JCHS Blog

Read more from the JCHS Professional Community members, students and alumni. 

List of 142 news stories.

  • Girls Volleyball Team Wins Second Place in NCS Championship

    Girls Volleyball makes JCHS history with a second place finish in the NCS Championship and an appearance in the CIF State Playoffs.
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  • JCHS Launches Arabic Class

    “At JCHS we want to empower our students to understand both the complexity and nuance of life in the Middle East,” said Rabbi Howard Ruben, head of school. “Learning more about Arabic culture and language is an important part of that understanding.”
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  • Junior Journey: Final Moments in the Holy Land

    Sam Arneson
    I danced with strangers, prayed with friends, and left feeling fulfilled.
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  • Junior Journey: Exploring Israel’s Epicenter

    Sam Arneson
    All in all, I think I speak for everyone when I say that these past few days have given the Class of 2019 a nuanced understanding of Jerusalem...
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  • Sophomore Journey: What A Journey!

    Danelle Tuchman
    Despite many first time jitters and fears of heights, we were able to use one another to persevere and to reach our goal!
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  • Junior Journey: A Visit to Yad v'Shem

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz
    Today was one of the heaviest days of our trip...
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  • Junior Journey: Layers of History

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz
    Today we explored the layers and complexities of Jerusalem.
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  • Junior Journey: Tel Aviv to Jerusalem: A Transformative (And Fun) Journey

    Sam Arneson
    We can’t even believe this incredibly transformative journey...
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  • Senior Journey: Telling Stories

    Adam Eilath
    “Why do the stories of the individual matter to the history of an entire city.”
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  • Sophomore Journey: Exploring New Spaces

    Michael Mirelman
    We have done our best to take advantage of the beauty that this amazing national park has to offer.
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  • Freshmen Journey: Activities at BBI

    Sarrah Wilkes
    The freshman have gotten off to a great start here at BBI!
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  • Senior Journey: A Powerful First Day

    Shayna Dollinger
    Seniors had an incredibly powerful first day in New Orleans. An inspiring woman, Lisa, told us her story and how she started APEX. 

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  • Sophomore Journey: From City Lights to Open Skies

    Danelle Tuchman
    Upon leaving the bus, we were greeted with the smell of fresh air and the outdoors. We couldn’t wait to begin this adventure!
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  • Junior Journey: A Day in the Desert

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz
    Today was a day to explore the desert. The day was beautiful, a clear blue sky, temperature in the high 60's, and the desert still green and with wildflowers in bloom.
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  • Junior Journey: Shabbat and Sunday

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz
    We began Shabbat with a Kabbalat Shabbat for the entire group. It was a chance to share our thoughts and feelings about this past week.
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  • Junior Journey: Shabbat Shalom from Tel Aviv

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz
    After a busy and thought-provoking week traveling, Juniors on the Israel Journey returned to Tel Aviv to enjoy the gorgeous beach and begin a restful Shabbat. Freshman, sophomore and senior grade journeys begin this week. Follow them on our blog!
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  • Juices, Kohlrabi, Hikes & Minority Education: A Full First Few Days

    Sam A. '19
    Junior Sam A. reflects on the first few days in Israel: "After this long day, we as a collective definitely came away with a broader and more nuanced understanding of the conflict (or lack thereof) between Jews and Israel’s minority groups. I am confident I speak for everyone when I say such education certainly enhanced our experience and knowledge."
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  • Junior Journey: Exploring Diversity in Shfar'am

    Merav Rozenblum
    Ms. Rozenblum updates us from Israel: "We spent our last day in the North exploring some of Israel's minority groups. In the Arab Israeli town of Shfar'am we visited a mosque, an Episcopal church, and an old synagogue -- all within a short walk from each other."
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  • Junior Journey: Walking the Israel Trail

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz
    The Israel Trail runs the entire length of Israel, from Mt. Hermon in the North to Eilath in the South. One activity during this 70th anniversary year is that different mechinah programs commit to hiking different sections of the Israel Trail so that the entire trail is covered by all the different mechinot.
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  • Junior Journey: From Tel Aviv to the North

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz
    Juniors visited Tel Aviv's Independence Hall before boarding a bus headed to Kfar HaNassi, a kibbutz in Northern Israel. On the way, they learned about food justice while picking kohlrabi with Leket.
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  • Junior Journey: Greetings from Tel Aviv

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz
    Rabbi Kertesz sends a brief greeting from the Tel Aviv Airport.
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  • Junior Journey: The Juniors Have Landed

    Sam A. '19
    "After a long day of travel, we’ve finally landed at a youth hostel in Tel Aviv to spend the night. Our journey here was a long one, complete with a fourteen-hour plane ride, bus transportation, and so, so, so much security."

    Junior Sam A, editor of the school newspaper, The Oberserver, sends us a report from Tel Aviv.
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  • Wolves Basketball in Playoffs

    Wolves Basketball is enjoying an historic season, going further in playoffs than we ever have before in school history.
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  • Joy and Thrills on the Royal Mile

    Sara M. '19
    Junior Sara M. talks about performing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe: "Words cannot describe the experience. But I can share what I was feeling."
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  • Busking on the Royal Mile

    On Sunday, the JCHS Drama Company was out on Edinburgh's Royal Mile promoting "Alice and the Black Hole Blues."
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  • Press Coverage of "Alice"

    The J Weekly story of the JCHS Drama Company's appearance at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival has been picked up by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
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  • You never get bored..."

    Eli M. '19
    Junior Eli M. talks about returning to "Alice" and getting ready for the JCHS Drama trip to the UK. "We are still learning new things about our play every rehearsal..."
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  • Working with Productive Discomfort

    Ben R. '19
    Read what Junior Ben R. has to say about his journey through the strange world of "Alice & the Black Hole Blues."

    "JCHS always stresses productive discomfort, and that was my mindset throughout the rehearsal process..."
     
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  • Special Show

    Fall down the rabbit hole with us again, as JCHS Drama presents a special FREE performance of "Alice & the Black Hole Blues" at JCHS on August 6 at 2pm just for our community members!
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  • Creating "Alice"

    Tessa Zitter '17
    As the Scotland company gets ready for this summer's performances at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Tessa Zitter '17 talks about the challenges of creating a theatrical piece of this complexity from scratch.
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  • The Summer Ahead: Looking for Wonder

    Rabbi Howard Jacoby Ruben
    As we head into summer, Rabbi Ruben offers his thoughts on the wonders that lie ahead of us.

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  • Alum Writes about Voices of Ethiopian Jews

    In an editorial for J. The Jewish News of Northern CaliforniaTalya Sandel, '17 talks about why it's important to hear the stories of Ethiopian Jews.
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  • 2017 Lammed Vavnik Award Winners

    2017 Lammed Vavnik Awards

    Each year, JCHS recognizes students who have exemplified the idea of righteous action through their service to others and their community.
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  • D'var Torah: Parashat Bamidbar

    Michelle Kushnir, Admissions Associate
    There is a certain energy, a buzz, around JCHS during this time of year. This point of transition from school to summer–and for the seniors, from high school to graduation–creates an excited rush to get to the next step, the next phase. 
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  • Junior Named Bronfman Fellow

    JCHS is pleased to announce that junior Mira Kittner has been named a recipient of the prestigious Bronfman Fellowship.
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  • Athletics Update: May 26, 2017

    Gretchen Tallon, Director of Athletics
    Coach T has the PSAL Baseball All-League honorees plus information for the 17-18 year.
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  • Hebrew Teacher Translates for State Dept.

    Merav Rozenblum is not only a beloved member of our World Languages faculty, she is also a contract interpreter for the US State Dept. and recently translated speeches given by the President in Riyadh and Jerusalem.
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  • Athletics Update: May 12, 2017

    Gretchen Tallon, Director of Athletics
    Baseball ended the season with a win, plus Wolves of the Week!
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  • Athletics Update: May 5, 2017

    Gretchen Tallon, Director of Athletics
    The Baseball team honored senior Oliver Bass, Tennis played Kehillah, and the Swim team took a dip in the Bay, plus important information for next year!
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  • D'var Torah: Parashat Acharei Mot/Kedoshim

    by Asher Grinner, Jewish Studies Teacher
    This week’s portion deals with holiness, as Moshe commands the people of Israel, in the name of God: “You shall be holy, for I, the Lord your God, am holy” (Leviticus 19:2).


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  • Alum Honored in IDF

    Corporal Sonya Karchemskiy '11 was one of 121 IDF soldiers honored by the President of Israel at his residence in Jerusalem as part of the Yom Ha'Atzma'ut celebrations.
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  • Athletics Update: April 28, 2017

    Gretchen Tallon, Director of Athletics
    The Wolves gear up for Baseball this week and the Swim team achieved some personal bests this week.
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  • D'var Torah: Parashat Tazria-Metzora

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz, Co- Dean of Students
    Parashat Tazria-Metzora 2017 -- Community: Who is in and who is out?
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  • Alice and the Black Hole Blues

    Tickets are now on sale for the show that JCHS Drama will take to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, "Alice and the Black Hole Blues."
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  • JCHS Welcomes Music Teacher

    We are pleased to welcome Steven D'Agostino, who joins JCHS during Natan Kuchar's family leave.
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  • JCHS Alum Responds to BDS Resolution at Tufts

    In The Forward, JCHS alum Oren Abusch-Magder '15, now a sophomore at Tufts University, writes about the BDS resolution vote at Tufts and offers a heartfelt defense of Israel.
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  • JCHS Students Recommend Podcasts

    Looking for something to dig into this weekend?  Here are 11 podcasts recommended by JCHS students.
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  • Athletics Update: April 7, 2017

    Gretchen Tallon, Director of Athletics
    The Baseball team earned two wins, against Mid Pen and Kehillah; Tennis took on Mid Pen in close matches; and JCHS swimmers improved times in a meet against University.
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  • Playwright Jacob Derin '18

    Junior is Semi-finalist in Playwriting Contest

    Junior Jacob Derin has been named a semi-finalist in the Blank Theatre's Young Playwrights Festival.
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  • Athletics Update: March 31, 2017

    Gretchen Tallon, Director of Athletics
    Baseball faced Pinewood this week, Tennis won doubles matches against Lick, and Swimming had its 1st meet of the season.
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  • Tamar Rabinowitz Completes MTEI

    Mazel tov to Tamar Rabinowitz, our Dean of Jewish Studies and Hebrew, who recently graduated from the Mandel Teacher Educator Institute (MTEI), a two-year course of study in professional leadership development.
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  • Oksana Chubrikova '17 with Commissioner of the Central Coast Section Duane Morgan at the CCS Scholar Athlete Awards Breakfast

    Senior Honored as Scholar-Athlete

    Oksana Chubrikova '17 was selected as a Central Coast Section Scholar-Athlete Scholarship winner.
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  • Senior wins MTC Young Playwrights Festival

    Congratulations to Senior Sasha Manus, who won the Marin Young Playwright's Festival.
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  • Athletics Update: March 24, 2017

    Gretchen Tallon, Director of Athletics
    Wolves Baseball scored a win 6-0 against Woodside Priory and JCHS Tennis won 3 matches against Lick-Wilmerding. Coach T has the updates.
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  • Athletics Update: March 17, 2017

    Gretchen Tallon, Director of Athletics
    JCHS Spring sports get underway, and Senior Oksana Chubrikova wins a Central Coast Section Scholar-Athlete Scholarship! Coach T has more in this week's update.
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  • Junior Journey: Reflecting on Heroism and Sacrifice

    Shayna D., Class of 2018
    "Today was the most inspiring, impactful, upsetting, depressing, hopeful, scary, touching day of the Israel Journey." Shayna D. shares powerful moments at Yad Vashem and Har Herzl.
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  • Junior Journey: Visiting Yad Vashem

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz, Co-Dean of Students
    The Juniors spent their day at Yad Vashem and Har Herzl, prompting many serious and powerful conversations.
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  • Junior Journey: Jerusalem

    Shayna D., Class of 2018
    Shayna D. talks about encountering history and the complex geopolitics of Jerusalem on the JCHS Junior Journey to Israel.
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  • Junior Journey: The City of David

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz, Co-Dean of Students
    In Jerusalem, the Juniors on the 11th Grade Journey learned about the history of the city and considered the impact of gegraphy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
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  • Junior Journey: Ascending Masada

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz, Co-Dean of Students
    Juniors made the ascent up Masada on the Junior Journey. Rabbi Kertesz reports on a day of discoveries.
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  • Junior Journey: Finding Destiny at Masada

    Shayna D., Class of 2018
    "The Jewish people have survived for so long as a people because we control our own destiny."
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  • Junior Journey: A Day of Conflicts and Paradoxes

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz, Co-Dean of Students
    On the Juniors' last day in Tel Aviv, they spent met with refugees from Darfur and explored the issue of non-Jews who come to the State of Israel.
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  • Junior Journey: Struggles and Beauty in the Land of Israel

    Shayna D., Class of 2018
    "I really struggled with the idea that Israel's status as a Jewish state should mean that the country emulates Jewish values such as welcoming the stranger and seeing everyone in the image of G-d."
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  • Students met up with Lior Peretz '16, who is now serving in the IDF

    Junior Journey: Experiencing the Heart of Tel Aviv's Culture

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz, Co-Dean of Students
    Tel Aviv is Israel's center of art and culture and on the Junior Journey, students are experiencing not only the richness of poetry, music, and nightlife, but also the excitement of Purim.
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  • Junior Journey: Purim in Tel Aviv

    Shayna D., Class of 2018
    "During the Purim parade I really felt what it was like to be a part of a Jewish country..."
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  • Junior Journey: Shavua Tov

    Shayna D., Class of 2018
    On Shabbat in Tel Aviv, juniors on the Israel Journey met with the Palestinian founder of a Jewish-Arab dialogue project, sparking conversations about paths to peace. After havdalah, they welcomed Purim with a megillah reading.
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  • Junior Journey: Powerful Moments in Tel Aviv

    Shayna D., Class of 2018
    Newly arrived in Tel Aviv, the Juniors on the Israel Journey met up with alum Leeor Israeli '16, who is now serving in the IDF, and sang the Hatikvah in Independence Hall.
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  • Freshman Journey: Making Machaneh at BBI

    Freshmen had a full day of activities and exploring at BBI as they continued to focus on creating their own community.
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  • At the Basilica of the Annunciation

    Junior Journey: Finding Religious Pluralism in Nazareth and Mount Carmel

    Shayna D., Class of 2018
    From Nazareth's Basilica of the Annunciation to a Druze village on Mt. Carmel, juniors are having experiences that can't be duplicated in a classroom.
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  • Sophomore Journey: Facing Our Fears

    Dr. Julie Draskoczy, Humanities Chair
    "We cheered each other on and encouraged each other to keep going, to climb higher. ...fear was transformed into fearlessness as bodies disappeared up the side of the wall, so high they were almost out of view..."
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  • Sophomore Journey: Wolves on the Rocks

    Sam A., Class of 2019
    Usually, when you’re on a cliff, the scariest moment is when you look down. But today, the most frightening moment was when we looked UP, seeing the gargantuan walls we were expected to scale. Granted, we were not forced to climb, but most of us wanted to say ‘yes’ to the experience!
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  • Freshman Journey: Climbing to New Heights

    On the Freshman Journey, students are working on trust building exercises.
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  • Junior Journey: Along the Banks of the Jordan

    Shayna D., Class of 2018
    On the second day of the Junior Journey to Israel, students spent the day meeting new people on kibbutzim, and hiking the banks of the Jordan River. Shayna D. '18 has more in her blog post.
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  • Juniors hiked along the Jordan River from the Cork Bridge to the B'not Ya'akov bridge

    Junior Journey: Getting to Know Israelis

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz, Co-Dean of Students
    We began our day with a great breakfast at our guest house at Kibbutz Gonen. Because of jet lag everyone was up early. We began our day with different tefillot options and then broke up into small groups, to reflect on some of our experiences over the last 36 hours and give our students a chance to look at much they have done is such a short amount of time.
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  • Meeting

    Senior Journey: The Bearers of Culture

    Dr. Jonathan Ayres, English Teacher
    Seniors met with and interviewed the "bearers of culture" at the Ashé Cultural Arts Center during the 12th Grade Journey to New Orleans.
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  • Sophomore boys canyoneering in Zion National Park

    Sophomore Journey: Taking on the Canyons Together

    Sam A., Class of 2019
    On the Sophomore Journey, the guys cheered each other on as they faced the challenges of canyoneering in Zion. Sam A. send us an inspiring update from Utah.
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  • On the Angel’s Landing hike

    Sophomore Journey: Uncovering Zion

    Dr. Julie Draskoczy, Humanities Chair
    One of my favorite moments of the day came when Wolk gave us the opportunity to listen to music for the last stretch of our descent. As I blasted “Take Me to Church” through Ms. Rubin’s headphones, I thought about the sacred temple of nature in which we found ourselves, a place so fittingly named Zion.
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  • Junior Journey: A Window on Israel from Kibbutz Gonen

    Shayna D., Class of 2018
    Most of us got a nice Israeli wake up at 3am courtesy of our Kibbutz Peacocks. Others woke up at 6am with the blowing of the Shofar to wake up the rest of Kibbutz Gonen. After a yummy Israeli breakfast from 8:30 to 9:00, we boarded the bus and headed to a beautiful outlook in the Golan heights.
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  • The north of Israel is in bloom.

    Junior Journey: Learning about Israel's North

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz, Dean of Students
    The north of Israel is indescribably beautiful right now. After the winter rains the landscape is carpeted in rich greens, the wadis are running with water and the wildflowers are in bloom.
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  • At the Lafayette Cemetery

    Senior Journey: From NOLA's Garden District to Baton Rouge Youth Coalition

    Dr. Cecily Burrill, Science Teacher
    We spent the morning wandering Lafayette Cemetery, the Garden District, and Magazine Street, and the rain held off long enough for us to enjoy our lunch and early afternoon in Audubon Park, seeing a lot of birds especially the black-bellied whistling ducks (identified for us by an intrepid student ornithologist).
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  • Dr. Draskoczy and Ms. Rubin pose for #UtahChavrutah in Las Vegas

    Sophomore Journey: From Strip to Slot

    Dr. Julie Draskoczy, Humanities Dept. Chair
    The first day of our journeying was framed by otherworldly beauty of two very different types: we began our day in the “hyperreal,” disorienting surroundings of the Las Vegas strip and ended it with a truly magical night hike in Zion National Park.
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  • The Class of 2019 at Observation Point

    Sophomore Journey: Hiking the Canyons to the Stars

    Sam A., Class of 2019
    We awaken from our slumber to the rapping noise of our teachers banging on our doors. We were wishing we could sleep for just another hour, but alas, it’s time for breakfast! After some yummy food, yoga with Mr. G, and lots and lots of layering of clothes, we boarded the bus to go to one of the many canyons in Zion for a hiking trip!
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  • Freshmen at BBI

    Freshman Journey: Getting to BBI and Getting Active

    Aron Wolgel, Co-Dean of Jewish & Student Life
    As we left JCHS, guided by the words of tefillat haderech (the Traveler's Prayer), students enjoyed an energetic bus ride which contained a full bus sing-along and a seated dance party!
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  • Seniors at Congregation Anshe Sfard

    Senior Journey: Serving the 9th Ward

    Jonathan Ayres, English Teacher
    Seniors volunteered in New Orleans with community groups revitalizing the Lower 9th Ward, including Make It Right, Lower 9 Resilient, The Backyard Gardeners Network, and Our School at Blair Grocery.
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  • Sophomores in Las Vegas working on the #UtahChavrutah Project

    Sophomore Journey: From Prada to Nada At Zion National Park

    Sam A. Class of 2019
    BEEP BEEP BEEP goes my alarm, lurching me out of my slumber. I reluctantly get out of bed and throw my suitcase in the car, and begin the long drive to the airport. I can’t believe the sun hasn’t even risen yet! Fast forward 45 minutes, and I’m at the airport- with the 5 other members of my class who got there on time.
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  • Senior Journey: Keeping fit at the airport

    Mr. Grinner caught the seniors staying in shape while waiting for the plane in Dallas on the way to NOLA.
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  • Sophomore Journey: #UtahChavrutah

    The 10th grade has landed and taken Las Vegas by storm.  Check out the latest photos posted for the #UtahChavrutah Project.
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  • Follow the JCHS Journeys

    The JCHS Journeys begin on March 5! Follow our students around the world!
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  • JCHS Drama Returns to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

    Jake Rosenberg '14
    Jake Rosenberg ’14, who was a member of the JCHS Drama company that went to Scotland in 2011, offers his thoughts and advice for the new Scotland Company.
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  • Sophomore Journey: Last Day in the Wilderness

    Michael Fitch, Math & Science Teacher
    After another late start, which we needed in order to rest our bodies, we began the morning routine of breakfast burekas (pastries), packing our pastrami or egg salad sandwiches, and then morning tefillah. We were all getting used to setting up well for our adventures, but at the same time noticing this was going to be our last wilderness experience on this trip.
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  • Junior Journey: Thinking about Heroism and Sacrifice

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz, Jewish Studies Teacher and co-Dean of Students
    Today was a serious day. We visited Yad v'Shem, Israel's Holocaust memorial and research center, and Har Herzl, Israel's national military cemetery.
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  • Senior Journey: Learning from the Bearers of Culture

    After spending time in the morning preparing for oral history interviews, Seniors visited the Ashe Cultural Center in the heart of Central City, New Orleans. They enjoyed meeting some of the talented locals and took part in a drum circle and conducted oral history interviews with "culture-bearers."
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  • Sophomore Journey: Finding Yourself in the Canyon

    Shayna Dollinger, Class of 2018
    What an incredible day!
    None of us could believe that it was our last full day in Zion. It seems like we just gathered at Oakland airport to board the plane to Vegas.
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  • Junior Journey: In the City of David

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz, Jewish Studies Teacher and co-Dean of Students
    We spent today exploring Jerusalem, beginning at the excavations of Ir David, or King David's City, just south of the Old City. This is the site of an ancient Jebusite city that David captured and made the capital of his united kingdom. We learned the history of Jerusalem from David's conquest of the city about 3,000 years ago to the present day.
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  • Junior Journey: Masada and Ein Gedi

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz, Jewish Studies Teacher and co-Dean of Students
    Our group climbed Masada from the west side up the Roman ramp. At the top, we toured much of the site and learned the story of the Zealots who captured the city and held out for months against the Roman siege before committing mass suicide rather than surrendering. We ended our time on Masada with a discussion of how the early Zionists used the story of Masada to instill patriotism and a fighting spirit into the hearts of the Zionist youth.
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  • Senior Journey: The Rich Music and Culture of New Orleans

    On their second full day in NOLA, Seniors explored the city and its rich culture of art and music.
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  • Sophomore Journey: Canyoneering and Rock Climbing

    By Michael Fitch, Math and Science Teacher
    Shalom!
    After a much needed late start (9 am wake up) we grabbed some breakfast before heading to our morning tefillah. After our prayers or mindfulness activity for the day, we hopped on the buses and rolled out to Zion Mountain School at 11 am.
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  • Sophomore Journey: The Climb

    Shayna Dollinger, Class of 2018
    Wow. Wow. Wow. What a day.

    We were all pleasantly surprised by a nice 9 am wake up. It was great to be able to sleep in after our exhausting but incredible day yesterday.
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  • Freshman Journey: Trusting Each Other

    Rachel Buonaiuto
    It was great to see the students working together in the trust fall exercises and cheering one another up the alpine tower.
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  • Senior Journey: Helping bring light to NOLA

    On Monday, the group toured the Lower 9th Ward to learn more about the region's rebuilding efforts ten years after Hurricane Katrina. Students weren't just there as tourists though. With a focus on engagement through service, the seniors undertook a special project.
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  • Sophomore Journey: Appreciating the Incredible World

    Shayna Dollinger, Class of 2018
    Waking up, we could not believe that it was only day 2 of our incredible journey.
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  • Sophomore Journey: Peaceful and Exhilarating

    By Michael Fitch, Math & Science Teacher
    Shalom!  After our late night hike, the 8 am wake up came all too soon, but after a few bites of breakfast we were charged up and ready for more adventure!
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  • Freshman Journey: Building Ourselves into Community

    Rachel Buonaiuto
    On Sunday, the Class of 2019 embarked on their five-day journey to Southern California. After a long bus ride, we arrived at Brandeis Bardin at around 4 p.m.
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  • Junior Journey: A Day Exploring Challenges

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz, Jewish Studies Teacher and co-Dean of Students
    Often Israel assumes mythic proportion, a dream come true, and we don't see Israel for what it is: a real country with real problems. What makes Israel special is that in Israel these problems are Jewish problems, questions of Jewish values and Jewish morality. Today we explored these problems in Tel Aviv.
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  • Junior Journey: Hiking the Negev Desert

    Rabbi Dean Kertesz, Jewish Studies Teacher and co-Dean of Students
    This morning we left Tel Aviv and headed south to the Negev desert. The Negev makes up almost one half of Israel's territory and much of it is empty. We came to the desert today to learn about this beautiful and rugged part of Israel. To walk the land some more and to learn about the people who live here.
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  • Sophomore Journey: A perfect start

    Michael Fitch, Math & Science Teacher
    It's 6 am and all is still quiet at the airport.  By 6:20 a.m. we have taken over the Southwest ticket area with our bags, hugs, and excitement for the journey.  We passed out the tickets, made it through security, boarded the plane, landed in Vegas, and made it to the Paris hotel by 11 am local time with no problems!
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  • Sophomore Journey: From SF to Paris to the Stars

    Shayna Dollinger, Class of 2018
    It's 5:30 am; The sun isn't even up yet. I put my suitcase in the car and head off to the airport. Greeted by the Class of 2018, emotions immediately change from tired and nervous to excited and, well, still tired.
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  • Spirit Week

    Jordan Kochavi ('16)
    Throughout the school year, there are two coordinated events that are specifically designed for the purpose of grade bonding: class Journeys, and Spirit Week.
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  • Field Day '14

    Siena Hasson, '16
    One of my first memories of being a student at JCHS was during Field Day my freshman year.
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  • The JCHS baseball team

    Baseball Season '14

    Ilya Shrayber '15
    Growing up in a Russian household, baseball wasn’t very high on my list of priorities.
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  • 3 JCHS seniors interview New Orleans resident

    Reflections on Senior Journey: New Orleans

    Shoshana Edelman '14
    While on the senior journey to New Orleans I had the opportunity to hear many people share their stories and discuss with us their history and views on the world.
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  • Circling up

    Reflections on the Junior Journey: Israel

    Leehe Reihanian '15
    Being one of the many kids that went to a Jewish day school, I've gone on a class Israel trip before, so I had some expectations, but once the trip started all exceptions were proved wrong.
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  • Reflections on the Sophomore Journey: Vegas and Zion

    Roni Greenberg '16
    The sophomore journey far exceeded my already high expectations. Seeing the natural beauty of Zion National Park was absolutely breathtaking.
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  • Freshman Circle

    Reflections on Freshman Journey: Los Angeles

    Gabi Finestone '17
    This year’s shabbaton gave our school the chance to come together for the first time this year. This year’s freshmen journey gave the freshman class a time to get to know each other, bond, and create a community that would last for the next four years and beyond.
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  • Assistant Director Zoe

    Winter Play: "Hearts Like Fists"

    Zoe Kamil '14
    Hearts like fists was a wonderful experience for me. This wasn't the first time I've been behind the scenes of a JCHS production, but it was the first time that I've gotten to take a mentoring position with the youngest members of the theatre department as assistant director.
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  • Paige performs at JCHS Coffee House 2014

    Coffee House: A Senior Looks Back

    Paige Lerman '14
    They say, before you die, the memories most important to you flash before your eyes. This may not have been death, but it most definitely felt like an end. I stood left of the stage waiting for what would be my fourth and final coffeehouse performance.
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  • Students and faculty engaged in conversation.

    Speaking 4 Languages

    Mika Bekkerman '16
    Being able to speak multiple languages has always been valued in my family. I was always told that it would get me far in life.
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  • JCHS Hip Hop team in action

    First Semester Freshman Reflection

    Oliver Bass '17
    The semester is ending and everyone is getting ready for the six-day, post-finals break. As a freshman, my first semester at JCHS was great! It started on the freshman retreat, where I met my classmates and bonded not only with the freshmen but also with some seniors who came as our "senior buddies."
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  • JCHS's neighbors playing dreidel for the first time ever!

    Students Host Annual Interfaith Holiday Party

    Mikayla Kimel '15
    JCHS recently hosted its annual Interfaith Holiday Party this past week.  Over one hundred kids from all over the western addition attended along with twenty JCHS students.

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  • Menorah + Turkey = Menurkey

    Happy "Thanksgivikkah"

    Hannah Feiner '14
    Why do I love JCHS? Well, this Channukah video pretty much sums it up! The little fun activities and innovative ways of engaging students make each student love the atmosphere at JCHS.

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  • Girls Volleyball Championship

    Elana Fogel
    This year, the JCHS Varsity volleyball team made history. The Wolves finished the regular season undefeated, ready and eager to take the playoffs by storm. In the first round of playoffs, we beat Summit Prep in three sets, which not only put us in the championships, but also guaranteed us a spot in the Central Coast Section (CCS) playoffs the following week.

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  • Alumna, Maissa Chouraki '05, Open House speech

    Maissa Chouraki '05
    On my first day of high school, I sat in the Kol Shofar synagogue, up in Tiburon, with 22 other high school freshman, being welcomed as the inaugural class to JCHS. At the time the entire school was housed in three rooms, and a few offices. I was fourteen, nervous, and uncertain about whether I had made the right choice in schools.
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  • Open House

    Izze Lahn-Schroeder
    This past Sunday JCHS had its first open house of the year and from my point of view it went great! The day started with our fabulous student ambassadors welcoming families and an outstanding preview of the Fall Musical Pippin.
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  • Students get ready for the visiting speaker

    Magic and Neurology

    Evan Fenner
    During Community Block last week, neuroscientist and magician Louigi Anzivino spoke to us about how magic fools your brain. As a magician myself, it was really interesting not only to learn more about the science that makes the magic work, but also to see the engagement of the rest of the community in his presentation.
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  • Junior class singing their spirit song!

    Spirit Week

    Noah Bennett, Class of 2015, Diller Fellow
    Spirit Week is one of the most admired, energetic and looked forward to weeks of the JCHS year. Students are encouraged to dress up in crazy costumes on spirit days, support their grades during Color Games and support their school at the pep rally.
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  • Whole School Shabbat in Nature

    Sally Khomikh, Class of 2014
    The Shabbaton is a 3-day escape from busy schedules, stressful weeks, and obligations. Students, faculty and staff get together and embrace the magic of JCHS. Being a senior, nostalgia seems to be the theme of my year. And, as I stepped onto Walker Creek Ranch for my fourth and last time, I understood that JCHS is like no other place.
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  • From the Eyes of a Director

    An interview with Ayelet Schrek '13, Student Director of our touring production of The Comedy of Errors
    How did you develop, not only as an actor, but also as a playwright?
    I have been acting in camps and after school since I was seven, when I did my first Shakespeare camp. I’ve been going ever since. I was a camper first and I am an intern now. But really, I have been acting as long as I’ve been walking and talking! When I was young, I had a friend who came over and we would “write plays” that we would perform for our families. It was my family culture.

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  • Girls Varsity Basketball

    Sophia G.
    It’s been an exciting and focused start to the second trimester and Girls Varsity basketball. Girls basketball has always been a very special and exciting sport that I play. I have been playing basketball since 6th grade, where I began at Oakland Hebrew Day School. I have loved basketball ever since and when I came to JCHS I began playing my freshman year. Being on the varsity team as a freshman was both exciting and difficult; I had to work extremely hard. I play the low post position (or power forward) which means that I am the player in charge of rebounding, taking lay ups, assisting, and passing. My freshman year, the Girls Varsity team made it to the playoffs of the Private School Athletic League (PSAL) and I got to start in that game. I was very anxious yet super excited to be a part of this high-pressure game. I felt extremely supported by my team, which helped me succeed in my role.
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  • Musical Opportunities at JCHS

    An interview with Josh B. Class of 2016
    It’s been an exciting fall semester for the performing arts department at JCHS. This year’s musical, Into the Woods, opened to rave reviews. All four performances were sold out- such an incredible testament to our student’s talents!

    The fall musical provides the opportunity for the entire performing and visual arts department to come together. Art, vocal, drama, and music students work together to put on an amazing show with the support of our teachers and professional community. It is a group effort that is a pleasure to see. As David Möschler, Vocal Music Director at JCHS said, “it really is the watershed moment of the year for our department.” With so much excitement around the musical, JCHS checked in with drummer Josh B., who played in the orchestra.
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  • Yes Yes Y’all! Shabbaton 2012

    Pavla B-W
    Imagine a warm, breezy weekend in Sonoma County filled with your favorite classmates, faculty members, and student leaders. It is also Shabbat, and there is no homework allowed. You eat together and sing at meals, doing everything from swimming in the lake, tie-dying shirts, making liquid nitrogen ice cream, to improv games. It’s the Shabbaton. It’s JCHS highpoint for good reason.
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  • Lessons Learned on the Soccer Field

    Max M.
    I have always enjoyed playing soccer. I think it’s a good way to let off steam, exercise, get competitive, focus, and build friendships between opponents, teammates, and coaches. I’ve played on and off since I was young, around five to be exact. But I only began to invest serious time into soccer once I enrolled into the class of 2012 at JCHS.
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  • The Shabbaton Zone

    Sally: This year, the Shabbaton was a great experience! I had so much fun getting to know people, and just spending time with friends. It was a truly relaxing weekend where we didn’t have to worry about homework, school, or anything else going on in our lives. It was a great environment and a great community of people to be with. There was a good energy and I noticed that everyone was getting along and really just wanted to have a good time. The highlight for me, was going down to the lake, and cannoning with two of my friends. The weather was absolutely beautiful, and everyone was having a great time. Most people ended up not wanting to leave the lake when it was time to go. It was a great day and it really started the Shabbaton with a positive outlook. Going back to school, I felt that there were new friendships made, and the school as a whole became much closer.
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  • Surviving Nature (and Vegas) on the Sophomore Journey

    Pavla B-W
    The  trip started out as I expected. Sleepy teenagers in the early morning  at the airport, the time consumption of going through security, the long  line our class made at Starbucks, and so on. When we got on our bus in  Las Vegas, the city teased me, making me wish I could stay, instead of  heading to the national parks of Utah. Instead, after a long bus drive, I  found I was slightly infatuated with the little town of Springdale, UT,  a tiny place with a population of less than 800. It had art galleries,  grocery stores, and shops with colorful rocks for tourists like me. My  room at the Quality Inn was comfortable, despite the smell of burned  cookies wafting down the hallway. The striking thing about Springdale  was that if you went outside, you looked up, and there was a vast  mountain range balanced above the desert terrain, made of beautiful red  and orange rock.
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  • The Freshman Journey: Brandeis Bardin as a team.

    Maorr Z.
    When  I woke up on Monday morning, I realized that the day that I had been  waiting for all year had finally arrived; the day that I get to  experience my first JCHS Journey with the Class of 2014. While waiting  for the bus to pick us up from JCHS, I noticed that people were still in  their same usual groups that I see them in every day. I thought to  myself, "Why don't we mix this up a bit?" I walked over to where our  bags were and started playing my guitar. Immediately my classmates began  to flock over, and soon enough, all these groups who had previously  been mingling on their own were coming together and singing along with  me. It was a very powerful moment seeing that we all had this in common,  and the trip had hardly begun!
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  • Crafting a Character

    Everyone at JCHS is really looking forward to our winter comedy, The Importance of Being Earnest  by Oscar Wilde. We have an incredible director, an outstanding cast,  and the play itself is the pinnacle of the English language. The  characters speak with a certain quality of wit and sophistication.  Unlike some of our previous comedies, The Importance of Being Earnest  is a comedy of errors. While the characters may seem rigid and set in  their ways, much of the Victorian humor is drawn from a juxtaposition of  restrictive social expectations and the subversive actions these  characters take to undermine these restrictions. Subtle actions, such as  the way a character may cross their legs or use a fan, when taken to  the logical extreme are actually very funny.
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  • Hip Hop Happenings

    Perri D.
    Without  a doubt, being a part of the JCHS hip-hop dance team has been one of  the highlights of my time in high school. I really enjoy having the  opportunity to dance with my fellow students and help establish a strong  dance program here at JCHS. I have been dancing since the first grade,  but I only began doing hip-hop dance four years ago when I joined a  competitive hip-hop dance squad called “Divine” that competed against  other local dance teams. Dance (especially hip-hop dance) is not easy,  and you really have to be born with a certain feel for it. You have to  be able to understand the choreography and make it look good at the same  time. One thing that I really love about the JCHS dance team is that we  can add our own style and flair to what we do!
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  • Back to My Roots

    Evan F.
    As  an eighth grader at Marin Brandeis last year, I had a great opportunity  to come to San Francisco one weekend and attend a basketball clinic  with my teammates and members of the JCHS Basketball team. I didn’t have  a lot of experience playing basketball prior to this, or really an  interest in sports- I had joined the team on a whim after making a  3-pointer!
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  • Volleyball Victories

    Sharon A.
    This  year at school, my sophomore year, I am taking a number of really great  classes. I am in Talmud I Advanced, Tanach II Advanced, Introduction to  Studio Art, Chemistry Advanced, Hebrew Literature and Culture, English  10, and Algebra II Advanced. In addition to these classes though, I am  also a member of the varsity volleyball team.
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  • Curtain Call

    Alex B.
    The  JCHS drama department is one of the many amazing opportunities our  school has to offer. As a freshman, I came into JCHS as a shy, quiet  girl without a place. I decided I wanted to take an elective, and since I  can barely draw stick figures, I went with Theater Lab—Ms. Russell’s  “intro to acting” class. I walked in on the first day, horrified—I was  the only freshman AND the only girl in a group of seven other sophomore,  junior, and senior guys. At first, I didn’t know how to react, but I  crept into class, and I ended up loving it. In my class, I learned  various acting methods and techniques, but I also discovered new ways to  express myself and something I’m now really passionate about.
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  • Spirit Week and Shabbaton Stories

    Neena C.
    Color  War, the final day of Spirit Week, is a day I look forward to the  entire year. After countless hours of hard work and preparation, finally  all of our grade’s excitement and dedication pays off when we all  gather together in the commons and perform in front of the whole JCHS  community. Each class is given about 10 minutes to entertain the school  with a song or dance, or combination of the two, which shows off their  grade’s spirit.
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  • Clubs and Classes

    A conversation with Boris S.
    JCHS: Hi Boris!  It looks like sophomore year is off to a great start!  What have you been up to so far?

    Boris:  I have been really excited about Chemistry this year–all the formulas  and hands-on labs intrigue me.  At the Club Fair where students can join  a number of different student-run clubs, I signed up for both Yearbook  and Social Club.  They are both a big part of my agenda.
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  • Getting Involved

    Interview With Sophia W.
    Q: As a senior at JCHS, and someone who is very involved with the  community in many different ways, has it been a challenge to adjust to  the academic rigors of being a senior?

    A: Yes, it has been a bit of a challenge, but it has also been fun and rewarding. This year I am taking exciting classes like AP Art History and Jewish Thought that give me the opportunity to explore subjects I love that are fascinating and  enlightening. For example, I really enjoy learning about the concepts of  ‘sin’ and ‘evil’ with Dr. Sandel. I have the opportunity to choose  classes I am interested in, and I love that I can learn for the sake of  learning and have fun with the classes I am taking.
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Archive
Jewish Community High School of the Bay
1835 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA 94115
Phone: 415.345.9777
JCHS is grateful for generous operational, programmatic, and financial support from:
The Jewish Community High School of the Bay (JCHS) is a unique college preparatory high school committed to integrating deep learning, universal wisdom, and Jewish values. We empower each student to embrace her or his Jewish identity, generate empathy and compassion, delight in lifelong education, and improve the world.