Although most popularly translated as “prayer” or “worship,” tefillah is more literally defined as introspection and reflection. Our Tefillah program is meant to promote personal and communal growth through engagement with a Jewish tradition; personal expression; and/or sincere communication. 

The benefits of a relaxed and consistent morning routine are vast! We offer students the time and support for a morning practice, in community, that includes options like gentle movement, prayer, time outside, caring check-ins and creative play.

9th Grade Tefillah Workshop

The JCHS Tefillah program is meant to promote personal and communal growth through engagement with a Jewish tradition; personal expression; and/or sincere communication. Through a new program called Tefillah Workshop taking place during the first quarter of the school year, 9th graders will spend a handful of mornings together exploring approaches to Jewish prayer as a way to develop personal relationships to a consistent morning practice.

In the fall, all 9th grade students will participate in 5 workshops (during Tefillah) designed to give them a sense of exposure to the range of Tefillah expressions at JCHS. During these mornings, students will be excused from their usual tefillah. More details will be sent directly to families of the Class of 2027. On Tefillah Workshop days, students who have the practice of praying in the mornings are invited to do so before coming to school. Below are the Tefillah Workshop dates:

  • Friday, 9/22
  • Thursday, 9/28 
  • Friday, 10/13
  • Friday, 10/20
  • Friday, 11/3

Fall Quarter 1: Tefillah Choices

Your student received a Tefillah sign-up form today. You can read more about this quarter’s offerings below. You are warmly invited to reach out to Roni Ben-David, Director of Social Justice & Inclusion, with any questions.

Brain Games (Mr. Hagen & Mr. Fitch)
Warm up your brain with a variety of puzzles, games, sudoku and other kinds of mental aerobics!  Most games use critical thinking and logic, but will not require any prerequisite math class. 

Chavurah (Mr. Wolkenstein)
Chavurah is a student-centered spiritual experience that combines daily ritual, personal sharing, storytelling and group reflection. Most importantly, it’s about learning to listen to others. If you are someone who enjoys hearing about the personal experiences of others, this is a great place for you.

Crossword Puzzles (Mr. White)
We will do the daily New York Times crossword puzzles on our own and together. Get into the daily routine of doing this focused activity, in community!

Creativity & Connection (Ms. Hunt )
Start the day with crafts that connect us to others, including the art of writing with glass pens, fountain pens and quills; wax seal making; paper cutting; rubber stamp embossing; rock painting; drawing; diamond painting; small handcrafts; and more.

Mindfulness Meditation (Mr. Gindi)
We will practice different forms of meditation based on both Jewish and Vipassana traditions, as well as learn from the insights of Jewish meditation teachers. Start each day centered and calm with a clear intention for learning.

Morning Walks (Dr. Grigoryan)
Join a relaxing walk around the neighborhood, followed by a short stretch before class. If you are looking for morning movement before the school day begins then this would be a great fit!

Reading Time (Ms. Beck & Ms. Siegel)
Start your day with reading! It’s a great way to focus your mind and energy, while also delving into the fantastic world of books. On Fridays, we will bring our favorite beverage and chat about our readings. No homework, no screens, but lots of sweet old books!

Shacharit with Mechitzah (Rabbi Brick, Ms. Gluck)
This is a participatory prayer group using a traditional Jewish prayer text. Students pray in separate-gendered seating and are led by a Shaliach Tzibur. Students wear Tefillin and read from the Torah on Mondays, Thursdays, and more!  Students learn how to navigate the siddur and become acquainted with traditional Jewish rituals surrounding prayer and are also given the opportunity to share their own learning and inspiration with the Minyan. A Women’s Tefillah is offered weekly.

Sisterhood + (Ms. Alouf, Ms. Cornelius)
Sisterhood Plus Tefillah is a place for women-identifying and non-binary students to discuss, create, and start your day in community.

Yoga-Inspired Stretching (Student-led, Ms. Rubin)
A great way to start your day is with gentle stretching, deep breathing, and invigorating relaxation (an oxymoron? come see how it’s not!) We’ll stretch our muscles, relax, and ease into our school day.

Egalitarian (Liberal) Shacharit (Ms. Alouf)
This Tefillah will follow the morning prayer book service. Students of all genders will have equal participation and leadership opportunities. Come learn what it’s like to develop a regular prayer practice. Learn new tunes and be part of a special community! TUESDAYS ONLY