What Is J Line?

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

 

Register now for J Line Spring Trimester, February 4-April 29!


Click here to view the complete J Line program guide
.

 

 

9:00-9:55 AM

Modern Hebrew
SNL
Saturday Night Live has been making people laugh for decades. The show boasts a Jewish creator, Jewish writers and cast members, and plenty of Jewish material. But what is a Jewish joke, who can make it, and what impact does it have on us as Jews? Dive into the vast world of skits, songs, and reactions that make up Jewish SNL.
Barak Naveh.

The Climate Reality Project
We have a problem. Our world is getting hotter. Our glaciers are melting. Our weather is getting less stable…..

What shall we do about it?

Rabbi Ron Symons was trained by Vice President Al Gore as a Climate Reality Leader and wants to share what he learned with you as we figure out solutions together to impact our corner of the world right here.  That’s right, we will create solutions that we can implement at home and in the community.

We will use video and internet, current events and politics, Jewish values and good common sense to uncover the path forward.
Rabbi Ron Symons

 

9:55-10:20 AM – Breakfast B’yachad (eat and schmooze)

 

10:20-11:15 AM

Modern Hebrew

Jewish Short Stories
“Art is too long and life is too short,” said Jewish-American writer Grace Paley when asked why she hadn’t published more works or any novels. Instead, she wrote poetry and a number of collections of short stories, a favorite medium of many Jewish authors. Read short stories from across genres and explore what these writers are able to say and how they are able to affect the Jewish community in so few pages. Barak Naveh.


Taking the Lead
Whether you’re a youth group member, an aspiring camp counselor, or just itching to broaden your leadership horizons, come learn with camp and leadership experts from the Pittsburgh Jewish community! Brush up on team-building skills, dive into some creative problem-solving, and add a host of other skills to your leadership toolkit – and have a hand in planning the J Line end-of-year celebration! Hannah Kalson and Elena Leib.

11:20 AM-12:15 PM – Chugim

Click here to register for Spring programs.

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

 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.

November 12

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.

Scavenger Hunt: Jewish Squirrel Hill
Put on your comfortable shoes and get ready to explore the neighborhood around us at J Line! From Pinskers to synagogues, from a kosher Dunkin Donuts to kosher pizza, how much can we find out about what makes Squirrel Hill Jewish…and how fast can we do it??

What’s at Stake with Repair the World
Repair the World is a national organization that mobilizes young American Jews to engage in meaningful service work in their communities. Join us with Annie Linden from Pittsburgh’s chapter of RTW to learn more about what they do, and take a crack at a very cool stakeholder simulation activity as we explore what’s needed in our own communities!

November 19

Jewish Cooking with Casey Weiss
As Thanksgiving approaches, let’s take a look at the Jewish American Thanksgiving experience – and then let’s eat it! Join us for another delicious round of Jewish cooking with Casey Weiss, Thanksgiving-style. And while we’re at it, we can start thinking about what we’re thankful for this year.

412 Food Rescue
Hunger, food insecurity, and food waste are major issues all over the US, including right here in Pittsburgh. 412 Food Rescue does vital work to combat hunger, reduce food waste, and raise awareness about food challenges in our community, in partnership with everyone from the mayor’s office to Children’s Hospital to Pittsburgh Pirate Andrew McCutchen. As Thanksgiving approaches and we get ready to fill our plates, come learn more about what 412 Food Rescue is and what we can all do to help the hungry here at home.

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.

December 3

Café Aroma
Aroma is everyone’s favorite coffee bar in Israel – now you can experience a taste of Aroma at J Line! Come to our Café Aroma on The Second Floor, enjoy some delicious drinks and snacks, and talk about important issues in Israel.

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.

December 10

Jewish Cooking with Casey Weiss
It’s that time of year again – time for Chanukah cooking! Make delicious creations with Casey Weiss and get ready to celebrate the festival of lights.

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.

December 17

The Real World: Chanukah
You probably know the miracle of the Chanukah oil backwards and forwards. But did you know that there’s a whole lot more to the story of Chanukah? An evil king, a tiny rebellion, a battle against erasure of religion and culture, and more. As another Chanukah comes to an end, let’s unpack what’s going on beneath the surface!

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.

January 7

Jewish Cooking with Casey Weiss
Jump into the new year by preparing for one of the Jewish new years – Tu Bishvat! Create a delicious Tu Bishvat seder spread as we start getting ready to celebrate our world.

Nosh and News (formerly 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.  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.

January 21

Their Feet Were Praying: MLK and Jews
As we return from celebrating the remarkable life and legacy of Martin Luther King, join us in an exploration of the special connection between Reverend King and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, and the Jewish community’s place in the civil rights movement and social justice today.

Nosh and News (formerly 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.  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.

January 28

Do Not Destroy: Judaism and Environmentalism
Tu Bishvat is right around the corner! As we prepare for the new year of the trees, let’s take a closer look at how the connection between Judaism and environmentalism has grown and changed, the significance of the holiday, and what we can do for the planet we call home – and enjoy some Tu Bishvat treats!

Nosh and News (formerly 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.  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.

 

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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