Term 1 Classes at JTConnect

In JTConnect’s core yearlong program, teens continue their Jewish education, exploring all aspects of Judaism in a social and learning community. Students choose from a variety of elective classes and activities over the course of the year. Led by talented educators who understand the spiritual, intellectual and emotional needs of today’s teens, classes encourage introspection, thoughtful debate, active learning and fun.

Programs are offered on a variety of days and times in four different locations in West Hartford and Simsbury. All programs share the same core elements, but schedules, format and course offerings vary by location. Program schedules are as flexible as possible to help teens fit learning and socializing into their busy lives.

Want to get involved? What are they waiting for? We accept registrations on an ongoing basis and are always looking for ways to make our community bigger and better than it already is.

JTConnect @ Beth El

Meeting weekly on Monday evenings from 7:00pm – 8:40pm at Beth El Temple in West Hartford

Jewish Ethics Confront the 21st Century with Ron Scheps Throughout our 3,000 years, Jews have often been put in difficult and trying situations.  This class will analyze the major issues of the day in light of Jewish ethics. From the ethics of warfare to human cloning, come to analyze, debate and decide what is the right path.

Torah Slam with Jason Kay If you’re like most of us, you probably gave a D’Var Torah at your Bar or Bat Mitzvah and that was it.  Come learn how to find the nugget of meaning in the weekly Torah portion and deliver an inspirational D’Var Torah.  Student will have the opportunity to present their D’Var Torah at a local synagogue.

Express Yourself: Jewish Art with Erica Bloch This hands-on class uses a variety of media to create one-of-a-kind Jewish art pieces that you can actually use and enjoy.  If you like to create things, this class is for you.  

History of the State of Israel with Ron Scheps The class examines the history of Israel, as well as the military and political struggles that have occurred through time to survive and progress as a nation. The instructor for this class served in the Israeli Air Force and for twelve years served as a Humanitarian Officer in the West Bank as a liason between the Palestinian Authority and the IDF.

I’m Right, You’re Wrong: Jewish Debate Club with Jason Kay You know the joke – two Jews, three opinions. Our tradition, both ancient and modern, is full of instances of Jewish debate. Learn how to construct an argument to defend your position. This class will formally debate contentious issues throughout Jewish history.

Israeli Politics & Current Events with Eric Maurer With Prime Minister Netanyahu unable to form a coalition, Israel is going to elections again. Using newspapers, twitter and polling data/results we will learn how Israeli politics works in live time and better understand the major issues & conflicts which have occupied the Israeli political agenda since its inception until today. 


JTConnect @ Congregation Beth Israel

Meeting weekly on Sundays from 10:00am-12:00pm for 8th & 9th Graders and 11:30am-1:30pm for 10th-12th graders.

Is Fitness a Jewish Value? with Lauren Eisen Did you know that it’s a mitzvah (commandment) in Judaism to be healthy and well? Jewish tradition calls it shmirat haguf (Shmirat means “to care” or “to protect” and Haguf is “the body.”) In this class we will pair light physical activity with conversations exploring the Jewish perspectives on diet & nutrition, exercise and other ways fulfilling the mitzvah of shmirat haguf?  This class is taught by a certified personal trainer who is passionate about helping individuals achieve their personal fitness goals.

People of the Book with Terry Wolfisch Cole Jewish writers have been an important part of literature for as long as there have been stories to tell and poems to read. In this class, you will read and discuss the works of writers such as Judy Blume, Grace Paley, Israel Horovitz, Michael Chabon, Nora Ephron, and others. You will also have the chance to share your work with the group if you choose. There will be no homework.

You’re Right, I’m Wrong: Jewish Debate Club You know the joke – two Jews, three opinions. Our tradition, both ancient and modern, is full of instances of Jewish debate. Learn how to construct an argument to defend your position. This class will formally debate contentious issues throughout Jewish history.

What Would You Do? with Terry Wolfisch Cole It’s easy to imagine that we know what we’d do when faced with a moral dilemma, but the reality can be much more difficult. In this improv class, you will act out different ethical challenges in groups, then discuss your responses.

Moving Traditions with Rabbi Andi Fliegel and Rabbi Daniel Fliegel Moving Traditions connects the issues teens care about most—such as body image, friendships, social and academic pressure, romance, and sexuality—to enduring Jewish values, fosters positive peer-to-peer relationships through our trained educators and mentors, and inspires participants to develop an ongoing connection to Jewish community.

Teen Leadership & Philanthropy Initiative with Eric Maurer and Cantor Stephanie Kupfer TLPI teaches teens that they can make a tangible difference in the world, starting right now. Students learn about leadership and philanthropy from a Jewish perspective by reviewing historical, philosophical and ethical texts. Then, by visiting agencies and seeing first-hand the many services they provide, students learn about how our community is organized and supported. They learn to analyze proposals, prioritize needs, and actually fund meaningful projects.


JTConnect @ Emanuel

Meeting weekly on Sunday mornings from 10:30am-12:00pm.

Conversational Hebrew with Tom Wainrich Have you always wanted to learn conversational Hebrew, but never had the opportunity? Learn phrases, slang and basic grammar in this lively Hebrew class. Students of all abilities are encouraged to join this Hebrew course, tailor made to meet all levels and needs.

Jewish Ethics Confront the 21st Century with Ron Scheps Throughout our 3,000 years, Jews have often been put in difficult and trying situations. This class will analyze the major issues of the day in light of Jewish ethics. From the ethics of warfare to human cloning, come to analyze, debate and decide what is the right path.

Taste of Israel with the Emissaries and Carrie Berman A Taste of Israel is a portrait of the Israeli people told through food.. Learn about Israel cuisine as you explore Israeli culture, history and society with the Israeli Young Emissaries.

I’m Right, You’re Wrong: Jewish Debate Club with Marcus Fink You know the joke – two Jews, three opinions. Our tradition, both ancient and modern, is full of instances of Jewish debate. Learn how to construct an argument to defend your position. This class will formally debate contentious issues throughout Jewish history.

Israel Through Art with Tom Wainrich This hands-on class explores Israel through art as we use a variety of media to create one-of-a-kind Jewish art pieces that you can actually use and enjoy. If you like to create things, this class is for you.

Weekend Update: The Jewish Report with Ron Scheps Be informed about what happened this week in our history and how it affects us. Timely and current discussions will broaden your understanding of the pressing issues of the day.


JTConnect @ FVJC

Meeting bi-monthly on one Sunday morning and one Wednesday evening each month at Farmington Valley Jewish Congregation in Simsbury.

Hot Topics: What Does Judaism Say About…? with Rabbi Bekah Have you ever wondered what Judaism says about all of the difficult decisions we have to make in our lives? In this class, we will explore the issues that are most important to you through a Jewish lens. Topics could include: sex, drugs, relationships, decisions making and many more. You will also have a chance to request discussion topics.

I’m Right, You’re Wrong: Jewish Debate Club with Jason Kay You know the joke – two Jews, three opinions. Our tradition, both ancient and modern, is full of instances of Jewish debate. Learn how to construct an argument to defend your position. This class will formally debate contentious issues throughout Jewish history.

Israeli Politics & Current Events with Eric Maurer With Prime Minister Netanyahu unable to form a coalition, Israel is going to elections again. Using newspapers, twitter and polling data/results we will learn how Israeli politics works in live time and better understand the major issues & conflicts which have occupied the Israeli political agenda since its inception until today.

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