Teffilah choices for 5775 (2014-2015)
The Heschel High School begins the day with tefillah. All students are required to participate in a shacharit minyan (morning-prayer service) of their choice. The standard minyan is traditional and egalitarian, reflecting the school’s dedication to a mastery of Jewish texts and prayers along with the philosophical commitment to the ways in which egalitarian thought has shaped the Jewish community in America. The Heschel School also remains equally dedicated to the importance of pluralism within the school’s community, in order to sustain a model in which Jews who disagree with each other on religious and social issues can find ways of forming honest, trusting, and respectful relationships through discourse and study. To this end, the School, in addition to the Egalitarian minyan, also offers a daily Orthodox minyan, as well as a variety of alternative minyanim.
The Egalitarian Minyan
- 9th-12th Grade
- An egalitarian traditional minyan that is committed to creating:
- A warm, embracing, welcoming community
- A space where tefillah is taken seriously both by the tzibur as well as the yachid
- Opportunities for student leadership and participation
The Orthodox Minyan
- 9th-12th Grade
- This minyan prays a full service. All of the time is spent in tefilla.
- This minyan has a mechitza.
- This minyan highly encourages student participation, both in leading services and in saying the words as an individual and as a group.
- 9th-- 10th Grade – separately.
- This minyan is for students who want to explore their relationship to Jewish ideas and values as they are reflected in the world around us.
- We will discuss topics such as how prayer can have an impact on our lives, our relationship to Israel, and our theological beliefs
- This is a minyan for students who want are open to exploring ideas with others in an engaging and respectful way.
Creative Expression Minyan
- 9-10th Grades.
- An environment where creative, personal expression is nurtured, welcomed, and developed
- Uses visual arts, writing, movement, and music (no experience necessary for any)
- Students are asked to share their thoughts and creations, and to try new things
Mindfulness & Meditation Minyan
- 11th & 12th Grade
- We are a mutually supportive spiritual community.
- We will work on developing mindfulness skills, ultimately aimed at self awareness, self acceptance, and self care.
- We will gently encourage ourselves and each other to explore and share our spiritual journeys, with all their attendant thoughts, feelings, beliefs etcÉ
- We will explore various modes of meditation (mantra, visualization, mindfulness, movement)
Social Justice Minyan
- 10th &11th Grade
- Define and explore the need for social justice through media and discussion
- Unpack the values of social justice, hesed, and tikkun olam
- Engage in acts of hesed in New York City and beyond
The Women's Minyan
- 11th & 12th Grade
- The Women's Minyan will develop into an open, safe community as we explore:
- ritual and spiritual practices and dilemmas facing women in the world today.
- We will share personal anecdotes, participate in experiential activities, read and discuss articles,converse with minyan guests
The Men's Minyan
- 11 - 12th Grade
- We will pray together, learn tefillah and tefillah-related texts together, and engage in pointed discussions
- We will reexamine our traditional tefillot, prayer spaces, and roles as modern, forward-thinking, Jewish men praying in those spaces.
- We will seek to discover not only what it means to be a man today, but what it means to be a praying, Jewish man today
Tefillah and Talmud (TNT) Minyan
- 11-12th Grades
- In the TNT minyan, we will be:
- Concentrating on treating the act of learning as a form of worship.
- Learning a masechet of Talmud lishma (for it's own sake).
- Expanding our knowledge of talmudic text
- Familiarizing ourselves with talmudic jargon and flow
- Building a community of curious, committed, and self-motivated learners (all skill levels are welcome).