HSJS Seeks to Engage Students in Active Learning Projects

[by Lisa Goldberg, Principal]
High School of Jewish Studies

The High School of Jewish Studies school year is off to a fantastic start. Our faculty and students represent all of Louisville’s synagogues and we are proud of the wonderful opportunity everyone has to learn in a diverse community. Our enrollment is nearly 60 students and we have enjoyed several insightful and engaging classes.

Our ninth graders have been studying the history of the American Jewish experience with Rabbi Rapport, while the 10th graders have been learning about a number of “hot topics” including abortion, death penalty, gay marriage and birth control (among others), with a weekly panel representing the four major streams of Judaism. Thank you to Rabbi Robert Slosberg (Conservative), Rabbi Stanley Miles (Reform), Dr. Joshua Golding (Orthodox) and Cantor Sharon Hordes (Reconstructionist) for bringing their movements’ diverse approaches to an intriguing conversation.

Next semester, our ninth graders will be studying the history of modern Israel with Dr. Golding and Matt Goldberg, JCRC Director, while the 10th graders will have confirmation class with their respective rabbis.

Our elective offerings have also been unique. Rabbi Joe Rooks Rapport has and will continue to teach his very popular class, The Invisible Chariot, a view of Jewish mysticism. Other classes include Hollywood film guru Rabbi Miles teaching the history of the Jewish film industry and the theater experience, Dafna Schurr teaching conversational Hebrew and Dr. Golding with a study of Jewish ritual.

We are expanding our course offerings continually and welcome feedback.

In addition to these classes, the High School of Jewish Studies has participated in three field trips. In September, we joined the JCL team at the annual Hunger Walk; in October, we traveled to the Parkland site of the Boys and Girls Club in West Louisville to help prepare the grounds for renovations. In addition to the work there, students met with a staff member who grew up at the facility and learned about the important work of this agency.

In November, to celebrate the birthday of Louis D. Brandeis, our nation’s first Jewish Supreme Court justice, we traveled to the Brandeis School of Law, placed stones at Brandeis’ grave and visited Brandeis’ house on Broadway. We also heard from Andrew Segal, who raised funds to place a plaque at the Brandeis house (dedication is scheduled for December 2 at 4 p.m.).

Thank you to Rabbi Rapport for teaching the students about Brandeis and to Laura Rothstein, former dean of the law school, for hosting us.

As you can see, we’ve been busy and are looking forward to a great rest of the year!

The High School of Jewish Studies faculty includes Rabbi Joe Rooks Rapport, Rabbi Stanley Miles, Dr. Joshua Golding, Cantor Sharon Hordes, Rabbi Robert Slosberg, Rabbi Michael Wolk and Dafna Schurr. Lev Rooks-Rapport will be joining the school as a teacher for second trimester.

Leave a Reply