Service Learning

At JCHS, Service Learning isn’t just an activity, it’s a way of seeing the world.

Over their four years, students gain the knowledge and skills to offer effective and meaningful service in our communities, grounded in dignity and understanding.

Through guided reflection, skill-building workshops and all-school assemblies, students deepen their awareness of contemporary social justice issues as well as the dynamics of bias and oppression. They graduate as global citizens, committed to using their time and talent to make our society more just and equitable.

Our Four-Year Service Learning Program

Service Learning is integral to the JCHS education experience. Each class has different expectations and requirements to satisfy. Service Learning is graded pass/fail, and the successful completion of each school year’s requirement is a prerequisite for graduation.

In the 9th grade, students begin learning about structural inequality and food insecurity. JCHS partners with the St. Anthony Foundation, which provides the poor of San Francisco with basic needs and services as a gateway to reclaiming their sense of dignity and stability. Students begin the year by participating in a day-long workshop that breaks down the complex issues of health, hunger, and homelessness; dispels stereotypes; and answers questions that often go unasked. During the year, each student will volunteer two more times at the St. Anthony’s Dining Hall.

In the 10th and 11th grades, students commit to ongoing service with the agency or program of their choice. They can choose to work with an agency with which JCHS has a formal partnership or pursue their own. Through consistent service, students have the opportunity to forge deeper relationships, learn about a particular area of need, and build professional skills.

At the beginning of each school year, students review a list of possible service positions with their advisors and choose the best fit. Alternately, students can choose to lead a JCHS Va’ad (social justice-oriented club) which involves planning at least three service activities and one in-school campaign/activity. Students are responsible for completing at least 26 hours of service-learning, including two hours in the Western Addition neighborhood.

All 12th grade students integrate service-learning into their senior Keystone Projects. Through their year-long Keystone Projects, students have the opportunity to design and implement a multi-faceted project on the topic of their choice, demonstrating what it means to be a “scholar-citizen.” Every project must be “purpose-driven” – that is, it must be in service of something greater. Early on, students identify one or more target groups that might benefit from their Keystone Projects, and base their work on research of that group’s needs.

Adi Alouf ’13
Director of Student and Jewish Life 415.694.5772 x207