Grades 8-9 (Haskala)

Our Haskala class is designed for students in 8th grade and older, who are commited to live, learn and act Jewishly, even after they become a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. The class prepares students to engage with the concept of being life-long Jewish learners.

The class is run by 20 year TBD member, Jason Moss, who is also the Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of the Greater San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys. As such, Jason will incorporate hands on learning of his students, within the scope of the Jewish Federation’s programs. Our students will engage in Super Sunday fundraising, reading the names of those who perished during the Holocaust at Every Person has a Name (an event at Pasadena City Hall commemorating the UN International Holocaust Rememberance Day, participate in the Jewish Food Festival, and others. We see value in our students’ involvement in the greater community, as they extend their identity as TBD ambassadors.

We encourage the continuous philanthropy through Union Station, San Gabriel Humane Society, RAICES and more, as an extension of our students mitzvah projects following their B’nai Mitzvah years. This is lifelong learning which our students then involve also the community. Being part of Haskala is a catalyst for our students to pursue those projects, communually.

During physical class time, Jason will incorporate a curriculum developed by Rabbi Lachtman that is geared towards pre Confirmation and Confirmation. Confirmation is a modern Reform practice associated with the receiving of the Torah. The class will begin the process of “confirming” a commitment to Judaism and Jewish life. Since this class is for upper middle school and higher grades, students of this age are considered better prepared to make the kind of emotional and intellectual commitment to Judaism that Confirmation implies, and Haskala aims towards.

Similar to the given child centered philosophies of education within schools, Haskala too provides a stage for students to create their own engagement and curriculum. This is a “survey class” that will engage students in the way they see fit. Often, our teacher will ask “what do you want to learn about today?”, and follow along with our students, and their choice of learning!

Throughout the year, Haskala students may attend TBD bagel breakfasts as a way to expose the students to other typical aspects of Judaism, the Jewish culture, and the Jewish community.

Haskala is fortunate to have our Cantor, Cantor and Rabbi shadow the class regularly. Both will lead our Haskala students to lead school wide tfillot, and eventually, parts of congregational tfillot.

For further details about our Haskala class, or for joining our upper grade programming, please reach out to either Jason Moss, Haskala teacher, or Gal Kessler Rohs, Director of Education.