In addition to our formal Judaic Studies curriculum, we offer a wide array of informal Jewish education experiences. We feel that learning (especially about Torah and Judaism) cannot be confined to the classroom. Judaism isn’t just about learning, it’s about doing. Learning takes place all around us, all the time.
Tefilah – Our prayer program provides students with options to explore, practice, and create meaningful and spiritual tefilah experiences. Students choose and commit to a tefilah community that takes very seriously where they come from, their family’s traditions and practices, their personal beliefs, and their openness to exploration and spiritual growth. We offer a variety of tefilah options, from a more traditional minyan to others whose emphases are on meditation and discussion.
Tikkun Olam – All students at DKJA work a number of hours per year at community service sites as part of their quest to “repair the world.”
Jewish Journeys: Israel and March of the Living
– In addition to teaching about Israel in the curriculum, DKJA provides opportunities for all students to go to Israel at least once in their High School careers. We instill in our students an attachment to the State of Israel and its people, as well as a sense of responsibility for their welfare. Our Seniors spend a significant amount of their personal free time learning about the Holocaust and its history. Through our school's annual participation in the March of the Living, students learn and then live the sights sounds and feelings of pre and post-war Poland. In addition to Poland our students then travel to Israel. The experience of moving 'from the darkness to the light' leaves a life-long impression on our young men and women.
Our students then stay in Israel to experience a personalized Senior Trip in Israel. Here our students experience 'living on their own' in Israel in an exciting way. Our students travel to usually avoided and missed locations in Israel touring, and engage in dialogue with a variety of personalities with varying life experiences and view-points. Through the people they meet, the food they taste and the sights they see our students are privileged to form their own emotional attachment to their homeland. It is through these types of trips that life-long Jewish living and learning truly comes alive.
Shabbatonim – Students participate in a number of thematic retreats based upon a communal Shabbat experience, both within the DKJA community and also with Jewish high schools from across the country. These student-led “lock-ins” have been a hit.
Chagim – Our community’s experiential Jewish holiday program reflects a commitment to a transdenominational vision of Judaism that embraces all movements. We build our own sukkah, we have a fun Purim shpiel and carnival, we have a Chanukah coffeehouse and talent show, and more!
Town Meeting/Beit Midrash – This is a weekly community-wide interactive meeting designed to introduce our students and faculty to new, exciting, and provocative ideas. Students and teachers regularly suggest or lead discussions.
Clubs – DKJA helps our students find spiritual Jewish meaning in everyday life, including activities such as cooking, drama, music, chess, or student council. Every week, our students are engaged in a buzz of clubs, organizations, and activities.