and power, and think about how these ancient stories can guide us in decision making, values exploration, and creating meaningful lives.
Rabbi Danielle Leshaw
[email protected]

9:55-10:20 AM – Breakfast B’yachad (Eat and Schmooze)

 

10:20 – 11: 15 AM

Teen Hebrew
Hebrew at J Line blends online, classroom-based and one-on one learning in a rigorous but welcoming setting.  Are you eager to brush up on your Hebrew skills, or maybe even finally learn to read and write in Hebrew? Even earn High School Credit with Pittsburgh Public Schools for taking this course!
8th-12th grade

Jewish Sitcoms in America

Jewish characters and humor have been part of American sitcoms for decades. What makes a show Jewish, and what Jewish stories are these show telling? Do we see ourselves in them? And what is a holiday armadillo? Watch classic American sitcoms from “Friends” to “Will & Grace”, from “The Goldbergs” to “The Simpsons”, and take a new look at the Jewish flavor of some of TV’s funniest moments.

Barak Naveh
[email protected]

 

City of Bridges: Refugees, Immigrants, and Yinzers
With all of the political banter about immigrants and refugees being allowed into America or being kept out, where does Pittsburgh stand on the issue?  We will explore the role immigrants and refugees have played and continue to play in our city of bridges while reflecting on the Jewish values that might clarify the tension between being welcoming and protecting ourselves.  Our guest speakers will include immigrants and refugees along with those who have helped them settle in Pittsburgh.
Lead by Rabbi Ron Symons
[email protected]

Click here to register for fall programs.

To register on Online Edge: Select branch-> Department-> Children, Youth, and Family-> Teens

11:20 a.m. Chugim –  New Programs Every Week!
See “Chugim” Tab Below for More Information

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.

September 10

Cooking with Casey Weiss

Get ready for Rosh Hashanah with a dive into the delicious world of Jewish holiday cooking. Bring your appetite!

Can You Give Me a Hand?

What do you do when a friend is struggling with a mental health crisis, or going through a rough patch? Explore the hot topic of mental health and wellness, including stigma, self-care, and supporting loved ones.

Current Events with Barak Naveh

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.  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.  You will learn how to understand then be understood as you explore the issues of today with a Jewish lens.

September 17

Women of the Wall

Millions of people visit the Western Wall in Jerusalem each year. Since 1988, the organization Women of the Wall has been advocating for the rights of women to pray, read from the Torah, and wear prayer shawls at this holy site. Who gets to pray at the Western Wall – and who decides? Hear a debate between people from both sides of the aisle.

Garage Band

Bring an instrument or just your voice! Come jam along with friends and learn some new songs. Teens are encouraged to attend both sessions.

Current Events with Barak Naveh

October 1

Cooking with Casey Weiss

Sukkot is a time to feast, so let’s get warmed up for the holiday with some cooking – and eating!

Garage Band

Bring an instrument or just your voice! Come jam along with friends and learn some new songs. Teens are encouraged to attend both sessions.

Current Events with Barak Naveh

October 8

The Hierarchy of Oppression with Dr. Avigail Oren

“Intersectionality” is a major buzz word right now, but what does it mean for us as Jews? Discuss the relationships between Jews and other minority groups and how to navigate intersectionality in pursuit of shared goals. Teens are encouraged to attend all three sessions.

Inside Israel

We hear a lot about Israel’s relationships with the countries that surround it – what about what’s going on within the Israeli community? Come learn and talk about some of the big questions and concerns among Israelis, from LGBTQ rights to Israeli citizenship, with some of the Diller Teen Fellows – who just had a summer in Israel!

Current Events with Barak Naveh

October 15

Cooking with Casey Weiss

Even when Simchat Torah is over, we’re still relishing the joy, fun, and sweetness of the celebration. Round out the end of the fall holidays with some delicious cooking. Come hungry!

Dive into the delicious world of Jewish cooking, and explore how food connects to other facets of Jewish life. Bring your appetite!

The Hierarchy of Oppression with Dr. Avigail Oren

“Intersectionality” is a major buzz word right now, but what does it mean for us as Jews? Discuss the relationships between Jews and other minority groups and how to navigate intersectionality in pursuit of shared goals. Teens are encouraged to attend all three sessions.

Current Events with Barak Naveh

October 22

The Hierarchy of Oppression with Dr. Avigail Oren

“Intersectionality” is a major buzz word right now, but what does it mean for us as Jews? Discuss the relationships between Jews and other minority groups and how to navigate intersectionality in pursuit of shared goals. Teens are encouraged to attend all three sessions.

Hamiltorah: Hamilton as Midrash with Sara Stock Mayo

When Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote Hamilton, he did something that Jewish scholars have been doing with the Talmud for centuries. He put a new spin on an old story and created a midrash. Explore the music and important moments of Hamilton alongside Jewish stories and values – and be ready for some sing-alongs! Teens are encouraged to attend both sessions.

Current Events with Barak Naveh

October 29

From Cancer to Champion

CC Champions matches kids with cancer with inspirational role models who help them connect with their passions and dreams – everything from cooking to sports to being a nurse. Chat with CC Champions founder Sidney Kushner about the work that they do and sharing your passions with others.

Hamiltorah: Hamilton as Midrash with Sara Stock Mayo

When Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote Hamilton, he did something that Jewish scholars have been doing with the Talmud for centuries. He put a new spin on an old story and created a midrash. Explore the music and important moments of Hamilton alongside Jewish stories and values – and be ready for some sing-alongs! Teens are encouraged to attend both sessions.

Current Events with Barak Naveh

November 5

Exploring Race in the Pittsburgh Public Schools

The student body that makes up all the Pittsburgh Public Schools is a reflection of the racial diversity of our whole city. But what role does race play in education – especially when it comes to biases or challenges? Let’s talk about issues of race in school and think about what YOU can do to bring about change and work toward a more just and equal education experience.

Camp Out! with Andrew Exler

Is going to camp your favorite thing about summer? Get a taste of camp during the year! Have some summer in November with camp-inspired activities and fun with Andrew Exler.

Current Events with Barak Naveh 

Purchase “passes” to attend programs (chugim) as you go – single, 4-pass or 8-pass. (All passes expire at the end of each trimester.)

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

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?

Learn More by contacting Stephanie Aaronson , [email protected]

 

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

Register Here

Speak Hebrew Like an Israeli!

(Well…almost.)

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!

Rabbi Danielle Leshaw

Rabbi Danielle Leshaw is a Senior Educator for Hillel International.

Barak Naveh

Mr. Naveh has been teaching at J-Line (formerly SAJS) for 17 years where he has been able to explore Jewish history, politics, humor, literature and art with many wonderful students throughout the Pittsburgh Jewish community.  He is also a proud 23-year veteran of the Pittsburgh Public Schools and currently teaches history at the Obama Academy in the IB program.

Mr. Naveh enjoys reading, stand-up comedy, listening to music, playing the violin, and the Pittsburgh Pirates.  He especially loves sharing these passions, and more, with his wife, Lisa, and his two children, Gabriella and Abigail.

Dr. Avigail Oren

Avigail Oren recently received her Ph.D. in History from Carnegie Mellon University. She studies the lives of American Jews after WWII, and is working on a book about the history of Jewish Community Centers. When she’s not hard at work writing or teaching, Avigail enjoys both high- and low-brow television programming, reading new non-fiction, and practicing yoga.

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.

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

Hannah Kalson

Director of Teen Engagement & Experiences

412-339-5400

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