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What Is J Line?

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

We’re looking forward to another wonderful year of learning and building community together! This year, we are excited to offer three new Jewish Learning tracks: Israel, Social Justice, and Just Jew It. Teens sign up for one experience each trimester. Spend the whole year taking a deep dive into one track, or explore something new in a new trimester. Have a packed extracurricular schedule? You can join us at J Line for the whole year or just for the trimester(s) that work for you! J Line also offers an exciting modern Hebrew program, blending the NETA curriculum with experiential projects, all led by native Hebrew speakers – and PPS students can get elective credit for taking Hebrew at J Line!

Whatever journey you choose, you will get to dig into meaningful learning, explore Judaism beyond the walls of a classroom, and have a blast – not to mention plenty of delicious snacks. We look forward to seeing you in September!

Hannah Kalson, Director of Teen Engagement and Experiences



9:30-10:20 AM – Modern Hebrew OR Jewish Learning Tracks

10:20-10:50 AM – Break

10:50-11:45 AM – Modern Hebrew OR Jewish Learning Tracks

12:00 PM – Nosh and Know (once a month)

The Second Floor is delighted to host a brunch b’yachad after J Line Sunday mornings. This opportunity to eat, relax, and hang out with friends is open to anyone in 8th-12th grade. Join us this year for an ever-changing brunch menu, including waffle bars, pastries, omelets, and more!

Fall Trimester – The Great Israel Cook-Off

Get a taste of Israeli cooking, and of competition! Students will spend eight weeks exploring the wide world of Israeli cuisine – and the role of food in Israeli culture – while learning how to make their own versions of some of Israel’s favorite dishes. Whose hummus is best? Pittsburgh shinshinim will decide!

Winter Trimester – Israeli Innovators

Israel and Pittsburgh have more in common than both having Jewish communities. They’re also both hubs of innovation that have an impact on the whole world! In the winter trimester, we’ll dive into learning about the work of some of the amazing minds in Israel and Pittsburgh. Students will also have an opportunity to check out some Pittsburgh sites for themselves – and to get creative themselves as they explore how they can use their passions to make change in their communities.

Spring Trimester – Israel in Conversation

Whether you’re just beginning high school or starting to get ready for college, you’re likely to encounter complex conversations about Israel sooner rather than later. Let’s explore those conversations together, gaining a better understanding of what constitutes anti-Semitism, what anti-Israel action looks like among young people, and the relationship between Israel and the United States. Students will leave feeling prepared, informed, and engaged on this important Jewish issue.

Fall Trimester – Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood

The distinct history and spirit of its neighborhoods is one of the things that make Pittsburgh such a special place. In this experience, students will learn about four areas of Mr. Rogers’ city, exploring how Pittsburgh’s Jewish community has transformed and how it is connected to other communities. It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood – let’s get out and see it!

Winter Trimester – Parkland to Pittsburgh

Details coming soon!

Spring Trimester – Repairing the World

We’re probably all familiar with the concept of tikkun olam – repairing the world. Pittsburgh is full of people putting that concept into action, leading our community in service and learning. Students will learn about the topics of education justice and food justice, and have the opportunity to volunteer with Pittsburgh organizations working on these important issues.

Fall Trimester – “The Good Place”

NBC’s “The Good Place” might seem like just a comedy about heaven and hell, but it’s actually a deeply philosophical adventure. One topic addressed in the show is notion that performing good deeds just to get into the Good Place doesn’t count. You have to act morally for its own sake, rather than out of a desire to attain a reward. Just like in “The Good Place”, Judaism teaches that doing good things purely to get a reward doesn’t really count as good. So why do we do good things, and what do we owe to each other?

Winter Trimester – Jewish Humor

What better way to start off a Sunday than with a lot of laughs? The term “Jewish humor” brings to mind everything from Mel Brooks to Seinfeld to new shows like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. In this experience, students will explore the wide world of Jewish humor and its place in the bigger picture of Jewish culture – and have an opportunity to create their own funny moments.

Spring Trimester – Jewish Food and Cooking

Time to tackle a universal favorite pastime – food! Gain a deeper understanding of the ins and outs of kashrut, explore the dishes that make holidays like Purim and Pesach so special, and try your hand at food creation with Iron Chef, J Line-style. Come hungry!

Fall trimester – Sept 8, Sept 15, Sept 22, Oct 6, Oct 13, Oct 20, Nov 3, Nov 10

Winter trimester – Nov 17, Nov 24, Dec 8, Dec 15, Jan 5, Jan 12, Jan 26, Feb 2

Spring trimester – Feb 9, Feb 23, March 1, March 15, March 22, April 5, April 19, April 26

Wednesday Hebrew – Sept 11, 18, 25; Oct 2, 16, 23, 30; Nov 6, 13, 20; Dec 4, 11, 18; Jan 8, 15, 22, 29; Feb 5, 12, 19, 26; March 4, 11, 18, 25; April 1, 22

J Line Calendar Fall 2019

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 9:30 – 11:45 (including a snack break) 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 elective credit for taking Hebrew at J Line!

Contact Our Hebrew Coordinator

Our Hebrew Curriculum – NETA

To register for Hebrew, click here. 
To register for Jewish learning tracks, click here.

Contact Us

Hannah Kalson

Director of Teen Engagement & Experiences


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