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FIRST HOUR CLASSES

WELCOME TO MERCAZ: AN INTRODUCTION TO EXPLORING YOUR OWN CONSERVATIVE JUDAISM
Erica Riddick (Grade 8) 6:30 – 7:25
Ethics, Conservative Judaism
Your bar and bat mitzvah are behind you and in five years you will be in college. Mercaz is the perfect place to start asking questions about what you have already learned and explore new subjects you were not old enough to study before. Jumpstart your Jewish adulthood and join Erica Riddick as she takes you on a tour of the possibilities. This class will include guest speakers and interesting topics you choose to explore. At the end of the semester, we will write personal statements that will be revisited upon your graduation from Mercaz in 2023.

ISRAEL IS REAL: HOT TOPICS 2018
Deborah Netanel (Grades 10 - 12) 6:30-7:25
Israel, Ethics, Jewish History
Come explore and debate contemporary issues in Israeli society. With the idea of “Zionism then, now and tomorrow” as our theme, we will focus on crucial issues such as religious pluralism, diversity and inclusivity, identity and democracy, and many more challenging topics. Be ready to take a position on Women of the Wall, Eurovision and Israel, Soccer and sports around the world, Conversion and the Law of Return, and even what makes food Israeli. Bring your own questions about Israeli politics today! Opinions and attitudes welcome!


THE JEWISH INTERNET
Phylicia Dashoff (Grades 9 – 11) 6:30 – 7:25
Ethics
Are you passionate about social media beyond posting on your own Instagram account? Have you ever wondered what makes some social media pages work and other not work? In this class, you will learn how to create your own Jewish social media page, create content for the brand new Mercaz Facebook, learn how to be intentional with your posting, and more! These skills will become increasingly important as you enter college and your first post college career, and there is no time like the present to learn the do’s and don’ts of social media!

MOOT COURT BEIT DIN: MAKING THE CASE IN JEWISH LAW –
Lowell Lustig (Grades 9 - 12) 6:30-7:25
Ethics or Torah & Text
Have you ever wondered what Jewish law says about contemporary issues? This is a year-long course where a selected team of students will be assigned a case in Jewish law, study Jewish sources (in English) as a team, write a group opinion and make an oral argument as a Beit Din – a Rabbinical Court. This is our fourth year participating in this national competition sponsored by Prizmah: The National Association for Jewish Day Schools. (Last year we argued a case regarding a potential bone marrow donor who decides not to be a donor jeopardizing the life of another person.) Are you an aspiring lawyer? Would you like to learn how to make a legal argument? No previous experience in studying Jewish law is required. A maximum of five students will be selected to participate in this national competition following an interview with either Ari Finkelstein or Lowell Lustig.


EVERYTHING I LEARNED ABOUT JUDAISM I LEARNED FROM STAR TREK
Mitch Cohen (Grades 9 – 10) 6:30 – 7:25
Theology or Ethics; Torah & Texts
Boldly go where no class has gone before! Watch Star Trek videos and learn about Jewish theology at the same time. Never seen Star Trek? That's OK. Some of the early episodes were from the 1960's. We will watch videos from "The Original Series", "The Next Generation", "Voyager", "the Animated Series" (yes that's a cartoon!), and several of the latest movies. Here are just some of the questions we will answer during the semester: How are Vulcans like Jews? Do you really have to travel millions of miles to find G-d? Do the teenagers who live in space still have to go to Hebrew school? How was Captain Picard's journey to the afterlife similar to what we believe as Jews? You will be amazed about how much you can learn about Judaism by watching Star Trek!

WOMEN OF VALOR: LEADERSHIP EDITION
Ashley Barrett (Grades 10 - 12) 6:30-7:25
Jewish History or Ethics
The term “woman of valor”, eshet chayil, is a term of endearment that is traditionally used in liturgical poems for a man to refer to his wife. And we all know Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah. But what about Natalie Portman, Aly Raisman, RBG and even ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’? This semester we will look at questions women ask of our biblical mothers, and we will look at our contemporary female role models to understand how Judaism is influencing our modern leaders. Each week we will “meet” (join us to meet these special guests!) a different modern Jewish woman, and through her story we will zoom in and develop the leadership qualities in each of us! Great for those of you involved in USY and camping, but also anyone who wants to nourish their emerging leader!



SECOND HOUR CLASSES

SENIOR SEMINAR
Rabbi Ben Chaidell (Grade 12) 7:35-8:30
Conservative Judaism
In this seminar we will journey together through the transformation that occurs in senior year from high school to college and adulthood. We will create a safe and brave space to support one another in the excitement and the anxiety of this year. We will discuss issues relevant to our lives such as building healthy relationships, justice issues, Israel, and strategies to set us for success both professionally and personally. There will be a special focus on developing your own Jewish (and overall) identity so you are equipped with the competence and confidence to make the most of college. We will discover that the Jewish tradition can guide us through this major life transition, as it does other major life moments. I look forward to joining you on this special journey.

ANY DREAM WILL DO: LOOKING AT JEWISH PRAYER THROUGH BROADWAY
Zak Lempert (Grades 8 - 11) 7:35-8:30
Prayer
You know how your heart jumps when the curtain opens? Or the thrill of excitement when everyone bows? What about those songs you listen to on repeat every day? Or even those songs which make you cry, laugh, or leave you wanting more? Turns out, all of these apply not only to Broadway showstoppers, but also to Jewish prayers! In this class, we’ll examine how musical theater can be a lens for understanding how, why, and when Jews pray. Together, we’ll explore the history of our prayers, and deepen our own connections, from the Bimah, to the stage!


VISUALIZING THE HOLOCAUST
Ashley Barrett (Grades 10 - 12) 7:35 -8:30
Holocaust
Come create works of personal memorialization to the events of the Holocaust. Anything from poems, songs to works of art are welcome. This class will study the events of the Second World War through the mode of memory. How are these events remembered? And what are the ways people have depicted the horrors in culture as a way to make sense of the unimaginable? The semester will take us through different modes of memorialization, from film and works of art to looking at physical memorials from around the world. Bring your creativity, or desire to learn and we will explore memory together.

BUILDING THE OLD CITY OF JERUSALEM
Erica Riddick (Grades 8 - 11) 7:35 – 8:30
Israel, Ethics, Jewish History
For the creative types among you and those interested in learning about the rich and complex Old City of Jerusalem this is a class made for you. Come learn about the multi-faith and political dimensions of this magnificent ancient city while you build it out of recycled materials. Discuss the impact of trash and explore the art and science of 3-dimensional cartography as you decide what and how to represent Jerusalem.

I’VE BEEN TO ISRAEL….
Chaverim from Israel (Grades 9 - 12) 7:35-8:30
Israel
You’ve been to Israel (or think you will go soon)…. So now what?? Meet each week with the Chaverim -- your peers from Israel. You will discuss all the realities of Israel. What’s happening now in Israel? Understand the politics. Understand the music. Discuss the top foods, fashion, art, top news stories each week, and make new connections to Israel. This is the class where you can find out everything you never learned while visiting Israel. And make great friends… from Israel.

MADRICHIM WORKSHOP: LEADERSHIP THROUGH A JEWISH LENS
Stephanie Kogan (Grades 8 and 9) 7:35-8:30
Torah and Text, Ethics
Madrichim are leaders, and this exciting, interactive course is your opportunity to explore what it means to be an effective teaching assistant or to take a leadership role in a youth group. Madrichim learn to see education from a teacher’s or leader’s perspective. In this workshop, you will gain a clear understanding of the role, responsibilities, and satisfactions that come with being a madrich. You will use your knowledge about Judaism, the Jewish holidays, Torah, and Israel as the basis for discovering how content material can be informally and indirectly learned and reinforced through regular activities. You can look forward to engaging in various hands-on projects, including playing “quickie” games, making file folder games for learning centers, and creating book follow-up experiences. Collecting copies of our class activities, my lesson plans, your peers’ book projects, and everyone’s active games will get you started on building a resource file that you will be able to use for years to come. Working as a teaching assistant or holding a leadership position in a youth group will provide you with an excellent first-job experience and reference while you make an important contribution to the Jewish community.



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MERCAZ
3201 E. Galbraith Road
Cincinnati, OH 45236

Mercaz is a product of the Conservative Synagogues in Cincinnati and the USCJ.
Mercaz Director - Ari Finkelstein, 792 5082 ext. 123
, ari@mercazhs.org