Community Midrasha

Community Midrasha teachers and 8th-12th grade teens are creative go-getters, perpetual learners, powerful allies, and totally Jew-ish, in all senses of the word. The Community Midrasha program strives to engage teens in Jewish culture, history, and religion, inspiring them to foster their lifelong commitments to learning Jewishly. But this definitely isn’t your Bubbe’s Hebrew School. At Community Midrasha, teens explore both our world and Torah. Together, they work to see how they fit in it all and how the world and Judaism fit them. Every body is welcome here, regardless of synagogue affiliation or prior religious education. All who want to live and learn Jewishly are welcome under the Community Midrasha tent.

We are hiring for inspiring and engaging instructors!  Check our job description and application instructions here.



The Community Midrasha Program is the only one of its kind in the Durham-Chapel Hill area, giving a forum for Triangle teens to inspire, create, innovate, engage, inquire, and connect through a Jewish lens. Our class offerings have evolved with our teens and their parents over the years, standing firmly in a thorough and honest presentation of Judaism, while also meeting current events, society, and ethics head-on, giving our students a safe place in which to ask tough questions and find out what it means to be Jewish. Our media include art, ethics, history, law, sports, martial arts, and even comedy. At Community Midrasha, we encourage our teens to think outside of the box and always for themselves.



Most Community Midrasha classes meet on Sunday evenings throughout the academic year. Students are able to select from 12-week courses in the fall and 6-week courses in the spring. Scroll down for 2018-2019 Course Offerings.





Community Midrasha was adopted in 2017 to be part of the Jewish Federation of Durham-Chapel Hill family and is housed in the Levin Jewish Community Center in Durham, NC. MAP IT!  




The formula to our success is simple: give teens guided freedom to grow and explore, allowing them the space to really own learning Jewishly. We take fun, creativity, and challenge and add them to Jewish philanthropy, art, culture, and scholarship. We multiply those positive experiences by our pillars of Talmud Torah (study of the Torah), Tikkun Olam (repairing the world), and Am Yisrael (people of Israel) and we get globally relevant, academically-inclined classes that teens of all ages are excited about. With leadership opportunities, special travel and retreats, and field trips as common denominators, Community Midrasha students truly thrive.

Our program is made possible by generous support from Beth El Synagogue, Judea Reform Congregation, and Kehillah Synagogue.


2018-2019 Course Offerings

Our 2018-2019 courses are designed to get you inspired to learn Jewishly and in a way that’s meaningful to you, whether it’s through photography or philanthropy. Many courses draw on national curricula and are built as a pre-college model of mixed-age classes with tons of room to focus on what’s interesting to you.

Fall 12-week courses:

·         Jewish Lens – Explore Jewish identity and visual literacy through photography.  You will discover photography, both established artists’ and your own, as a powerful tool to communicate diversity, values, and peoplehood.

·         Moot Bein Din – Dive into halakha (the Jewish legal system) and compete against other teens in arguing a case.  Your team will research a current hot topic and apply rabbinic sources to craft an argument which will be judged alongside teams from across the country.

·         Areyvut – Clarify your own values and put them into practice while learning about Jewish philanthropy. Investigate local communal needs, participate in values clarification exercises, research organizations, and select causes to fund as a group.

·         World Religions – Compare Judaism to Eastern and Western religious traditions as you visit local houses of worship.  Time and location varies weekly, typically Sunday morning or mid-day, with some evening sessions  Each week teens will meet at the JCC, prepare for the visit, carpool to the site, and return to the JCC for a debrief.  (Open to 10th grade and up.)

Spring 6-week electives will be set with input from teens!  Past courses have included Jewish cooking, Sports and Judaism, Krav Maga, Creative writing, Immigration stories, Jewish yoga, and more.


Nikki Michaelson                                                                                                                                                                                 Community Midrasha and Teen Program Manager                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 919-354-4953