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December 16, 1988 - Image 54

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-12-16

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

I EDUCATION

POOL TABLES

THE

LIMITED

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• SLATE TOP
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• CHOICE OF CLOTH COLOR

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• BUMPER POOL
• AIR HOCKEY
• SOCCER TABLES

DISCOUNT PRICED

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QUE STICKS
10 to 50% OFF

ALL MAJOR MAKES

Bob McKeown

LABARON'S

34711 DEQUININ1E • Si OF 15 MILE • TROY

-3535

THURS., FRI. 10-8
WED., SAT. 10-6
SUN. 11-4;
CLOSED TUES

.

Josh Cutler, left, Mark Leuchter and Sheryl Katzman quiz each other on material they studied in the chavurah.

Hillel Chavurah Gives New Twist
To Post-Bar Mitzvah Education

HEIDI PRESS

News Editor-

H

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54

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 16, 1988

• WEIGHT
CONTROL
• INDIVIDUAL
COUNSELING

HEALTHY OPTIONS, INC.
BIRMINGHAM

illel Day School is
helping to relieve the
post-bar/bat mitzvah
dropout rate. it has developed
a weekend chavurah program
for its teenage alumni to con-
tinue their formal Jewish
education.
It was created last year by
former Hillel headmaster
Rabbi Robert Abramson, now
director of education for the
United Synagogue of Ameri-
ca. Rabbi Abramson saw that
Hillel alumni were continu-
ing their Jewish education in-
formally, via United Syna-
gogue Youth and B'nai B'rith
Youth Organization activi-
ties, but were not involved in
formal training, explained
Hillel Principal Dr. Mark
Smiley.
Smiley, with his wife,
educator Aviva Silverman,
directs the chavurah. Smiley
said it does not replace the
local Hebrew high school.
Rather, the chavurah "stret-
ches them (the students) in
new and creative ways. We
want to move them from child
learners to adult learners.
This tries to take adult educa-
tion and bring it to
teenagers:'
Each of the 18 teens, in
grades 10-12 in the public
schools, makes a commitment
to participate in all eight
chavurah sessions. The tui-
tion is $500 for the year.
Funds for the speakers' ex-
penses and honoraria come

from the Max M. Fisher
Jewish Community Founda-
tion. Administrative costs are
absorbed by Hillel.
The sessions are held one
weekend a month at Hillel
Day School, and the students
have the option of staying
overnight for Shabbat at the
school or with their families.
When there are students
staying at the school, Smiley
and Silverman chaperone.
The Friday night compo-
nent includes Shabbat dinner
and services and the first
study session with the guest
speaker. On Saturday, the
students may join for services
at Hillel, attend services at
nearby Adat Shalom Syna-
gogue or go to their families'
synagogues. They return to
Hillel for kiddush and lunch,
the second study session,
Minchah services and social-
izing. The weekend concludes
with a Sunday brunch and a
third study session.

"Each person is a theme?'
Dr. Smiley said of the guest
speakers. Said Silverman,
"These people are renowned
enough in our area and we let
them do their own thing."
"They work well with youth
and are experts in their
fields." Among this year's
scheduled speakers is Rabbi
Seth Frisch, a Conservativer
rabbi who has led more than
30 missions to Ethiopia and
Syria. Bible scholar Rabbi
Henri Schreibman, a Recon-
structionist rabbi, was en-
gaged last year. Through
mime, he gave a weekend

presentation on "A Dramatic
Approach to the Study of the
Bible."
This past year's schedule in-
cluded a visit by two Hillel
alumni currently studying for
the rabbinate and a local
Jewish communal leader.
"We believe these people
have an impact on teenage
children," Smiley explained.
"The speaker's personality
plays a big role?' Silverman
said that the students have
an easy time relating to the
speakers. "The kids know
right away these are people
they can talk to and who will
answer them."

Although Hillel Day School
has a Conservative orienta-
tion, speakers represent all
Jewish denominations. "We
have people from all the
movements," Smiley said, "to
get beyond the label" of Or-
thodox, Conservative, Reform,
Reconstructionist.
Smiley and Silverman coor-
dinate the program which is
in its second year.
Silverman said the
teenagers, who have input in-
to the programming, are en-
thusiastic. They ask for
special presenters and Silver-
man and Smiley to their best
to accommodate them. In ad-
dition, the couple-, 'ries to
coordinate with local youth
and community activities so
that it does not conflict.
According to Smiley, the
chavurah has taken on a
"social flair." Some of the kids
stay together for the entire
Shabbat. Sheryl Katzman,

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