High School Jewish Life
At Emanuel, we seek to foster a love of Jewish learning and living.
We strive to build a community of caring and knowledgeable individuals, who experience Judaism as personally engaging and meaningful. With a diverse student body and staff, we honour and promote pluralistic expressions of Judaism as enriching and deepening our shared heritage.
Our inclusive and welcoming school environment serves to nurture responsible and concerned individuals contributing to both our Jewish and world communities.
In accordance with our school motto, we are committed to educating the whole child, in Mind, Spirit and Being.
- Within our Jewish Studies classes, which are compulsory from Years 7-11, we challenge our students to explore and discover Judaism as a living dialogue in which each individual has a voice.
- Through project-based learning, electives and thematic units, our students are encouraged to develop both an appreciation of the wisdom of our tradition and a critical and authentic understanding of how it may help them forge a mindful and meaningful Jewish life.
- Our students encounter their Hebrew studies as a means to engage more fully with their Jewish heritage and present day Israel. They experience Hebrew as the shared language of our people and as a core component of their Jewish identity.
- Every Friday, we enjoy a student-led welcoming of Shabbat that highlights the joy of communal celebration. Our students sing Shabbat and Hebrew songs, dance together, share in a variety of theme-centred Shabbat experiences, join in the kiddush and motsi (prayers over the wine and bread) and, in a spirited expression of simchah (joy) and ruach, honour the best of Shabbat.
- On Monday mornings we communally experience moments of prayer, reflection and study. Student members of each House lead their peers in prayer and share their thoughts and perspectives on the weekly parashah (Torah reading), through their own devar torah. In addition, a variety of tefillah (prayer) groups, such as Jewish meditation, encountering prayer as personal journey, or exploring challenging and personal theological and ethical issues through the lens of Jewish thinking and living, are provided to our students.
- Coming together in chagim and moadim, celebration and commemorations, we give living expression to our Jewish being. Our Jewish life madrichim and their peers develop programs and activities that highlight the essence of holiday and commemorative events, while generating new rituals and observances that speak to them. Our students become empowering agents in creating a living Judaism in which being Jewish is an ever-renewing enterprise.
- Our students engage in many diverse Tikkun Olam projects and programs. Being Jewish, they learn that we are called upon to live as God’s partners in bettering our world through caring for the wellbeing of others (gemilut hasadim) and working for equity and justice (tzedakah) for all people. Students initiate and participate in Tikkun Olam endeavours within our local, national and world-wide communities.
Chavayah – The Jewish Experience
Being Jewish comes alive for our students, in mind, spirit and being, when they join their peers on our 6-week Israel program, Chavayah, at the end of Year 10. Living Jewishly in Israel, through learning, celebrating and praying, inspires our students to aspire to a life-long commitment to our people and our heritage.