3220 Big Tree Lane, Wilmette, Illinois 60091 Weekday Services: M-Fri: 7:00am/Sun: 9am; Sun - Thu: 7:30 pm

Our Hebrew High Program

Our High School Program at BHCBE

 Relevance is of the highest concern when it comes to this age, and in order to make sure that your child’s educational experience is as relevant as possible we’ve created three different tracks for them to choose from. In order to maintain a sense of community 9th – 10th grades will  come back together for our social justice class Le’Taken (which means ‘to repair’ in Hebrew) led by Susan Balaban while 11th-12th grades will join Rebecca Nadis for a class in American Jewish History

9th  – 12th Grade Schedule for Fall 2016
10:15 – 11:20 Track 1
Junior Madrichim
8th – 9th  
Track 2
 Hebrew8th –10th
Track 3
The Play Project8th – 12th
11:20 – 11:30 Bagel Break
11:30 – 12:45 Le’Taken                              Or       American Jewish History
9th – 10th                                                         11th-12th


Overview of the Three Tracks Offered First Period

Track 1: Junior Madrichim with Saretta Lazovsky 


Saretta   Some of the most powerful and enduring learning happens while teaching. Our 8th and 9th graders will get an introduction to the skills and habits that go into being a successful teacher’s aide. The class period will be broken into three parts: theory, practice, and reflection.  The theory portion will cover topics such as child development, strategies for teaching children with learning disabilities, teaching decoding, as well as more practical topics like how work collaboratively with your classroom teacher, how to be professional, and how to advocate for help and guidance when you need it.


For the practice portion of the class, Junior Madrichim will work one on one or in small groups with our K-2 grade students. Each Junior Madrich/a will be assigned to a class and teacher in advance, and there will be a set arrangement for when they will be helping each class and what their assignments and responsibilities will be. After about 15 – 20 minutes of classwork, Junior Madrichim will return and meet with the Junior Madrichim teacher who will help them debrief and process their experiences. Our goal is that by the end of the year, our students will be more confident and capable working with younger students and learn valuable professional and pedagogical skills.



Track 2: Conversational Hebrew

With the twin goals of maintaining existing Hebrew skills and building new ones, we are excited to offer a conversational Hebrew classes for our 9th grade. The classes will be led by a native Hebrew speaker and will follow the following principles to ensure that the classes build confidence, are student centered and driven, and meet our goals of maintaining and building new Hebrew skills.


  1. Our class will be based on tried-and-true principles that help students gain confidence learning to speak a second language.
    During student-led Hebrew conversations the emphasis will be on communication and fluency, not correctness. The point is for the student’s meaning to come through, not if every word is conjugated precisely. The class will have opportunities to review common mistakes and build new skills when students aren’t practicing their conversational skills.
  2. Before entering into classroom conversations, students will agree on some basic “rules for engagement” such as listening to each other with respect; listening actively by asking for clarification and examples; and advancing opinions clearly while still respecting the opinions of others.
  3. In order to keep the class student directed, student will get to choose discussion topics at the beginning of the year. Students will work in groups, write agreed-upon topics on index cards, and the teacher will collect them. One class session or part of one in brainstorming topics will likely yield enough topics for the semester.
  4. The class will feature a lot of small group and / or pair work. Conversations naturally occur in small, not large groups. Smaller groups also give students more opportunities to speak and they are less likely to be self conscious.
  5. The teacher will teach students conversational strategies. Conversational partners will learn different strategies for introducing the topic, drawing each other out, asking for opinions, advancing their own, using examples, and so forth.
  6. Students will continue to review and learn Hebrew vocabulary, with an emphasis on the vocabulary that is relevant to the topic of discussion.


While the intent is for the topics for the class to eventually be student driven, the semester will begin with students having the option to pick from a few carefully chosen topics that tie into what the students are learning in their other classes.
In addition to conversations, the class will have opportunities for games and role playing that will help students practice phrases and vocabulary in a more structured format. Examples might be shopping at a grocery store, ordering falafel, asking for directions, and other typical situations visitors experience when they travel.


Track 3: The Play Project with Rebecca Nadis

Rebecca NadisCome be part of something incredible!  Over the past year, BHCBE students have been hard at work, studying, imagining, creating and writing.   This past year, a group of intrepid high school students took on the task of studying key events in Jewish history and creating the characters and story that would form the backbone of an original musical production.  That musical- the Remarkable Journey of the First Fruits- is now ready for production!

Throughout the coming year, you have the opportunity to be a part of the world premier of an original musical!  Each Sunday, from 10:15- 11:20 am, the cast of the musical will come together for rehearsals at BHCBE, learning songs, blocking scenes, mastering choreography and bringing the work to life!  As the show date draws nearer, more rehearsal time will be needed on Sunday afternoons.   Students in 6th -12th grades are encouraged to audition for one of 8-10 lead roles. There are also many smaller roles available that have a smaller time commitment.  Auditions will take place on Sunday, September 25th between 12 -1 pm.The play will be performed this coming spring on May 7th.

There are also opportunities for students to take the lead as set designers, prop designers, stage managers and choreographers.  


Come be a part of this incredible project!  



Second Period: (11:30 – 12:30)

Le’Taken with Susan Balaban 


This student-driven class is focused on exploring the roots of social justice within the Jewish tradition and then bringing them to life in a meaningful way in the modern world. Students will develop a series of causes and topics that they care passionately about and work together to think of real and practical ways of making a difference and repairing the world. Le’taken  literally means to fix, and the goal of this class is to help students develop their tool kit for making the world a better place and helping to fix the injustices they care the most about.


This class is for the whole 9th grade and days when there are field trips will sometimes extend the hours of class. In all cases, very advanced notice will be given when students will be going off-site or working on project that will change the schedule.


American Jewish History with Rebecca Nadis

In this Jewish History elective, we will immerse ourselves in the American Jewish experience.  We will explore the ways in which Jews came to this country and made new lives for themselves.  Students will dig into primary sources, as well as a variety of secondary sources and other media to get the richest possible picture of Immigrant Jewish life in America over the past few centuries.  Throughout our study of this history, we will engage in a discussion about how the experience of Jews as an immigrant population affects our understanding and attitudes in terms of the political and social realities of  contemporary American society.