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Rabovsky Religious School - Upper School

 

Welcome to Upper School 

at Congregation B’nai Tzedek!

Upper School Coordinators: UpperSchool@cbtpotomac.org

 

Rachel Levine-Hyman is excited for her 21st year in Upper School at CBT along with her co-coordinator and teaching partner Rani Schlenoff.  Her career in the world of Jewish non-profit spans over 27 years (and counting) and includes working with all ages from toddlers to Hazak. But her favorite, happiest moments are those spent in the classroom with Jewish teens exploring Holocaust education, Hot Teen Topics, Mitzvot/Values, Jewish Film & Entertainment, and so much more.  You can often find Rachel sitting on the desk or amongst the students to better connect and create an environment that encourages thoughtful and active understanding and participation.


Rani Schlenoff is a career Jewish Communal Professional who has worked with students from preschool through college, Rani found her most meaningful teaching experiences to be with middle school students. Her favorite class topics are Jewish Behavioral Ethics and Holocaust Education. She is a fan of teaching “Lounge Style” with a casual community atmosphere to create an “experience,” rather than just a class. During the day, you can find her teaching her favorite secular subjects as a middle school substitute teacher. She is excited to be sharing the Upper School Coordinator position with Rachel and to be in her 15th year teaching at CBT.

The Upper School at CBT is much more than sitting in a classroom and having class - it’s an entire experience designed specifically to create community between the students and connect them to the larger congregation and Jewish population of both the United States and around the world. 

 

Each evening starts with T’filah together which sets the tone as we engage in prayers to connect us with Jews past, present, and future. This is wonderful practice for our students in their B’nai Mitzvah year, and after it as well. 

 

The experience continues with dinner which differs each week and is served by our teachers. Students sit with others and socialize freely until the meal is concluded with Birkat HaMazon (the blessing after the meal), and then on to class. 

 

Our unique class structure brings the entire population of each grade together for specific topics which last the whole year. Students have time to form deep connections with each other and their teachers through active discussion, debate, activities, and more. This class design allows students to create a mini-congregation which is extremely tight by the time they reach Confirmation in 10th grade. 

 

Classes at CBT Upper School

 

 

7th grade: Wednesday evenings: Holocaust Education & the History of Anti-Semitism. This class takes a deep dive into the history of Anti-Semistim; life before, during, and after the Holocaust; and modern-day manifestations of Anti-Semitism. Students will learn through various forms of media, group work, and activities.  In May, the class will take a trip to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum to add to their knowledge. 
 

Sundays: This New-For-You program has been specially designed to bond the students as a class and to bond them further with the Jewish community as a whole. Rather than meet every Sunday, 7th graders will have up to six special events (most will take place on Sundays) which are designed around themes focussed on our roles in the bigger Jewish community. These are meant to be engaging and meaningful experiential events.  This class is taught by Rachel Levine-Hyman and Rani Schlenoff, both of whom have been teaching in the Upper School since the 1990s.

 

8th grade: The 8th grade will  journey through the history of Israel from the British Mandate to modern times. This experiential class will cover important events, influential people, conflict and controversy, and current events. In today’s world, knowing the history and the impact of events shaping our Jewish world is crucial. This class is taught by Hava Shirazi, who began teaching in the Upper School in the 1990s, and our Shaliach, Ido Naaman.

 

9th/10th grade Culmination/Confirmation: In his final year as Senior Rabbi, Rabbi Weinblatt, who will be assisted during the year by Cantor Kapell and others, by popular demand will teach the 9th/10th Grade program. The class is based on “The Great Books and Ideas of the Jewish People” and seeks to unveil the significant ideas the Jewish people have contributed to the world and the vast and rich literature of the Jewish people. Students will have a greater understanding and familiarity with the Bible, Talmud, midrash, and other Jewish texts. 
 

One of the highlights for the Confirmation is the annual overnight trip for 10th graders to explore “Jewish New York.” The studies culminate with the Shabbat Confirmation ceremony service, on Saturday, June 15th, led by the students.

 
 
       
 
Thu, February 29 2024 20 Adar I 5784