2024-25 Midrasha Online Courses for Teens

Hebrew

We are accredited by

1.5 hours twice a week for the academic year.

With Rabbi Yosi Gordon and Dr. Oren Eubanks-Segal.

Learn Hebrew from beginner to advanced levels, based on a university model and including units on Israeli culture. New students take a placement exam before the start of the school year. We are accredited by Gratz College and our Hebrew courses cover a semester’s material over nine months of study. Eligible students can earn up to 20 college credits upon completion.


Electives

Thursdays 5:30-6:30PM for the academic year.

With Rabbi Yosi Gordon.

The Tanach (The whole Hebrew Bible) is filled with laws, poetry, wisdom, prophecy, and more; but the stories are the best. Here are short stories and story chains that you may have missed, all filled with actions, mystery, humor (yes, humor!), suspense, romance, surprise, and amazing characters (including God) — all the elements that contribute to great reading. Learn new ways of reading and understanding. We will read the text in modern English translation along with some Hebrew to help us understand.

Wednesdays 6:30-7:30PM for the academic year.

This program is an interactive, experiential and engaging 12 unit curriculum that will be facilitated by a trained Mussar instructor who is certified by the National Mussar Institute Teen Program. With the goal of creating a deeper connection to Judaism, Challenges and Choices helps teens find meaning and purpose by navigating life choices in healthy ways that reflect Jewish values. Using practical Jewish wisdom, facilitated discussions and a focus on social, emotional, and spiritual learning, the program also addresses the mental health stressors brought on by life’s challenges facing today’s teens. The program was developed, piloted, and evaluated through a generous grant from the Templeton Foundation.

Tuesdays 6:30-7:20PM. Jewish Law in fall semester, Jewish thought in spring semester. Enroll in either or both semesters. 

With Rabbi Yosi Gordon.

Violence is part of being human, living among others. Whether it’s bullying in high school, war in Ukraine, or almost half of the TV shows and movies we see, violence is everywhere. Why? In the words of Rodney King, “Why can’t we all just get along?”  

This course begins with a fictitious gangland murder and a real court: the students. Clues and ancient texts are all we have. Guilty, or not guilty?

Wednesdays 8-9PM, Fall semester.

With Rabbi Yosi Gordon.

This is a dictionary definition of religion: the belief in and worship of a superhuman power or powers, especially a God or gods. That describes Christianity and Islam to perfection. It clearly doesn’t define what it means to be Jewish. Gain new understandings of what it really means to be a Jew by looking at some similarities and lots of differences. (It’s not just about Jesus and Mohammed!) Why are Jews so different, and why do Christians and Muslims keep talking about us?

Wednesdays 8-9PM, Fall semester.

With Dr. Oren Eubanks-Segal.

Dive into the vibrant world of Israeli cinema with Dr. Oren Eubanks-Segal (U of Michigan Ann Arbor) explore the heart and soul of modern Israel through recent films. It is not just watching, it is engaging in in spirited conversations, lively debates and uncovering the fascinating intersection of history and modernity. Discover the intensity, dreams and realities that shape this nation. We will unravel the intricate tapestry of cultural identities in Israeli cinema and emerge with a deeper understanding of the forces shaping Israel today.

Wednesdays 8-9PM, Spring semester.

With Rabbi Yosi Gordon.

What does it mean to live a Jewish life? Is it caring for others, obeying Jewish law, fulfilling yourself, understanding holiness, identifying with the Jewish People? These are really different paths, and it’s hard to imagine anyone embracing all five! We’ll explore ancient and modern texts to answer: What path will you take? It’syour journey: here’s where you begin.

Wednesdays 8-9PM, Spring semester.

With Dr. Oren Eubanks-Segal.

A continuation of Through a Lens: Exploring Israeli Society in Film. This class uses the same learning method and explores Israeli culture through music.


Mini Classes

Sundays 11:30AM-12:30PM, September.

With Steve Kerbel.

It is indisputable that worldwide Antisemitism is intensifying. As the title asks, what is it and where does it come from? What can we do about it? In this 4 session mini course, using materials collected from experts in the field at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Anti-Defamation League and American Jewish Committee we will explore the foundations of antisemitism and strategies for safely confronting it. Students will attend all sessions or watch the session recordings, come ready to learn, will do 15-20 minutes of reading in preparation for each session and will actively participate through classroom discussion and responding on online feedback forms.

Mondays 6:30-7:30PM. 4 mini courses of 6-7 sessions each.

With Steve Kerbel.

This is a series of sequential mini courses open to all Jewish teens from 9th-12th grade. Any mini course can be taken alone, or with others in the series:

Mini Course 1: The State Seekers – Early Zionist Thinkers – Reclaiming our Ideals and History

Mini Course 2: The State Builders – Leaders of the 2nd Aliyah

Mini Course 3: Ingathering the Exiled – Waves of Aliyah – Contributions of Each Aliyah to State Building and Keeping

Mini Course 4: Advanced State Keeping – Understanding Israel’s Culture and Politics

This class is Midrasha’s response to the consensus throughout Jewish educators and institutions today that our teens need a more thorough Israel education. Israel education must be more than trying hummus and finding out that Israel invented WAZE. This class starts by building a firm foundation on the writings of the early Zionists who reintroduced the ideas of Jewish nationalism in the 19th century (Zionism) and follow the stages of State Seeking, State Building and State Keeping by reading and discussing primary sources, and later learning about the structure and operation of Israel’s government. Course expectations are 15-20 minutes of reading in preparation for each session.

Sundays 1 hour TBA. 4 weeks, October-November.

Using the book by Yossi Klein Halevi, Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor, the goal of this award-winning class is for students to gain understanding and language to fully express themselves, with nuance, in conversation on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Sponsored and taught by Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas.

Disclaimer: Classes are subject to change; minimum participation required.